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and food and vacations, too.

Month: January 2017

How To Lose A Girl In Ten Days

So it was one late winter evening when I decided to Netflix and chill and landed on How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days. There’s something about romantic comedies that warms up my heart. You know, the warm fuzzy feeling. The one which reinstates your belief in love, no matter how skewed your idea of love is?

We all have seen movies where the girlfriends/wives are clingy, whiny and perpetually suspicious of their boyfriends/husbands. (For the sake of convenience, I’ll henceforth write only girlfriends and boyfriends.)

But what about boyfriends? Obviously, it takes two to make a relationship work, right?

In this day of technology, where cheating, even if it is emotionally, is so easy, here are a few ways to lose your girl.

  1. Take her for granted. Everyone loves the chase. The part where you both are getting to know each other, and there’s the thrill of new romance. But once she says yes, the excitement is gone. Flirting with her comes down and flirting with other women increases. “I’m only flirting with them, but I love you,” they say. Naah, doesn’t work that way. Not cool. There will be a time till which she will let it go because she doesn’t want to come across as clingy, suspicious girlfriend, but one fine day, when things get too much to handle, she will lose her interest in you. Before you know it, she will shrug and move on.
  2. Keep doing things she explicitly says she doesn’t like because, ‘my life, my rules’. Yes, your life, your rules, but it is okay for each of you to bend your rules a little to adjust for each other. If you aren’t ready to change a little for her, well, she isn’t ready either. As I said, don’t take her for granted.
  3. “I will leave you” threat. Well, then, just do. Make it easier for her to move on with her life without having a jerk like you in her life. No one deserves love with comes with a condition that if you displease me, I will leave you lurking over the head all the time. Relationships should come with some sort of emotional security. This isn’t it. And trust me, before you leave her, she will leave you.
  4. Hiding relationship from friends. Hopefully, someone will put some sense into her head and tell her that it is a red flag when he refuses to acknowledge her as an important part of his life and she will gather her dignity and move on. Also, don’t lie. She knows you’re lying, but is overlooking it because, well, love is blind and makes really smart people act stupidly.
  5. Lack of communication. Are you around when she needs you as an emotional support? Do you always put her down if she has a differing opinion? Do you believe in raking up past issues and things that hurt her? Do you deliberately choose to say hurtful things to her because she doesn’t like it? Well, breaking news: you will lose her.

These are the very basic decent things someone expects in a relationship, but over the last few years I have generally observed these around me and you’d be surprised how a lot of men mess things up for themselves.

Don’t be that guy.

In Fond Memory of Kaali

RIP, Kaali

I was 2 years old when a cousin put his ferocious barking doberman in my lap. Blondie, the stupid dog, barked so close to my face that I was traumatised. They say dogs can sense fear, I was so scared of dogs, I could sense a dog from 2 kms away and change my route. As a family, too, we never took too well to dogs.

Over a year back, a stray dog from 5 lanes away started living in our lane. She would wag her tail whenever she saw any of us. She would see me take a turn in the lane and run happily towards me, wagging her tail, hopeful. She never jumped on me or even barked at me. She was just genuinely happy to see me.

A few weeks later, she started sleeping at our house, in the compound. Since she didn’t poop inside the compound, my extremely finicky mother was okay with her being in the same house. She was fondly named Kaali by our maid’s son because she had black fur. The name stuck. (mind well, even the maid and her family isn’t too fond of dogs, mostly look at them as nuisance, as most strays are.) Kaali was old. Her whiskers had started getting white.

Few more weeks passed, and after we saw she drinks water from the pot we kept for birds during summer, we started giving her milk. 1 saucer milk, 4 times a day. Twice by us, twice by our maid because she felt like.

Kaali happily kept wagging her tail at all of us.

She once chewed on mummy’s Scholl footwear during monsoon. Mummy laughed it off and offered her another shoe from the pair for her to chew on.

She had 3 spots in the compound wall from where she would jump in and out of the house. We removed the flowerpots from those 3 spots so she could jump in and out easily.

Our neighbour’s 1 year old kid would come home just to see her. He would sit in front of her and talk to her in a language guess only two of them understood.

Few weeks back, when it started getting colder, we made a blanket for her. So she can sleep on it (because floor is made of marble/granite, which gets colder, and she needs to be warm, you know. Ahmedabad’s windy winters are harsh).

On Monday, she started making wailing sounds. She looked like she was in tremendous pain. Our heart broke. We are very, very clueless on how to take care of dogs. She wasn’t a pet, you know.

We reached out to trusts, vets and they came 4 times in last 4 days. Tried to give her injections, but her health deteriorated. Today afternoon, she breathed her last.

It broke my heart a million times over.

Today when I got home, Kaali didn’t run towards me wagging her tail. She never will.

True, she was never our pet. We were her humans.

We didn’t choose her. She chose us.

Dear Kaali, you were amazing. Thank you for being part of our lives. Hope you find peace, wherever you are.

Nationalism Is Not Overrated

30th December, 2016. India Pakistan Wagah Border.

Enroute

It was 20 minutes past midnight on 29th December when a bunch of us looked up train tickets to Amritsar and booked Tatkal tickets for the next day from Delhi. Somehow managed to get them confirmed for next day and I was still unable to fathom what exactly just happened.

Our train to Amritsar left New Delhi station on time, but on the way, especially after it crossed Jalandhar, it kept getting delayed. While it was the fog and some technical issued of the train ahead of us which delayed our journey, I firmly believe it was the fact that my friend kept checking train schedule that kept delaying us.

We reached Amritsar at 2:30 am on 30th December and it was covered in thickest of fog I have ever seen. If I wasn’t too zapped and taking in the fog (I come from Amdavad, where fog looks more like fumigating smoke), soaking in the smell of Amritsar, I’d have scared out of my wits to witness this fog. This is what they mean by zero visibility.

Leaving aside the random Laal Mata temple visit which scarred me for life, let me proceed towards the Wagah Border experience.

One KM

At this point, Lahore is 23 kms from where we stand. Standing there, reading the board, gave me goosebumps. How the arbitrarily drawn line has become the matter of tension between two nations which were once one.

We were sitting on the ground, in the first row. You have to be there physically, to witness one of the most thrilling 30 minutes of your life. There is one gate, with India written on it, one sliding gate between two countries and beyond it, another gate with Pakistan written on it.

India

Before the ceremony, both sides of the border are filled with nationalistic slogans, each trying to be louder than the counterpart. If Indian side shouted Vande Mataram, Pakistanis responded with Jeevey Jeevey Pakistan. India shouted Hindustan Zindabad and it was replied with Pakistan Zindabad from the other side.

The Border Security Force is the first line of defence from the Indian side. They guard the border and also conduct the beating retreat. The show of power, strength and aggression, there is no way your heart wouldn’t swell with pride.

A realisation sinks in that people really do stay up, guarding the border, for you, while you sleep peacefully in the comfort of your home.

Towards the end, they lower the flags of both the nations and they are taken away with utmost respect. That time, my eyes welled up a little.

Nationalism cannot, and should not be enforced upon anyone, but if if you ever get a chance, do visit this place. A lot of people have died for the air of freedom you breathe. Never take it for granted, ever.

Welcome to India

Nationalism is not overrated. Despite all the flaws, all the wrong things the country has to offer, I’d still love the country with all my heart.

I’ll gladly take a bullet for you, India.

Jai Hind.