You’re never gonna go if you don’t go now

November has come to an end. And what a memorable month it has turned out to be! ๐Ÿ™‚

Starting off the month annoyed with the severe cold and my inability to even speak in a normal tone. Thank you *people who had to listen to my terrible voice* for tolerating my rough, high pitched “noise”. Meeting friends before I leave for Pune. Followed by Diwali celebrations. Celebrated with happiness and fireworks after many years! After which came my move to Pune. This is an update for November – events after my parents left Pune. Planning to do one every month.

November, a month of many firsts. I am glad I decided to move in here. Argh. There is so much to put in! Cutting down a lot to keep this short enough for me to complete. Its 2 AM and I am sleepy.

There are a lot of positive stuff mentioned here. Forgive me for being an optimist here. Another first! ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s begin!

The number of birds I see/listen to in a day here is equal to the number of birds I see/listen to in a month in Bangalore. Some I find perched on the window sills of my room in the morning, many of them at my office campus and a lot many perched on electric wires and atop a building near my PG. Every time I bend in to view a bird closely it flies away :/ I won’t hurt you little birdy. Why you no stay still for me? *

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Birds perched atop buildings *

I paid a visit to Pagoda, at Hanuman Tekdi, for which I hailed a cab (On another note Avoid going here alone or on secluded afternoons, go for early morning visit and in a group). I am not the kind of person who ever engages in small talks. Never. Ever. It’s me blabbering all over or silence. There is no middle ground. I try to break character and start speaking to the cab driver. Asking trivial questions about Pune. It turned out to be extremely informative for someone who is new to the city. Also he was extremely kind. I always imagine cab drivers to be horrible humans because one or two bad experiences I had. I should absolutely shun believes of mine without collecting proper sample space for analysis. The ride was almost an hour long so we had quite lot of topics covered. The mystery of traffic signals being one of them. He explained that each set of traffic lights were meant for each lane. I told him the same job could be done with a single traffic light and he informed me that a single traffic light would not be efficient in informing the crowd about the course of traffic. Something along the lines of the road being too broad for a single traffic light to fall in the angle of vision of all drivers. This includes a dedicated traffic light for the PMPML buses as they have seperate section allocated to them. Only PMPML buses are allowed to ride through these sections, with exceptions of ambulances. They make for a great corridor for quick transport of patients. No traffic, no honks, no delays. Couldn’t agree more on it. However, these sections for buses are built only for the extended city. As far as I have seen, old Pune doesn’t have these special road sections. So the problem isn’t solved, yet worked on to a great extent.

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Halfway Hanuman Tekdi

Traffic Signal System

Traffic signals – Taken from Google Images *

I needed to buy a coffee mug. I looked around quite a few places for a specific kind of mug, but was unable to find one to my satisfaction. Until I saw a gift shop with few coffee mugs kept on the display. I entered and asked a representative to direct me to the coffee mug section. I chose one and placed the mug on the counter and asked the representative to bill it. She asked me which colour of gift wrapper I would like. I informed her that the mug was for me and that I didn’t want it gift wrapped. She was trying to cajole me into getting the gift wrap done while preparing the bill. Something else in the store caught my eye and I went to a different section of the store. On my return the coffee mug was gift wrapped and the representative said that it’s a gift from her to me*. It was a pleasant gesture. It made my day. Small things matter ๐Ÿ™‚

Visited Dagaduseth Halwai Ganapathi Temple. Twice! The most famous temple here. A must visit if you ever set foot in Pune. After making your way through the long winding queue head over to Veg Restaurant calm down your growling stomach. A tiny restaurant with quality, tasty and hygienic food at a very reasonable and affordable price. I am so used to being charged exorbitant prizes at restaurants the carryout quality service that I was shocked to see such a low value on my bill.

The restaurant is on a busy shopping street near the temple. Great place for street shopping and books*! Got myself started on a shopping spree when my companion duly and literally pulled me away and put an end to my instinctive purchases. ๐Ÿ˜›

Ahh.. Saw these while street shopping… Just when you thought you had seen it all… Emoji earrings. Never heard that coming, huh?

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Earring emoji XD

The buses here are different from the ones in Bangalore*. Allow me to list out the differences:-

BMTC

PMPML

Two doors Three doors
Two one side of the bus Two on one side of the bus. One on the opposite side.
Doors on either end of the bus or in the middle Doors on the either ends of bus and in the middle
Platform for stepping into the bus too high Low platform for ease of
Restricted seating for male and female โ€“ Excluding Volvo buses Unrestricted seating
Whistling or variations of โ€œRight! Right!โ€ for signalling bus halt or start ๐Ÿ˜› Bell at the entrance of bus used for signalling bus halt or start
Cushioned seats Plastic seats (As far as I have seen)

Some autos have their rear view mirrors facing inwards. I have no idea why. My friend suggested it might be cause there are lesser chances of the mirrors breaking off due to collision with other vehicles. I am not sure. Should have spoken to the auto driver. Dumb me. Dammit! It takes time to break character!

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Rear view mirror facing inward

I got a chance to attend a hindustani classical recital and a JAM session at a music school. Which were amazing! Looking forward to attend some more of these sessions.

In the middle of all this chaos I got to spend time with my mom. Every night leading to my move to PG she would pat me and put me to sleep. She knows exactly what I would do without supervision. She advised me on a number of things, some I was happy to hear from her, some I wasn’t. I nodded my head in agreement for both. I knew her worry for me was justified. Beneath all this worry was love, my well being and affection. Stay well and be happy, those were my mother’s parting words. And seriously what else do mother’s ask for? There is no one in this world who will love you more than your mother. Keep her happy if you can’t make her proud. Small goals.

Sing Street has a wonderful sound track. Please go out and check the album. Go now is a specific favourite of mine. The lyrics are great and so is the composition.

We enter the month of December – the last month of the year. What adventures will it bring?

* I am sorry I don’t have a pic for this. Camera is probably the least used app on my phone. I should start clicking photos. I will keep it in mind.

Go now! Shoo!

You’re never gonna go if you don’t go now…

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Pune!

It’s been more than two years that I graduated and started working at a startup. I had the opportunity to work with a enthusiastic and fun loving team on boring, challenging and interesting projects alike. It had been over two years and I needed some change… Change from the monotonous bus rides to and from home, change from the snail paced traffic, change from my work, change in my surroundings, change in my routine… Basically, a change in everything. I had been trying to get a new job for quite sometime. Last month I resigned from my job at Bangalore and earlier this month I moved to Pune.

When I first set foot in Pune I had this huge grin plastered across my face. It remained that way throughout our ride to the hotel, punctuated with exclamations of amaze and surprise as I viewed the city’s movement and landscape. The huge-broad roads, minimal traffic with no honks, puzzling presence of multiple traffic lights at one signal (I still don’t get why), two way movement of traffic, mysterious sculptures at junctions, dilapidated buses, aged buildings, the huge government offices and their compounds, the heat (in the beginning of November), numerous billboards featuring ads of various housing projects and the sheer number of flats stationed on either side of the road. People here are accustomed to converse both in Hindi and Marathi, so no issues there. Even though November (a time when most states in the country shiver with cold) is about to end there are no hints of winter here.

We freshened up at the hotel. Mom, dad and I set out on a hunting spree for a PG (Paying Guest accommodation) near my office. We located the company after which we searched the surrounding places for a PG. I was shocked looking at the condition of PGs here. Most PGs were accommodations for ladies and gents. My parents and I had unanimously opted to look for and stay at an all ladies PG. I was aware of this fact prior to “the hunt”, however my parents weren’t. They were visibly disturbed by the existence of such accommodations. The condition of all ladies PG were not good either. Most care takers of PG refused to even show us rooms citing the PG was full. Some were kind enough to show us rooms, informing us the latest date at which a room might turn vacant. Some indirectly mentioned the presence of a waiting list for vacancy at a PG. It was a herculean task to find a decent PG near my office. I wasn’t looking far off as I didn’t want the hassle to travel on a daily basis. My brothers rented a car and we roamed around places to find a decent PG which had vacant beds. This was going to be my first stay away from home and I was disappointed at how things here were turning out to be. Some PGs had joined in three single beds and called it a three sharing room when there wasn’t even space for one to get down and walk to the room’s door. Some others had rats roaming around the kitchen. Some had dustbins outside rooms filled to brim with garbage. Some had cow webs at corners of walls, windows and along the ceiling. Some had six floors but no elevators. Some had vacant space left for building elevators which were for time being used as “pan-spitting zone”. Some had a room, a cupboard and a bed but no mess, washing machine or Wi-Fi. From what I have heard from my PG friends at Bangalore they didn’t struggle to find a decent PG. This was turning out to be a huge downer. After a lot of heartbreaks and disappointments we found a PG that suited my taste at a reasonable price.

I moved in the day my parents were about to leave and get back to their routine work at Bangalore. I must say, the PG and its caretakers have been kind and nice during my stay here. And the food is GREAT. I can’t stress enough on this… It.is.amazing. I am not a person who even drinks tea and I have become a fan of the tea they serve here. I wasn’t expecting the food to be even half as good as it is. My brothers and friends who had stayed at PGs/hostels before had warned me about the quality and hygiene of food I would receive at a PG. I had set my expectation bar far below the normal food that I received at small restaurants/colleges. I make it a point to announce this to every human I know but I have not verbally expressed this feeling of mine to any of the caretakers/cooks at my PG. I don’t even know why I don’t do it. My parents are pleased that after looking around 15-20 PGs this one turned out to be so good and so am I! There are flaws and there is always scope for improvement, but let’s focus on the positives for now.

Apart from the food, I love the fact that I am back home before the sun sets. I love the fact that I walk to work. I love the fact that my roommate is kind and adjusting to my daily misfortunes and activities. I also love the view from my room’s window at sunrise, sunset and midnight everyday! I have just started exploring the city. I love the way the street next to my office transforms from a silent, empty lane in the morning to a bustling street with food stalls/vendors and employees playing cricket.

It seems having your expectations low makes you appreciate life more. I have heard it the other way round too.. set expectations and reach them. It’s so confusing… I guess have low expectation from others but set high expectations for your future self? I don’t know… does it make sense?

I do miss Bangalore. Especially the weather, buses and Central Silk Board!

I don’t specifically celebrate thanksgiving, but this time I have got a lot to thank for. Thank you mom, dad and brothers for your patience while I dragged you from one PG to the next. Thank you friend from college who guided me in and around Pune. Thank you caretakers at PG for being so nice to a first time poor-away-from-home-soul. Thank you flatmates for allowing me to comfortably settle down. Thank you windows in my room for the fabulous view you deliver day-in and day-out. Thank you old friends for still keeping in touch and accepting my subtle hints that I won’t be attending your weddings now that I am in Pune * evil laugh *.

Note… Only for gal pals and sisters: The government here is planning to rename Pune to Jijapur. I guess I know where all my Jijas are gonna be living at… * wink wink *

On a serious note I hope they don’t change the name of the city. And yes, I know reasoning behind the name Jijapur. Please don’t police me on how I got the wrong meaning out of the renaming suggestion Jijapur in the previous para.

Inktober 2018

I believe this year’s inktober turned out to be better than last year’s. I started out with a lot of enthusiasm (obviously) which slowly faded out. Not cause inktober was not challenging enough but because my enthusiasm hopped onto a different entity (More on this later). I wish I could have attempted more prompts. It was fun nevertheless! I still think sketches this year show a remarkable improvement from last year.

Last year I had a lot of anxiety posting pictures of my art online. I refrained from posting any photos of my art online throughout the month – even though inktober rules specifically asked us to share the art online. I did however share pictures with friends who requested me to keep them updated on my inktober art and received their sketches in exchange. Some of their artworks were amazing! I have got such talented friends. *Pats them on their back* I thought I would post them on 31st November. One thing led to an other and I never posted them online… until now.

Here they are…

My favourite ones are the whale and drool drawings! Which one did you like the most?

Blind-colours

I wake up every morning at 5:00 am; to the sound of blaring alarm from the red alarm clock on my bedside table. At least that’s what they told me. I wake up in the dark, like most people. Along with my eyes closed. Unlike most people.

I don’t grope about my bedside table to hit the off button. I know exactly where to place my fingers to stop the blares. Unlike most people.

I peel off the blanket off my body. Can’t afford to be late to work today. Like most people.

I sit up, at the foot of my bed, head bowed, hands folded. No, I am not praying. Umm, like most people?

I patiently wait for the second alarm to go off. This alarm clock is placed on my study table. This one is blue, so I have been told.

After a few quite minutes, the second alarm goes off. I stand up straight, walk straight towards my study table. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven; exactly seven steps away from my bed. I switch the alarm off. Pull out the old, rickety, cushioned chair. I carefully sit, making sure that no sound escapes the chair. Once seated comfortably, I pull out the book I was reading yesterday night, A game of thrones.

There is a reason I have two alarms placed at two different locations in my room when one would suffice. Initially, when I move into new apartments, it would take me a while to get used to the layout of my apartment. This getting-used-to would cause me delays and minor accidents, which are, well, very inconvenient. So when I moved in here, I came up with a plan, inspired by the triangulation theory that I came across while reading the The martian. I placed the alarm clocks at specific locations in my apartment, with alarms set at specific time intervals. They would behave something like beacons, guiding me around the house until I got a hang of it.

Once I set them out, I would create a mental map of my apparment, I would place other objects relative to these locations. This would smoothen my tour around the house for the first few days. Yea, tour.

After I had all my furniture settled in the new apartment, with the help of a few friends, I placed the first alarm clock on my bedside table. The next on my study table. The third on the kitchen counter, opposite to the refrigerator. A fourth in the living room, beside the DVD player, below the wall mounted television. I placed a few more at similar locations with alarms for specific timings set on them and let the mental image of it slowly build in my mind. One of my friends who was helping me set up my apartment asked me if the clock colours had any significance w.r.t where I placed them.

Roses are red, violets are blue. Colours are something I never knew.

To me, roses are smooth petals with stems of thorns and violets are tiny and thin stemmed. I don’t need colours to describe objects.

With the help of the alarms the first few days went pretty well. My mind was able to


Written long ago but never published blogpost number 2. This was drafted on 27 November 2017.

Deception

Someone around me is chattering about about her boy friend. Giggling and passing lame remarks among their group of friends. Bottles are being passed cause someone is dying of thirst. As I pass the bottle I sniff and realize it’s not water. Deception, successful. Put on a poker face to not looking disgusted and pass the bottle along. Deception, successful. I used to play pass the word and now I am passing bottles filled with liquor. Which one do I hate more? Oh, it must be passing the word. It involved me speaking into waxfilled ears of humans who didn’t bother to hear the word correctly or clean their ears. Accidental miss pronunciation, childish giggles, tickles and interaction. Nope, do not want to indulge in that. So, yeah. Passing bottles is better. I start to doodle in the margin of my notebook, tiny thin strokes along the border of the margin. There is still a quarter of the margin left undecorated when the ink starts to fade and then finally stops leaving its mark on paper. I rummage through my stationary pouch, loads of coloured pencils, a 2B faber castle pencil, a pencil sharpener, a faber castle scale and a non dust eraser. No gel pen. I throw away the pen and pouch, into my bag, annoyed. I look over at the other occupants at my desk, hoping someone would have a gel pen I could lend to keep myself occupied. Nope. No gel pens on the desk. Actually no pens on desk. A few books carelessly thrown over the desk, rumpled xerox sheets jutting out of the books. Bags that hadn’t been washed since their births. Empty lunchboxes. Glowing cellphones. But not a gel pen in view. Yea I know what you are thinking, “Geez!! Why can’t you use a ball pen?” It’s simple, I can’t. I see a few staionary pouches. There might be a possibility of a gel pen in one of those zipped pouches. Why do grown ups use only zipped stationary pouches. Why dont I see anyone use a doubled sided pencil box with magnetic box locks and a built in pencil sharpener? Anyway, No gel pen, the quarter of a margin has to stay blank until I get one. I start to wonder what I must do to keep myself from dozing off. When I hear a scream.

“You! In the maroon shirt. Stand up!”

Maroon shirt guy looks around, realizes he is the only guy wearing a maroon shirt in the general area of the room being yelled at and stands up. I kind of know this guy. Not know, know him. Hmm.. how do I put it. Just a nodding acquaintance.

“What is the solution to the equation on the board?”

Dazed, he rummages through his un-maintained notebook. Trying to find an answer in his notebook when the question is on the board.

“What are you looking at in your books? Tell me the answer!”

Sudden calmness envelopes the room. Few seconds later, a guy, two chairs away from him hisses a number. They play pass on the message until the answer is receipted by the maroon shirt guy’s ear drum. Processing the payload message, he sheepishly repeats it.

“Come here and solve it.”

Visibly shaken, he shuffles around his seat. Slowly gets up and starts making his way to the front of the room. Picks up the white chalk from the long white desk and turns around to solve the equation. While he is fumbling with the chalk, someone knocks at the door, asking to have a word with the person no longer holding a chalk. No-chalk-in- the-hand guy acknowledges the request and walks out the door. Someone walks up to the front of the room, slaps the guys back, writes down the steps to solve the equation, hands the chalk back to the maroon shirt guy, dusts his hand over the maroon guy’s hair while wording something equivalent to you owe me big-time with a few abusive words thrown in, walks back to his desk and takes his seat.

Soft murmurs start to spring up from my side of the room. Some start throwing crushed paper balls at the maroon shirt guy. He amuses his seated friends by welcoming a few, while dodging the rest. When the crushed paper ball ambush stops, he looks at the chalk written solution for a while, while doing his version of SHMing. He looks at the door, seeing no one enter, he picks up the paper balls and throws them into the bin kept at the far corner of the room. On his way back to the ambushed area, he puts on his Ray Ban aviator sunglasses and does a good imitation of MJ’s moonwalk. I knew they were Ray Ban aviators cause I have one of them too, that’s how I established a nodding acquaintance with him. Someone starts playing ‘kaala cashma’, he breaks into a hip-hop/bhangada move. The song gets louder and the dance, better.

Hearing the raised decibels, the person in authority returns. Sudden calmness resurfaces. Everyone’s eyes dart towards the solution, as if to confirm its presence. The questioner assigns a different question to him so as to ascertain his credibility. He ponders over the question for a few minutes. The questioner soaks in triumph of having rightly judged his lack of ability to solve the question or rather, having caught the lie. Deception, failed.

I know what you are thinking again… “Is the questioner the professor? Aren’t you supposed to be calling him with his designated name?” I bet that’s what was written on his appointment letter, but do I care? Short answer. No. I care about not having a gel pen to decorate the margin with.


Was going through the huge pile of drafts. Was surprised to read quite a few drafts… Not because they were particularly atrocious, but because I don’t particularly remember writing them. Probably cause I wrote”better” stuff back then than I do now. So thought about publishing it even though it’s incomplete. Not sure what my mind was upto when I wrote it. Probably wrote it in reminiscence of my days at college. Enjoy it while you can… I mean your days in school/college, not the blogpost. ๐Ÿ˜›