What I Wanted to be Growing Up

Let’s talk about all the jobs I have wanted to have today.

When I was 5 years old and anyone asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always said, without skipping a beat, “A pilot!” I’d promise to take them around the world on the aeroplanes I flew, I was absolutely certain and I just knew I had made my decision. Then, one day, I watched a movie with my family in which, a plane crashed and the pilot died. The next morning, I knew only one thing: I did not want to become a pilot.k-125-m-356

When I was 7 years old and I was asked, “What is your dream job?” I said, without a  thought, “A teacher!” I loved all my teachers, I loved pretending to teach all my stuffed toys(and my then, 2-year-old sister) and I just thought, this would be so fun. Soon I realised, however, how difficult it really is and how little respect is afforded to teachers(The biggest tragedy of our time, really) Thus, I drifted away from this dream of mine.kisspng-drawing-royalty-free-illustration-a-little-teacher-who-lectures-5a9ad6afc716a8.4707962715200969438155

When I was 9 years old and someone asked, “What do you want to be when you’re an adult?” I answered, quite excitedly, “A scientist!” Science was my favourite subject in school(Apart from English, of course) and if you ask my parents, I was born far too curious and with the need to know everything there is to know about the world, which made this seem like the job for me.320-3202517_little-girl-scientist-clipart-scrappin-doodles-clipart-science

When I was 11 years old and anyone asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I said, as someone who had recently come to that decision, “An astronaut!” We had recently learnt about space and the universe in school. Traversing galaxies and planets, seemed like an upgrade from being a scientist, so astronaut it was. ee7734dd87fef70eb1e639c3f43f33a3

When I was 13 years old and I was asked, “What is your dream job?” I answered, a bit nervously, “An author!” I had always been someone who used words and writing to deal with situations but this was when I was realising that people thought my words were good and wanted to read them. As someone who read a lot myself, I saw nothing better to do. And then, I grew up.depositphotos_61857307-stock-video-little-girl-typing-on-a

When I was 16 years old and someone asked, “What do you wish to be when you’re an adult?” I said, as someone who had discovered something to be passionate about after years, “A blogger!” I had recently made this blog and I had been quite successful from the get-go thanks to the wonderful community here. It had saved me from the abyss I seemed to be falling into, with the last two years of high school being probably the toughest years of my admittedly, very short and barely lived life. And then, I grew up some more.preview

When I was 18 years old and everyone asked, “What do you plan to be in the future?” I said, in a resigned tone,” I don’t know.” I was finally the adult who all these plans had been made for, over the years, but when I actually got there, I couldn’t see any of them materialising, for they were too imaginative, too frivolous, too idealistic and just, too impossible.4XTFNGL

Today, I am 21 years old and I still do not have the fixed, permanent answer to what I want to be when I grow up. Not in the way 5-year old I had it.As far as where I am? I am going to be a Computer Science engineer next year, in what I hope, will be a post COVID world, emerging after facing unprecedented circumstances.

I am at a place where I find myself going back to many of my dreams, like how I’m really interested in research, so being a scientist sounds great. Being a teacher, or more specifically, a college lecturer is something that I can be along with being a scientist so that interests me too. If someone gives me a chance to go to space, I promise you that there is no way I’m saying no. It is still one of my biggest dreams and a major item on my bucket list, to write a book and get it published. As far as being a blogger is concerned, it’s quite simple really, I’ve been doing writing on this blog for the last 4 years, which means I already am a blogger. (I just don’t make money off it, which I am okay with)

There are so many possibilities, so much I can do, just so much I want to be and I don’t want to limit myself to just the one I decide on. Pardon me because while I may have become more practical compared to my childhood self, I am still far more imaginative than the average adult so I can now, somewhat naively, find some pride in my answer of “I don’t know” because honestly, isn’t it just lovely, there’s just so many places I could go!

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Yes, that was a Dr.Seuss reference, very much in line with this post’s theme of growing up.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What all did you want to be when you grow up? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

7 Things I Realised When I Read Harry Potter as an Adult

Let’s talk about reading Harry Potter as an adult today.

After one particularly rough day, during the lockdown, I decided to cope with this unprecedented situation the way I have coped with many things: by reading the Harry Potter series. This has been one of my big personal projects during this time, apart from the work and school and all: rereading the entire Harry Potter series. (That is the 7 books J.K. Rowling wrote, I do not count the Cursed Child, there are fanfictions far better than that travesty.)

I last read the Harry Potter series in 2013 when I was 7 years younger and deep in the throes of my teenage rebellion. Now, in 2020, I’m a young adult, I have grown out of my rebellion and have realised that there is a lot about the world that I do not know. I also already knew the story and all the plot twists and was not going to get any big plot surprises through this read. What I did get was a lot of emotions, rediscovery of the ability to be sucked in a book that I thought I lost to my teens and a lot of realisations. These realisations are what I present to you today and so without further ado, here are 7 things I realised when I read Harry Potter as an adult.

  1. Just how tragic James and Lily Potter’s deaths and their whole situation was.

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As a kid,21 seemed to be a very grown-up and very far away age. Hence, James and Lily dying at 21, leaving behind their 1-year-old son seemed sad to me but the weight of the tragedy didn’t quite hit me. I am 21 now. 21 is way too early and to go the way they did? It is awful. Add to that the fact that Sirius Black, who was innocent and had just lost his best friends, got blamed for the whole thing by the man responsible for it, framed for another crime he didn’t commit and thrown in prison for 12 years, also at 21. That is such a terrible situation to be in so young and so incredibly tragic. (Also one of the reasons I stand by my belief that we deserve Marauders Era books and movies; they will be tragic but they will be so interesting and these people deserved to be remembered in more ways than the tragic tales they became)

2. Just how great a family the Weasleys were.

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The Weasleys were a great representation of being poor, but as a family, absolute gold. The way Molly Weasley immediately sent Harry a Christmas present when Ron realised he probably won’t get one, the way they always took Harry in and provided him with the best of what they could, always checked on him, cared for him, and how they all considered him family and became one when they didn’t have to, was amazing. Be it Molly Weasley’s protectiveness of Harry, the Weasley twins providing him with the Marauders map, Ginny, of course, being his future wife and Ron his best friend through it all and many more such instances, Harry had always had the Weasleys behind him at the moments he needed support. The Weasleys, Hermoine and Hagrid were with him, always and were his family and I did not give them enough credit for this as a child.

3. Just how wonderful a person Harry James Potter was.

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Harry Potter had a very tragic life. His parents were murdered, he lived in an abusive household and narrowly escaped death multiple times and lived through a war and lost many close to him. As a kid for me and I suspect many others, Harry suffered from what I call the Protagonist’s Curse. No one said their favourite character was Harry himself, mine was Hermione and people chose any character really, as minor as they could be but not Harry. This is stupid because Harry Potter was an absolute gem of a person. To have gone through what he did, to live through the abuse the Durselys put him through, to be the Chosen One, to lose your few loved ones to the cause and to still be brave and just inherently good when he was so young it absolutely wasn’t fair, is amazing. He was a deeply selfless and wonderful person and this time around I got very affectionate and attached to the kid and I think he deserves a lot more credit than he gets. I didn’t realise how he was just a child living through absolute hell.17 seemed old when I was a kid.

4. Just how wasteful all the deaths felt and, where and how much they (still) hurt. 

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All the deaths, right from Cedric Diggory to Remus Lupin, were impactful yet felt so wasteful. Cedric was a great guy and a good person, and he died so suddenly, so young. Sirius Black, who had lived a tragic fate he didn’t deserve, had finally built a relationship with his godson, just happened to get Stunned in the wrong place. Dumbledore, who is, admittedly a character with shades of grey, deserved a better death, not the one where he was disarmed and weak already. Mad-eye Moody too, as a brave Auror, deserved a better way to go. Dobby, and Hedwig, were too innocent and too pure to have gone out the way they did. Severus Snape, a very grey character, didn’t quite deserve that gruesome death. Fred Weasley, jokester and happy guy, did not deserve to die young. Remus and Tonks, who had just had a new baby boy, shouldn’t have died leaving him an orphan as an echo of the deaths that started this all, James and Lily Potter’s. All these deaths had a far-reaching impact and just really really hurt but were true to the fact that in war, the young, the innocent, the old and the seasoned die all the same. (Also dead: my heart after reading about all deaths these again)

5. Just how well-developed and well-written the Magical world was

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As a child, I knew the books were good because I loved them but as an adult, who has read a lot more books, I have come to realize just what a great piece of writing they are.  I can only hope and dream that one day I can write something half as good as these books. The world and its nuances are so well developed and so rare, J.K Rowling really made magic, in the most literal sense with these books. They are something special, something that only happens, once in a while. Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, places like Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade etc. are just testaments to a world well developed. In fact, it is so well developed that many people(Myself included) would rather reside in this fictional world than our real one and that is saying something.

6. Just how much better the books were than the movies.

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Don’t get me wrong. the movies are great by themselves, I love them and will watch them if they’re on for nostalgia reasons. However, when stacked against the books, the books win by a wiiiide margin. With the books the places your imagination can go, the movies can not. So much is better in the books; Ron’s entire character, Ginny’s entire character(Travesties these two are in the movies really), Hermione is well, human, the entire battle of Hogwarts(And most duel scenes or fighting really) At the end of the day, the books are the OG’s and the movies simply can’t compare.

7.Just how much I love Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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When I was young, if you asked me my favourite Harry Potter book, it would, without a shadow of a doubt, be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was the most complex, it answered all the questions, it added depth to characters like Dumbledore, it revealed the huge plot twist that was Severus Snape, all in all, it was the perfect culmination to the series. My favourite movie, however, has always been Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as it is the truest to the book. This time, I enjoyed reading the Prisoner of Azkaban book and realised that it is my favourite Harry Potter book now. It introduces many new concepts like Azkaban and beloved characters like Sirius and Lupin, Hogwarts has great teachers for once so the education is fun to read about, the Marauders come into the picture and most importantly to me, it is the last happy book. With Voldemort coming back in the next one and the war starting, there is a very obvious tone shift and for me, the happiness in this book and in Harry, who as I mentioned I grew very attached to mattered a lot.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What have you realised about the Harry Potter books as you have grown up? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Some ‘Grown-up’ Thoughts on School

Let’s talk about school and adulthood today.

I graduated from school in 2017; about three years ago. In the three years I’ve been out of school (and in college) I have come to gradually realise how much of a bubble school really puts you in. When you’re in school, life is easy and very sorted. You have to do your homework, give all your tests and study the syllabus. There are no big surprises or plot twists, it is how it was years ago and it will continue to be the same way.

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This post is one I’ve been considering making for quite a while, as this is something I’ve been thinking for some time. I have almost made it several times, but I felt a bit greedy making this post. I already had a great school life, all 14 years if it, I had my share of it so what more do I want? This is all you get, that’s the whole deal. But this time, my Instagram followers voted for this post so, here you go. (If you too want to one of the unfortunate souls that will be blamed for my future posts, please, by all means, follow my Instagram )

In school, your worries include not being on top of your assignments, the marks you get on those assignments, who you will be sitting within the class, where you will be sitting when the break is if you can convince your teacher to give you a free period, how to sneak into the ground to play, teachers and subjects you like or dislike and other things which in hindsight, seem extremely pointless. You know, I do concede that it might have been pointless but you can’t deny it was dependable. It is a whole world that swallows you in and you don’t realise just how sheltered it has kept you till it coughs you out when you become an adult.

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I realise that as someone who is still in college I haven’t quite escaped the bubble yet and so maybe I haven’t earned the right to talk about this yet. However, since I’ve started to feel the bubble thinning, I will be talking about it and since this is a blog post you cant really stop me. (Haha) In school, you are protected from the real world. You are protected from any real worries. There is a discipline, a timetable, a uniform, most of your big moments are moments that would not matter much once you’re out of school.

In the real world, you have to worry about getting a job and building a resume and getting a house and rising higher and getting fired (Basically money) and your mom is not going to be able to stand up for you if she thinks you’re being unfairly treated. In the real world, people aren’t as nice, or as disciplined. Things don’t follow such order or schedules. There are surprises, plot twists and life takes you in completely different and unexpected directions.

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When my “real life” gets especially hard, I often find myself missing that bubble, that comfort, that sense of home that I associate with school. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be grown up and an adult and my 10 years old self could not imagine anything better but sometimes, I miss school. I know this isn’t a universal opinion, I was lucky enough to have had a great school experience and to have loved school. I miss the biggest things in my calendar being tests and competitions and doing many things at the same time and having silly things like annual functions to look forward to. I crave the comfort of a life that is sorted; I do my homework and I study well and I get good grades and things are well. To put it simply, I miss the predictability of school.

I’ve been in three schools over my schooling and while they were certainly not all of the same standard(Major major divides here!) I miss each differently and depending on what I am nostalgic for at that moment. I have also realised that more than my individual schools, I miss the institution itself. The stability, the security. “Real life” is full of far too many surprises and twists and turns, it is like being put on a roller coaster after having ridden only a carousel before.

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Even as I say this, I realise, of course, the bubble has to be popped. I know that. I know we have to grow up and fly out, spread our wings and build our lives. It is the curse of the affliction that is being human. For the most part, I love being an adult, I love the independence and I like having control and choices and all the other delights that come with it. All I’m saying is, sometimes, just some very times, I miss the simple joys and blissful ignorance I lived in as a child. I really hope someday I will stop feeling this way but I strongly suspect that it’s a lifelong thing. Oh, the Shakespearean nature of it all, as a child I envied the grown adult’s independent life and an adult I crave a child’s sheltered one. Well played, life, well played.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you miss school or are you happy to have left it? Comment below with what you think about t,I’d love to hear from you!

The Tale of my “Hermione Complex”

Let’s talk about my “Hermione Complex” today.

Hi, before we get into the post itself, here’s an update from the last post(The Dance of Hobbies Lost.) If you follow me on Instagram you already know but for the blog-only followers here we go. The update on my re-learning Odissi i promised you. I am pleased to report that Manglacharan is coming along nicely and I am actually done with re-memorising the steps of the whole thing and am now cleaning and polishing it! It was surprising how much came back to me when I started to try to learn it. If that doesn’t inspire you to pick up your lost hobbies, I don’t know what will! Now, let’s hop out of the old one and back into this post.

Since I have been a kid, I’ve been a very curious child. I would ask A LOT of questions about everything(Think everything ranging from why the sky is blue to why can’t cars run on nitrogen) and in hindsight I might have been a very annoying child. I was also obsessed with knowing little tidbits or facts about EVERYTHING and could not be stopped from announcing said facts if the topic arose, which again seems to be making me a very annoying kid. My parents bless them, mostly encouraged my behaviour, which I really appreciate now, it must have been hard.

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The blue sky due to scattering of different wavelengths of sunlight, of course!

To fulfil my apparently bottomless thirst for facts, I used the many encyclopedias I hoarded and was absolutely besotten with, other people’s encyclopedias that I borrowed, eventually, the internet and in a move that was probably not appreciated a lot, adults around me. I also had a loyal subscription to many magazines that were essentially mini encyclopedias or factbooks, like Manorama’s Tell Me Why. I still have some of my encyclopaedias with me which I sometimes glance through, although tragically my younger sister never quite learned to love facts the way I did.

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In fact, this habit of mine was bad enough that I got a reputation in our friends and family of being a know-it-all. If something has come up, Arushi definitely already knows something about it. If we went to a vacation, I seemed to announce facts right off the bat, often from what I read on the little info boards no one bothers to read, if we were eating something new I announced facts about its country of origin or whatnot, if we were looking at the sky I announced facts about stars and as I am writing this I realise I haven’t changed that much, and so I should probably take this moment to say sorry to everyone who has had to suffer through my fact-telling. All that has changed is that I’ve learnt to tell my facts to people who actually love me or truthfully can’t escape them, that is, my closest friends and immediate family.

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A gorgeous shot of the Milky Way which, did you know, is never still and is always rotating?

At first, I was quite affronted with this reputation I didn’t want to be treated differently because I knew stuff about stuff. Eventually, I embraced it and realised that all my role models like Matilda from Matilda and Hermione from the Harry Potter series were huge know-it-alls, I loved them for it and should be happy to join this club. However, embracing it meant that as I grew older and lived and loved the “Matilda” life I also got really good at knowing very little about something and being able to convince people I knew much more, which is you know, bad. But my fact-knowing self loved being the go-to person for knowing stuff and wanted to be the most knowledgable person at all times which is, obviously not possible.

This habit of mine extended everywhere but as I grew into a teenager surrounded by the pressure to fit in and be on top of all the latest trends, it applied most notoriously to pop culture. I was effectively toeing the line between what was true and untrue(Not properly lying because I never said I knew a lot about that thing or that I had watched that entire show or movie) but I was faking it and honestly, although it isn’t something to be proud of, I was also getting away with it. Only my best friend has ever really caught me on this but getting caught triggered me realising that I had a problem and had developed, as I called it, a “Hermione Complex”.

Realisation is the first step in recovery and I knew it. I needed to get better. Over the years, as I have grown out of(thankfully)the joys of my insecure teens and into a more confident adult, I have actively checked myself and tried to stop pretending I know things I know very little about. I can admit to Pop culture blanks of knowledge or even regular blanks of knowledge. I still have a Hermione Complex, a much calmer, tamer version of the same. I don’t think I will be outgrowing it and honestly, I hope not. I want to have random knowledge about British royalty and the production process of Gouda cheese. I am still the person who knows a lot about everything, is your girl for trivia quizzes, is some of my friends’ pop culture dictionary, will knock down Buzzfeed quizzes about random knowledge and am still a lot of people’s go-to person when they want facts on something new or random.

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Told ya!

I still spout facts about vacation spots, but in a good way, leading to fun experiences, like when our tour guide at the Vatican loved me because I knew so much about the art and the sculptures that we ended up chatting away and bonding. She really was the sweetest soul and told me I would grow up to be a very wise person, the best kind of person and that I reminded her of her dad, who I suspect was another “Hermione complex” affected individual. That is something I really appreciated hearing and value, from a complete stranger. Lastly, the important thing to note about the Hermione complex is that while it is named for one of our favourite female know-it-alls, it is gender-neutral. Anyone can have it and it is not something to be scared of if you have it or if someone around you does because, as annoyed as we pretend to be, we all need people in our lives who will tell us about how moon dust tastes, on-demand. (like, gunpowder, according to the astronauts on Apollo 17)

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you have the “Hermione Complex” or know someone who has it? Did you out-grow it? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Growing up: The Story of my Favourite Colour

Let’s talk growing up this March, as I officially bid adieu to teenage. It’s all about self-acceptance today.

When I was 4 and I just started going to school, my favourite colour was pink. I obviously did not remember that but my mum had asked me a bunch of questions when I was 4 one of which was about my favourite colour and just started school and I found a little notebook with the answers. They were quite interesting actually. I was a big fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (One of the reasons I haven’t still watched the horror take on it. Sorry, not sorry.) There are also many photos of me with a lot of pink things so it is safe to say, that this can be considered a fact.

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Anyway, the bottom line is, my first recorded favourite colour was pink. Then, as I grew up and my interests and personality changed, naturally, so did my favourite colour. My next favourite colour was black. (Dun dun dun.) the very obvious question that must be asked is: why that very sudden and very polar shift in personal taste? How do you go from pink to black? Even in a color box set, those two are so far away?

I think I’ve figured out how. At 4, I started school. In school, I interacted with many people my age and older. I was told that pink is a ‘girly’ favourite colour. I was not a ‘girly’ girl though and I didn’t want to be misjudged on my favourite colour. Most of my friends were boys, I didn’t mind being messy or dirty, I liked sports and I liked to play rough. Does that sound like someone whose favourite colour is pink? 9 year old me believed it did not and since pink didn’t suit my personality I willed myself into making black my favourite colour. It was perfect. Apart from it being super dark to hear a 9-year-old say their favourite colour is black, the adults were always a tad weirded out.

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After that, as I grew up more, I came to a point where I had no favourite colour. If someone asked, I said I liked all colours equally or worse, I like rainbow colours. I thought I was a genius for saying that. This stemmed from the realisation that favourite colours are a childish thing and as a super grown-up teenager, I’m obviously politically correct and so wise, so no favourite colour it is. It was all going great except I realised pretty soon that I really don’t like green or orange all that much.

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As I reached adulthood, I found the maturity to accept, finally, once and for all, that I have many favourite colours but I do not love all colours equally. If I had to choose one, I’d say blue and that’s all. I also like pink and black and purple and yellow. Blue is just a colour that appeals to me right now and is not a statement about me being a ‘girly’ or ‘boyish’ girl or being ‘politically-correct’. It is simply a colour I have a preference for at this point in my life and it is for sure not a big deal.

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I’ve realised that growing up is about being open and accepting of these things about you. The little facts about you like your favourite colour, while seemingly trivial are still important and the only person whose opinion matters here is you. So to my twenties, I take with me acceptance of and joy in who I am, love and pride for all these little details about me, to be able to say my favourite colour is blue because it is and to not let society define my favourite colour. To live with one simple motto,” I am who I am. No apologies.”

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What was your childhood favourite color? What is it now? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Growing up: Roaring 20’s

Let’s talk growing up this March, as I officially bid adieu to teenage. It’s finally D-Day today.

Hello everyone. Today, the 10th Of March 2019 is my 20th birthday. I have now existed for at least 2 decades,240 months,7300 days,175200 hours,10512000 minutes and 630720000 seconds. That is a long, long time. Today’s post is for all intents and purposes, my birthday post, where I look back, look ahead and at now, as well. Let’s begin.

20 years ago, I was a tiny, crying, very red baby just fresh into the world. It was still a whole another century and the world sat on the cusp of the 21st century with many hopes and dreams for the wave of modernity it represented. It was still the 90’s, the era of good television, great music and even better clothing. The 2000s were almost upon us, with their nightmare-inducing fashion choices, still good television and still decent music. It was a much simpler time.

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20 years hence, I am not-so-tiny, still crying, red no longer, very much an adult and already a little bit over the world. We are nearly 2 decades into the 21st century, which is running at such a pace that each decade feels like a century in itself. The world is, in some ways a better place but still, a work in progress with so much left to fix. It is a very complicated time.

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Not much has changed.

In these 20 years, I have learned and experienced so much. I have learned to talk and walk and eat and jump and run and so much more. I have completed 15 years of schooling,2 years of college and am so much wiser. (Questionable)I have trained in dance for 12 years and I’m still dancing. I have been to 9 countries,2 continents and have travelled to and seen a sizeable(yet tiny) chunk of the world. I have read and watched beautiful stories. I have opinions and thoughts and likes and dislikes. In these 20 years, that very red baby has become a person.

Turning 20 is a monumental birthday. It signals the end of another decade as well as of adolescence. I have grown a lot in this decade as well as my teenage years(Perhaps not in height but mentally yes) but I am honestly delighted to say goodbye to my teenage and all the ‘joys’ that puberty brings. I can, however, no longer blame my hormones for my behaviour, which is a tragedy. Thank you teenage, for making me the strong-willed woman I am today.

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20 for me is a birthday full of hope. I am finally entering my 20’s, the peak of my youth, the beginning of the years in which I find the life I will live henceforth. I have no idea where I will end up and this is the starting point. I will finish my formal education( Education itself is lifelong, only formally will I be done), I will get my first actual job(I have actually had a non-paid writing job for a not-for-profit organisation already), I will live in my first house, I may even get engaged and/or married!  How crazy is it that all these milestones of my life happen in just these 10 years!

All these are such “grown-up” things in my head and hence I find myself struggling a little with the concept of growing up around this birthday. I am no longer a “barely-adult” adult, now I am a real one even if I don’t necessarily feel like one. I want to take my 20 years of existing, take the best out of them and take it with me as I enter this phase of my life. I would like some more optimism, as the pressure of adulthood, as well my teenage rebellion, has taken quite a lot of it away already. I would like to know it’s okay to depend on people sometimes, okay to miss people and so great to feel love and be loved. I want to hope and have childlike imagination with responsibility and courage. With all this and much more, I launch into my roaring 20’s, here I come!

THIS POST’S QUESTION:  Are you going to/have turned 20? What did/are you feel(ing) like? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

Growing Up: Is it just a perpetual emo phase?

Let’s talk growing up this March, as I officially bid adieu to teenage. It’s all about emotions today.

When I was a child, I wouldn’t cry in any movies. Not at the biggest tearjerkers of the decade.Not at the most defining moments in television history. I will have to confirm with my parents but I might not even have cried when I was a baby and didn’t get the movies at all. You get it. I just wasn’t a big crier as far as fiction was concerned.

Cut to present day me. I can(Read: will) cry at the shortest dog or baby videos. I cry at advertisements, at stories, at a heartfelt message from someone I love, at moments in tv shows and movies that aren’t even supposed to make you cry, the list is endless. I can probably cry on demand now. It’s a tad….embarrassing.

So, what happened? What moment in the 2 decades(nearly) that I have been alive completely changed the way I was programmed and functioned and made me this person? How did I end up becoming the exact kind of adult that my kid self judged my mother for being? (Sorry mom, but you cried at everything and It was beyond me as to how you did it) How did I, the strong baby, the fierce kid, grow up to become a crybaby, an emotional adult?

Let’s start from the first time it ever happened. I remember because the first movie I cried in was an iconic moment in my life. Let us go back 6 years ago. I had just finished watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and as Hedwig’s Theme played for one last time during the credits, one solitary tear rolled down my cheek. My adventure in the Harry Potter universe was finally over, I didn’t have anything left to do now. As the credits ended, I was full on sobbing and lost my sobbing-in-a-movie virginity.

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That is the first time I full blown cried at the movies but it was understandable. A major part of my very young life had just ended. The truth though is, there was also an incident before that. While watching a Bollywood movie about three kids dealing with the realities of their mother’s terminal illness, I got overwhelmed and teary-eyed. But, that can be justified by my love for my mother and called a momentary lapse of my otherwise sealed-off tear ducts of steel.

The next incident I remember is when I cried a lot and I mean A LOT with my best friend while watching The Fault In Our Stars with my best friend. My mother was shocked to hear her stoic,always-straight-faced-at-the-movies daughter cried and didn’t believe it. She is probably shocked by this post too because we live far away and she might have not realised how bad it has become. (Hi, mom! I cry now.)

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After that, it is a blur and suddenly, years later here I am, an adult who cries at the drop of a hat. It is said that you cry when you feel too much of any emotion, when your body is no longer able to handle the level at which you are feeling the emotion, and definitely not just when you are happy or sad. The real question now is: How did I get afflicted with this tedious affliction? How did I suddenly learn to feel so deeply for fictional characters? Where and how did I find *shudders* emotion?

With much long and hard thought I have come to the realisation that maybe, just maybe this is what growing up is. Is it possible that I have begun to climb the tall mountain that is emotional maturity? I mean, I have dropped the walls I had around me. I have accepted my emotions as valid and something that I should feel and express freely. I have realised life is too short to be strong. And as I go into the next decade of my life, I’ve decided to take this with me. So, I’ll go be emotional and be very emotional, I’ll be unapologetically un-stoic, I’ll let go and I’ll cry a little. Or a lot. Whatever I want. Whatever I feel like.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Are you a big crier at the movies? Did you also have a sudden moment when your tear ducts just turned on at the movies? Let me know what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

A Surprise Can Make All The Difference.

Let’s talk about the magic of surprises today.

For part 1 of this post where I talk about my personal motto this birthday on, click here.

Now I write continued from here on 11th March 2018. So much has happened over the last 24 hours. My birthday turned out to be so much more fun and so much more exciting than I could have ever anticipated. I’ll start from where most good things start, at the very beginning.

Last you saw me, I was answering birthday messages and calls and writing to you, at night, alone in my dorm room. In the next hour or so, I fell asleep, woke up the next morning and got dressed in the birthday outfit my mother especially bought me. Then I headed out to lunch at a gorgeous cafe with amazing food that I’ve always loved called, ” The Big Chill” with my college friends. Lunch was delicious and we got some good pictures out of it. (And that is Millenial/Gen X speak for: A successful day out)

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Post lunch, I grabbed a cab to my aunt’s nearby. I visit her, mandatory birthday exchanges are made and I settle in and make my Polaroid Camera functional( A.K.A insert new batteries and film) because I wanted to take pictures for the rest of the day. At this point, I was already missing my family horribly despite having video-called them thrice already and was on the verge of crying. Then, my aunt hands me a letter(Yes, the handwritten deal) that came to me, from my best friend back home!

And man oh man, did that let the floodgates lose. It was a beautiful letter that I’ll not quote because it is especially private and special and something I hold sacred. Just know that I cried at my first birthday present this year, a physical letter!

Next, I notice my aunt and uncle trying to repeatedly get me to open the door and I felt a little absurd but I dismissed it. That is UNTIL, I opened the door to find none other than my father, one of my favourite people in the world, standing outside in flesh and blood, smiling and with a ginormous bouquet in hand who seemed to have flown in for my birthday.

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The gorgeous bouquet

I was in shock and I opened the door and hugged him and cried( I do that a lot here its seems, my younger self that never understood my mother’s tears that could fall at anything is scoffing horribly.) He came in and handed me the flowers, one adorable and extremely heartfelt card from my little sister(Which also made me bawl) and a bag full of handmade gifts, my mother had personally made for me and sent. I opened the bag to find: three pieces of personalised framed art and four personalised double-sided bookmarks! (And, then my aunt also handed me a birthday gift, a pretty handbag, so yay gifts!)

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My parents despite being halfway across the country had managed to give me the yearly birthday surprise and make my birthday the most special day for me! All the gifts made my day, my father physically being here made my year and on top of that the really scrumptious birthday dinner I had with my dad, aunt, uncle and cousin at the gorgeous restaurant made my month, to say the least!

Then, we cut my very tasty and very pretty cake in a hospital with my other uncle and aunt, who was admitted to the hospital for some tests at 11:23 P.M., 5 hours after I was exactly 19 years old.

And with that, I was 19.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Did you ever get a surprise on your birthday or even on a regular day that turned your whole day around,for the better ?Comment below with what you think about it, I can’t wait to hear from you!

My Year To Be Bold.

Let’s talk about birthdays and growing up today.

Hi everyone, it’s been a while! In the meantime, I’ve been swimming quite deep in the waters of a busy college life and life, in general. I’ve missed this place and its people a lot and have so many blog post ideas just waiting to be written sitting in my phone’s notes app.

So, why one today? Why not one of those prompts just waiting to grow and blossom into a blog post? Why this conversation of a post rather than an idea? What’s so special about today?

Well, I write this to you at 1 AM on March 10,2018 and also my 19th birthday as I receive calls and messages that congratulate me for something I have no control over. (A.K.A Existing, growing older.)Last year of my teenage and a little bit more adult than I’m used to. Should exciting, nerve-wracking and feel really good, right ?

Except it doesn’t? It’s my first birthday ever away from my family and also simultaneously my first proper adult birthday, first birthday completely alone(I’m sitting alone in my dorm room typing this) and first birthday in University. Phew, that’s a lot of firsts.

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A drawing I found on Pinterest that is a pretty accurate description of me typing this to you. The artist has really beautiful art and their link is mentioned as a watermark in the photo.

I am not excited? I am happy because you always get extra love and attention on your birthday, I’m definitely scared to my wit’s end about being a grownup but the waves of excitement that hit me from the fortnight before my birthday was conspicuously missing this year. Even the surprise cake cutting(Thanks to the lovely circle my family has here!) I had today with my College Dance Crew( That I’m a part of, yes!) didn’t trigger them.Even on my birthday, right now I’m more like yes, its my birthday, no big deal, everyone has one of those which is obviously, a tad depressing a place to be in.

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The beautiful pre-birthday cake that was cut with my Dance-Crew.

I like to think this is what growing up feels like and man, I didn’t think I’d be a grownup so fast but apparently one year in college living alone can really do the trick. I’m not sad about it but I really miss that pure, undulating joy I felt every year?I feel like somewhere down the line I lost my innocence and I am not sure if I’m perfectly alright with that?

I believe some of it could also stem from the fact that my parents have always made my birthday’s very very special, despite the fact that it fell during exams for 6 years out of 19. It has to be a factor.

In my Bullet Journal, to commemorate my birthday I have done a series of pages.One of which is a quote that says,” This is my year to be bold.” Which is a personal motto of sorts, for the year that is coming? I take 2018 as my year to take risks, to be brave and to be strong in the face of whatever life throws at me.

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Alongside, I’ve written a letter to self of sorts titled,” To Me on my Birthday” and I’ll transcribe it here, for the sake of having a digital copy and to share it with everyone because 2017 was a monumental year and this letter is a series of things I learnt over the year which have made me a better person yet the reminder wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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This was a major year for you. Milestone-ly, life situation-ly or otherwise.This year you’ve found strength in the face of adversity, resilience in the face of failure, optimism in the face of dejection and most importantly, your dignity while swimming in the pools of dangerously low self-esteem. In your first year as an adult, you’ve done many ‘adult’ things and have grown several years over the span of 365 days. You’ve gained maturity, insight and pride in who you are. You’ve made so much personal progress this year and today is just the right occasion to commemorate it with pride.So, be proud of who you are and who you will be because it’s always going to be one step(Or in 2017’s case one step on the Moon-sized step) ahead of who you were.This year will be yours to claim, to grow, to live and to live boldly.Happy Birthday. Let’s do it the 19th time.

(Part 2 of this post where I talk about what actually went down on my birthday,a riveting tale with many twists and turns is right here)

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What would be/was your personal motto for the coming year on your birthday? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Head In The Clouds.

Let’s talk about aeroplanes today.

I’ve always loved aeroplanes. I always look up when one passes by, no matter what I’m doing (I was writing my high school graduation exams this year near an airport and it was ridiculous how many times I’d stop, it’s a wonder I finished my papers at all!)

How this little epiphany or stroke of inspiration came, you ask? Well today, when I was crossing to the dormitories (Yes, I live in a dorm now, post on how I’m dealing with that hopefully soon!) after dinner ,a plane whizzed by. Among the good horde of people that was there, skateboarding, chatting away with pals, texting on phones, leading singalongs and whatnot, I was the only one who looked up. That’s when it hit me ,how odd is it that we are so acclimatised, so used to aeroplanes now and how far we really have come. A century ago, everyone would have stopped whatever they’re doing and stared at the sky in amazement and would have waved to the passing plane with smiles on their faces and wonderment in their eyes. This little thought triggered another train which made me think of my own special relationship with the sky.

I love sky-watching. I am the kind of person who can make a day out of it. I never grew out of the finding shapes in clouds phase. Hell, my first dream job was to be a pilot. And the best part? I had never ever sat in a plane at that age. When I was 5,the idea of flying off to someplace and going anywhere I wanted, up above the clouds was as fascinating as things got.(To be honest, it’s still fascinating. I think I missed the growing up call.)If you talked to me then about what I wanted to be when I grew up, you’d get a resolute, proud, “Pilot” and a promise to be flown to a place of your choice when I became one.(How I wish I was this clear now, as an adult.)

How the job vacated the dream slot, is another rather sad tale. I saw a movie late at night with my family and way past my bedtime, in which a plane crash killed a whole lot of people, including a beloved character.(Who by the way, was the pilot.)Then that night, I had a series of not-so-good dreams about airplanes and by morning being a pilot was a distant thing of the past.

I went on my first aeroplane at the age of 10. It was a domestic flight but it was a good 3 and a half hours long and the best thing that had happened to me then. The view from above the clouds, the knitted square piece carpet that earth looked like from up above ,the green green forests where I was landing and the helluva ear aches landing and take off gave me are ingrained in my memory forever. I’ve seen an okay amount of things in life for someone my age but I value these memories as precious moments from my childhood.

Since then, I have been on many many planes and seen quite a few airports (Also one of my favourite places, more on them later in his post!) I’ve had good plane rides, okay planes rides, great plane ides, bad plane rides, the entire spectrum.(And over the course of these rides, I’ve also grown out of my ear aches.)I’ve sat in really comfortable seats and uncomfortable, kind of stuffy planes. I’ve watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books, heard a lot of music and had a lot of food on aeroplanes.

I’ve also seen amaaaazing sights from the windows.(Window seat hoggers unite!) I’ve seen so many different colours, shapes and kinds of clouds. I’ve seen a bunch of sunrises, multiple cities, rivers, lakes, countries and even the snow-capped Himalayas. (While going to Leh, Ladakh, India, one of my most beloved trips ever.) I’ve seen the teeny tiny Eifel Tower, wee Twin Towers(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia),tiny Rome, beaches, oceans, seas and so much more!

(I have not taken these beautiful pictures, these have been uploaded to the internet by amazing photographers around the world, some who had watermarks, some who didn’t. I used these because I felt that these capture views akin to what I’ve seen in a way I could never even aspire to.)

Now, let’s get back to one of my favourite places again; airports. There are so many people, so many hopes, so many struggles, so many stories in that one place. Everyone has a different destination, a different purpose, different likes and so many different goals. Also as a big plus, so many chocolate and book stores!(Just the things you should sell everywhere,if you ask me!)

I find myself fortunate enough to have seen and done so much all because of aeroplanes. It makes travel, seeing the world, fulfilling my dreams much easier for me and unites and joins all of us. So, I’d like to conclude this plane (ha!) of thought that started with a plane with gratitude and awe for this metal tube ,its inventors, the Wright brothers and humanity in general for being who they are with ideas and curiosity and creativity and passion driving us as a species forward.

Bon Voyage for wherever you’re off to (In life or on a plane!) from a plane-aholic!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is your favourite memory associated with aeroplanes? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to heard from you!

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