5 Things I Love about Bengaluru

Having been in the city for over a year now, I’ve come to understand that the IT industry is not the only thing Bengaluru (still Bangalore for many) is popular for. For those who might not be aware of it, Bengaluru was once known as the Garden City. Probably because it used to be all beautiful, clean and everything else you’d expect a garden to be. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about that phase of the city. The Bengaluru I’ve seen since last year is one that’s infamous for being overcrowded and highly polluted with traffic jams congesting its pothole-ridden roads.

I constantly hear many of my friends complaining about these aspects. Even though I always lend a patient ear to them all, I am quite defensive about Bengaluru. Inspite of the fact that I’m an outsider here, I feel a sense of belonging. I fell in love with it right from the first day! Of course, I do get irritated with the seemingly endless traffic blocks, the teeming buses and the garbage-strewn corners. But at the end of the day, I love the city, just the same.

Just as you would love a best friend with all his/her quirks, I love Bengaluru with all its flaws. I think I’ve grown used to the crowd that I have to wade through in busy market areas…and the hours of travel it takes to go from one place to another, sometimes barely few kilometers apart! I have begun to refer to my PG (Paying Guest accommodation) as ‘home’, which itself reveals how attached I already am!

So, I thought I’d put together a list of five things I love about Bengaluru. I suppose this is one way of celebrating my first year here and showing my love for this awesome city! Well, here goes!

Disclaimer: The opinions below are based on my experience in Bengaluru and not a generalized view. 

1) The crowd – Yes, that’s right. I actually love the crowd here. It’s (mostly) young, multicultural and varied beyond words. You get to meet people from all walks of life, holding different perceptions, pursuing different interests. I’ve often felt this place is very much a melting pot of cultures, ideas and aspirations. While there maybe quite a few who are from Bengaluru or other parts of Karnataka, a major chunk of the crowd would be from other states/countries. Perhaps, this is why the city has a very special vibe. Or, maybe, it’s just me and my fascination with this place!

2) Welcoming newbies – I know this is purely based on my personal experience. I don’t know how it has been for others but I felt very warmly welcomed right from my first day here. The locals are quite accommodating; I never felt alienated. From my one-year-old perspective, I found them friendly and ready to help. Most people are able to communicate in Hindi or basic English, so, it’s not mandatory to know Kannada, the local language.

3)  The restaurants/cafes – I love (read: love love love) the myriad restaurants and cafes that dot the city! From quaint coffee shops to elaborate restaurants, there’s every kind and cuisine to choose from. Being someone who enjoys restaurant-hopping, I take pleasure in the fact that I could stay here for years and still not run out of options!

4) The climate – I know this is a commonly quoted positive aspect about Bengaluru. But then, this list really wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention about the pleasant and favourable climate the city enjoys throughout the year. Yes, it can get hot in the summer but not as much as in some of the neighbouring states. Guess what? This summer has been pretty much a mixture of rainy, cool days and bearable, hot days! I don’t always enjoy rain (unless I’m in..uhh..a mood for it). Cloudy, dull days and messy, dirty streets just aren’t my thing. On the contrary, I completely love the rain in Bengaluru. The sky clears up almost instantly after a downpour,  even the cloudy instances are kinda nice. Although the rain can be a nuisance sometimes, I can’t help feeling a sort of liking for it.

5) Kannada – This might sound slightly weird. But I’ve grown to love the language. And, trust me, that’s not usual. I’m actually very eager, not to mention determined, to learn Kannada. I love the way it sounds. I have noticed that the locals have a sense of pride when it comes to their language and customs. But then, it’s a not a pride that imposes itself on or looks down upon others. They love their land, language and traditions but are open enough to let others follow their own. Which is really mature and broad-minded, I feel.

So, that’s just a few things I love about Bengaluru. To be honest, I could really ramble on. But I’m sure I’ve said enough for one super-long post!

If you’re at Bengaluru, do let me know what you think! Or you could just tell me what you love about your current city. 🙂

An Amateur Writer’s Blah Blah on Writing :)

“I think the writer has to be responsible to signs and dreams. If you don’t do anything with it, you lose it.” – Joy Williams

I didn’t get any particular sign or dream as such. Just a lot of complaints from my sister. And, maybe, one article which could possibly have been a sign – On Not Writing.

Whenever I resume blogging, I also make an effort to catch up on posts by bloggers I like/follow and the Freshly Pressed posts. Apart from giving me a sense of getting back on track, it also leads me onto thoughts I want to write about. One such post which I read (the last time I resumed blogging) was Finding your writing voice over at Wanton Creation. The reason for being drawn to it was: I had had the same line of thought and was planning to blog about it (which never happened, alas!). So, I was surprised to see a post on the same topic, with similar thoughts!

There is something I always notice when I read articles or blog-posts – the writing style. Even though I must have been doing it all along, it’s something that I realized very recently. It might be my passion for writing or maybe, just something I’ve grown to do as a result of my reading. Whatever maybe the reason, I’ve come to realize that the first thing I notice and appreciate about a piece of writing is the writing style, the way in which the writer has put forth his views. Also, I believe, that is what helps maintain my interest in the piece. However interesting a concept might be, I cannot bear to read on if I don’t like the way it’s written. Once I realized this, I was curious. Curious about what exactly led me to like a particular way of writing, what factors I looked for in a piece…and most importantly, what was my writing style, how would I judge it, how do people judge it? The latter’s a thought for another day, though.

It’s not easy to write something that engages a reader till the end. And it’s definitely not easy to make it good enough to leave a mark on the reader’s mind or provoke them to think about it. So, then, what draws a person to read a certain piece of writing (Note: I’m not talking about books here)? Let me list out 5 qualities in writing that do the trick for me:

1) Humour – It works every single time. Use humour to present your concept/thought and I bet it will get through to your readers. It works splendidly for me!

2) Simple yet compelling language – I would never want to read something that is filled with complex or generally unused words. That’s not to say I’d like something plainly written either. Attaining that balance between simple and compelling language  is tricky but I believe that is what could reach out to readers. On that note, let me also add : grammatical & spelling mistakes are a firm turn-off when it comes to reading something. (Not that I’m perfect at it!)

3) Keeping it personal – Now, this is a factor that ALWAYS draws me to a piece of writing – the writer’s ability to connect to the reader by maintaining a certain personal touch. Instead of an article that is completely factual and impersonal, I’d opt for something that has a personal element, an article wherein the writing seems to communicate to me, engaging me in what the writer is saying. In short, I should be able to feel that the writer is talking to me through the piece.

4) Short and sweet –  Never mind the ‘sweetness’, but I certainly do prefer articles that aren’t too long. It isn’t really about having time to read it. For me, it’s more about whether a long article will be able to hold my attention, whether it will be worth the effort. More often that not, I have strayed off halfway through a long article and just skimmed through the rest of it. So, the phrase “short and sweet” is highly relevant to me.

5) Flow of Writing – The way the concept is developed from one paragraph to another or, in simple words, the flow of writing is another factor that helps in maintaining my interest in an article. Disconnected or disrupted flow of thoughts usually make me leave halfway through the piece.

So, those are the 5 elements of writing style that capture my interest in an article.

What are yours? Do care to share.

Rain, Rain, Come Again :)

It’s night-time. Dark, silent (almost) and a tiny bit eerie. I don’t remember the last time I stayed up to blog. Since afternoon, there have been so many thoughts in my mind that I can’t help but sit down and let them out. Considering how lazy I can be, it surprises me that I’m staying up to write about some random thoughts I had earlier during the day. Maybe the fact that I could not go to sleep without doing this shows how much of an impact these thoughts have had on me.

I had been feeling quite low for the past couple of days.

Today afternoon, while walking back home with a friend, it started drizzling. It wasn’t unusual (it has been raining on and off during the past few weeks) or sudden (it has been cloudy for a couple of days). But it changed something within me. It felt good. I felt an urge to stay out in the rain for a while longer. It evoked a kind of happiness in me that I can’t seem to explain. It was not an overwhelming emotion…just plain happiness. A good feeling within, just a sense of being content and happy with wherever I was at that particular point in life. I went up to the terrace and sat there for a while. The rain had stopped by then but I knew it wouldn’t be long before it returned. At that moment, sitting there, watching the sky and lost in thoughts, I felt a deep sense of contentment with life. Almost like I was living solely in that moment. Even though I believe in the concept of living one’s life fully and in the moment, I have to admit that I hardly ever come across moments like this. And when I do, they touch me far deeper than ever; they leave me filled with thoughts that demand to be let out! (Right now, I feel flooded by so many thoughts, I don’t know which ones to let out!)

Since it was the rain that led to this “outpour” of thoughts, I suppose I’ll let rain take the limelight here. Today, while it was raining, I had so many thoughts going through my mind…and when I paid attention to these passing thoughts, I realized that they were mostly vivid memories, all related to rain. Some of them were almost long-forgotten. I thought I’d list out a few, to pore over on some other rainy day.

Rain reminds me of:

1) How I used to long for rainy days during childhood. I loved floating paper boats in the puddles, getting drenched in the rain (although that rarely happened) or just listening to the rain falling outside. Since rain wasn’t very common, I used to love whenever it rained, even if it meant mess and mud and dampness.

2) Schooldays! I loved going to school on rainy days. Inspite of the fact that I hated getting my feet wet, I enjoyed rainy school days. I used to love the small puddles on the school ground. Not the messy corridors, though. We used to make excuses or happily carry out errands for the teachers, just to get out of class and go out in the rain.

3) Quite contrary to school time, I hated rain during college. Perhaps because there was an excess of it! I dreaded going to class on rainy days. I hated the muddy paths, the drenched uniforms, the cold, everything! One distinct memory is of an instance when one moment, we  (classmates) were all walking slowly, ‘navigating’ around muddy puddles and talking, and the next moment, it started raining cats and dogs, and we ran to find shelter, splashing mud all around (need I add we ended up looking very much pitiable).

4) Songs. Experiences – Every time it rains, the first song to come to mind is Unnai Kandane (Parijatham). It has become almost synonymous to rain. Apart from all the memories of travelling on rainy days or of curling up in the bed, listening to the rain outside, another rainy experience I’ll always remember is the one I had while I was at Kochi – going up to the terrace with a PGmate/friend and enjoying the rain.  Evidently, it was good enough to make me blog about it. The memory and the post, in particular, have immense significance for me!

5) And now, rain will always remind me of today and the happiness it brought forth in me. Because it happened at a point when I badly needed it. Or perhaps, because it made me see things I had been overlooking, like the need to be happy by oneself.

So, what does rain remind you of? 

 

 

5 Things I Love About My Work

I’ve just completed my third week at work. I had the same 5 points in my head for the past three weeks but never found the time and peace of mind to sit down and write it out. So, here I am, at the end of three weeks at work. And about to tell you 5 things I love about my work. I hope it doesn’t change, that I’ll always have enough and more reasons to love my work and be happy about it. Anyway, this is what I love right now. So, here goes.

1. The need to know more, be informed – I realized this right on the first day I joined. Being a person who knew next to nothing about happenings, business, corporate world and a lot of other stuff (ummm…make that everything!), I understood I would have to put in a lot of effort if I had to do anything in here. And I’ve been trying. Trying my best to know more. I keep pushing myself to know more. I’m surprised at the amount of information/knowledge I’ve gained over the past 3 weeks, even though not all of it maybe beneficial to me beyond the workplace. Anyway, it is something I love, nevertheless. I do what I can to know more, to get a deeper idea of what I’m doing. The best part? The learning never stops.

2. Involves thinking – I suppose all jobs require some amount of thinking. But what I’m talking about is creative thinking. As part of my work, I’m supposed to think about possible options, new ideas and come up with something that can get the desired end/result. I love that. I’m just getting into the groove of it, but I totally love the way I have to push myself to come up with better ideas & possibilities. I also love the fact that it keeps me busy (mostly, not always), does not give me time to dwell on trifles. Apart from this, I get to do some stuff for others, which helps me dabble in different areas.

3. People – This is something I’m truly happy about, more than anything else. I love the people I’m working with. I agree there maybe exceptions. People might turn out to be different, looks might turn out to be deceptive. Keeping aside all that, there are a few individuals I love talking to, being with and working with. People whom I can connect to, who are similar to me and (best part!!) who dare to think big and beyond. Because not everyone will be able to understand your dreams and perceptions. It’s always inspiring and motivating to be around individuals who have ambitions, who understand the need to have a greater purpose in life.

4. The Environment – The work environment is AWESOME. It’s what I have always wanted my workplace to be like. And I’m super-glad I ended up right where I wanted to be. The people are all very friendly and helpful (again, I’m leaving out the exceptional cases). Once I was through the initial settling-in phase, I got back to my usual self – alternating between bursts of sense and long bouts of nonsense. Like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there is a lot of energy in the place. I’ve noticed that most of the other employees (who have been here for a while) share a very cordial relationship with each other, even with the directors (assuming I didn’t read it wrong). I had expected the work environment to be all formal and serious. But, well, I was wrong about this place. It’s anything but formal and serious!

5. Part of a bigger cause – OK, maybe not as big as I make it seem. But when I realize that all the work we (not just me) put in is for something greater, it gives me another reason to love my work. All these years, I’ve attended events or watched them on TV. And today, I’m working on them. I’m getting to know what goes into the making of an event, how the final event is put together, how that perfect D-Day is achieved. I’ve begun to realize there’s a lot of people and their effort behind it. On the day of the event, when you see people enjoying and appreciating it, and you realize your effort is an integral part of the success, that’s when you see the bigger cause that you were a part of. I haven’t got there yet, but I will, very soon. 🙂

So, that’s 5 things I love about my work. If I sound like I’m having this super-awesome time, work’s all great and no problems bothering me, then well…I think I must have been over-enthusiastic. That happens a lot. But who am I fooling? Don’t worry. I’m still on the same planet as the rest of you, where almost everything has a lot of good things and a hell lot of bad things about it. There are things I don’t like about my work, I admit. But, more on that later, in another post. 🙂

5 Reasons Why Being The Eldest Is Difficult

I’ve heard a lot about how life is generally kinda difficult for the middle child. She (I’m basically talking about girls, but I guess this is applicable to boys too) has to outdo or atleast match the achievements of the eldest child and, at the same time, set an example for the youngest. And then, there are (jealousy) issues about lack of attention, importance and…most significantly – lack of love (according to the middle child: apparently, parents exhaust all of this on their first child and don’t have enough for the other kids). And as if this weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the normal teenage & adolescent problems that are part of growing up!

OK, now, don’t assume I’m a middle child. I’m not. But I can very well imagine what they have to live through. Anyway, what I intend to emphasize here is: it’s super-hard being the eldest child as well!  I’m the eldest of three girls. And as much as I enjoy it, there are so many instances when I wish I didn’t have to go through some stuff just because I’m the eldest. Trust me, it is definitely hard being the eldest. I love my sisters. Hell, yes! They mean the world to me. I suppose having them is what makes this a little easier for me.

So, why do I say being the first-born has its problems? We’re getting to that.

1) Since I’m the eldest, parents/relatives/elders expect a lot from me – responsibility and maturity while taking decisions, living life, doing anything; doing things right (so that my sisters can learn from me, yeah right!!), so on. To be frank, I think it’s too much burden on me and, sometimes, it’s hard to live upto their expectations.

2) I’m supposed to know everything. I’m supposed to lead my sisters on the right path and I’d have to know everything if I’m supposed to guide them properly. Nobody seems to care about what I know; all they can do is point out what I don’t know!

3) I know that every decision I take will have a direct impact on my family. And I can’t let it be a negative impact. That’s enough reason to worry about what I’m doing, whether it’s the right thing or not, blah blah. Frankly speaking, I HATE IT! As if I don’t have enough to worry about already! I can’t take a single decision without thinking more than twice about it. Yes, I don’t want to hurt my parents. But I wish they wouldn’t expect so much from me, that they would just let me explore life and live it, even if it means falling down or failing once in a while. With all these expectations, there’s too much on my mind. And there are times when I wish I could just do something to take it all off my head! I’m going through a similar phase right now. And it sucks!

4) This particular point is what triggered me to write this post right now – my siblings think I’m the only one important to dad and mom. OK, I understand why they feel this way. I’m the first child and I happened to be bright at school; so, my parents always had a kind of pride in me and some special affection. And now that I’ve been (mostly) away for the past 3 years, they tend to show a little extra love. So, you see, I know why my sisters feel the way they do. But they don’t try to see that dad and mom love them, too… All they see is the extra affection I get. I’ve tried to make them understand but in vain. I don’t blame them. Just hope that, someday, they will see what I was trying to tell them.

5) Sometimes, dad tells me certain decisions and asks for my suggestions or just wants to know what I think. Because, I guess, he thinks I’m old enough to be included in the serious decisions of the family. But I go blank when he does that. Half of the time, I don’t know why exactly he is doing what he’s doing and I don’t know what to tell him as suggestion/thought. I go blank, totally! When that is the last thing expected of me. Ah, expectations again!! Sigh!

So, you see…it isn’t all that easy being the eldest child. There should be an Elder Child Syndrome too. Or maybe there is (already googling). I admit it has its ups…but the downs are inevitably hard! Anyway, I bet the little brat (aka my little sis) will soon be coming up with 5 reasons why it’s hard being the youngest! 😛 Inspite of all this, if I’m given a choice to decide who I want to be in my next lifetime (assuming I’ll have one), I’d still want to be born as the person I’m right now (eldest and everything included), without a second thought!

5 Things I Hate About Horror Movies

 

After watching Amusement (refer an earlier post to know what I’m talking about!),  there were a lot of things that struck me as weird in horror movies. Thoughts that I had in my head for quite sometime but never paid much attention to. So, after the irritating experience with this particular movie, I thought I’d put up a post about it. And here I am!

I’m going to list out 5 things I hate about horror movies. I might be able to come up with more than 5 but I think I’ll stick to 5 for now. 🙂 This is totally my personal perceptions; you might think different, of course. These are things that I have found irritating about horror movies. Most horror movies. Even though there maybe exceptions, I can’t think of many, to be honest. So, now that the disclaimer part is over, let’s get on.

1. They do not scare me – I guess there might be a lot of people out

there who get shit scared by horror movies; even by those slight, sudden movements in them. I love horror movies and watch a lot of it. But, frankly, I haven’t yet seen a movie that can truly scare me. There might be certain instances (not many of them, though) that make me start or shudder…but nothing that will actually give me the chills. Maybe it’s kinda wrong of me to blame horror movies for not scaring me, since almost everyone else seems to find it scary enough. Anyhow, I’m talking about what I hate in them, and I cannot NOT say this. When I sit down to watch a horror movie, I want to get scared. That’s what such movies are meant for. It gets a little frustrating and ummm…unsatisfying, when nothing much seems to be happening each time. Come on… you watch a comedy and, throughout the movie, if you don’t find anything much to laugh about, wouldn’t you feel the same?

2. Unnecessary background music – Sometimes, while watching a horror movie, I’ve noticed that the background music can get a little too jarring. And I hate the fact that the music is kinda like a warning… For example: Imagine this usual scene from a movie – “a silent house, girl walking in…music starts, warning you something is about to happen (as if you can’t already guess!), increases tempo…and BAM! Girl sees a figure/whatever.” I’ve felt that even though the music is supposed to enhance the spooky effect, it only serves to spoil the actual sudden gasp that could have come if the music hadn’t been there. This is my personal opinion, though. I’ve noticed that you can actually ‘watch’ a horror movie and predict the scenes/moves with your eyes closed, just listening to the music. And my friend does that. So, I know!

3. Unrealistic moves – What I mean by this point is – in most horror movies, the characters make some really unrealistic moves. Like, when you’re alone in a house and you hear a very scary noise, would you  actually go towards the noise and check out what it is? Or would you just stay in your bed, eyes closed,  hiding under the blanket? I would do the latter, any day! At night, if I happen to wake up, and I hear some weird noise, I DO NOT get up to go check on it. Then, how come all  characters in  all horror movies do it? Even the small kids seem to have quite a lot of guts! I know the movie wouldn’t progress if the person didn’t go towards the sound/whatever. But I’m just too tired of watching the same stuff in every horror movie!

4. They aren’t exactly ‘horror‘ movies – Most of the movies that were supposedly horror were more like slasher movies. Just a lot of creative killing.  That isn’t horror. That can’t really scare you (not me, atleast).

Horror for me would mean supernatural stuff… A crazy guy going around killing people in crazy ways is not my idea of horror.  Movies like Saw, Final Destination, Sorority Row and Nightmare on Elm Street do not scare me. More than half of the movies that are labelled as horror aren’t really that. And, sometimes, the killings are too gruesome, like they have been made gruesome to make it seem scary.

5. Story-line is the same – Almost all horror movies have the same story line. It’s so predictable. One fine morning, something starts happening, people start getting killed, a main character starts thinking there’s something odd,  goes around trying to find out, finally finds out that some long-dead person or someone with a past vengeance is doing the whole thing. And in so many cases, the ultimate reason/story behind the killer’s vengeance isn’t all that great. You’re left with the thought: “WTF? That’s it? I mean, did he go around killing all those people for this stupid reason?” I hate that!

So…guess that’s it. 🙂 Let me stress the point, again, that these are my personal opinions and I’m sure so many out there will disagree. Anyway, this is what I’ve felt. And these are elements I hate in horror movies! Tadaaa… 🙂 Have a Horrific Weekend ahead!

 

 

 

5 Things I Can’t Live Without

Obviously, I’m not talking about basic necessities. like food, air, water… I’m going to list out the top 5 things I need, which I can’t live without. And this is in no particular order. So, here goes:

1. Books – Of course, this is and will always be the first in my list. I cannot live without books. Anyone who knows me will agree with it. I don’t think I can be ME without books, without reading. I owe a lot to the books I have read, for moulding me into what I’m today. Being the absolute bookworm I am, I guess it’s only natural that books have been given the first place. I seriously can’t think of life without them!

Bliss, Ecstasy, Paradise...Whatever you call it!

2. Chocolates – I have always thought about writing a post on chocolates but never got around to doing it. So, now, I confess my undying love for chocolates. Whether I’m happy or sad, chocolates are one of the most basic things I crave for. I can’t explain the pure bliss I feel when I have one of those rich, brown wonderful chunks… I’d say they contain a piece of heaven! Such is the joy I get from them. Especially when I’m disturbed or depressed, they sooth my mind and calm me down magically. Chocolates mean incomparable joy to me!

3. Music – Music has been a significant part of my life, right from childhood. Back when I was in school, the moment I stepped into my room, I used to have music playing. I woke up listening to my favourite songs, went to sleep listening to them, and did pretty much everything (even homework and studying) with music in the background. Apart from chocolates, music is one awesome source of happiness for me. When I’m happy, I listen to all those peppy, fun songs that can make me feel good, help me celebrate the happiness. And music is equally powerful when it comes to pulling me up from the depths of sorrow. It can seriously work wonders for me. Life would be entirely unimaginable without music!

4. Family & Friends – This can be broadly labeled ‘people whom I love’. I don’t know what I would do or how I could possibly live without my family and friends. It’s true that there may be many others who played a role in my life. But ask me who I can’t live without and I’ll definitely name my family (dad, mom and sisters) and my best friends. What would the world be without them? I don’t think I want to know! 🙂 While reading P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, I was intensely reminded of all of them. Just like Holly, the main character, I felt my family and friends are what strengthen me and support me through life. Love them a crazy LOT!

5. Love & Happiness – I wanted to include Internet (since it’s an awesome miracle that helps me stay in touch with those who matter and, of course, it lets me blog!) but this was far more important. And since I get to name only 5, I had to include happiness. It was too prominent to be ignored. So, I can’t live without love & happiness. How can anyone, for that matter? How do you live without being loved, without loving? Personally, I can’t exist (in the true sense) without feeling needed and loved. And, of course, I need to love, in order to feel alive. It is the most powerful emotion, a force that runs my life (and so many others’ too, I’m sure). I definitely CANNOT live without it.

Happiness is something that drives you on in life. All of us keep searching for it, in some way or the other. A good friend of mine always says that happiness comes from within; you need to find it by yourself, in yourself. Like thousands of other people, even I’m driven by happiness. Finding happiness is something like the ultimate destination all of us want to reach. It’s something I really cannot ignore…something I wouldn’t want to live without.If it weren’t for happiness, life would be a lot more meaningless than it already is, I think. 😀

So, there! Those were 5 things I can’t live without! This is a question I love asking others. I have heard answers as distinct as ‘my lifestyle’ and those as typical as ‘my phone’. As I was nearing the end of the list, I remembered some other possibilities, too (one of them being coffee – something I truly can’t live without). But none of them could outshine the above 5 in significance.So, what are the 5 things you can’t live without?