Posted in Reality, Uncategorized

Do no HARM, but Take no S**t

 

        When you are almost touching your twenties, you realize that life is not half the fairytale we were made to believe as kids. In fact, it is twice more difficult than you figured at age 16.

            Now, I am not in any way implying that it is dreadful to say the least, but we all do have our fair share of nuisances that we just never learn to deal with. For me, it is the constant conflict between how much is too good and how good is too bad.

            This thought arose when I realized that the world works on a simple principle: Feed off of the Weak. Any sign of weakness and they will pounce on you like lions on raw meat. When I dwelled a little deeper, it became clearer. On our planet, being nice is almost synonymous with being weak.

            While I believed that it didn’t cost a dime to always be kind to every single person, I grew up to notice that there was always someone who would take advantage of that. Other than that, though we were made to believe that the nice ones won at life, the reality is that they don’t always get the respect along the way.

            For example:

  • Person A talks in a restaurant without any superiority in his voice. He is kind and considerate. However, most of the times, he gets an indifferent or unsmiling response with simple ‘hmm…s’ and ungrateful nods. Where is the pride coming from?
  • If Person B talks in a restaurant with whistles and harsh tones, he most definitely ends up receiving courteous treatment. Why? Were they brutally shown their place in the food chain? Was authority and hierarchy far more acceptable than kindness? Is this correct?

Nevertheless, I am of the firm belief that though you may have the upper hand and command, there is no need to be rude or offensive to anyone.

            Having experienced this a lot recently, I wondered why being the good girl meant that I could be dumped on and being the bad girl meant that I had a habit of snapping! Especially when it came to small work projects, putting my foot down meant that I was not interested. Does standing up for your integrity mean nothing anymore?  

            But I was facing a conflict. There are so many brilliant people who have achieved tremendous success without deterring from their path of being good, not ethically but morally speaking. So due to some negative people, would it be right for me to stoop down and act as they did- proud with feigned bravado?

            The answer was a definite no. Being good may not equal receiving good treatment, but at least at the end of the day, no one would have the audacity to point a dirty finger at me. But being good also includes standing up for yourself against an oppressor. No harm no foul in hammering a person who can afford to be knocked down a peg or two.

            With these clashing ideologies of whether being good is good or bad, I changed my motto and outlook on people and situations-

Win the World With Kindness

&

Do no Harm, but Take no S**t

Everyone began falling in place after that! However, my question though answered, remains a baffling mystery to me… how much is too good and how good is too bad….?

But like one song rightly said-

“Anybody can be bad to you…you need a good girl to blow your mind!”

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Posted in Europe, Travel, Uncategorized

My European Experience

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We flew over the Swiss Alps and glided down the sparkling Lake Geneva laced with wooden cottages, only to land within a few minutes in cloudy Geneva, Switzerland. The moment our foot was out of the airplane, the cold breeze hit us, and we knew, we had touched down in Europe. From 40 to 4 degrees, the drop in temperature felt like pure bliss.

We had an immediate train to Interlaken via Bern, and were mortified that there was just a 6 minute time gap to switch platforms. So as our practice for Indian local trains goes, we pushed through the crowd with our bags and dashed into the train only to realize we had 2 minutes to spare. The process was so smooth due to clear directions and instructions on the platform. From then on we learnt that this country had tremendous value for one’s time and we were never worried. Whether it be Switzerland or Paris, their Public Transportation is extremely efficient. Every second is taken into consideration and every single bus, train, etc. is right on schedule. In the small cities of Switzerland, it takes you about a day to figure out their entire transport system. After that, moving around is a piece of cake.

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We longed to see the European beauty and that was the first thing that we noticed. Interlaken welcomed us with lush green carpets with grazing cows, snow-clad peaks, vintage houses with the brightest blooming flowers, lakes and so much more. And since we were travelling on our own, we had the leisure to spend hours appreciating the surreal beauty. The creative and aesthetic sense is ingrained in each individual person and so every home.

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The experience to the Top of Europe- the Jungfraujoch Peak (11,371 ft.) was more than thrilling, but it was crammed with tourists. Even though we enjoyed playing in the magnificent snow, the real splendor lay in the small villages down below.

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We were loving their country, but it lacks a certain warmth which is felt in our own. Though the people there do help you when needed, they have a tendency to look down at foreigners, especially if we do not speak their native language. So when we hunt down an Indian restaurant after getting tired of their sandwiches and other foods bland to our palate, we expected some brotherly treatment, but were sadly disappointed by the indifference displayed by the Indian owner to his own people.

After experiencing the magical land of Interlaken, Luzern city suddenly felt very commercial to us, though we enjoyed the boat cruises and walks on the Kapellbrücke. The same applied to Paris. Paris- a City of Lights, felt much like Mumbai at first sight. Crowded and Chaotic. However, the TGV train that ran at a speed touching 330 km/hr, took us from Basel, Switzerland to Paris. An experience that shouldn’t be missed.

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Other than the Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe, Louvre museum and other mesmerizing structures, Paris is adorned with stunning old buildings, sculptures and monuments.  For those who love high end shopping, Champs-Élysées is your paradise.

You do grow to love their fast paced lives in their underground metros in just a few days. These places had a unique feel to them that made the departure so much harder. You just have to love it.

Switzerland is blessed with God-given natural benefits. After seeing their massive fresh-water lakes for two weeks which constantly get refilled by the downpour, it was very disheartening to see the dry, slum-covered landscape while landing in Mumbai. But nevertheless, we felt proud when the airhostess announced, ‘All Indian Passengers flying with us, Welcome Home!’

It was a fabulous experience, and the first vadapaav after hitting the Highway to Pune put a cherry on the top.

Things to remember-

  • Buy the Swiss Pass for Switzerland which gives you access to every transport facility, including boat cruises.
  • After trying all their delicacies, you do miss our food (especially the vegetarians), so carry instant food packets from home. Buy small yogurt packs and bananas from their local stores to have during outings.
  • Carry an umbrella and a jacket at all times as it may start raining anytime.
  • Book all your tickets (eg. Disneyland, Louvre, etc.) from India itself to avoid the painfully huge lines there.
  • Grab their local maps and explore adjoining cities on adventure sprees.

 

In the end, we came back with a bucket full of memories to last us a lifetime. And though India welcomed us back home, we carried a little piece of the beautiful Europe with us!

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Posted in College, Funny, Uncategorized

1st DAY MADNESS

1st DAY MADNESS…

(Junior College as it is!)

 

The excitement, fear, confusion, anticipation and exhilaration pretty much sums up all the emotions that surge through a student on the first day of JUNIOR COLLEGE! As the transition from school to college marks our first milestone into the real world, the first day can be quite an electrifying and daunting adventure. Here are some of the things we all face on our first day as a college student!

  • THE SCHOOL SCENT:

Freshly out of school, none of us have any idea as to how college life is. We enter the college campus and are slightly mortified to see students sans the discipline! We are so used to being monitored by teachers or prefects all the time that this new found freedom becomes a bit of a challenge to handle at first. Nevertheless, it scripts our first stage of the journey from schooling to college life!

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  • PUSHED AND SHOVED:

We, the newbies, the novices, the newcomers are naïve in the territory of the seniors! We still haven’t figured out the route to our classes, we don’t know where all the stairwells lead to, we don’t know any teachers, and hell, we don’t have the liberty to depend on our friends who are sailing in the same boat as we are. So what do we do? We just go with the flow, get trampled by the seniors who are perhaps annoyed with our disruptive presence and try to maintain our cool till we figure out our way!

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  • THE AWKWARDNESS:

Raise your hands if this has happened to you- no one knows who the class teacher is and everybody is nervous and jumpy as it is. So you have managed to reach your class, you wait outside the door, you fidget with your clothes, take a reassuring breath and march into the classroom, hoping to see some known faces. But the minute you are inside those four walls, all the students who are already seated mistake you to be the teacher for a couple of seconds and stare at you as they get tensed up. Getting uncomfortable due to their overwhelming stare and the awkwardness of ‘Everybody is looking at me’, you forget about finding a good seat and instead touch down on the first empty spot that you can lay your eyes on!

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  • THE JUDGEMENT DAY:

Now that you are seated in class, you notice that some people have already formed their groups or are with their school friends and see them blabbering away. So you start making small talk to the ones seated nearest to you, selecting the ones that you think could make good friends and cunningly avoiding those who annoy you. This goes on until the first teacher, mostly your class teacher, enters the classroom. One by one different professors introduce themselves to you and you go on making a mental note of the ones you like, the ones that scare the (pick your word) out of you, the ones that are dull, the ones who manage to make you laugh and so on…the first day is almost a snap judgment day! (P.S. your opinions go on changing throughout the year!)

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  • AN EMOTIONAL TURBULENCE:

Then comes the break time which unleashes a whole new set of questions for you! ‘Should I open my dabba and eat in class, or would that look really uncool? Should I just take a trip to the canteen and find out what all it has to offer? But who do I go with? What if there is too much of a crowd in the canteen and I don’t make it back in time for my next lecture? I don’t want to be bunking my lectures on the first day! Oh dear, the people I just met want to go to the canteen of another college on the very first day!! I really don’t want to go, but if I deny, I will have lost friends before I have even made any. Forget it, I lost my appetite. Now where is the washroom? Better go answer natures call beforehand as I don’t want to ask for permission to use the restroom in the middle of any lecture; that would be embarrassing… Oh snap, the breaks over! Sigh.’

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  • TRY TRY TILL YOU ACCEPT DEFEAT:

You had expected the first day to be as smooth as a baby’s butt. You were excited at the thought of finding new friends but you just managed to get a few acquaintances! You start questioning if you chose the right college for yourself. You even wonder if it’s too late to run for it and get admission into another one. You come home with a heavy heart and worry that you are going to have to hit repeat every day. (Trust me, it gets better than you could have ever expected when you find your perfect gang of friends!)

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  • THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAPTER:

Whether the first day was a piece of cake for you or a challenge in itself, it would be a day you would remember at the end of twelfth and think to yourself, “Junior college was such an amazing phase of my life, I would gladly go back to that difficult first day, just to live it all again!”

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Well that’s how it went for me! But to those of you who had a fantastic first day, kudos! You did well kid.