Winterlust

d6cb812a2bd19a2f4a9107df033404e9.jpgIt is that point in the year when “Just chill” is not a metaphor for relaxing your mind or a shady Salman Khan Song, but you are literally chilling. Ok, maybe this is a very bad one, but what the heck, I am freezing out here! After all, it’s that time of the year when the weather is colder than the Time’s person of the year. Erm..

Well, for people who call themselves true blue ‘Bambaiya’, let me define winter for you. Winter is this season when it feels like smog, but doesn’t kill like one. It’s that climate when you guys ask – Is 6 layers enough or should I change my body settings to “activate coal stove”?

Winter is like my most favourite time of the year! I mean what’s not to like about it! To begin with – It’s not hot. I rest my case.

Anything and everything that comes with it otherwise, is all bonus. Like the morning sunrise! Sunrise is anyway beautiful, but winter sunrise – Oh my! First things first – it happens decently late. So you don’t have to wake up five minutes after you have slept to see it. And when you are shivering in the morning cold, in midst of fog-striken environment, there it come up as rays of warmth – it the most beautiful feeling. That brings me to the second-most wonderful thing about his weather – Sleep! Long, long, long nights. What else does one want?

Actually, I am not going to treat that as a rhetoric question. One, or at least I also want food! And winter is practically equal to yummy, lip-smacking food! From hot chocolates, to barbeques, to peas and carrots, pies and cheese, gajak and ghevar, this is the best season to eat. The list can go on, though for someone who knows me will know I do not need a temperature update to make a list of food I love, but so what – winter it is this time! Ironically, weight-loss tips and tricks call this weather great for losing weight as well. Though, my one tip to you would be to not get tricked! I mean what’s the point of avoiding that hot jalebi on a beautiful cold morning – are you nuts?

It’s also so festive! I mean so what if all our share of festivals are done for the year – after all, Vasudev Kutumbakam. Christmas it is. Who wouldn’t want to be secular, if that only means it is yet another occasion to receive gifts, and eat Plum cake. Hell ya, I am secular. And a kid. And accept presents – you know, in case someone is in mood for spreading some love.

Well, as a girl who also has a commitment to write a few hundred words more, I also love winter for the clothes! Oh my God, don’t you girls think winter-wear is gorgeous!  Sorry, dear feminazi, aimed the question specifically at girls because we all know guys would prefer summer in that respect. D’uh!

PS – When you snuggle with hot chocolate, dunk some marshmallows into them. Thank me later. #ProTip

What Puts Happy In Diwali?

Diwali is here. I know this because “save the environment” talks are on an all-time high. Though not to mention everyone who says this owns at least three diesel fuming cars, and fourth is probably a Dhanteras gift. Touché.

Every time I breathe during Diwali, I know why Paranayam in this festive season is not the best idea! Smog also is the not the best idea if you want Laxmi to navigate till your house, you know! While I am at it, having an idea network definitely is the epitome of not-the-best-idea. In the meanwhile, people in Mumbai and likes consider this as fog, and enjoy it with pictures on Instagram – winters. <3. Touché.

happy-diwali-may-you-take-this-opportunity-to-unnecessarily-overuse-the-words-auspicious-prosperous-and-joyous-3b73cI think it’s just me, because everyone otherwise seems so happy! By everyone, I mean people starring in 27590 advertisements on every possible media platform, selling everything from a Beetle to a beetle. Though when Diwali falls on a month-end, it still is about one week away for it to become happy. Touché.

It’s not all bad though. Diwali is that once-a-year chance to catch up with neighbours and relatives, so that you can remind yourself why you only meet these people once a year. But I love some of these traditions, especially the fun ones wherein everyone gets together on festival to gamble! I mean why not? One of the drawbacks of meeting people is that they may ask you to tell which movie you’re watching, Shivaay or Aye Dil Hai Mushkil. While “Aye Dil Hai Mushkil” was really how KJo has been feeling for the past couple of weeks, I am not commenting on Shivaay, because – Haw!!! It’s a God’s name. If you are unable to decide your pick, then I suggest you flip a coin and gamble it away before it lands.

Well, if you are seriously thinking about avoiding watching ADHM because of Fawaad Khan, think twice! One, because he is so hot (blushes), and two, because you might as well support the “Say no to Chinese lanterns” campaign. While you are at it, don’t forget to not keep it only till the lanterns, and you will be surprised at the number of items that we use daily are actually from China. The real “agnipariksha” is always post Diwali festivities. Touché.

#Sandesh2soldiers is the flavour of the season. And it should be too. Never have so many, owed so much, to so few. But are we only paying lip service to them through #Sandesh2soldiers? Why is it that apart from battling Pakistani shelling and terrorists at the Line of Control, the army is also being forced to battle the bureaucracy in South Block in the “war for status”?

Well anyway, with all the “responsible” actions this Diwali, don’t forget to smile, enjoy and celebrate this festival! Its’ a festival of lights, crackers, dressing up and posting the false “this is INDIA from space” photo everywhere. Try not to spam other people’s WhatsApp with 1 km long messages. And girls, eat that chakli! After all, that’s what makes it a happy Diwali!

 

HOLY HAI!

What? Bible or Quran?

For once can we not be so feeble in our thoughts. How can anything that claims to unite, but only has proved to be a reason to divide time and again, be termed Holy?challenge

I was only talking about Water.

And not really about the “holy” rivers of our country, just because – as the legend goes- some drops of Amrit fell in them a few centuries ago! But if that is what makes you save our rivers, so be it!

And you know what, I will tell you a secret that they will never tell you. Water, Air, Earth are holy not only on festivals or certain days but every day! Oh yes, every-single-day! Can you believe it? – Market mein naya hai, jaldi forward karo!

Why is it that in last few years, our hidden-environment-enthusiast pops up for the birds during Sankranti, water during Holi, Air and noise pollution during Diwali? Because, in olden times people used the resources judiciously and lived frugally every day and celebrated elaborately, whereas today, we live like we own the planet every day, and celebrate “judiciously”. True story.

We all know this week saw two of the most contradictory days “celebrated” one after the other. We all endorsed save water, and took an oath to do so on World Water Day. Oh, but how can we help it if it was so badly timed, only two days before Holi – and like any New Years’ resolution, even this one didn’t stick around even for 48 hours! All of us enjoyed Holi, and if anyone tried to remind us about our conscience around water scarcity, we coloured them saying – Bura na mano, Holi hai! Actually not all of us. Because some of us at Nashik are still awaiting our turn to play colours on Monday! Oh yes, there was a Raj Thackeray even in those days, who decided we won’t play colours on the same day as Biharis.

I for one am not a very enthusiastic endorser of “water-less Holi”. Firstly, if you play only with dry colours, it is going to take you all that water you were trying to save, to get that Chinese powder off your body! And secondly, I don’t have proper statistics right now, but I am sure by not playing Holi, we may consume not more than 5% more water than on a normal day – when we swim in our private swimming pool, followed by a relaxing tub bath, getting ready just in time to attend the rain shower party a friend’s small wedding function of only 1000 people! Phew. That’s such a tedious relaxation routine, that one may need to go to Dubai and book a villa next to the man-made beach as a relaxing holiday from this relaxation routine! Oh, did I mention all this wastage, oops usage, is only for relaxation?

The point is, let’s leave our hypocrisy at home on festivals, and adopt a sustainable lifestyle each day, every day. Our yesterday’s lesson – the planet is dying- is today’s reality! We don’t have any more time!

The well cannot get any drier.

The reality cannot strike any harder.

But alas, we aren’t growing any wiser!

Santa Claus(e)

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So what did you get for Christmas?

I think the whole charm of Christmas in India is about the thought of getting something for free! Christmas is synonymous to Santa Claus here.
Though Santa may take a while to locate your residence in the increasing pollution in our city, but you know, he will figure out. Anyway, he isn’t used to the heat in our country, but such dedication! Always manages to put a few candies in that old stretched stocking on your bed! Aww our parents! First they spoil us and then complain we aren’t prepared for life! Such cuteness.

But in this festive season, we see them everywhere – probably more here in India than the west! Walking on streets, at Christmas parties, hotels, malls – they are at all places where people can afford a Santa Claus! Some of them could look like they could do well with some goodies themselves, but nevertheless, putting smile on faces of little brats.

It is a mass gift exchange season, with secret Santa played in every office- the epitome of which was a social media secret Santa, which essentially thrived on the idea of you gifting something to one person, and receiving 36 in return! Whoa, that is some enthusiasm in receiving gifts!

Some people do not believe in a Santa Claus, but believe in being a Santa Claus! There are people who go to orphanages, or school for disabled and spend time with them. While some others donate blood. Everyone finds their way of expression, their own way of being a Santa for someone else.

But even that essentially is a part of feeling great about oneself, if you know what I mean. Its great people are doing all sorts of things for others, but has no meaning if they expect a return favour some other day! Selflessness has just become another word in the dictionary, which is more fiction than fact.

Having said this, I have some experience in the rural sector, and know that getting something for free has done more harm than good! People get so used to receiving something, that they stop working, and wait for things to come to them! This, in the long run, is quite damaging to our society, and is not how a healthy society works! We know value of things, only if we earn it, and not if we get it. This year’s hot Christmas proves how since nature is free and abundant we hardly care. Look at what we have done to our climate!

Something that is true beyond all age groups, races, communities, and countries is:

Everyone wants a fantastic job, but no one wants to suffer 60 hours/week.
Everyone wants a happy marriage, but no one wants to sacrifice.
Everyone wants an amazing physique, but no one wants to sweat it out.
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.

But you know, as the story goes, even Santa gifts the child who has been good all year. No wonder they say,
“Nothing comes easy in life, even Santa comes with a clause.”