WEIGHTY ISSUES

Determination is the key but let your common sense judge whether you really need to go on a determined diet.

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Never have I ever thought that losing weight would be a source of my worry.

I’m not usually the kind who goes on multiple crash diets, exercises beyond normal capacity and frets over a mere two-pound weight gain because, hello, I’m not an aspiring model.

That said, I would be on tenterhooks if I start gaining weight over the two-pound limit because I might not be aiming to be the next Naomi Campbell but I still want to be able to wear all the pretty dresses and fit into my favourite jeans.

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In a nutshell, I’m just an average girl who tries her best to maintain her size without going overboard.

I did go overboard though and it happened over three months ago. I was motivated by one of my friends, who tried an effective low-calorie diet and high-intensity gym workouts to shed her “post-pregnancy weight”. It worked for her and I set out on following her footsteps.

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The only problem was there was no baby weight to lose for me. If anything, I was close to underweight. I just thought it would be fancy to shed a couple of pounds for an insignificant upcoming occasion at my natal home.

So when someone asked why I wasn’t having biryani for supper, I was prepared to stylishly say, ‘Oh, I’m on a low-carb diet,’ followed by a decent, self-satisfied smile.

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‘I just came home from a heavy workout. Phew!’ I threw that complacent statement at anyone who phoned me in the morning.

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‘You know I’m beginning to like oatmeal,’ I used to say, reluctantly gulping down the gooey gunge down my throat, because it sounded sophisticated and glamorous to my ears.

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Well, the oatmeal fantasy lasted just a day as it tasted like crap and smelled like cat vomit. (Sorry for the terrible picture I have painted)

So, basically, I’ve denied myself of everything I’ve loved for maybe . . . I don’t know . . . five days, perhaps. That’s the maximum number of days I could survive without my staple foods like rice, flatbread, yummy spicy curries and fatty, high-calorie laden desserts.

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At the end of the fifth day, one sentence from my aunt was enough to make me forget about my waistline.

‘This is the age when you’ll be able to eat everything you want. Don’t shun food. Gorge on all the dishes you like except for toxic ones like junk food, and then work out to burn those calories. You don’t even need all that heavy gym equipment for your body. One hour of walking or yoga will do.’

I quoted the whole dialogue for the sake of readers. My generous aunt lost me the moment she said, ‘Don’t shun food.’ That was the mild push I needed to stuff my face with the inviting chicken fritters and chocolate pastries in the refrigerator.

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Probably, a month later, one fine day, I climbed on the weighing scale to check my weight after noticing my outfits getting baggy. To my horror, it showed four pounds less than I used to be. I was worried because I stopped dieting two months ago and neglected exercise due to some engagements (mostly lazing around with books). So, the drastic fall in the number shocked me.

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I started feeling sick immediately. I told every one related to me about this and started making them worry too. To add to my woes, Google diagnosed me with about twenty-four diseases.

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So I braced myself for anything that might come my way, went to a departmental store, bought two Black Forest gateaux, two medium-sized boxes of Ferrero Rocher and a large bucket of chocolate ice cream.

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Hey, hey, hey, don’t judge me. I was trying to get my lost weight back so that Google could shove its prognosis up its virtual arse.

And I did. I got those four pounds back within four weeks. But honestly, even a stick would turn into a trunk if it eats nothing but creamy sugary desserts. But at least I can stop worrying for now.

So the moral of my story is—don’t go to extreme lengths to lose or gain weight. Let it happen naturally.

What I did was very unhealthy. The steps I took to lose weight for no proper reason—remember I wasn’t even overweight—and then the garbage I had to eat to gain the lost weight. Both were extremes and detrimental to my health.

If you want to lose those extra kilos, then follow a proper, healthy diet instead of starving yourself and straying from your habitual regime. Sweat it out instead of lolling around. Determination is the key but let your common sense judge whether you really need to go on a determined diet.

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In the same way, if you want to gain weight, don’t rely on sugared stuff that harms your health. Instead, increase your food portions and have homemade desserts made with brown sugar or date syrup, which are relatively healthy.

But that doesn’t mean you could skip your workout. Exercise doesn’t just burn calories; it also keeps you fit as a fiddle to be able to enjoy desserts even at the age of sixty.

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HEALTH IS WEALTH

 

HONEY, SHOW ME THE MONEY

So, here I am, despondent, after watching yet another pal of mine slip away.This raises the question – does money change people?

This raises the question – does money change people?

Unfortunately yes. But not everyone, of course. There are some sections of people who seem to think that they have conquered the world when they get a job or start earning. Well, there’s something that they are not earning though, and that’s respect.

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I’m not going to preach the banal stuff like “when you are unhappy, money doesn’t heal but friends do” because money certainly buys the expensive Häagen-Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream your soul pines for in order to gulp the sadness down. But what you need more importantly is a shoulder to cry on and a hand to stroke your back. Without those two, a person would truly be a paragon of poverty.

I have seen people who choose friends based on factors like looks, financial status, and popularity.

There was this acquaintance of mine who agreed to date a guy only after he confirmed that he owns a car. There was this childhood friend who worshipped a girl in her university class (despite being snubbed) just because she’s beautiful. And I can never forget the friendless gawky boy in my high school, who grew up to become an actor and even has a fan page now. During our reunion, the very people who bullied him and made him feel worthless ended up taking selfies with him.

The pattern disturbs me. If these are the factors on which a friendship rests, then I don’t want friends.

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I’m lucky enough to have some amazing friends, who have stuck by me through thick and thin; who have seen my worse and loved it; who brought out the best in me. I’m sure I would be phoning them even after thirty years and nothing will change. We would just become busier and more exhausted due to the added duties that come with age. But our affection towards each other will remain the same.

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Well, as for the passing clouds, who have ushered momentary fun into my life and left without a trace—I thank them for the precious memories and rewarding lessons.

So, this “pal” I’m talking about has decided that her old friends aren’t worth her attention. Maybe she’s in the process of making new ones or maybe she’s not. But the arrogant attitude she displayed made us all gape in shock—Is she the same innocent wide-eyed girl we met a decade ago?

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I did what I gotta do. I REMOVED HER FROM OUR MESSAGE GROUP. Sigh. It’s petty, I know but that’s my act of revenge. I had to take revenge because it’s my thing. I don’t leave a wrecked relationship without retribution especially when it jeopardizes my self-esteem.

I must have sufficiently spooked my readers by now but look at it this way; when a person whom you have regarded as a friend mocks your failures in front of other buddies, you have the basic responsibility to avenge your dignity.

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Money turns a person into a smug cat. They start believing that they need no one and set out by severing old ties one by one. This happens mostly to individuals who let the allure of wealth override conscience and let it take precedence over relationships.

I prefer to surround myself with people who would stay with me for the long haul rather than the ones who would judge me based on my accomplishments or the lack of them thereof.

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Choose the right friends and they’ll show you the meaning of joy.

 

 

 

TYPES OF PEOPLE (READ “PINHEADS”) AT A MOVIE THEATRE

Let me turn on my Hulk mode before I write this post. Click. Ting. Rawrrr . . .

Okay, I’m all set.

I have the worst luck ever. I don’t know about you guys but I have never not had a nerve-racking experience at a movie theatre, so much so that occasionally, I had to forgo watching the movie to meditate in my seat for a few minutes in order to restrain myself from murdering the babbling baboon by my side.

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Although not as frequent, I’m sure you too had such experiences at least once in your movie-watching life. I’m gonna break down the kinds of idiotic spoilsports we encounter and give them special categories so that, you know, it would be easier to curse them to my heart’s content and then pray to God to make their cinema experience as unpleasant as they have made mine.

  1. Loud eaters:

These are an irritating bunch because apart from stirring up my dormant appetite, they also disrupt the harmony of movie-watchers. Imagine a lady, who has already trespassed on your armrest, goes chomp chomp by your ear. As for me, that would send intense waves of fury into my brain and only a profound miracle would stop me from hurling her across the theatre.

There are eaters who do this:

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And then there are considerate creatures who eat like this:

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Guileless, noiseless and decent.

You see, it’s possible to create less noise while eating. I mean, I eat popcorn and slurp on Pepsi too but the sound doesn’t echo across the walls of the theatre or override the movie dialogues. That’s because I’m concerned about the people around me and would rather think twice than just unleash the rackety chewing powers of my jaws.

  1. Chatterboxes:

The basic motive behind me travelling thirty kilometers on my vehicle, fighting traffic, getting tan all over my face, honking desperately in the fear of being late and then getting angry looks from commuters for my actions, running to the ticket counter, or kiosk (in case of online booking), denying myself of popcorn because there are just five minutes left for the movie to start, and finally settling in my seat, is to actually watch the goddamn movie. Not to listen to Ms. Carly Carper’s grouches about her boring life. Well, if she finds her life boring then I would find it repelling because she’s just a stranger who happened to fall in the seat beside me and I would rather care about the troubles of a minor character in the movie playing in front of me.

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  1. Narrators:

There are some kind souls who offer to narrate the movie as it’s happening but here’s flash news—your services are unwanted if not infuriating.

‘So, the hero barges in now and catches the heroine flirting with his best friend.’

Well, thank you for that spoiler you sweet charming babykins, causer of all the din. I wish I could smother you with my handbag.

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I could patiently deal with pretty much anything or anyone but not spoilers. They make me question humanity. I mean, they can’t let people do something as simple as watching a movie in peace. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they all gang up together and set out on a mission to destroy world order.

Oh, I’m such a drama queen.

  1. Obsessive Smartphone Disorder sufferers:

These people truly make me hate smartphones more than ever. They don’t put them on silent/vibration mode. They can’t resist turning on their screen every two minutes to check if they’ve missed notifications. And they even have the guts to take a call and converse while the movie’s playing. How dare!

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Such dimwits should be banned ruthlessly. Well, we didn’t pay forty bucks to listen to some Joe Doakes’ tête-à-tête session over his phone. If I had the power, I would make everyone belonging to this category vanish into thin air every time they set foot in a movie theatre.

  1. Toddlers:

Aww, look at their innocent eyes boring into yours. Their laugh can melt even Voldemort’s heart and their cries can make you mewl. Oh, and look at them waddling in their squeaky shoes like penguins. Aren’t they adorable?

NO.

Not when this happens when I’m watching a movie. Not when the hero is about to deliver a punch dialogue and certainly not when my favourite song comes up.

What satisfaction do the parents get when they bring a highly nuisance-creating toddler to the cinema? It would turn into a punishment for them as well as fellow watchers. Why should we bear the brunt of their bad decision? And most of them don’t even have the minimum common sense to run towards the exit when the baby starts crying.

And I don’t even want to start about the kid who trots in squeaky shoes. What the hell?!!!!

I have nothing against the kids but it’s the parents I wish to counsel. They need lessons on sensibility 101.

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  1. The supposed jokers:

I saved the worst for last.

So, let me set the scene.

I’m all excited to watch the horror movie everyone’s raving about—the new Annabelle movie to be precise. When you’re watching a horror film, you expect absolute silence. That’s a given, right?

Now, enters a crackpot with his slightly sensible girlfriend (she would’ve been wholly sensible if it’s not for that dude) and where else would they sit but beside me.

I’m jinxed for my whole movie-watching life. This incident just confirmed my worst fears.

Anyway, I gear up to watch the movie I have heard so much about. I prepare to scream when the ghost pops. I start trembling with fear even before the movie title is displayed on the screen. My heart races in anticipation . . .

And then the nonsense begins. The witless guy starts his banter, which he thinks is funny but is just plain annoying. He might be doing that in order to impress his girl but I realize she’s far from dazzled by his ill-timed jokes. I even heard her whisper a “shut up!” but he’s persistent. And so am I in my tut-tutting, which I think would bring a change in him and turn him into a better person but nope. By the time, I make my last sound of disapproval to express my chagrin, the end credits roll.giphy (2)

Next time when I go to a movie, I’m carrying a gun with me.

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DOMINANCE DOESN’T EARN REVERENCE

We all have relatives who love to dominate and belittle anyone who is inferior to them. For some it’s elder sister, for many it’s husband, for most it’s mother-in-law, and for me, it’s my maternal aunt, who stops at nothing to feed her superiority complex.

She’s the youngest in the family and thereby she never got the chance to brandish her impudence quite often. And here I am fulfilling her needs.

So there I was perfectly lost in my own girly world of nail colors and clippers, when she trotted towards me with an air of superiority that’s unseen even in the meanest of bosses, and demanded me to clip and colour her nails. That was not where it ended. She wanted me to decorate her toenails too. And frankly, I didn’t find that offensive at all. What’s the big deal about touching toes of a family member? But when my grandma looked at her in surprise because she never ever coloured her nails, prompt came the condescending reply, ‘This is the time when I have to make the most of her services.’

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Services? Do I look like a slave to you, woman? What the hell do you think of yourself? Tell me that you can’t reach your toes with that belly of yours hanging in between, I’d be convinced; say you are not trained in colouring your nails as deftly as I do, I’d be honoured; but you want to use my services? I mean, yeah maybe she enjoys having her smelly paw over my face but at least she can be subtle about her awful intentions?

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I would so love to get your feet off my face, Aunt Meano.

Man, I need to make sure that our dates don’t clash when I pay the next visit to my parents’ because I can’t bear the sight of her dopey grin and domineering personality.

She makes me the butt of every inane joke she cracks, trivializes every contribution of mine towards helping my mom in household chores or whatever and also scoffs at the baggy shirts I wear for my comfort, seizing the opportunity to brag about her daughter’s dress choices.

This brings me to the topic of relevance – domination.

Why do we feel the need to dominate? Why don’t we treat everyone as our equal? Does it harm? Does it lower our status? If anything, it elevates our footing and we win big time in terms of respect.

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So, taking cases I’ve heard and seen into account, I deduce that the people who like to feel strong by exercising control over others do so because they’ve never experienced what it feels like. For example, if I were the youngest in the family, then everyone expects me to pay heed to them. I have no say in anything important because, you know, I’m still a kid. Being a sidekick has boundaries. I have to listen to whatever the older ones say. After being under someone’s thumb for so long, I’d feel the urge to see what bossing around feels like. And when the time arrives, I make full use of the newfound reins and don’t care what the person whom I regard as a minion thinks.

That’s exactly what’s happening to my aunt and to most of the people who love to dominate. Take a mother-in-law for instance. She has been bossed around by her own mom-in-law for so long that as soon as her daughter-in-law arrives, her mind flashes a bingo sign.

This is not the logic for everyone of course. I decoded the workings of a dominant person’s mind but it obviously doesn’t apply to the world at large. It’s just something I’ve noticed around.

Whatever the reason may be, each person deserves respect. Just because you are older and in higher position, it doesn’t mean you can toy around with underlings as if they are puppets. It might be sadistically uplifting but morally wrong. So wrong.

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Remember, everyone is important and should be treated with the same respect you expect to be treated with.

NOT WORTH IT

Recently, I’ve come across a new advertisement that has sent a rush of tears through my eyes because we all must’ve seen at least one of our loved ones do it. The familiarity made me choke at the visual. It was touching enough to give you nightmares and strong enough to not ignore.

The ad shows a man lying on the road in a pool of blood reminiscing his happiest moments one last time. The background music played during the montage that shows the man holding his son for the first time, teaching him to walk, playing with the toddler, is so haunting that it doesn’t stop playing in my head. And how did he end up lying in a comatose state, almost nearing death? It’s because of “one silly selfie”.

I was instantly alarmed at the possibility of my teenage cousins or selfie-obsessed best friend trying such feats when on their usual annual trips and immediately shared the poignant video on WhatsApp imploring them to never indulge in such foolish acts.

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Selfies have become a rage. I take them too. My phone is filled with thousands of them. But the thought of clicking myself while riding a bike or treading a particularly dangerous path over a cliff doesn’t even occur to me. Because I don’t want those to be my last selfies.

Is life so inexpensive? Are those trifling photographs worth frittering away the agonizing pain our mothers went through in order to bring us into this world? How would a father feel if he comes to know that his little daughter drowned in a pond while taking a selfie?

That momentary lapse of judgment, that single bad decision can cost one whole life. Yes, it’s important for us to treasure memories, but we don’t need something that has perils attached to it.

I mean a selfie on railway tracks while the train is speeding behind you? A snapshot in front of a burning bakery? You want to get clicked snuggling by a wild elephant? Really? We have to use technology as a source of information and as a means to bridge the gap between our loved ones and us. Not to end our lives prematurely.

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A particularly bad selfie taken far away from the beach. Not during the forceful pull of the waves that seems to attract many.

We’ve been blessed with something that no other species possesses—mind to think and intellect to perceive. But what are we using those virtues for?

We shouldn’t need ads to preach us not to take selfies while driving or in fact doing anything that requires a fair amount of focus and concentration. We must be able to learn those things ourselves and should preserve our precious lives like they deserve to be.

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It’s better if selfies taken in the car are restricted to the passenger seat.

By missing out on taking that one potentially dangerous selfie, you would make it to your graduation, your parents would get to see you shine at your wedding, your children could ride piggyback on you . . . There’s a lot more to look forward to in your lives. Don’t waste it away in the name of insignificant exploits.

 

TYPES OF BARGAINERS

The art of bargaining is mastered by a fortunate few, who are pushy enough to welcome the icy glares shopkeepers shoot at them, with a warm smile. Watching my mom haggle for years has given me the strength to muster courage and suppress dignity before entering the battlefield.

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Now, let’s see the types of bargainers that cause the seller’s blood pressure to surge.

  1. The sweet-talker.

That’s me, partially. Before stepping into a shop or bazaar, I strongly tell myself that my sweet, innocent beam and charming eyes work their magic and make the vendors fall in love with me temporarily, forcing them to sell the product for half the price. I so need a reality check. So, basically here’s how it goes.

‘Fifty bucks? Come on! Really?’ I squinch my eyes playfully as I twirl the object in my hand, not caring that it’s a glass item.

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‘Tell me the final price,’ I try. Giving up is not an option.

‘Ma’am, there are no discounts on this object. Please buy it or place it on the shelf.’

The first insult.

‘Man, at least make it thirty. The price is too high.’ The smile lingers on my lips unwaveringly. God, what is wrong with me? Zero cachet.

‘I’ll give it to you for forty-five.’

‘Done. Thank you so much.’ He adores me.

That’s creepy, right? First, I assure you that I’m not that desperate. Second, yeah those people exist.

  1. The hard-talker.

These people are rowdies who think they’re entitled to a discount on every single item available at the shop, including the cheapest one.

‘Huhhh? Five bucks for a pack of pens? Do you think I’m an idiot? Five bucks? You got to be joking. I’m not going to pay any more than one dollar,’ the eighteen-year-old ruffian stands beside me, hands crossed and giving the vendor a death-stare, while he moves on to the next customer.

‘Hellooo!’ she snaps her fingers. ‘Are you ignoring me? Do you know who I am and what I can do to your shop? Now hand me the pens.’

‘Five dollars, madam.’

The argument goes on for four hours and she doesn’t relent till the shopkeeper cuts a dollar from the original price.

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Eventually, he loses the will to live and sells the shop. Juuust kidding but that’s the impact the hard-talkers can have.

  1. The impulsive liar.

In India, we take the auto-rickshaw bargaining to a whole new level. To be honest, they tend to charge twice the actual fare and we have to be smart while tackling with them. I once got duped when the auto driver charged two-hundred rupees to take me to a railway station that was four kilometres away. Of course, I was a tourist and hence he lived to see another day.

So, this is where my mother steps in. Take her to any city in India, no matter how alien the place is, she’d fib to the driver that she’s a local and has been one ever since she was born.

‘You think I don’t know my way around here? I’ve been travelling by auto-rickshaw for about twenty years now. Don’t think you can con me. No. I came here for thirty rupees. How can you say that it costs 130 rupees to go back the same route?’

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Yeah, that’s Mom.

  1. The expectant.

Me, again.

Okay, sometimes I pray. And I also take oaths in the name of God. For that seller to call me back and offer the product for a price of my choice. So sue me. It’s not right for you guys to judge. I mean, it might be trivial for you but it’s a matter of faith for me.

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Paulo Coelho says that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I want to achieve that super-cute, blingy cell-phone case for 120 bucks because I can’t afford to pay the 200 the vendor is demanding. So, I pray. I crave for the midget shopman to call me back as I turn to leave. Or rather pretend to leave. I will him to realize that I’m the best he’s got and no one would shell out so much money on a stupid case. I implore to God that if he changes the man’s mind, I would fast on every Tuesday for one month.

And just like that, a young girl whooshes by and purchases the mobile case for 160 bucks.

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The pygmy of salesman victoriously counts the money with a contorted smile and a sidelong glance towards me.

I’ve truly lost my faith that day.

  1. The beggar.

These are the most common bargainers you see. They’re found everywhere and try their luck all over—at wholesale shops, retail stores, malls, branded showrooms, outlets, fetes, bazaars, etc.

‘Please, give it to me for two dollars. It’s just an eight-dollar difference. Please reduce the price. I’ll buy another six of these if you do it for me. And I’ll come here every time I step out to shop. Think about it, man. You gotta do it. You don’t understand, I just love this piece,’ the beseeching goes on till either the sales guy surrenders and throws the object at the customer’s face or files a harassment case.

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Haggling is fun and adventurous. But just make sure that you don’t see the seller’s face again for a really, really long time.

While staying on point, if you could get a product for low rates without the fuss of haggling, then wouldn’t it be lovely?

Here’s a sweet deal on Amazon where you could save 600 rupees on a mobile case.

Sparkling Trends Mercury Goospery Fancy Diary Wallet Flip Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy J7 Black Brown

Get this multi-functional mobile case worth 999 rupees for just 399 rupees.

The prices are subject to change along with time.

‘HUMAN’ITY

I’m not sure about the kind of response this post might garner given its polarity, but here it is.

Well, I’m a fierce animal lover. So much so that I could spend hours altogether at the pet store near my place. I cry like a baby when a dog dies in a movie but the heroine’s death would have no effect on me unless she delivers some mawkish dialogues before kicking the bucket. My heart fills with warmth when I see a puppy, no matter how soiled it is.

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But . . .

BUT . . . when it amounts to choosing one life in reality, human life takes precedence any time, you know, for obvious reasons. It’s an approach-approach conflict and a decision has to be made. I believe it should be in the favour of our own genus despite the fact that all life, no matter how small, is equally important.

So, some recent incidents had my blood boiling with . . . I don’t know . . . anger? Frustration? Or maybe vexation at the workings of certain human minds.

So yes, India has a stray dog problem and thousands of people incur rabies, dubbed to be the deadliest disease of all. And while the government tries to take proper measures, animal rights activists step in. But when the government fails to do anything to curb the plague, not a soul intercedes. And hence, poverty-stricken people and young children fall prey to the deplorable condition. While the disease is one plight, the animals acting as wild beasts and attacking, sometimes even killing unsuspecting pedestrians is another one. But no one cares because it’s okay for humans to die but when a feral gives out, it becomes a national issue.

In developed countries, stray animals are captured and put in shelters. In this way, they are neither a threat to humans nor pose danger to themselves and are very well taken care of. The society would be just the way it should be.

When animals outnumber humans and become a menace, the matter should be taken seriously with practicality. The so-called animal rights activists should step out of their air-conditioning rooms and spend one day amidst the snarling creatures that are hardwired to assault anyone traversing their territory. Only then would they know the wretched state of the street-dwellers and the impoverished.

Raise your voice for the protection of humans just like you do against animal cruelty. It only makes sense.

Another controversy that forced me to ponder about the existence of an organ called brain in some and made me wonder about its functionality is the gorilla killing last year at Cincinnati zoo and the public outrage it caused.

Okay, guys, repeat after me. HUMANS OVER ANIMALS. HUMANS OVER ANIMALS. HUMANS OVER ANIMALS! Not because we are dominant species and animals have no right to live peacefully on this planet. It’s due to the basic rationale. I mean, what would depress a bear more? The death of a cub or the demise of its human master? But why is it different in our case?

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Does that paint a safe picture?

It’s a little boy we’re talking about, for god’s sake. So, you’d risk the life of a three-year-old boy, who has a family, who might grow to become someone, who’d realize the dreams and aspirations his parents hold for him, in order to protect a seventeen-year-old gorilla. All the activists, who admonished the zoo staff—wow, did your grey matter take a vacation?

If you want to stage an outcry, do it for the short fence that allowed the child to slip through, do it for holding the poor animal in captive, but not for shooting it. No! It’s wrong.

We are programmed to love our own first. Let’s not change that inherent aspect in the name of illogical humanity towards animals. A line should be drawn. It’s okay to grieve Harambe’s death. I did too. But going as far as blaming the mother for not keeping an eye on her little one’s movements? Insensitive much?

Imagine your kid in that enclosure. Would you still express fury over the gorilla’s death? Picture yourself in front of the beast. I bet if you have a gun in your hands, you’d fire a hundred bullets straight into its head because when it comes down to you or your family, nothing matters. We should learn to co-exist keeping priorities in our minds.

I also detest people who try to preach others about the hazards—both health and spiritual—of consuming non-vegetarian food. I laugh at their attempts because I’m aware of the consequences of eating meat and they’re certainly not as adverse as it’s projected to be. If it’s really that bad, then my doctor would dictate my diet, not some compassionate zealot, who can’t stand to see a chicken get killed. I’m contributing to the circle of life . . . and also to my taste buds. No one has a right to comment or criticise anyone for that.

I don’t get it really, what do the enthusiasts gain by turning the whole world into vegans? Ugh, people!

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LOVE ANIMALS. BUT ALSO LOVE PEOPLE.

 

IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIMPORTANT

I’m writing this blog post in a sleep-deprived state. So, you could expect multiple declarations of love towards sleep.

The staggeringly gratifying feeling you get when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day—aahh

The amazing sensation of dwelling in slumberland as your anatomy relaxes after a tiring period—whoa

The tears of gratitude your exhausted eyes shed as you let them snooze—uplifting.

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Sleep is spiritual. We tend to take it for granted. For example, during the weekend, I watch movies endlessly and read books tirelessly, ignoring all sorts of pleads from my eyes. I go to bed feeling accomplished because yeah watching all my target movies and finishing the novel in hand are the primary goals of my life and they’re worth sacrificing the fundamental routine of my life.

So, what happens when I hit the hay late at night but have to wake up early in the morning?

It’s a battle of witless excuses that I give myself to feel less dumb and idiotic.

Okay, in my defense, the chapter ended in a cliffhanger.

The hero turns out to be the villain. How can I not watch a film like that despite the clock ticking to one?

I can be an hour late for work tomorrow. The company won’t shut down in crisis.

And the classic, Just five more minutes. 

I see myself doing that five hours from now.

But seriously, we take everything that comes to us easily with an air of negligence. Sometimes when there’s so much to do within so little time, I wish I were an insomniac. Just so I’d get a couple more hours. But ask an insomniac what it is to wait for that pure delight of daze that comes with sleep. Ask a wakeful student preparing for final exams, how it feels to be incapable of having a full night’s sleep before giving the test.

I should be careful what I wish for because clearly, I love sleep more than food and water. After a long, sleepless journey that lasted about eleven hours, I now want more to crash out rather than to eat or even perform ablutions.

We waste food, water, love, everything that we’re supposed to treasure. We perceive the most significant possessions in our lives as inconsequential.

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We are bestowed with the power to think. So spend a few minutes in retrospect and we’re bound to realize the mistakes we have made and have been making in terms of our choices and priorities. I did and became aware of the fact that there’s nothing and I mean nothing in this world that’s as important to me as sleep right now.

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Hey, hey, hey, before you judge me, to each his own.

Jokes apart, I think we’re born with the nasty attribute of ignoring the important things in our lives. Parents, for instance, are blatantly disregarded by their children in spite of the limitless love they shower on them. We come to sense their ubiquitous influence only during their absence and nothing can bring them back to the present. We can only cover the distance through various means of communication but can anything equal the comforting touch of Mom’s hand and edifying support of Dad’s shoulder?

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It’s important to prioritise and recognize the significant aspects of our lives because just like we take them for granted, they could evade us too when the time comes.

 

HOW TO PASS TIME AT AN AIRPORT

Thursday, here I come!

So, you have a few hours to kill at an airport. What do you do? Read a book, listen to music, play mobile games, sleep . . . enough with the obvious. Let’s see if there are any unconventional yet engaging ways in which we can while away the time.

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1. Observe.

A traveller without observation is a bird without wings. It’s a beautiful and meaningful quote by a famous poet named, Saadi. I don’t know what he had in mind when he said this but what I mean is to watch what people are wearing. So that you would be up-to-date on travel fashion trends. I gained immense knowledge from these observations. I didn’t know that romper suits were so in until I saw women strutting around in the airport, casually throwing glances at people to check whether they’re watching and admiring their attires.

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But, if you want to do something useful with your surveying skills, then you could scour for stories. People are an amazing source for stories.

An excited family of a husband, wife and a toddler taking numerous pictures and selfies in the airport indicates their debut air travel. The bright beams on their faces remind me of my first time—how rich and affluent it made me feel despite the commonness.

An old man, possibly a rishi, with a four-foot long plaited beard and five-foot long tresses matted in place, wearing a TAG Heuer watch.

A woman dropping onto the floor in order to feed her hungry baby. I guess motherhood makes one forget all inhibitions and inconveniences.

A burly man proudly twirling his moustache as if his whole life’s dignity lay in those tiny bristles of hair.

So much to see. So much to gather. And so many experiences.

2. Feed your tummy

My least favourite but most common pursuit of bored people at an airport is to eat. Humans are gluttons. Thankfully, I’m not much. I love food but not to the extent of filling myself up in order to occupy myself. But that’s one way of passing time.

You could try one food item in each stall at the food court and round it off with a cup of coffee before either time runs out or your stomach gives in, sending you sprinting towards the washroom. That should keep you engaged for a while.

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My personal advice is to eat healthy. Your travelling experience would be less uncomfortable, more nutritious and you’ll get on the plane with a happy digestive tract.

3. Window shop

This is my favourite. I love giving the shopkeepers at the super expensive duty-free stores a false hope that I’m going to buy their stuff. Like I’d burn that big a hole in my pocket. Sorry, I have better things to invest on.

Occasionally, I also stop to wonder how they manage to run a business with no customers. Even air shivers to enter the shops considering the price tags. Of course, just because I don’t see anyone when I enter a shop doesn’t mean no one buys their items. Just because I’m poor doesn’t mean everyone is. So, feel free to splurge. Or not. But the stuff’s cool so check them out.

4. Dwell in dreams

Okay, strike the above one. THIS is my favourite. I absolutely love to daydream, especially at an airport where there are chances, however slim, given my rotten luck, of spotting a filmstar and falling in love with him. Or rather making him fall in love with me, which is so easy-peasy in dreams.

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From the entrance walks in the man with the alluring eyes that have the same hypnotic effect off-screen. He eyes the only empty seat beside me and flops over it hesitantly. I feign ignorance over his celebrity status while the magazine I’m reading has him on the cover page. He takes it as a joke instead of viewing me as a foolish, fake creature because in dreams, even idiotic acts seem cute. In a quirk of fate, we end up sitting beside each other on the plane. And before I arrive to the part where he proposes to me, I hear the boarding call. See, hours gone by! I leave the rest of the story for another time and heave my hand luggage.

There’s something I never tried though. That is—visualise my goals and plan what my next step in my career or life is. Meh, I’m too immature for that. Next!

5. Help clueless passengers

Sometimes I receive a telepathic call from Mother Teresa. It’s no joke. She’s an inspiration for all and when stimulated, I try to emulate her in any tiny way I can. But don’t do it at the risk of missing your flight. Keep track of the clock and balance your benevolence accordingly.

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I woke up from a doze and realized that I was running late. I raced towards the immigration with the speed of an Olympiad and snatched an immigration form. I scratched illegibly and was about to hurry in the direction of the counter when a hapless woman, who couldn’t read or write, requested me to fill out her form. I obliged, albeit half-heartedly. Then before I even handed the paper back to the woman, another wretched old man, who looked like a midget came up for help. The boarding closed just as I finished filling out the form of the thirteenth person, who was a lady wrestling with a baby in her arms.

6. When all else fails, twiddle your thumbs

Bud, this is the only option left because there’s literally nothing else in this world that could engage you if everything mentioned above and the obvious ones stated in the beginning fail to do the job. Twiddling your thumbs isn’t boring, really. It keeps you occupied for about five minutes before you yawn and feel the urge to nap. Don’t forget to set the alarm, though.

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HUMAN HAMMERS

Humans are carpers. And it’s an immutable, unbearable trait.

A wedding is about to take place. The groom’s mother views the bride’s family with much contempt as the latter has decided to conduct the wedding at a small church and booked a medium-sized hall for the buffet. That’s all they can afford without sharing the costs; plus it was beyond the budget they have planned. But affines are never satisfied, are they? They just need that one thing to hold against you.

After the nuptials, the mother-in-law takes direct digs by griping about how her cachet among her high-society friends and relatives came down due to the economical wedding the girl’s family has managed to pull off. How the congested church made her feel claustrophobic. How the food items at the dinner were not properly garnished. How the chillies in the biryani were sliced too thin and also how the server didn’t smile at her. The girl took the offence in silence.

Now time comes for the mother-in-law to marry her daughter off. And she doesn’t pick any fancy beach resort or a backyard of a mansion as the venue. The wedding’s going to take place at her home—the cheapest option available.

I cited this example not to stereotype anyone. I wanted to pinpoint the kind of hypocrisy that prevails in majority of humans and how people take delight in hammering anyone that doesn’t share their DNA. But say one thing even remotely unfavourable to them, they would be glaring at you with fangs ready to sink into your throat. You can dish it out but you can’t take it.

Why are our thoughts and morals so warped? Our favourite pastime is to criticize. We condemn everyone for everything just to feel better about ourselves. God, why are we born this way? Why can’t we be more pure and acceptive?

The kind of people I’ve seen in my short existence so far has made me a cynic. I see a person spending as meagre as a cent on a birthday present to someone but expects to receive a gift worth one hundred dollars in return and if you don’t sate his anticipation, then get ready for some serious arraignment and bad-mouthing. Wow, doesn’t conscience dictate human thoughts and actions anymore? “We give, we take” is how life is supposed to be within a society. But I see more of “You give, I take” in people these days.

It’s important to take the other person into account always simply because we can’t spare the price of being an outcast, which would be the definite consequence of acting like an ass.

Expect the other to do what you would do in their shoes. You can’t aim to be treated like a queen while you view every other person as your minion. I see that most of them are not satisfied with what they have. They want additional, that too for free. Isn’t that nasty? You’re basically hoping to lick on someone else’s sweat. Produce your own sweat instead of being a parasite.

When you bundle up jobless people together all they do is gossip, pummel and slam with limitless ardour.

‘Mr. X doesn’t hold his wife’s hand in public. Things are not right between them. I give four months max.’

Maybe Mr. X is just shy and doesn’t like PDA.

‘Miss Jane had a tear in the dress she wore yesterday. She’s so broke.’

Probably, Jane didn’t notice the hole and unfortunately became the subject of your hole.

‘Mr. Y uses a basic phone despite being a millionaire. Such a cheapo.’

Perhaps, Mr. Y loves simplicity and doesn’t heed barking dogs.

Such is the dreadful situation. If you have nothing to do, then do nothing. But do not hammer. It hits very hard.

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