Things You Find On Indian Roads

There are so many things around the road one observes when travelling on the roads. The blue skies, the wispy clouds, the sunrays bouncing off the windshield, the moon following the car, the stars winking and the traffic signals. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? It probably would be if you were in a pollution-free, traffic-jam-free country. But unfortunately, that does not apply if you are living in India.

So, we’ve established what we see around us while on the roads. But there is one important thing that we forgot about the Indian roads: the variety of unnecessary things that find their way onto the tar. What exactly are these things doing there? If you thought I’d have an answer, you are unfortunately wrong. Nobody ever knows.

Here’s a list of those unusual and unnecessary things we find while driving and have a hard time getting around:

  1. Animals: Alive or dead, these beings always seem to crawl on. Well, not so much crawl as strut into the middle of busy traffic. Buffaloes, cows, dogs, cats, squirrels. You name ‘em, we have ‘em! I’ve seen buffaloes making their way leisurely across one of the busiest crossroads in the city.
  1. Speed-breakers: I agree that India is a tough place to drive in, what with all the congestion and people straining to get to wherever they want to be in a flash. But does it really justify the presence of these entities every twenty feet? At this rate, a person walking would reach faster than a car. Oh, and also. Fast cars in India? What are those?
  1. Ditches: These are much more scary and annoying than speed-breakers because for one, you cannot predict when a new one will come up and two, if you’re driving right behind a bigger vehicle, then God save your back and your car’s tires. And what can one say about these abominations during the rains? They practically invite the vehicles to have a nice splash and go!
  1. Plastic bags full of rubbish: Even if people are educated, they are not educated enough to understand that littering the roads is as bad as littering their cars. I’ve seen people dropping these bags in the middle of heavy traffic jams thinking they are sly enough not to warrant attention from those around them.
  1. Fruit peels: These look good in scrubs and face washes. NOT on the roads. The most common fruits that have been subjected to this “peel-and-throw-on-the-road” treatment are bananas and oranges.
  1. Spit marks: Trust me, you can find red tobacco stains all over the city roads. Be it the old woman who couldn’t find a place to spit it or the middle-aged man who was too uncomfortable because of the building tobacco juice and had to rush because the signal turned green or the youngster who does things just for the heck of it. All of them consider the roads as their private spittoons.
  1. Pedestrians crossing the roads with their hands held up: There was this article in the Deccan Chronicle which aptly described how Hyderabadis in particular behaved when on the roads. It said, “You feel it’s your Nizami birthright to show your hand and stop the traffic while you cross the road.” But unfortunately, traffic isn’t a genie and it definitely doesn’t say, “Your wish is my command.”
  1. Wires dangling from bare transformers: Oh no. Human life is of barely any use. What difference does it make anyway, a couple of people getting electrocuted? Maybe this is the attitude that explains why we have clumps of wire dangerously hanging from those stilts we call electric poles. Or maybe it is just sheer laziness and procrastination.
  1. Vehicles with iron rods or wooden poles: These are just happily transported off in incredibly smaller vehicles which ply on roads with heavy traffic. Trucks, minivans, autos, jeeps, lorries. Whichever they can lay their hands on! Who cares if the car behind this vehicle is pierced and the driver dies? It’s just pure business!

There are times when you just want to go to the Municipal Commissioner’s office, throttle him and ask him what he’s been doing all this while. But then, you realize that it’s not such a great idea after all. So you just shake your head, shoot a volley of abuses at them and resign yourself to the fact that nothing is going to change.

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Memories of a Forgotten Childhood

There are so many things you can never forget about your childhood. But if you live in India, those so many things multiply into a number that can be mind-boggling to someone who’s watching our lives from the outside.

As children, we look at that neighbor bhaiya going off to college and dream that one day, we shall also strut our way off. And then that dream where we would be sitting on a chair behind a desk and working hard, while peons and clients came and went. Those dreams of growing up never seemed to cease and now that we are grown up, those dreams of childhood never seem to cease.

So to assuage the pain of the realization that we cannot, come what may, go back to those days, let’s take a look at what made our childhood in India so awesome!

  1. Parle-G:

The picture of that chubby kid on the cover still looks adorably at us at any general stores. Dipping those glucose biscuits in water and swallowing them soft was heaven in itself.

parle g

Picture Courtesy: sociovigil.in

  1. Hopscotch:

Be it drawing circles or squares, the game of hopscotch was a squeal-fest for everyone involved.

hopscotch

Picture Courtesy: decaturmakers.org

  1. Bournvita Quiz Contest:

Something that we looked forward to every Sunday. This was a world apart, a mine of knowledge, TV shows not being worthy of containing this one. Derek O’Brien’s quizzing skills were top notch and the information we gleaned from this show was astronomical.

Bournvita_Quiz_contest

Picture Courtesy: lighthouseinsights.in

  1. Coffy Bite:

This little toffee was my personal favorite. That is because it was soft and chewable. It was probably my first encounter with chocolate and the love is still going strong.

CoffyBiteNew

Picture Courtesy: lotteindia.com

  1. Cartoons:

Cartoons back then were interesting and gave a message unlike today’s cartoons which are just blobs of moving colors. Captain Planet, Scooby Doo, Dexter’s Laboratory, DuckTales, Talespin, Disney Hour, The Powerpuff Girls, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and of course, the giant among cartoons: Tom & Jerry.

other06

Picture Courtesy: escapistmagazine.com

  1. Comics:

The man whose brain works faster than a computer: Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu, Pinki, Tantri the Mantri, Kaalia the Crow, Shikari Shambu, Suppandi, Uncle Anu and so many others! My childhood was wrought with instances where I went to the library, reached up to peer over the counter at the librarian (who, by the way is still there, now running just a stationery shop) and ask him, “Uncle, do you have Tinkle?” Ah. Memories, memories.

chacha-chaudhary-sabu

Picture Courtesy: fakingnews.firstpost.com

  1. TV Shows:

Unlike today, when the list of TV Shows on our hard disk encompasses murder and betrayal, all we saw in our childhood here were Dekh Bhai Dekh, Ramayana, Rangoli, Tu Tu Main Main and Small Wonder. I admit I was surprised when I saw a bunch of foreign looking people talk in Hindi when I first saw Small Wonder. The Hindi remake of it (Karishma Kaa Karishma) was nowhere near as entertaining as the original was.

small wonder

Picture Courtesy: amazon.com

  1. Nataraj Pencils and Geometry boxes:

Admit it. Owning one of these boxes was a dream come true. And you almost showed it off until you realized that everyone around you had one of these. So the first thing you did after this realization was scratch your name onto the bottom of the box or stick a label and write your name on it. Talk about possessiveness.

nataraj

Picture Courtesy: tradeindia.com

  1. News on Doordarshan:

English, Hindi and the news for the deaf and dumb. This was one of the most boring segments for us as kids, but the poise with which the newsreaders read the news was commendable. Now, we have migrated to channels like Times Now where anchors don’t let people talk and rip them apart if they do.

DD

Picture Courtesy: janpratinidhi.com

  1. Audio Cassettes:

There are hundreds of them stacked up in cartons in the attics of numerous people across the country. You can remember the order of the songs in a movie even now because of course, there was no ‘Shuffle’ back then.

6447660-stack-audio-cassettes

Picture Courtesy: ru.123rf.com

There are millions of memories more than these that have now come to mind. And it probably would take so many more blog posts to cover all the memories.

So until next time, keep remembering and keep smiling!

12 Fictional Deaths That Seemed Too Real

Fiction is wonderful. It gives your imagination wings and takes it to places that you never dreamed of. It makes you feel without being a sap. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. It raises the bias factor in you, it makes you feel sorry, it makes you feel vindictive.

So when a fictional character that you are attached to dies, the only thing that’s on your mind and in your eyes is how not to cry. Still, you cannot help those tears from rolling down your cheeks and those hiccups from echoing from your throat.

I have been prone to tears at the deaths of my favorite fictional characters and any allusion to them just gets the mood going spiraling downwards. Here are those deaths that have most affected me, in no particular order.

  1. Sirius Black – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As if the absence of Harry’s parents wasn’t enough, Rowling had to go and pluck out the closest thing to a father that Harry had with a cruelty that made the world shiver.

  1. Fred Weasley – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Not even Sirius’ death could make the acceptance of this death any easier. Imagining George without Fred is too difficult. And when the story of how much it affected James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley twins, it was an overload of tears. This was way over bad. It was cruel.

  1. Augustus Waters – The Fault in Our Stars

I might be the person who cried the most, next to Hazel Grace. I was already crying when Hazel read out her eulogy in the church, but when he died “eight days later”, I was a total mess. I hardly followed what happened later and even if I did, it was totally out of love for Gus Waters.

  1. Oberyn Martell – Game of Thrones

I was in shock for a good two days. Unable to understand how to vent it out, I was desperately and frantically searching for ways to do so. It was only after a full session of ranting and abusing George R. R. Martin, that I was able to accept the fact that Oberyn will no longer be there to expound his boastful memoirs.

  1. Sati – The Oath of the Vayuputras

The pain that wracks Shiva when he lays eyes on his wife’s dead face felt so real. It brought home the notion that in this world, even the Gods are mortal, however true or untrue that might be.

  1. Melanie Wilkes – Gone With The Wind

Melanie was the epitome of the perfect, forgiving woman. She saw the good in everyone, even in someone like Scarlett O’Hara. Despite her shortcomings, Scarlett enjoyed a special place in Melanie’s life who was forever grateful to her for saving her during the war. And when she died at the end of the book, I shed a few tears, for it almost meant the death of good during the period that I read that book.

  1. Carlisle Cullen – Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Movie)

Okay, this was not an actual death and it was clarified only ten minutes later as to why it was not an actual death. But when Carlisle’s head came into Aro’s hand, a collective gasp went through the whole theater and I think the loudest had been mine. Thank God for miracles.

  1. Ellie – Up

Eight minutes and she was gone. I agree that she grew old, but still. Why do bad things happen to good people?

  1. Anand – Anand

As Anand takes his final breaths to his own voice reverberating in the room, Babu Moshay cries his eyes out and pleads with him not to go. That flash of Babu Moshay’s eyes, that still face, is a sure tear-jerker.

  1. DJ and Karan – Rang De Basanti

How often do you see people go out with laughter on their faces? It is endearing how, even in their final moments, these two men are talking about marriage and children and laughing at their own quips. The last still of them is them supposedly looking into the barrel of the gun. It’s heart-wrenching. Yes, I cried.

  1. Aman Mathur – Kal Ho Naa Ho

Undying love – pun totally not intended – is what Aman Mathur exudes in this movie. Unselfish in his endeavors to have Naina lead a happy life, he leads her to believe that he is happily married to someone else. And when she finds out the reason for his lies, all hell breaks loose. In the form of tears. In Aman’s eyes and in Naina’s and in mine.

  1. Ishwarchand Thakur – Waqt: The Race Against Time

The actual moment of grief and tears is not when Ishwar is actually dying. It is when he calls Laxman to his side and Laxman chokingly asks him, “Aap wapas kab aa rahe ho?” It was hard to control my tears as a father, a friend, a father-in-law, a grandfather, a husband and a master passed away just moments after naming his grandson after himself.

These are those movies that made me choke with tears when I saw them. Do they find a place on your list? Do let me know!

Keep smiling, for life is what you make it to be.

11 Awesome Ads That You Can Never Forget

So many ads make their way onto television every now and then. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, some irritating. But some are completely mind-blowing.

Here is a list of those ads that I think are awesome. Read and watch the videos. Have a laugh, stare at the screen in incredulity and shake your head with a smile. You just cannot stay calm! 😛

  1. Fevicol

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG7dkhzkrPg&feature=youtu.be

  2. Kit Kat dancing babies

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTpv9lc_qMw&feature=youtu.be

  3. Camlin Marker

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKthceSGlyM&feature=youtu.be

  4. Center Fresh ads

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ishX-EVxcQ&feature=youtu.be

  5. Mentos

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RQuNvJHpVs&feature=youtu.be

  6. Vodafone

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_f9eTjcNW4&feature=youtu.be

  7. Naukri.com

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKdkAIDMhis&feature=youtu.be

  8. Timesjobs.com

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gl-GWs5mvc&feature=youtu.be

  9. Airtel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WgP8sTCO2Q&feature=youtu.be

  10. Idea

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hsnja1Njcs&feature=youtu.be

  11. Fevikwik

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNCk6ULBqE&feature=youtu.be

20 Things You Do or Realize in Your Mid-Twenties

Once you hit a certain age, you realize a lot of things and start doing a lot of things. I have read a lot of articles that I found apt. On those same lines, I decided to share my own views on the “intricacies” of living out the mid-twenties. Here you go:

    1. Promises are not forever.1-promise
    1. People will not have time for easy conversations anymore. It’s all just a rushed muddle.
      2-easyconversations
    1. You realize that if you don’t matter to yourself, you don’t matter to anybody else.3-matter
    1. Hurt is the only constant in your stagnant life. If you want something to not hurt you, then you’ll just have to avoid the topic.4-hurt
    1. You never wanted to come to this point in life treading the path you have tread.5 - path
    1. Your heart is telling you to do something that might sound impractical, but completely awesome.6 - heart
    1. Spending money is easy, earning it is so damn hard!7 - money
    1. Priorities change. Drastically.8 - priorities
    1. Falling in love? What’s that?9 - love
    1. You start fattening up. All that fatty food to reduce your depressions is getting to you.10 - fat
    1. Solitude is good. Loneliness among people is not as bad as loneliness with yourself.11 - solitude
    1. You’ll feel that you are at the bottom of the social ladder sometimes.12 - social ladder
    1. Thinking and planning to exercise is easy. But by God! Implementing it is not so!13 - exercise
    1. TV shows were never so interesting.14 - TV
    1. “Follow your heart.” Easier said than done.15 - follow heart
    1. People will not acknowledge you all the time. Get over yourself.16 - acknowledge
    1. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you, hug you and say, “I understand.” No questions asked. No thoughtful stares. No solutions offered.17 - hug
    1. You suddenly see new meanings to proverbs that you have known since childhood.18 - proverb
    1. Every Sunday evening, you start waiting for Friday to come (back).19 - friday
    1. You love the idea of a vacation. For actually taking a vacation is a long shot.20 - vacation

 

A little bitter, yes. True, nevertheless. 🙂

Happy Twenties! 🙂

GIF Courtesy: giphy.com