To PR, With Love.

I haven’t written in a really long time and to be honest that sucks. But I’ve wanted to write for so long but I never quite figured out what to write on. But when a friend (Hi Sammy!) sent a nostalgia filled text on a group chat I kinda knew.
Here’s to PR. My family in a new city.
When I walked into college I was so hesitant about what it would hold for me, where I would find myself, what I would be doing with my life. I was never one who did just one thing, I am kind of like a headless monkey sometimes.
A few weeks into college, I was told that Student Council interviews were going to take place. I remember talking to some seniors about which committee I should apply to, which committee I would belong to. In my heart I knew where I wanted to be, but I had to wait for the interview. I can’t even begin to tell you how scared I was. I knew I had to maintain my composure but then again I was really nervous because the head of PR (Adi <3) didn’t exactly know me for the best reasons. I still remember poking people around asking them stupid questions before I walked in. To be honest, the interview was nothing like I had thought it would be. I was out in precisely 3 minutes.
Fast forward to the days leading up to my birthday. Results were coming out on my birthday eve and investiture would be on my birthday. The last couple of days had been spent with some seniors telling me how there must have been people better than me who applied to P.R. Media and Website Committee and how I shouldn’t keep my hopes high. (Thanks Sanjit, Sonakshi, Rahil and Navid.) To say that it was traumatising doesn’t even cover it and to add to it my impending birthday. I remember walking into my room to my roommate who just got to know that she had made it when I got text from an unknown number asking if it was my number. I was literally jumping on my roomie’s bed, trying to true caller the number whilst waiting for a reply back. It was the longest 2 minutes of my life. But hey, I got the best birthday gift!

“Congratulations, Arushi! You have been selected for the P.R. Media and Website Committee 2015-16! We are looking forward to having you as a part of this amazing committee that we have grown to love as family.”

Coming back to the present, PR has been that place where my committee head (Adi, you know what I’m talking about don’t you :P) teased me at my first meeting, where people I barely knew celebrated my birthday like we’d known each other forever, where people always had my back and always pushed me beyond the limits I thought I had, where I was always told that my grades mattered more than anything, where I felt like I belonged, where I could be my crazy stupid self but most of all where my committee members have always truly been a call or a text away; the place I found home.
When Symbhav came along, this spectacular family only increased in size. Here’s to that huge WhatsApp group where no conversation is off-limits. From cute boys and girls to the cricket matches, to random rants and crazy amounts of teasing, we’ve spoken about everything under the sun. Here’s to the people I’ve spent entire 24 hours of a day with, doing things I never imagined doing in law school. Here’s to people who force-fed me, made me send them photos of my food and even spoke to my mum about my eating habits (Nanda, you know I’m talking you) Here’s to creeping people out, to being a stalker-like photographer, to translating Hindi (Hahaha Gazzy never going to forget trying to explain Wakhra Swag to you), to 12am Dominoes and Food Truck, to jumping around campus, having too many foot injuries that banned me from moving around, to faculty thinking Nimesh and I were capable of ragging seniors (Have you looked at our faces? *makes a puppy dog face*), to shooting at 2 in the morning, to Sammy’s all day kisses, to selfies at 6 am and saying good morning to the guards when we left at 8am, to spending all day in college in pyjamas, to that feeling of accomplishment when teaching Rhea and Shivani design, to Devina sleeping like she’s possessed, to Gerogie’s insomnia, to Aashna’s uncanny habit of losing things and her addiction to coke, to the Design Team (Ashar, Prevs, Sasi you guys are the best) losing our minds with sponsors, to annoying Chadha with my dancing, to jumping around Nitesh Hub with Hriday and Govind, to almost losing equipment with Sayan in SVC, to tripping over the randomest things at 3am, to Sonu and Rahil for finding stupid things to tease me about at every moment of the day and so so much more. This post will become way too long if I pen down every single memory I have with this committee.
Thank you guys for the best first year I could have asked for. Lots and lots of love.
P.S.- I sincerely apologise if I’ve missed out anybody or anything. This is an extremely impulsive rant. You know I love you guys.

Things that happen to you when you graduate high school.

So last Thursday was my high school Farewell. And walking into school for the very last time ever as a student kinda hit me somewhere.
Last year in April when I started Grade 12, I’ll admit a part of me was happy in a way; that all the drama and the petty politics and assignments that are such an integral part of every high school would be over. Don’t get me wrong I love my school but at least I wouldn’t have to go through all that anymore like I did every morning for all those years.
I’m usually an emotional person but as the year passed by while the rest of my batch mates had tears in their eyes, I didn’t. I guess I wasn’t able to accept it you know. I didn’t think it was true. Rather I was convinced it wasn’t true.
Now, as I write this I realise how much has changed in these months. School has always been such a safe haven for me. I’m going to miss the corridors and the classrooms that have seen me at my best and at my worst. I’m going to miss the dadas and didis who were there all along. I’m going to miss the garden where I once got my head stuck in the jungle gym and the only thing I could think of back then was that I’d be late for Class, not that I could hurt myself (yes Grade 2 me was pretty stupid). I’m going to miss that teacher who greets me with the warmest “Hello” and smile every single day which makes even my worst moods better even though she doesn’t know me. I’m going to miss it all.
It’s an out of body feeling that you get when you look back at the last 14 years. How in those 14 years strangers  became family and 78 Syed Amir Ali Avenue became home. It’s unbelievable really.
I still can’t picture myself not going there again in my uniform. I find it horrible when I walk into school now and I’m called an ex student by the dadas. I was always really involved in school. Always part of things that were happening. Yes, people hated me for it. I think the “Miss I Think I’m Needed Everywhere” Award proves it. But that never bothered me. Because that’s just how I am. And it feels weird that I’m not going to be a part of those things anymore.
It’s like losing your soul. It’s something that you don’t see coming until the final moment arrives. It’s like you suddenly don’t know where you belong. You don’t know where you can go to when you screwed up. It kinda leaves you directionless.
I still remember my dad telling me while we walked down the hallway on the way for my interview even before I had even made it, while listening to some senior students singing Do A Dear in the hall,
“Arushi, one day you’re also going to be standing in that hall and singing like those kids right here.”
And I knew this is where I belonged. Life as I remember it started here.
14 years ago I walked into this school only knowing that this was the best school in the city but holding my parents’ hands tightly (that’s what they tell me) with mixed feelings of excitement and curiosity. I never cried back then. And I don’t today as well because I realise now that 78 Syed Amir Ali Avenue will always be home. And it’ll always remain a part of me.
Today, 14 eventful and memorable years later, hundreds of friends later, innumerable orange stick treats later, a collection of lucky beans later, but most of all a million familiar faces and smiles later I walk out yet again with mixed emotions. This time of sadness and disbelief.
It’s been an amazing journey. Every person in school made me feel so special as I walked out after my very last Prize Day. But as they say where one journey ends, a new one begins. And for that Best Of Luck Class of 2015. It’s been an absolute pleasure spending most of my life with you.
Thank you Modern High School for Girls. Thank you for everything.
Signing off like they said in the farewell video,
Long live all the mountains we moved. We had the time of our lives fighting dragons with you. We’re hoping that you will learn while you roam, that no matter the distance you’ll always find your way back home.

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Farewell.

Dear 28 year old me

Dear 28 year old me,

Hi there. As you may or may not remember, (probably not) I’m writing this to you from the past. Who knows, maybe you think this is some prank or one of those things mum does? No, this is you (Me? Us?), the pink toothbrush kid. As of today, we are 18 years, 4 months and 26 days old and our whole future is ahead of us. I’m trying to build a time capsule of sorts to remind us of who we were back then. I’m hoping that we’ve  figured things out by now. Anyway, if you’re reading this, I sure as hell hope that you’ve  done me proud. Okay, on second thoughts, I mean 18 year old me. I hope that we are the smart, intelligent, pretty, funny, kind yet kickass lawyer that I aspire to be. I hope that you graduated from NLSIU or NALSAR or NLU-D (A girl can hope…) and that you completed your MBA degree from a brilliant Business School like we wanted. Actually, do you remember our dreams? Our crazy ideas? Our plans? Do you remember all of the things we were doing at this age or what kind of a place the world was? As I’m writing this, we’ve finished all our lasts of high school and are a mere 20 something days away from starting our ISC Examinations. As mentioned, we’ve thought of becoming a lawyer and kept our second option as Psychology. Hopefully one works out; actually I hope something works out. Either way, keep me in the loop okay? Things are looking alright, except for the examination jitters. I am hoping we realize that all the numerous exams and tests we’ve taken and all the apparently pointless things that we learnt at school, like calculus and organic chemistry and rivers, help me (sometimes at least). Everyone at home is proud and happy too. Keep it like that. Do our bit at spreading happiness. By now, we should have taken that trip we’ve wanted to, the one where we traveled all around the world. From New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Greece to Maldives, Bali, Bora Bora (OMG!) and Switzerland. The list is pretty much endless. I hope we still write and photograph and that we wrote a blog of our travels. We should be working at some crazy cool company. Facebook? Google? Okay, I need to stop my imagination right there. You know what I mean. But I hope that we have some kickass background music playing wherever you go, movie style. A part of me hopes that we’re rich and famous and have a very movie life. The political scenario right now is pretty intense. Modi is leading the Government and more women are being raped every day and more children are dropping out of school because they can’t afford it. I hope that you are trying to do your bit and trying to help others. The iPhone 6 just came out. Who knows maybe iPhone 15 is coming out right now? There’s a lot of terrorism in our world and the economy isn’t looking so great. Hopefully by the time you read this again, all that will be straightened out. Actually now that I think of it, who knows what lies ahead? We love chocolate and nachos and all kinds of junk and can literally live on it. We also love Chinese and Italian. I hope we don’t become a snob or a fitness freak and give up puchkas and golas and all the street food in the world. We live our life annoying and taking life advice from Writi. She’s our best friend. She’s sometimes a little crazy and over the top but, most of the times, the most practical and logical person we know. And we love her for all her nuances. Make sure to keep her around,  okay? She’s the kindest, nicest, most trustworthy and beautiful person out there and she means a lot to us and no distance can keep us apart. You love your family, Mum, Dad, Dadi and Akshay. Keep them close. I think it’s time I remind us to never forget who we are. We have big plans. Here’s reminding us to never give in, to never give up on our values and principles, to fight for what is right, even if nobody is standing by us, to help others and not be selfish and remain the good-hearted person we are. But, go out, make some memories, do something fun and stupid and unlike us and never have regrets. Accept us, flaws and all, and make peace with us. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Maybe life is as perfect as we hope for it to be. Or maybe not. Please tell me that life gets better. That we achieve all that I dream of today and much more. Travel, photograph, read, write, and do whatever it is that we want to do right now. I hope that the future holds good for both of us. That it isn’t as uncertain as it is today and that we’re smiling reading this silly letter and that it helps us get through the day and keeps us grounded. I hope the little kid in us is still alive and isn’t disillusioned. I hope we still believe in magic. But most importantly, I hope that we’re happy wherever we are, doing whatever we are, not holding onto any pain from the past. Take care of us. Let it go. Love us unconditionally and don’t be too hard on us.

“But eventually, over time, we all become our own doppelgangers, you know, these completely different people who just happen to look like us.”

Yours always,

Arushi

P.S. – It would be so cool if we found a real doppelganger!

Hero

Growing up I’ve had a number of heroes: my parents, the cousin I admired, the entrepreneur I found spectacular, my newest favourite singer, the list is endless. I often made up these situations in my head where I had achieved what they had and become just like them.

My first big achievement came in Class 3, when my report card told me I had got a General Proficiency.  The 9 year old in me couldn’t comprehend how someone who didn’t understand the value of regular studying could achieve something like that.  I remember coming home and telling my mother, “Mum look! I got a General Proficiency!” I was on cloud nine for the next few weeks. My parents stood by the opinion that I should try my hand at many things and let me do whatever I wished.

Enter Middle School. Everything was different: more independence, more activities. In this newness, I took up everything that came my way, from dance to art-related events and ended up participating in a number of activities through the year. This time my report card filled me with a sense of happiness like I had experienced in Class 3; I had been given the Best All Rounder prize. To be honest I never knew prize existed and was ecstatic. My mother was the happiest person ever. To be able to see me achieve something so big brought tears to her eyes.

But just before Prize Day, people began to talk, about how I didn’t deserve this. I was vulnerable and this hurt me immensely. This was when my mother held me tight and gave me the best talk I’ve ever had. She explained to me how I wouldn’t have been given this unless I deserved this, that this was only the stepping stone to everything I was yet to achieve, and regarding the back-biting, I still remember her telling me, “Prove them wrong.” I can’t tell you how right she was.

This was the first time I noticed everything my mother did in great detail. She’s a teacher, so she not only handled her job, things at home, but also made time to do the things she was liked. I began to imbibe everything I could about her, because somewhere inside me I knew she inspired me, that she was the woman I wanted to be like; my hero.

I ended up getting the All Rounder in Class 7 and 8 and my hero never let me choose the easy way out and back down. She let me make my choices and allowed me to attend every workshop I wanted. That is how Film-Making came into my life and today when I’ve won so many awards for my films, I know the reason. Over Classes 9, 10 and 11, she has made sure I did everything while keeping my academics going. I’ve faced a number of failures but she always told me, “You need to hit rock bottom to get back to the top.” and now I’ve worked and continue to work for the things I love and have created my own niche.

These little things she says make a huge difference in my life. I’ve been able to not only handle everything in my life but also excel in everything I do because of her. This year one of the biggest things happened in my life: I was nominated for the post of School Deputy Head Girl. It was something I had never expected and when I look at it now I’ve been able to achieve this because of her.

The psychology student in me tells me I may have inherited my Achievement Motive from both my parents, but in all earnestness she is the one who has chiselled it.  Heritability only works to an extent; evolutionary psychology proves this.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

The Year That Was

Our world is a fascinating place. Every day brings a new opportunity to learn, to explore, to grow and to add new experiences to life. One just needs that first step. As humans we are designed to inspire great starts, spark new conversations, encourage new ideas and to light up every face with a smile for this coming year is coming for you. It’s made for you.
The Year That Was.
2014 started pretty normally. And I didn’t expect it to be very great. In fact I couldn’t wait for it to end. All was normal till March when I got elected President of my school photography club and Unit Leader of the International Award for Young People (IAYP or formally DEAS) and later in April I was invested as Senior Prefect. I spent a part of the Summer in my favourite city, Delhi on vacation and truly had the time of my life. July was the month of fests and August of tests. September I turned 18 and in October I had the newest, most amazing experience of my life, in two different spaces, 10 days at a camp in the midst of the Himalayas and then 4 days in Shillong for a Batch Trip. October also marked the beginning of a new relationship. A shout-out goes to that person for sticking by me in all my cribbing-whining-yelling-procrastinating times. Closer to the end, November marked the beginning of the end, as I started counting the lasts. And now here we are. The ends are almost over. It’s December and I’m sitting on one of my best friend’s couch. Its date night and we’re watching The Proposal and memories suddenly begin to rush by.
When I started out this year I mentally prepared myself for no expectations but every single time I felt my back against the wall it surprised me. 2014 gave me some of the most incredible people and at the risk of sounding cliché I frankly don’t know what I would do without them. This year taught me to be happy, it taught me that I should accomplish my own goals before others and do things I want to. It taught me to trust again. It gave me my share of appreciation and limelight but also made me make some difficult choices that I now realise are preparing me for the real world I’m about to step into. It’s true; every day brings a new challenge, a new obstacle that one needs to deal with and in that spirit, this has been a decisive year and shown me broad daylight and made me relook my priorities.
So here we are. It is that time of the year again. The time to say goodbye. For me, personally, it’s going to be saying goodbye to more than just this year. It’s also goodbye to my school life because I’m graduating from high school. So, to say what I did a year ago,
Here’s to year that was. 2014. To all the expectations, disappointments, hopes and aspirations that it lived up to and to all the new things I did and learnt and the old things I learnt to let go. To all the farewells and goodbyes. To the happy times and the sad times. Thank you for bringing me here and like everything else that has a lifetime, fortunately or unfortunately yours is over. You’ve been quite the surprise. Thank you again.
Here’s welcoming 2015. May it be better than the rest, may it teach me what it needs to in the least painful and hurtful way possible. Here’s to another year, to yet another change to the date for the next 365 days. Let’s be remembered for good.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year folks!

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10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Growing Up

When you’re little, you’re told a bunch of things about what would happen when you grow older. We’ve all heard those stories about “growing up”. You will go to higher classes. You will make new friends. You will party. You will go out into the big world and go to college. You will become independent and blah blah blah. Eventually when you actually do grow up, you realise some things no one ever told you and you wish for someone to have told you those.

#1 You won’t have everything sorted
Growing up, in high school, no matter how much you don’t want it but you will have a lot of figuring out to do: what you want to do, what do you love, what is your passion, who are your friends, where do you want yourself in a few years, etc. Everything isn’t going to always be hunky-dory and a cakewalk. The faster you accept that, the easier it gets. 
#2 It is super hard to maintain a social life
When you’re in high school and you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do, you’re going to have lots on your shoulders and to add to that you will want to make new friends and hang out with old ones. In this colossal mess it’s very hard to maintain a social life without potentially exhausting yourself tremendously. 
#3 Change is good
We resist change. Always have. But while resisting change we often fail to see how change is always good. It seems hard but it’s worth it. Whether it’s a change in city, in friendships, in a relationship or even a change in yourself, it’s painful but for the best.
#4 Rejection
Each and every one of us will face rejection at some point or the other. And yes, it hurts. It stings at the very core. And in that hurt we don’t realise how rejection is necessary; in order for us to become stronger and tougher and to be able to become better. We need the rejection.
#5 Trust issues come with the territory
As mentioned earlier things aren’t normally a cakewalk. When you start out everyone is nice and things seem.great but then reality checks happen.  That’s when you realise that trust issues come with the territory. One bitten, twice shy.
#6 The Wait
We’re all waiting. Waiting for something or the other to happen. And that is the tough part. When you’re standing at the threshold and you feel you’re ready for something and it just doesn’t happen, it’s terribly disheartening but you still can’t give up on it. Sometimes you need to re-look at the situation and stop waiting.
#7 Expectations
I kid you not but expectations can kill. It’s hard to not have expectations from people or even ourselves. Sometimes we have these massive expectations from people only because we know we’d be willing to do so much more for them. And when it comes to ourselves, we want to prove ourselves. But sadly, the bitter truth is this: Expectations only lead to Disappointments. Nobody and nothing is perfect. So let them go.
#8 Time is of essence
How often have we heard, “Time and tide wait for no man.” ? A billion times maybe? Growing up you realise how every second is valuable, is precious. Once gone it never comes back. And every second has the potential to change our future. So wasting it isn’t worth it. Live in the moment for you live only once.
#9 Keep the plans flexible
We all have these dream plans and while it’s great to have them, I’ve learnt it’s far better to keep them simple and loose. Life doesn’t always work out our way so adapting and going with the flow is key.
#10 You get what you give
It is a vicious cycle. Whatever you give comes back to you. Sure getting back given love, respect, happiness is lovely but remember all those bitchy moments? When you said or did something you probably regret now? They come back to you. It’s called Karma. Stay positive and keep it simple.

As I write this list I realise maybe we aren’t meant to be told all this. Maybe we’re meant to learn these first hand. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve lived a protective life but now, standing at the threshold of adulthood I realise this: take every opportunity you get and make the most of it. The growing up bit will happen one way or another. 

life’s too darn short to wait

You know that thing that you’ve always wanted to do? Go do it! You know that boy you’ve always thought was cute? Go tell him! You know that food you’ve always been afraid to eat? Go try it! You know that sport you’ve always wanted to play? Go play it! You know that girl you did wrong last year? Go apologize! You know that thing you’ve wanted to say forever? Go say it! You know that job you’ve always wanted? Go get it! You know that life you’ve always wanted to live? Go live it! Stop waiting for tomorrow, because honestly, tomorrow might never come. Go do everything you’ve always secretly wanted to do because life’s just too darn short to wait.

On Farewells and Goodbyes

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It’s that time of the year when you say goodbye to things that are over and bid farewell to the past year.

As I look back on this past year, I realise how quickly it passed  by, even though each and every day seemed so very long. I’m kinda proud of myself for all the things I was able to do but more importantly I’m happy this past year has made me realise what and who I want to be. It’s difficult to realise and accept that you’re not always right and that you still have a long way to go but as someone once said,
“The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to goinstead of how far they have gotten.”
So I think in that spirit I need to embrace what’s in store for me in the coming year.
This year has been a whirlwind for me. In both a good and a bad sense. I lost(metaphorically, of course) people I held dear but I also met some great people who’ve now become very close to me. Now that I look at it, I’m glad that happened, cause I became receptive to the new people that came into my life and frankly speaking, it’s been good for me. I’ve become stronger and better.
Along with everything changing this year, like me coming to high school, I changed too, somewhere down the line. I learnt to be more responsible, to be self-reliant, to read and not to read between the lines, to be more resourceful, to accept criticism with a smile, to accept that things and people will never stay the same, to be more independent, to be stronger, but most importantly to let go. I think it’s important to celebrate little things, like helping someone on the road, being grateful when you receive help cause I think the big things are really over-rated. And they bring the biggest disappointments too. That reminds me, I learnt not to keep expectations and trust myself the most, always. Experience is a great teacher.
I faced my share of disappointments this year, and I’ll admit I stayed upset for a really long time, but then again I crossed many hurdles that came my way, which then I failed to realise. I think it’s a law, that when you expect, you get disappointed, or maybe that’s just with me. Things you take for granted, your past, have a way of catching up with you and it’s always ugly. But then again, I had some of the most beautiful memories and experiences this year and I’m going to choose to remember this year with that.
So here’s to 2013, for being the year it was. Here’s to all expectations, disappointments, hopes, aspirations, the new things I did and learnt and the old things I learnt to let go. Thank you 2013 for everything but everything has a lifetime, and fortunately or unfortunately yours is over. Doomsday year’s been quite the surprise.
Here’s welcoming 2014. May it be better than the rest, may it teach me what it needs to in the least painful and hurtful way possible. Here’s to another year, to yet another change to the date for the next 365 days.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year folks! 🙂

P.S.- 2014, please be nice 🙂

  • Farewell! (randomworldoffantage.wordpress.com)

For tomorrow and beyond

So, I’ve been doing some
thinking, about what kind of a world we live in. Women are being molested and raped, millions of kids are dying, millions more are suffering, the world is getting warmer and warmer, nations are fighting, inflation is making us feel its presence, corruption dominates our lives and everyday we live in fear: what will happen to us tomorrow ? In short, we’re living a mess, an assorted mess.
Where are we heading ? On one hand, we’re saying that we should break down barriers and enable cooperation and communication but on the other hand, we still believe in barricades and LOC. We say we want international peace and goodwill, but honestly, who are we kidding ? What kind of a world do we really want ?
Honestly, you ask me, I want a world where we have voting rights, where we have the right to choose for ourselves, where all cravings are met, all hopes materialised, all dreams fulfilled, all prayers answered and all receive the right to pursuit of their own happiness. A world where we aren’t ruled so much by money and other such superficial things. Mind you, I’m not discounting the importance of money, I’m just against this increasing trend where money is taken to be everything. Other things matter ! Where would we really stand without love, laughter, dreams, ambitions, happiness and mirth ? We wouldn’t exist without these. I want a world that’s accepting, which not only understands but also accepts that people are different and hold different viewpoints and have different capabilities. I want a world that is not so rigid and stuck-up and people not so involved in their own selves that they can’t see another’s pain or need. I want a world that is largely free from want.(Yes, I get the irony in that statement.) But this is what I believe in and I stand by that. Stand up for what you believe in, no matter who is or who isn’t by you.
So here’s hoping that we all get what we need, tomorrow and beyond.

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Thank you Note

This is something I feel I should have done earlier but better late than never.
From the time I was a child, I was always taught to thank people when I was grateful, to express my gratitude. So here I am, immensely grateful.
This one goes out my readers. I know there aren’t many, but the fact that somebody reads the stuff I write, makes my day. At the end of the day, I’m just this 16 year old with this dream to write a blog and share what she feels about things that matter to her, so you’ll make my dream come true. I feel so amazing when I see that someone I don’t know read my posts and liked them and some even followed my blog. This is truly an enthralling experience.
But more than anybody else, I want to thank the people close to me, the ones who believe in me and support me. They know who they are. They’re the reason I’m able to keep this blog. So thank you. Your continuous support, help and being there for me is the reason I’m here right now.

For my mum, who believed in me and stood by all my pointless drama, weirdness, frustration, sadness and times when I was upset and low and the times I was super-happy. You’re the reason I’m here today. Thank you mum for being there for me. I love you the most !

For my family, that has always been my safe haven. The people who I feel best with. You’ll complete me. And your constant guidance and appreciation makes me do the things I like so well.

For my friends, who stood by me in times when I got excited like a crazy woman at stupid things and then equally upset at even stupider things. Thank you people for all you’ll have done for me and specially keeping me sane. Special mention to a particular friend who pushed me to do this blog in the first place.

For a someone who in spite of not knowing me as long as the other people mentioned above, knows me well enough and has seen me through my drama, weirdness, happiness and everything else and still stood by me, all this while having an option to leave. Thank you for everything and also for being someone I could rely on.

Lastly, thank you everyone for giving me the unbound happiness you’ll give me everyday, like when I see my stats. I really felt like I had missed doing something and now I know what it is. So, everyone reading this,
Thank you
Thank you
Thank you !

P.S.- This isn’t my last post. It’s just something I felt I needed to write.

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My To-Do List

So, well I’ve been trying to think of what to write but ’cause I couldn’t come up with anything, I decided to make a list. My To-Do List.
Lists are always great but a To-Do List of what I want to do before I’m 40 is beyond awesome. It’s where you lay your fears, inhibitions, desires, wishes and much more bare and exposed.
So here’s my to-do list for things I want to do before I turn 40-
P.S.- This list isn’t in order. Also it doesn’t include what I want to do professionally or personally for that matter.

1. Go on a world tour during which I must cross the IDL (International Date Line)
I’ve always wanted to roam and travel the world. Backpacking could also be fun. And the International Date Line left me mesmerized for some reason ever since I learnt about it way back in Grade 6. The fact that you change a date by merely crossing an imaginary line is beyond amazing. If I could would love to celebrate my birthday along side.

2. Star in a movie
Well, I can’t be a movie star but I could play a cameo in one maybe ? It would be fun, the sets, the lights, the people. That could maybe give me my 15 minutes of fame ? But actually, I’d rather get my 15 minutes in the limelight for something awesome, don’t you think ?

3. Stand on the Equator
I want to stand on the Equator. Latitude 0. They say there is 0.3% less gravity there which makes you almost 2.2 pounds lighter. Overall, everything there is bound to enthrall and surprise you.

4. Attend a beach party
A beach party but in movie style with the sunset behind you, the waves lashing against the shore. Surreal ! Everyone dressed in pretty white beach wear and lovely shoes and and accessories but more importantly having good music. That’s the life !

5. Publish my own book
I love writing. Always have. So publishing a book is kind of a dream. I want to see my name on a gorgeous cover at every bookstore around the world and people actually reading it with hopefully a smile on their face.

6. Make a friend in every country I visit
As I’ve already mentioned, I want to travel the world, but along with that, I want to make a friend in the countries I go to. It’ll be something nice to remember each country by, don’t you think ?

7. Own two houses and make them my homes
I’ve always been the little girl who dreams of a having big house. So I want one house in the city where I live but I also want one facing the beach with big french windows, lovely balconies, flowing curtains, a large swing and some amazing people to live in it with me; my family.

8. Wish upon a shooting star
This might be a little naïve but I’ve never seen a shooting star and so I want to cross my fingers and wish upon it for something special and believe that it would come true sometime. A photo with that shooting star would be nice too.

9. Save a life
I want to be the reason someone lives, I want to save a life. It could be a baby, a tiny human, an adult, it can be anyone, anywhere but I want to feel like I’ve honestly made a difference, like I’ve honestly brought a smile to someone’s face.

10. Stop for a minute and smile
I want to stop rushing through life at this fast speed that I’m moving and learn to breathe again. Take life one moment, one day at a time and enjoy it. ‘Cause you only live once and the time that’s flown by doesn’t ever come back.

So, at the end of the day, I’m just a little girl who wishes for the world, the one who has big dreams in her eyes and hopes that she can accomplish all she wants and get all that she desires for.
“Our dreams are what keep us going.”

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Believe

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France
So, well, sometimes there comes a point when all that you can do; the best you can do is nothing. Just believe.
Things don’t always turn out to be the way you want them to. Rather most of the times they don’t. And these are the times when you don’t know which side or whom to turn to. At such times, perhaps, believing is the best option. Believing that everything will turn out amazing. Believing that there’s a bigger master plan somewhere out there. Believing that there is something that you need to learn. Believing that you’re meant for bigger things.
The Power of our Belief and Faith is highly undermined. We always get everything we want though it may happen in any direction of time. They say it is faith that moves mountains so, then why are we so reluctant to believe ? We somehow always want to believe the bad part, the ugly part.
Believing is the one thing that keeps this world going. There are millions believing for petty wars to end, for a better world, for a safe world, for world peace.
How often have you seen that someone almost in their deathbed miraculously healed or getting their dream job or soul mate or becoming extremely rich and successful by touching some religious object or going for some religious trip ?
What is the one thing that is common with all these ‘miracles’ ?
BELIEF
All these people believe that they will get healed or rich or famous by doing these things. It is one thing to think about what you want your life to be and another believing it to be so. You can ‘think’ success all day long, for years, decades and not attain it. If you expect to fail no amount of success thinking will get you success. So, obviously believing trumps thoughts.
Similarly you can think yourself to be happy but without believing you aren’t going to be satisfied.
Now, most people say, ‘I believe that !’ as if it is the easiest thing to do. How many times have you tried to make yourself believe in something that is not yet true or something that you haven’t experienced ? So you kinda realise how difficult believing something like that can be.
So once you are able to convince yourself, which takes time and is tough, you’ll be able to change your life. Be happier. Miracles only happen to those who believe. The road isn’t easy but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
Believing is the key to changing your life. And the best part, it fits the lock perfectly.
Don’t stop believing, hold on to that feeling.
“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

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Drapetomania

Drapetomania
(noun)
An overwhelming urge to run away.
Sound familiar ?
It was originally coined in 1851 by Samuel A. Cartwright as a mental illness that caused black slaves to flee captivity. But don’t a lot of us feel this ?
The bigger question is why ? Why do we feel this way ?
Putting it simply, its because life isn’t working out for us. Things aren’t working our way. Our lives are headed towards disaster. Nothing is how its suppose to be. At such a time and situation, escape seems like a great way to go. Running away from it all seems like the best option, the only option.
By my experience, I’ve seen that running away from it all never really works. If it does, then its just temporary. The past, what you left behind, always catches up to you. Well, now that I’m talking about experience, I should mention that there has been only one thing that has worked; Letting Go. Letting go of all the drama, of everything that you want to run away from cause those situations always stay and they come back in maybe a different form. Isn’t it easier if we let go while we still know what it is ?
I feel the need to elaborate on ‘letting go’. It simply means not dwelling over a certain situation or thing or even person. The moment we are able to remain unaffected, detached, disconnected from it is the moment we have truly let go. Its easier said than done but small efforts for long time gains seem worth it. Letting go in many ways is moving on. Let’s face it. Life doesn’t always work out. Actually it normally doesn’t seem to. So isn’t moving on and letting go your best bet ? Staying stuck to certain old ideas and beliefs just gifts you pain and unhappiness. You get more depressed. At the end of the day we all just want to be happy. Our how’s of being happy maybe different but eventually that’s what we want.
Letting go is happiness. Only when you let go of the past can something better come along. They say moving on is easy but what you leave behind is what makes it so hard. But its only when you let go of something or someone can something or someone else come into your life. Letting go takes you forward. It stops you from becoming stagnant. Life is about moving on. Don’t look back. The moment you look back, you become like stagnant water. A flowing stream always has clear water but stagnant water always has dirty water.
Letting go isn’t giving up. When you let go, you let something more beautiful come along but when you give up, you block its pathway. Giving up is a negative emotion. How can you receive something when you’ve pulled back both your hands because you don’t believe that you could receive something. Miracles happen to only those who believe.
Nobody said it was easy. But life has no shortcuts and in order to get big things don’t you need to wait ? They’re big so they take longer to travel so waiting patiently while you let go and move on makes receiving it easier cause then you don’t create roadblocks and speed bumpers in its way.
Its only after you’ve close one chapter that you can go to the next. Closing a chapter is letting go.

“You walk outside and all you see is rain,
You look inside and all you feel is pain.
And you can’t see it now,
But down the road the sun is shining.
In every cloud there’s a silver lining.”
One Day You Will
Lady Antebellum

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Past. Present. Future.

In life, sometimes its your subtle hopes and ambitions that come true. Things you never really knew you wanted suddenly became things you wanted. So what are you suppose to do then ? Accept what you’ve got ? Or continue to wish for what you haven’t ?
With the latter you continue to live for the future. But what about NOW ?
Now or the present, what is happening right this moment. Its what separates the past, what has already happened and the future, what is yet to happen. The past is history and that can’t be changed. The future is a mystery and that can’t be planned. Not even the best plan can’t be a 100 percent sure shot. But the present is what you can change, what you can decide. Its called the present for a reason. Its a gift. Untie its ribbons. It will always surprise you.
The Past or that which has already occurred, happened the way it did because of what you decided. It’s possible that what you had decided morphed into something that you hadn’t decided but that is because there’s one thing that we never realise. When we make plans and decisions for our own life, we aren’t just talking about our life alone. There are numerous other lives involved, tangled with ours. Those lives also made decisions and choices and plans for their lives. What about those ? When lives intersect, you can never be sure. It always feels like your desire is greater than the other one’s. But nothing is ever sure. So, what is over is over. The sooner you realise that things aren’t going to be the same, the easier it will be for you to move on.
Coming to the future. The future in many ways is similar to the past. Both have lives interconnected. The future is what makes you cross your fingers and wish upon a shooting star. But more often, we end up living our today for our tomorrow, unable to breathe in what today has to offer. Tomorrow is the biggest mystery. So simply waiting for it seems like a good way to go, instead of anticipating and living in a make-believe world. But by waiting I don’t mean that we should just spend today waiting for tomorrow. Making plans for tomorrow may or may not work but that doesn’t mean we don’t plan at all, does it ?
So, what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re living in the moment, then you’re either looking back to regret or looking forward to uncertainty. Either way doesn’t seem like a great way to go.
“Learn from yesterday.
Live for today.
Hope for tomorrow.”

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Confessions of a Drowned Soul

‘Man’s ingratitude hurts more than Nature’s turbulence.’
How is it that every time you work really hard, work your ass off to get something, someone always, ALWAYS, comes and steals your thunder ? It’s ironical, don’t you think ? More than often, you are the person who actually deserves it. Call it past accounts, karma, luck or anything for that matter, this is something I’ve begun to believe is inevitable.
It is this that takes people to extremities, either side, backing off completely or working even harder because of a faint hope. The latter predominant. Most often, years later, after you’ve suffered maybe years at the hands of that hope, that you clung onto with both your hands right till it ripped your veins, that you realise what a delusion you were in. And right when you get yourself out of that hell-hole, you drop yourself into another one. Its a vicious cycle of life. But then again, what in life isn’t a vicious cycle ?
I just feel like exploding, not from pressure but just from stress and anger and sadness and disappointment and all you really want to do is talk to someone who could get this back to normal but even though you know there are people out there, you just can’t find the right one who you know will say the right thing and will make you feel normal again.
I keep feeling that it’s a bad dream and that I’d wake up and realise that and everything will be perfect, just as you wanted, but you just get trampled and drowned. Nothing is ever perfect. Happy ever afters don’t exist.
All those things that you built from scratch, picked up with both your hands and infused life into just end up drowning you in themselves, filling and drowning you in their unbound grief, sorrow, unhappiness and ingratitude. I can’t help but wonder, why ?
Is it just me ? Or is this everywhere ? Please do let me know if you do know why. 🙂
‘Sometimes all you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.’

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Introspection

“The only journey is the journey within.”
I went to a flea market the other day. There were people all around me. Many of which I knew. I was still in my quest of finding myself: who I was. Looking around I tried to see where I fit in that crowd, looking for someone who I could actually call a friend. People passed by me and so did time; in seconds, then minutes and then hours and for the first time I felt alone ironically in the midst of a crowd of at least 150 people. I saw a grey cat coming out of the grey door of the grey house opposite me.
I walked to a small corner jewellery stall and happened to see myself in their mirror and it suddenly hit me. You aren’t ever alone. You can be lonely in a crowd. But when there is no one in sight, look within for a friend. You are your biggest asset, your greatest gift.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

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The Girl In The Blue Pajamas

As I sat there on the windowsill, I looked at the vast open space in front of me; uncluttered and free. I looked back at my self, in my blue pajamas and oversized white tee-shirt and I saw the irony. My life was exactly the opposite; cluttered and restricted. Family and friends weren’t a problem and on the outside everything was perfect, but can anything ever be perfect ?
Call it teenage mood swings or the pain that a 16 year old gets when she finally gives up on something she had always wanted, I was unhappy. I looked back at the amount of time I gave to achieve what mattered to me most, and looked at how far I still had to go. The latter upset me more ’cause the road ahead was full of roadblocks, speed breakers and uneven terrain. Honestly, it scared me. Would I be able to do it ? No, I thought. It’s too much for me to handle. There were too many things going on already.
Just then, a cool breeze of air brushed against my face and hid in my hair. I opened the book in front of me and read –
“The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.”
The realisation struck me like a lightning during a thunder storm. Introspection is what I needed. The pages flipped in the air and said-
“If you aren’t living in the moment, then you’re either looking forward to uncertainty or looking back to regret.”
As I sat still, looking into myself, understanding why I had given up, why I had lost faith, I remembered the story I had heard so many times from my mother; the story of Pandora’s box.
Once up a time, a long long time ago, Zeus sent his daughter, Pandora, down to earth so that she could marry Epimetheus. Zeus also gave Pandora a little box with a big heavy lock on it. He made her promise never to open the box. He gave the key to Pandora’s husband and told him to never open the box. Pandora was very inquisitive and her curiosity got the better of her when one day, when Epimetheus lay sleeping, she stole the key and opened the box.
Out flew every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy, and all the bad things that people had never experienced before. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late. All the bad things were already out of the box. They flew away, out into the world.
Pandora opened the box to see how empty it was. But the box was not quite empty. One tiny bug flew quickly out before Pandora could slam the lid shut again. 
“Hello, Pandora,” said the bug, hovering just out of reach. “My name is Hope.” With a nod of thanks for being set free, Hope flew out into the world, a world that now held Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease – and Hope.
I looked out of the window once more but this time with a smile on my face; I realised that I had never lost hope. It was just hidden like a tiny bird inside me and today, it had flown out, filling me with a happiness unknown to me and it was then that I realised that I was much more than what I thought myself to be, that I was much more than just that girl in the blue pajamas.

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Semester 1

When I walked into college some five odd months back, moving halfway across the country to a new city, I knew I had an adventure waiting for me. And Semester 1 proves to no exception because calling it anything else would be injustice and I’m a law student! I’m meant to uphold justice, right? (wait, what am I even saying?)
In the midst of trying to understand torts and making sense of history, making wai-wai (thank you Maggi ban) in the middle of the night became a regular scene.
This was the first time I was living away from home and the experience is so different. You learn that life is not as cushioned as mom and dad make it out to be. Hostel food will always taste horrible, you will invariably miss breakfast in the morning and end up living life one cup of coffee at a time. Well, at least, I am. Lunch and dinner will, in all probability, become instant noodles and you will always feel broke, even if it is the starting of the month. But beyond everything else, college will teach you to push yourself. To stretch your limits. It will teach you lessons in trust and faith like nothing else can. You learn that impulsive decisions are probably not the best plans. Despite all your planning, things will still get messed up. You will still feel unprepared for the exam you’re going to give the next morning and not know what you’ve written in the paper you’re submitting. You will also realise how glad you had the parents you did while growing up. For being the way they are, conventional in ways and super chill in others. And the days when you’re sick and you just want your mom or dad, you’ll realise that college and living away from home makes you independent and your friends become your chosen family. Which is why mom and dad always said it’s important to choose the right friends. You realise what people meant when they told you about peer influence. But most of all, you realise that sometimes the wrong train can take you to the right place (I’m so dramatic, my God!) Jokes apart, the best decision for you doesn’t have to be the best decision according to someone else.
But the best part about this experience is that you need these lessons, to grow and become older, not just by age. You need to learn that you have to live with the decisions you make.
There will be days when you miss home and you miss your best friends and feel completely directionless. And you’ll realise that no matter the distance or the time difference, they will always have your back.
At the end of the day, this is what you signed up for. So, thank you Semester 1 for giving me my first taste of college life in the most beautiful way possible and for giving me the people I now call family, in this place I now call home.

Two weeks in.

If you’d asked the 16 year old me I’d tell you that I was dying to leave my city for college. To stand on my own two feet. To live on my own. I was always prepared for this. I never thought that I would ever feel homesick. But today when I’m doing all that I had thought I would, every now and then I miss home.
Don’t get me wrong, college is a fantastic place to be in. It’s new and exciting and so very different. And I’ve made friends with some of the most amazing people. In just two weeks we’ve come to a point where we find ourselves referring to each other as our twin (yes Swaha, I’m talking about you), become people with whom you exchange looks across the table, who make weird faces and gestures at you from outside your class while a professor is teaching inside the said classroom (yes Anisha, I’m talking about you), people who barge into your room at 2am craving chocolate and wrap your blanket as a shawl and throw a tantrum for chocolate while calling stores to deliver some chocolate for you (Hi Radhey), people in whose FaceTime and Skype conversations you intrude and end up becoming friends with their friends (ladies and gentlemen meet my roomie, Abhijna), people who embarrass you in front of someone you just met and found cute, people who you scream at to get ready so we can leave for lunch to people with whom you can act like complete buffoons. In short, the entire transition is nothing short of being spectacular.

But there are days when I miss home, when I miss my people. I miss waking up only to go to my best friend’s house. I miss the days when Mum would feed me only cause I was too lazy/not really hungry. I miss the days when Dad would decide on an impulse to take me shopping. Or when Dadi would make something extra special for me cause I felt sick.

But then I guess this is what I need. It’s just like what someone I respect once told me. Maybe I just need to explore and learn. That I need to fall sick and not have my entire family and friends bringing me chocolate cake. That I needed to go hunting for chocos at 7pm to the mall or to wrap dosa in butter paper and run with sambar and chutney in our hands so we don’t miss the pani puri at the mess. Maybe new is good. Maybe different is good. Maybe.

“One fine day, it will be your turn. You will leave homes, cities and countries to pursue grander ambitions. You will leave friends, lovers and possibilities for the chance to roam the world and make deeper connections. You will defy your fear of change, hold your head high and do what you once thought was unthinkable; walk away. And it will be scary, at first. But what I hope you find, at the end, is that in leaving that you don’t just find love, adventure or freedom. More than anything, you find you.”

The mess called College Admissions. 10 things you face while applying for college in India.

This is a retrospective piece about my experience these last couple of months with college admissions. Any resemblance to anybody real, living, dead, fake or imaginary is purely coincidental.

1. You win some you lose some.
When you start off you wish that you get them all. Well, at least I did. But not all works as per plan. You do well somewhere but you do miserably someplace else. Maybe it’s for the best. Who knows? I’d like to believe that though.

2. Sometimes good things happen when you least expect them.
In the middle of the disappointments that are honestly College Admissions’ middle name, sometimes when you feel like you’ve reached rock bottom something good comes your way and pleasantly surprises you.

3. Your preferences will keep changing.
Some people will tell you X College is the best for your subject, some will tell you Y is. And then you may feel that Z is the best one for you.
But honestly, the more people you talk to, the more you know. In my personal experience, I’ve spoken to over a dozen people myself; teachers, seniors, cousins, extended family, etc. My parents spoke to a dozen each more. And my aunt (she’s my absolute favourite) spoke to so many people too. And in my opinion all those people really gave me more insight.

4. The confusion will be your best friend.
From which colleges to apply to, to which course, confusion will take over your life like never before. You don’t know anymore. I really don’t know anymore.

5. Some colleges will make your admission procedure easier and some harder.
In my experience, there are some colleges in India that are so fancy that you could sit in Kolkata and finish up admission procedure completely, including hostel for a college in Pune. But them there are some that will make you tear out your hair with their ridiculous questions and supplementary questions and offline applications (i.e. lots of travelling)

6. You visit new cities you’ve never been to.
All the travelling that you’ll need to do for either the applications or the interviews or the entrances or the final admissions will take you places you may not have ever been to. I was in fact just in Pune for a couple of days and in Mumbai for a couple of hours. Good times. (y)
Actually, it’s not only new cities that you end up visiting, you also go to places around your own city. Entrance test centers suck. Sodepur, Barasat, Barackpore … the list is pretty ridiculous, and they’re not exactly the best places you want to be in.

7. You lose track of time.
In the middle of applications, admissions, entrances and hostel accommodations, you really forget when April became May and May became June and soon you realise you don’t even have a month left. And sometimes, like in my situation, you end up neglecting a few people. I really regret that.

8. You meet new people.
So when you go for these entrance tests, interviews, etc you meet a lot of people. Some of them are really spectacular and will impress you completely and then there are some who will make you question your capability and yourself (NOT in a good way)

9. All your conversations will revolve around college.
WhatsApp, Facebook, emails, everything will pretty much have the same things. Which college, what city, what course, what accommodation, etc. It almost becomes the focal point of your social life.

10. People are very inquisitive.
When you’re applying to college, everyone wants to know everything. And it can get really annoying. I actually had someone question the veracity of my marks and that was plain simple mean. But it’s okay to not want to tell everyone everything. It’s your life.

To be honest, I hoped that writing this post would give me some sort of clarity for I still don’t know where I’m going. Yes, I’ve got options but towards the end of the admissions procedure, you end up doubting every option that you have. That’s at least what I’m doing right now. Not much clarity just yet, but I hope this makes you laugh and smile, in remembrance of when you went through this. If not, I hope it makes you smile irrespective of what you’re doing right now.

A Possible Future for Kolkata

Kolkata, it feels funny saying Kolkata, even now, 13 years since it was changed from the anglicised Calcutta but then that right there is what makes Calcutta, I mean, Kolkata what it is. Kolkata is home, the city I was born and brought up in and sitting here having completed 18 long years, I’ll admit I’d do anything to run away from here for college. This city is outdated, slow, slack and honestly, the government doesn’t seem to help. It is a city of many moods.

Most Indian cities strive to rise from their ethnicity, but Kolkata struggles hard to maintain it. The sudden fervours, the absolute chaos at any little aggravation, the utter contempt for crude business, the fiery response at the tiniest provocation, this is what Kolkata is really about. I’m not a Bengali, but I cannot deny that I live in a Bengali city. Rather, I’m proud of it. I’ve been to Delhi and Bangalore, heard stories of Mumbai and Pune and the one thing I’ve always noticed is the disdain with which hypocrisy and insincerity are treated here, the Bengali love of culture, the triumph of intellectualism over greed, the complete transparency of all emotions, the warmth of genuine humanity and the supremacy of the soul over all other aspects of human existence, is something that I’ve always found missing elsewhere.

As I look at the history of this city, often termed “sleeping”, I doubt that when the British laid the foundations back in the 18th century, did they think that Calcutta would one day become a bustling metropolis that epitomises India, in terms of society, culture, politics and a throbbing life.  Apart from the general state of lawlessness, (special reference to situations in Jadavpur University) there really is no reason why Kolkata should be poor and hopeless. It has a strategic position and could easily be the gateway to China and South East Asian nations. Furthermore it is one of the most sustainable of Indian cities. It has an ample supply of drinking water and presuming water will soon become more valuable than oil, Kolkata doesn’t really have much to worry about.
The funny part about the future is that it never comes as a handout and it is similar with Kolkata. It is highly unlikely that success and prosperity will come on a silver plate from Delhi. The rich culture is something Kolkata could really tap onto. Living in Kolkata, every child, irrespective of whether he/she is a Bengali or not, is involved in as many activities as possible, from Music-Dance to Poetry and Sports and this makes them extremely well rounded persons. However just like we update our smart phones and our clothes, our education system based primarily on rote learning or “*mukhosto” needs to change and concentrate more on practical problem solving.
Geographically speaking, Kolkata lies in an area surrounded by some of the most unstable and poorest places. However a rather shocking recent statistic has shown that the population is declining, marginally even so. Now, how can a sprawling urban city in the middle of a desperately poor and destitute neighbourhood have a declining population? This probably points towards the new-found peace, stability and prosperity in the neighbouring states and countries. This could be huge opportunity for Kolkata and its people; for trade, for jobs, for building bridges and for unending opportunities.
Over the years I have noticed a gradual change myself, a change not only in infrastructure and development but also in mentalities and lifestyles. This speaks a lot. If the city is stagnant, how has the standard of life improved? How has the lifestyles improved? Recently I even met a beggar child who not only recognised my uniform but also spoke to me in fluent English at a crossing. Transport is usually never a problem here. Every form of transport imaginable is available. The IT Sector has also come up considerably. Kolkata is moving in the right direction.
Today, this city is at crossroads. It is on one hand Calcutta, all about tradition, culture and conservatism and is on the other hand moving steadily towards Kolkata, a very modern, tech-savvy, chic and happening city. This metamorphosis is definitely progressive and is irreversible. Kolkata is a blend of culture and modernisation and in my opinion that is a future which you would want to move towards.
In this supersonic speed sort of life today, one needs a balance between the fast-paced lives that most of us lead and the easy-paced life that allows us to take a tonga ride around Victoria or walk down Park Street on Christmas so we can realise what it is that we are working for. The goal is and always will be to sit back and watch the sunset. That is exactly what Kolkata embodies.
Kolkata is much like the first house you’ve grown up in; you may move to bigger and better houses but you will never be able to let this one go. That is what keeps it alive. You always do come back here. That is what Kolkata needs, that when we spread our wings to go far away, eventually we do find our way back home so we can use our experience of the world and re-build it, so it can rise from the ashes much like a phoenix.

So yes, I do envision a future for Calcutta, rather Kolkata. One that is as magical and full of fantasy as the one I grew up in but also one that has been able to keep up with changing times to help its inhabitants reside peacefully. It is a new city in its approach to the new age, one that unleashes jobs, colleges, developmental and infrastructural opportunities. We can’t simply let this fritter away, right?

Vir Sanghvi correctly puts it,

“That’s why Calcutta is not for everyone. You want your cities clean and green; stick to Delhi. You want your cities, rich and impersonal, go to Bombay. You want them high-tech and full of draught beer, Bangalore’s your place. But if you want a city with a soul, come to Calcutta.”

*mukhosto-a bengali word meaning learning by rote.