Thursday, 26 December 2013

Where are all the real people?

I went to the Winter Carnival at my brother's school last Sunday. Reminded me of school. High school, especially. Dressing up on the one day you can, with all the latest trends in place. Dance and music performances for about 5 mins each, for which they practiced and practiced for weeks, planning every detail.

High school was when self-discovery began. The only thing is, you're influenced by so many things you're confused about what you want to be. And for most people, being popular, being what other people like becomes more important. It's been five years since school, I feel so old.

And now it's different. Everyone has changed. Everyone seems to have had enough self-discovery, or are tired with it and have decided on a stereotype they need to fit. Then they've proceeded to add 'layers' to their personality and it's impossible to recognize them. What happened to simplicity? Honesty?

Can people not have normal honest conversations? Would it kill to not spew quotes from poems and obscure literature and famous/not-so-famous people? Or post heavily edited photographs of god-knows-what which no one will even look at if you don't have a thousand words of deeply thought-provoking text riddled with esoteric symbolism? I certainly don't mind the editing and I absolutely love photographs but what happened to 'a picture speaks a thousand words'? Or what about an honest photograph with a caption you made on your own? That would be so much more personal and meaningful.

It looks like everyone is so busy trying to be someone rather than actually being someone, that they think people will not take them seriously unless they act like their minds are buzzing with profound thoughts that they need to express in long paragraphs with an excessive number of full-stops, peppered liberally with hastags. Or be 'fun' by being affectedly silly or making ridiculous words.

And why? Because you need to be exclusive. Which is an irony because apparently, the less people understand you, the cooler you are.

Of course there are genuinely talented people who do all this. And surprisingly, even though everyone else is getting better and better at pretending, you can still tell the wannabes apart. Because they lack originality.

People who were creative, vivacious, and had their own texting lingo (which was sometimes incomprehensible, I admit) now seem to have become these sombre individuals who would not use a smiley unless they wanted to commit social suicide. Yes, thank you for the return of comprehensible, grammatically correct English, but I'd rather have the text lingo back because it was so much more real, so much more you. Don't get me wrong, I love it when people write well. But it's more about what you're trying to say than the fancy words.

To me, honesty, simplicity and originality are cool. Being fake, pretentious and unnecessarily abstract is not. Really, you don't have to be perfect or exceptional at something, or pretend to.

Having said all this, I realize it might be just me who is the odd one out. But whatever. I want to see real people. People I can talk to without being judged. Or without spending every second of the conversation wondering what the hell is going on. It's too much trouble. I mean, I have enough trouble talking people as it is. Or it might just be my fault I don't know enough about everything, or pretend to.

Please, people, be yourself. Be real.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Eat, Cook, Love

I found this old packet of pasta and a few lemons so I finally decided to cook up something. I made pasta in a lemon garlic butter sauce and yoghurt with chicken salami and sweet corn. Whatever I could find in my house actually. Though I probably went overboard with the lemons. I love lemons. Anyway, pasta is not really my thing. I did manage to cook it well but I don't like eating it much. I'd rather eat rice. Rice is better at bringing out flavours of whatever you're eating.

Winter makes me think of a lot of lovely desserts. Fresh from the oven apple crumble with vanilla custard. Hot almond brownies. Peanut butter and chocolate fudge. Fluffy banana cake. I don't have a good oven though, so baking is a problem.

I really do like cooking, I find it really stimulating putting all the ingredients together, creating something. It's a lot like music or painting. It's all about harmony - tastes and aromas. Everyone should try it.

I've been reading a lot of cute stuff on buzzfeed. Like ideas on gift wrapping and food gifts and I'm actually dying to gift stuff like that. Just so pretty. I was never good at craft though.

Otherwise - I haven't gotten down to much of the stuff I was planning to do. I will. Eventually. I hope!

I got a lot of new books. Wuthering Heights, Emma, Jane Eyre and Catcher in the Rye.Yes, I haven't read them yet, kill me. I just never liked romance novels. Too tedious to read pages and pages about people trying to impress each other and over-analyzing every damn thing. And I do love to read but more often than not I simply don't feel like reading  'serious literature' or whatever you would call this. Plus, I have zero interest in politics, economics or modern history. Ancient and medieval history is fascinating though.

I want to travel as much as I can, everywhere I can. The whole world is wide open, waiting to be explored. There is so much more than just the little circle you know, work and worries and all that.

Also, life is too short to be unhappy. It sometimes takes time to figure out what you want, or that something is not right for you. Once you do, you can change it. People might say you're being a loser by quitting. I just think it's also important to know where and when to stop. If it's not adding to you're life, you're exhausted and you're doing this for reasons primarily other than yourself, and finally, you're not happy, you need to have the courage to stop and change.

At the end of the day, it's about your confidence. If you worry about what other people think, it will always be a problem. Hell, it's your life. What someone else thinks doesn't matter because their thoughts don't directly impact you. Do things for the right reasons, for yourself and not because you want to conform to what people think you should do.

We're not teenagers anymore. I don't have to pretend to like obscure Scandinavian death metal bands and dress in black to be cool. Instead, I will do whatever the hell I like, and be proud of it, and be cool because of that. (Though I still do like death metal). And I will never apologize for being honestly myself.

Current music : Halestorm, Epica and Royal thunder.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I don't know what to say when people ask me what I want for my birthday. I never actually think about it. There's nothing at the top of my head. I don't sort of keep making a list all year or something. Even when I plan to buy things for myself I finally think 'oh, no I don't really need this'. I do shop impulsively sometimes, as a pick me up though. And I buy things when I need them. So? Clothes? I have too damn many of them but it's still always impossible to say no to new clothes. Where and when am I going to wear them? I don't foresee many occassions on which I can wear nice and new clothes. They'll just lie in my cupboard till I forget about them. Shoes? Yeah I could always do with shoes but I will again end up wearing the same old sandals every time. Unless I absolutely need them(which is hardly ever, if you're talking about occassions to wear nice things), they will lie forgotten at the back of the rack. And like I said, if I don't feel particularly great, I don't like wearing new and nice stuff. And since the frequency of feeling great has now dropped to zero pretty much, it doesn't make sense. 
I'm not much of a gadget person, I really don't care about phones and things. As long as I can call, sms and listen to music it's fine with me. Watches I like but I stick to one watch unless it's absolutely non-functional. Jewellery - I have a lot of it already and unless I'm buying something specifically to go with something, there's no point. Books - I love books but honestly, I don't have time to read them now. But maybe I'll buy a few. I always love the feeling of buying new books. Decorative stuff - simply no space. 
Damn. And then I end up asking for absolutely useless things. Imagine asking for ideas for your own birthday present. How ridiculous is that?

Monday, 5 August 2013


Friendship day is just over. It's weird how I've lost touch with most of the people I called friends. Again, realization strikes that I am pretty alone. But not completely alone and thats what counts. It's probably not a very healthy thing to be an extreme introvert like me but I've tried changing that and I don't think its something that will change. Interacting with people, talking, communicating - are things I'm horrible at and am  just uncomfortable with. I do it because I have to, thats pretty much it.

I used to be much more colourful. Now I'm so monochrome and bleak. So grey. I haven't worn earrings for ages and that was unthinkable before. When I feel awful, I look awful, and when I feel good about myself I look better and dress well. People say dressing well makes you feel good but it doens't work that way for me because if I don't feel good, I wouldn't be in a mood to bother to dress well. More like, I think I don't deserve it.
I went through this prolonged depressive phase which culminated in a sort of mental and physical meltdown. I realized I don't want to be a biologist. It's not what I was born to do. I probably don't know exactly what I was born to do, but I know this is not it. I felt like I was constantly having panic attacks and I could just never breathe normally, the feeling you get when you're really nervous except it's happening all the time. And then I got afflicted by weird things, so I had to come home.

So I'm back home to take a break and re-align. I did some things I haven't done in such a long long time. I sang, and it felt good. I'd forgotten what that was like, almost. Listened to some new music. Music adds meaning to life. I broke out of the classical groove for a change. Watched TV, though I didn't have the patience to sit and watch one thing. Made and drank coffee the way I love it, strong and with a bit of cocoa. Taught my brother math and biology. Ate nice home-cooked food. Drank a lot of berry juice.
I hope once I get back, I'll be in a better position to get my life back into balance.

Monday, 24 June 2013


Drops of rain in paths of sand
Wind and tears, hand in hand
Whispering trees by the rippling lake
Telling me the same things again.

Rocky roads that twist and turn
Too much inside left to burn
Darkness where I look for light
I'm too tired to go on.

Walking along, blank and cold
Walls everywhere, nowhere to go
Stuck again, the same old way
I'm going back inside.


The time has gone but the moments still wait.
For some day, one day.
Till there it is, just like you thought, except the time to think is long past.
The songs have waited too, long overdue.
It's time to finish.

And now, it makes sense. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013


I wish I could just restart. Do things all over again, differently. Change what decisions I took. It's too much damage to reverse and get on with. But probably I have no choice. It's been a struggle all along and it's only getting worse, never better. All the excitement, self-esteem, motivation has just been completely shattered in one year. It's nothing like I had envisioned, nothing at all. So? I bit off more than I could chew. Rather I ate too much of the wrong thing, it looks like. And it is mostly my fault. On the bright side, you never know until you've tried. You never know what you want to do till you're doing something you thought you wanted and then realizing this is not it. I want to go back to being who I was. That's what I'm better at and that's what I want to do.

This is not what I thought research would be like. Atleast this is not what I thought I would end up like. I'm at a point where every damn experiment I do is conspiring against me to not work no matter what. Maybe I'm just too lazy for research. I want to live a balanced, peaceful life where I'm happy, even if it's 'average'. I want to do other things. Not just think about problems all the time. 'Success' at the end of the day depends on you, and whether you're happy and it makes absolutely no sense to live in any other way.

Well, I need to get on with it. I need a break. Because most of the time I wake up wishing the earth would swallow me up and at the end of the day I feel like I should just go jump into the ocean. I need massive re-motivation, re-inspiration which realistically looks unlikely but I'm hoping something will strike. It's like waiting for a miracle to drop on my head.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Sometimes you need to stop thinking, and let go. Let life take you where it wants. Blank out for a while, and surrender.
 Do things you never thought you would be doing. Maybe its true, there is a reason for everything that happens.
Because sometimes, you can feel what is just right and what isn't, though you can't figure out why. You need to know where to start and where to stop, and that's something you find out along the way.

The stories will unfold as you watch, and you're in the middle of it before you know it.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Monday blues

The monday blues. When you don't feel like dragging yourself out of bed and going to work. Especially after a particularly good weekend. I get homesick on and off. I miss going to weddings. All the dressing up and the food.
Life is a strange river, you never know where it's taking you. You never know what to think, what will happen and what you will do. You know what you don't want but you don't know what you want. It's always so crazy. There is constant change, you constantly need to adapt. It is after all, survival of the fittest.
I'm not so much of a fool anymore. I hope.

Friday, 22 March 2013

The weekend is almost here. And yes, for a change, something called a weekend does exist now and even though we usually have to work on saturdays, its more casual and relaxed, not like weekday pressure. I haven't had a good week but I'm hoping it will end well. Last weekend too was great, just like it should be. Saturday was off because of an institute power shutdown, thank god. Eating home-cooked bengali food, playing with adorable kids, sleeping and watching sunset at the sea. How much more could you want?

Walking along Colaba causeway, buying really pretty things(most of which turned out to be purple, predictably) for really cheap at street shops and walking into a random bakery we happen to cross and eating huge chunks of red velvet cake with the most buttery icing is an unbelievable pick-me-up.

If I'd read Feynman earlier, I'm pretty sure I would have become a physicist. Well, atleast tried to become a physicist. Sometimes I think that's what I should have done. It's just that I didn't find physics all that exciting in school. I probably just didn't look at it right. I think in the end, all scientists look for origins. Where we came from and where things came from and how things came to be the way they are is the ultimate question. And physics is at the root of it all.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Another 'growing up' post.

There are too many 'growing up' posts in this blog already. But the thing is, I don't think you can ever really grow up completely. You 'grow up' in different ways at different times.
You accept that the world isn't perfect.
That no one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. 
What is perfect is a mishmash of many separate things that don't come together.
People come and go. Some stay a little longer. Some are people you meet along your own journey - with each of your lives going different ways but crossing for an instant. But some become more than that - they become part of your journey, part of your life. They are friends. You need them. But you also need the other kind, for diversity. For moments. And being able to separate them is important too and its something that comes in one of the later phases of 'growing up'.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Streaming thoughts

Always keep chocolate handy for dementor attacks.

Rains will be here soon. Sometimes when it rained heavily and the city got flooded, everyone would stay at home and not go to school/college/office. I would curl up in bed with coffee and hot chocolate and wrap myself up in blankets and read. Or just sleep blissfully in the dark room with the soothing sound of rain pattering against the window. Or sit at my table by the window and watch the trees getting washed, greener and greener.
Rainy days meant being lazy, eating khichuri, aloo bhaja and omlettes for lunch. The ultimate comfort I wish I could sink into.
Enjoying a day off with family. I miss home.

But I guess at some time or the other, we have to get used to it. You need to find a way.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Sunday mood.

I want to do too many things. I want to eat chocolate and cheesecake. Watch a ton of movies. Read something nice. Sleep. Lie on the grass all night and watch the sky. Smell lemons. Paint something with watercolours, a lot of light green and yellow. Write. Watch sunset, though I have the fortune of doing that every day. Meet old friends. Take photos. Travel, go away somewhere. Where its very green. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Like a dream

The faint sound of temple bells, somewhere
Shadowy corners tucked away in the trees.
The pale sea reflecting the sky of a thousand colours,
still as glass except for the low murmur of ripples on the rocks.
The vast sea whispering her secrets.

Ship lights line the horizon
The sky darkens as stars rise
While the city on the other side glitters.
The calm wind
and silence. Solitude.
Like a dream.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Some days are just bad. True, chocolate helps. Specially if its crunchy.
Its nice to play trippy trance-like music in the evening or late at night when the lab is empty.
Porcupine tree, all time favourite.

If you fall asleep with me
You can dream and drowse
The miuntes turn to hours

We could climb a tree or two
And watch the sun go down
Upon our sleepy town

Reminds me childhood and the innocence. When we really did climb trees. Ran around outside, broke numerous windows playing cricket or football. When all we had to worry about was how to retrieve the ball that fell into the neighbour's terrace.

We've come a long way, yeah.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Fires left burning. Lapping up everything.
Too many things, just gone.
I am unforgivable.

Charred shadows follow, haunting me wherever I go.
Catching me when I try to run.
Destroying, when I try to build again.
Drowning me in ashes when I try to bury them.
Again, and again.

I may be a darker shade of grey
but I never wanted to be this.
What I have been.
The destroyer.

How long will these ghosts possess me,
my thoughts, my life
Maybe its time to exorcise.
To rise.

To make my way out of the ashes I created.
Dust them off.
Unchain the shadows tied to me
 And let myself  live again.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

The life.

We do science because we want to find things out. We want to know what, why and how. We demystify.

Life is like science. We demystify too. We want to know.
 Except sometimes it takes courage to know.
Sometimes you want the mystery to stay unsolved, just for the excitement of there being a mystery. 

Life is like an experiment. Sometimes you need to carefully think about what you want and design your actions that way. Or sometimes you just do it for the heck of it, to see what happens. Without thinking about what the end could be. 

But either way its all a mess. We have our good days and our bad days.
Times we think and think and can't find an answer.
Where is this going, what am I doing, what do I want, and what will I find at the end of it all?

Monday, 25 February 2013


Doing something new. Being out there again after ages of hibernating. Opening up to let yourself free.

That feeling in your stomach, of insane fear mingled with excitement. Feeling your heart pumping away while you try to breathe. Blood throbbing through every vein. Feeling crazier and dizzier. Forcing yourself to not topple over as your feet try to take the next step, one closer, as your head gets fuzzier and you think you're going to black out.

Being alive, not just existing. Listening to the waves crashing against the rocks you're sitting on. Stars scattered over the sky. The cold night wind that makes you shiver. Rediscovering what you love.
And the rush.