Author: swathichatrapathy

Life Lessons From A Cocker Spaniel


Three days ago, I came home in a pool of tears, terrified I was going to lose my right hand.

I could see a vein pulsating in my wrist. My thumb, index and middle finger were on the verge of numbness. At the slightest twitch of my wrist, a dreadful electric shock ran through my arm.

In a wave of panic, I imagined doctors shaking their heads. They would have to amputate my right hand. I wouldn’t be able to write, type, play keyboard, draw. Literally everything I was half decent at would slip through my fingers.

The more I thought about it, the more I wept. I had never quite wept that openly before. My mom panicked along with me. My dad meekly suggested an ointment for want of something to say.

Today, nothing about my hand has changed.

The numbness isn’t gone. My right hand lies limp on my thigh as I type with my left, backspacing and retyping to get the spellings right. The self-diagnosed carpal tunnel still taunts me.

But I’m not crying anymore.

Because I spent a day with this dog.

This is Chap.

He is a Cocker Spaniel. His mane is handsome as a lion’s. His fur soft as a baby’s blanket. His demeanour, adorable as a puppy! But he doesn’t have the gorgeous big puppy eyes that people fawn over. Instead he has his eyelids stitched together so they don’t get infected.

Chap is a blind dog. He was born blind.

When my friend adopted him as a few weeks-old puppy, he thought his eyes were infected. Eventually, the vets had to clean out the cavities completely and stitch them up so they wouldn’t get infected again.

I’m not writing this so you sympathize with Chap.

I’m writing this because I’m in awe of how Chap goes about his life.

Chap walks around his home with a striking sense of familiarity. The confidence in his gait, the sureness in his paws when he leaps onto the gate and the menacing growl he has in store for strangers will hardly make you sympathise with him.

When he smelled me, he trusted me at once. He propped his shaggy head on my knee as I sat down. I gingerly placed my right hand on his head. He licked my arm, the warmth of his tongue comforting my brittle arm.

To me, it felt like he was pitying me.

Pitying me for the little discomfort in my hand.

And suddenly, everything seemed so ludicrous. My tears, my panicked state, my overstated emotions that trapped all those around me. I was put off by my own desire for attention.

A hand pain. Seriously.

I went to the doctor today; he gave me pills and sent me off. Said it’ll be alright.

It’s going to be a while, though, before I can wave it off as a setback, like Chap has done with his sight.

Isn’t it amusing how life throws so many lessons at us and we almost always turn a blind eye to them?

Make Sandige While The Sun Shines

Make Sandige While The Sun Shines

Isn’t that an awesome headline?

It struck me while I was making sandige while the sun shone. :P Ok pardon my lameness, I’m very happy because we just made sandige. It’s something that always fills me with glee!

When I was a school-going child, summer holidays meant it was time to wake up early and put sandige. (I say “put” sandige and not “make” sandige because in Kannada, it is sandige “haakodu.” Not sandige “maadodu.”)

My paati would do the initial setting up (which is actually “making” the sandige with all the ingredients), and then my mom, sister, my friends and I would go to the sunniest terrace and put sandige. It happened just once a year and the novelty of it excited all of us.

First of all, let me tell you what sandige is.

(san-di-gay   |   sʌn – dɪ – geɪ) 

plural: sandige

  1. a condiment usually made from rice or puffed rice (aralu puri) or tapioca pearls/sabo (sabakki/sabudana). To be fried and consumed, usually as an accompaniment with rice, rasam and sambar. Tastes heavenly with curd rice too.

And here is how you pronounce it.

I’m going to give you a tutorial to make aralu sandige. It is just one of the few forms of sandige, perhaps the tastiest, only if made right. Many people make it, but it usually becomes too hard / too spicy / too horrible. So here’s the right way of going about it. My mom’s recipe can’t go wrong, unless you really have no clue able what you’re doing!

How to make Aralu Sandige

Step 1: Buy aralu puri

This is aralu puri. Around 10 litres of aralu puri is good to make your sandige last a few months (depending on how often you eat it). Don’t eat it too often because you have to fry it in oil to consume it.


Step 2: Separate the batta from the aralu puri

Aralu puri usually has a lot of batta in it. Batta is basically unpuffed rice. It is brown, sharp and inedible. It takes around 4-5 hours for three people to separate batta from puri (10 litres), one by one. Try to buy aralu puri that has already been cleaned to save you some back-breaking labour.


Step 3: Gather all ingredients

I’ve listed the ingredients you require for 10 litres.

  • 10 litres cleaned aralu puri
  • 100 g green chilly
  • 1 handful of kothamri (coriander)
  • 100 g overnight soaked and cooked sabakki (sabudana / sago) (This is used mainly to bind the loose ingredients together)
  • Salt to taste
  • One big lemon (Optional)

You’ll need two big tubs/vessels. One to soak the aralu puri in water and one to mix all ingredients.


Step 4: Dip aralu puri in water

In this step, you are cleaning the puri and also soaking it. You have to take it out of the water immediately (within five seconds) so that it doesn’t get too wet. So don’t put an entire 10 litre pile into a big vessel of water. The puri will get shrink and get ruined. Do it bit by bit.

Step 5: To the wet aralu puri, add all other ingredients

  • Chop chillies and coriander finely. You could even grind them.
  • The sabakki has to be soaked the previous night and boiled in the morning, so that it is soft and slightly sticky. It is an ingredient that holds the otherwise loose aralu puri together.
  • One option is to squeeze a lemon into the mix so that it doesn’t get too sticky.
  • Taste the mix and see if it suits your taste buds. It usually tastes E.P.I.C.

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Step 6: Gather everything you need to put sandige on the terrace

You’ll need

  • The sandige mix
  • A circular mould to put the sandige with. The lid of a pickle jar will do. Has to be around the size of your palm and flattish
  • A bowl of buttermilk, to dip your hand and the mould in
  • Plastic sheets to put the sandige on. Even a fresh panchey / veshti / dhoti will work.
  • Some rocks to use as paperweight to hold the sheets down.
  • A sunny terrace
You’ll never find non-sleepy faces while putting sandige. It’s an early Sunday morning!

Step 7: Start putting the sandige

This is the most fun part of putting sandige. Pick up some aralu puri that you mixed, put it in the mould so that it is flat and tap it on the sheet. When it falls down in that exact same shape and stays together, it is just so gratifying! Check this.

Step 8: Remember to eat some as you’re making it

I think sandige tastes best best when you’re putting it. It’s better than when you fry it and eat it. It is also healthier! I love it like this.

Step 9: Leave it on the terrace to dry

Once you’re done putting sandige in neat lines, leave it out for the rest of the day to dry. The top layer will dry first, while the underside will be wet. Once the top portion is sufficiently dry (might take a whole day), turn it upside down and let the other side dry.

Put it out on the terrace everyday for around a week to dry it thoroughly. Bring it back inside every evening. You don’t want to leave it out all night and let all sorts of insects eat it.

It must dry completely before you “store it in a cool dry place.” If it is wet, it might catch fungus and rot. So check it properly after a week before you store it.


Step 10: Fry it, eat it and enjoy it

Next time you’re eating rasam rice, sambar rice, curd rice or bisibelebath, bring out the sandige, fry it and eat it.

To fry it you have to dip it in boiling oil for hardly ten seconds. the hard dried up sandige fluffs up when you fry it. It becomes gorgeously crunchy! It goes amazingly well with sambar rice or bisibelebath.

Oh I’m craving for some right now.

Let me go make me some sandige.

Meanwhile, you go make some sandige while the sun shines!


An obituary

This morning, I woke up at 6.30. As usual, the first thing I did was check my phone. Twitter prompted me to read an article about the habits of a successful entrepreneur. “Start your day with positivity. Exercise.”
I thought OK, that’s easy and went for a jog.

I had hardly run a 100 metres when I saw a dog. No collar, quite skinny, no owner around. A stray dog. He was lying on the pavement, apparently sun bathing. My instinct took over, I jogged towards the dog. It was only when I went up close that I realised he was dead.

Eyes sealed shut, one leg stuck upward, the rest of him like he was just taking a peaceful nap. No injuries, nothing. Just a dog who was walked onto the pavement to take his final nap.

A freshly dead dog. No flies around him. No foul smell.

I didn’t know what to think for a few seconds. Should I be sad? Should I be shocked? Should I continue jogging?

He’s dead. It won’t make a difference to him whether you stay or go. Positivity. Exercise. Go away. It’s alright.

Last option it is.

I continued jogging, my eyes on the road ahead of me, but my mind lagging behind. It’s not fair to let him lie on the street, his meekness open to the world, is it? If I was dead, I wouldn’t want anyone to see me splayed on the ground. In fact, personally, I wouldn’t want anybody to see me at all! I would want them to remember me as I was alive! Like a dog, I would love to go away from my home and rest in peace at a place where no one can see me.

Perhaps the dog would like that too.
He’s in a better place spiritually, but not physically. Get him out of there.

I went back, and told a sweeper about the dog. She said I’ve to call someone else. I went ahead and asked a man who was clearing up garbage. He told me it’s not in his jurisdiction to pick up the dog, but was kind enough to point out a phone number to me. Stay positive. I made a call, a courteous BBMP person picked up the phone and within half an hour the little mister who was so peacefully asleep was gone from the spot.

I don’t know what happened to him afterwards. Perhaps they buried him. Maybe they burnt him. I’m not sure. But he was not lying on the street for everyone to see any more.

When a human dies, grand funerals are arranged, meals served, ceremonies conducted, anniversaries remembered. When a stray dog dies, nobody even bothers to look twice. But for all you know, the dog made thousands of people happy in his 14 year long lifetime, possibly more than a human did in his 80 year lifespan.

The milkman the dog went galloping after. The newspaper man that the dog greeted happily every morning without fail. The watchman who shared his afternoon meals with the dog. The shopkeeper next door who gave the doggy Parle G every evening. The toddler who crawls around at the construction site. The girl who just came back home after a long day at work. The young boy who just had a fight with his girlfriend and went out for a smoke. I’m sure stray dogs make someone’s day everyday, no matter on how small or big a scale.

These dogs touch a thousand lives. And yet, they don’t get a goodbye, forget a funeral.

So this obituary is for all dogs out there that died unceremoniously.

Thank you for giving us your untamed love! You were special to at least one person everyday. You will be remembered for your beautiful innocent eyes, your wet nosie and your flappy ears that always swung back when you saw us. If you ever growled at us, we forgive you. And we apologise for having been mad at you too. Anger happens sometimes.
Usually, obituaries say “survived by so and so” about the person’s children, but you are survived by thousands of people who will remember you fondly for that one day or everyday that you made special.
We love you doggie. Hope to meet you in heaven and be with you forever.

On a more personal note, thank you to every single dog for instilling positivity in me. Whether it was Ramu, Simba or Gunner, all three dogs I’ve seen go away, you’ve all made a very big impact on me during different phases of my life. You’ll never be forgotten.

PS: If you find a dead dog, call your local BBMP incharge. You’ll find this number written on the auto that comes to pick up garbage every morning. Note it down sometime. You’ll never know when it could come of use. The least a dog deserves is a decent removal, if not a burial or a funeral. Do what you can.

Respect all dogs.

Peace. Love. Adopt.

Why I’m not too thrilled about Bakrid

I’ll pick up where I left off in my last post.

In it, I was basically trying to disconnect religion and celebration of festivals. I would request you to read this article with that mindset, because otherwise, 1.57 billion people are likely to be offended, which is definitely not my intention.

As you may all know, today is Bakrid.

If you know me, I think you already know what’s coming.

Goats. Slaughter. Cruelty.

My boss, Arjun, brought up an interesting point today. He pointed out how Nepal completely banned the Gadhimai cow slaughtering festival, where 200,000 cows are slaughtered meaninglessly and right in front of each other, once in five years. Even I remember signing an online petition against the festival, although I don’t know if that made a difference. But he said how nobody even bothers to raise a voice against slaughtering of millions of goats during Bakrid. Even if someone does, their voice is drowned, because newspapers like to pick up stories like this one instead. (Seriously, just read that headline.)

This afternoon, when we were discussing it, I said it’s completely horrible to slaughter animals, especially in people’s homes, where there are children watching. When we’re supposed to be teaching children to love animals, they watch their family axe one in the neck instead. Seriously, there’s no love lost in this country as it is. Why add to the unpleasantries?

My colleague was (a bit too) quick to point out to me that Hindus are no less. That Brahmins slaughtered and ate meat before too. I was a bit irked because my argument had/has nothing to do with religion. Whether it’s a Hindu or a Christian or a Muslim slaughtering a cow or a goat, I’ll hold it against him. In fact, the whole cow-slaughtering festival in Nepal was a Hindu affair and I am dead against it. My whole argument is about the lack of rationale. Any person with the ability to rationalise his actions, should not be slaughtering anything. That’s about it.

Even if you want to eat mutton, or as the festival calls for it, distribute it to the needy, then go buy mutton and give it to the needy. There’s a certain procedure to slaughter animals and believe it or not, the kind way of slaughtering them is officially called the Humane Method. There’s a reason it’s called “humane.” Ideally, you’re supposed to render the animal unconscious and then slaughter it, if you have to do it at all. Not hold it by its hands, legs, pin it down and then struggle to slit its throat with a regular house knife and let the poor animal bleed to death. (The fact that the Humane Method is not practiced in most meat shops is a completely different story by itself. But that’s no justification for this.)

My point is, it does not make sense to carry on a tradition that has lasted thousands of years simply “because it’s there!” Heck! I don’t think most people even realise the significance of Bakrid! In fact, the story goes that Allah, to test the faith of Abraham and his son, Ismail, asked Abraham to sacrifice his son through a recurring dream. When Abraham agreed and was in the process of slitting Ismail’s throat, he was shocked to see that there was a lamb instead of his son. Basically, Allah saw that Abraham was so faithful that he was ready to sacrifice someone as dear to him as his son, and replaced his son with a lamb.

The whole idea of Bakrid stems from this story. You’re supposed to sacrifice something dear to you. Not a goat that you buy off the internet the previous day. There’s nothing near or dear about that.

So, please rethink your values and principles, not as a religious person, but simply as a person. Think about it from a non-violent angle and please put an end to this mindless practice.

The computer lab conundrum

Hello! My sister is spending her last two months in Orissa, teaching at a tribal school. She worked hard to get a fully functional computer lab and made sure they included computer classes once a week in their syllabus. Now she needs help to make them learn more effectively through computers. Please send her your suggestions and the children in Orissa will be grateful to you for making them more knowledgeable human beings. :)

Su finally decided to blog

There are less than a couple of months left before I leave Odisha and I am already sad about it every other day. It sucks to answer the kids, when they ask me why I have to leave. Also, There are so many things to do and I am finding it hard to prioritize.

Thanks to lack of internet connectivity in the school, I also stopped blogging, but I am writing this post to ask all you people to share your ideas and recommendations.

My work here took a bit of a turn when my co-fellow Srikrishna decided to run away to the Himalayas either seeking more peace or challenges, I know not what. While he was here, his plan was to create a knowledge and learning centre at the school with the ten computers that were received as donation.  Before it took shape, he was gone. And since the children were…

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How to make epic chakkli like my mom

How to make epic chakkli like my mom

As you may all know, today is Gokulashtami / Krishna Jayanti. It’s the grandest festival in my house and we all love it; “we” being my neighbours, my friends, cousins, colleagues, random strangers who visit the house during the festival, etc. I doubt the excitement is because Krishna was born. I mean, it is, to an extent. But a lot more excitement is because of all the thindi. My mom makes chakkli, kodbale, muchchoray, tengol, kadlekai mithai, kobri mithai, kadlekai unde, puri unde, rave unde, besan laadu, chigli and so many other thindi items with weird names. She makes this every year without fail and in HUGE quantities.

Krishna overdose

We give all our neighbours, friends and colleagues the thindies on the day of Gokulashtami. And it’s not just anyone making the thindi. It’s my mom and her best friend, Prema aunty. They’re out-and-out pros! Anyone who smells the chakkli-making immediately pops into my house for a bite. Uttara, who hadn’t come home for some six months (although she lives next door) came home yesterday, secretly broke her fast and ate a piece of chakkli. Such is the effect of the chakkli frying smell.

Crunchy chakklies

This year, I thought I’ll help my mom out a bit. I decided to make chakkli. And I decided to write the recipe, just for fun. The mess around the house, the atta flying all over the kitchen, boxes of thindi on the dining table, the aroma of elakki, sugar, ginger, and the spicy warmth of kodbaley and tengol really added to my festive spirit.

So here’s how you go about making chakkli.

1. Ask your mom if you can help. She might usually turn you away because you’re no good. But this year, Prema aunty can’t make it because she has baby-sitting duties. So my mom gladly obliged.

2. Watch and learn. My mom works fast and she’s not the most patient person in the world. If you don’t get it right ten times, she’s gonna ask you to go away. So learn quick.

The mould and shaping plates you need to make chakkli and other confectionaries

3. You need akki (rice), uddin bele (black gram) in a 4:1 proportion. Wash them, dry them, roast them and take them to the guy who makes it aa powder. Flour mill guy. “Bees kondu banni,” says my mom.

The beesing guy

4. After that, add salt to taste, heat some oil and add that too.

Before kneading

5. Add water, some hing, and knead it.

While kneading

6. You need to smack it hard before you put it in the mould and squeeze it. You gotta smack it like you mean it. Don’t do it half-heartedly because otherwise, the chakkli will break while you’re squeezing it.

7. After that, slowly squeeze it into the chakkli shape. Make the hole in the centre big so that your chakkli looks big. (Tip: Avoid making the circular shape while squeezing. Squeeze out a straight line first and then make the shape with your fingers. The dough is delicate, so be careful.)

8. Slowly put the uncooked chakkli into pre-heated oil and let it fry until you get the desired colour.

9. Don’t eat it until you give it to Krishna for pooja. (You can skip this step if you believe that God resides in you.) I had a conversation with my mom regarding this and it went like this.

Me: Why do we make thindi for Gokulashtami?

Mom: Because Krishna was a thindi potha. Haven’t you heard all songs go, “I’ll give you that, come here. I’ll give you this, come here.”

Me: So he accepted a lot of bribes? Yeah, I think I’ve heard that. Krishna was a manipulative person and he accepted bribes. He was corrupt. Blah blah blah.

Mom: Before you say anything else, know that Krishna resides in you. So, everything you’re calling him, you are those things too.


Mom catches me eating all the thindies, bit by bit.

Mom: Swathi! You’re not supposed to eat it you mental girl!

Me: But the Krishna in me was hungry and needed the food. He is tempted easily and he couldn’t control himself.

Mom: Sighhhh


Epic chakklies in the making

11. Anyway, after the pooja, you’re done! Eat it. Devour it. Try and share it.

All the thindies

I love how yesterday went. My mum said, apparently when Krishna was born, it rained heavily with no prior warning. That’s exactly what happened yesterday. It poured in the afternoon on a REALLY hot day.

And I also went and gave some cows a few bananas.

Also, Nuvena surprised me today by turning up outside my house after a visit to Iskon.

It was such a happy, productive, festive and Krishna-ish day! :)

I hope many more youngsters like me don’t dis festivals just because religion has a role to play in it, and it’s “cool” to be agnostic or atheist or whatever. Just go with the flow, take what comes at you with an open mind, celebrate the festival without causing anyone harm and be happy!

Happy Gokulashtami! :)

About being a harried 24-year-old tax payer

Life has suddenly gotten too overwhelming, hasn’t it? People my age will probably understand. I’m 24 right now. Will soon turn 25. As each day passes, I expect things in my head to get sorted out, but it turns out there are just more and more complications!

This evening, I found myself debating taxes and insurances with my parents. I’ve to shell out Rs.40,000 a year from now on for insurances, just to be exempted from paying taxes, but unfortunately that amount happens to be more than I’ll ever pay for my taxes! What’s the point? My parents say they’ll pay the amount; but apparently, I have to pay my own insurance money to not pay taxes. And if I mention anything further to my parents, they lose temper within minutes and I’d just rather say OK and get on with it. Aaaa it’s irritating to even think about it.


Why can’t we just earn, keep the money in our house, spend it and be happy? Who the hell invented banking and insurances and taxes and shit. I truly hate that person. (I might not be saying that many years later when I get my money back, I’m guessing. I’ll be richer than ever! I had better be.)

Well, money is perhaps 10 per cent of what’s eating me up. All over Facebook, people are getting married and having babies. People my age!! Some girls I went to school with and sat next to, on the same bench, wearing pinafores and drawing margin lines in notebooks, have two babies already!! And here I am, thinking about whether I like pizza or pasta better. Sigh.

I’m not saying I want to have two babies. I’m not going to have any. I’m going to keep puppies instead. But the point is, I don’t know how they’re all confident enough to have babies!

But then again, babies aren’t even the problem right now. I suppose marriage is. There’s so much pressure from all sides to get married. It’s not just me. Even people around me are being pressurised everyday. It’s so ridiculous. My parents don’t bother me much, but my grandparents won’t let me hear the end of it. If I relent and say “Fine, I’ll get married,” they start attaching dates to it.

“How about next April? Like your sister?”

“No, tatha. I don’t want to get married in summer. I prefer winter. Maybe December.”

“Really? This December? Wow that’s great! Now we’ll just have to figure out whom you can marry.”

The concept of prioritising just went flying out the window.

Fine, let’s say I’m alright with getting married, which I kind of am, I guess, since I’ve found someone and everything, but the next ten questions pop out at me like boxing gloves. Kapow! Where, how much to spend, what kind of wedding, on what scale should it be, whom to invite, should I do it how I want to or should I relent and let others organise a traditional wedding. My god! Really, it’s mental!

I told my grandpa last week that I will have a simple wedding with 50 people, if I do. He lost it. He said, “Look, the wedding is not about you or how you want it. (Wait, what?) It’s about us being happy about the occasion and sharing the happiness with others.” At most of our family weddings, everyone gets to invite everyone they want. So there’s usually about 2,000 people.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t exactly want to have my grandpa’s walking friends or some tenants who lived twenty years ago in some house we built. It’s so pointless. I just want to have people who mean a lot to me and no one else. Why can’t I have things my way! Why can’t life be easier, god?

Even on the work front, there’s so much going on! Working at a start-up really is a rollercoaster ride. I’m literally playing some ten roles at work and I wish I could add two more hours to my everyday.

Home (my room, specifically) is the only place where I’m at peace, in my mosquito net, with a book in my hand. And it kills me to know that I’m gonna have to give my room up and go away if I ever get married. Which is so ridiculous. Why does the girl have to move into the boy’s house and why not the opposite? Life is just so worrying man.

Turning old sucks. Wish I could go back to college and deal with mindless assignments and chemistry practicals again. That was so much simpler.

Now, I have to deal with too many complications and I’m not ready for it.

How am I gonna tell my grandpa that his walking friends aren’t invited?


PS: I just needed a place to rant. :P

About being alone, but not lonely

You know, there was a time in my life when I was really depressed. Well, not clinically depressed. Just mentally. I was 16 or 17, living my teens – awkward looking (a bad hair cut, undone eyebrows, baggy clothes), not-so-confident and from a state syllabus school when the rest of my mates were from CBSE or ICSE. I had very low self-esteem. I would come back home from college everyday and crib to my diary about how everyone in my life had boyfriends/girlfriends and other best friends.

I would list down names of my favourite people and next to their names, write down the names of their favourite people and it burned me to know I wasn’t on anyone’s list. Not on my best friends’, not on my sister’s – they all had boyfriends (and wonderfully, they’re all still with the same people). I would indulge in self-pity, listen to music with depressing lyrics, mostly Evanescence and Avril Lavigne’s pissed off songs and once in a while, just cry it all out.

That feeling of having no one sucks, doesn’t it?

All of a sudden, I feel this looks like an ad for Whisper. Thu!

My parents have been out of town for 45 days, leaving me home alone. Now “home-alone” would prick many ears and make them imagine parties, alcohol all over the place, boxes of pizza lying around and loud music playing. At least that’s what I think of when most people my age tell me they’re home alone. But I had zero parties. My friends came to stay over maybe five times and that’s it. I was with myself most of the other days, cooking cleaning, washing, mopping, sweeping, the usual household chores.

I even fell sick, went to the doc, got medicines, nursed myself back to health, and took care of myself. Usually, I have my mom fussing over me when I’m sick, making kashaya, getting me Homeopathy medicine from Hattangadi, giving me hot rasam rice. But I made my own rasam, drank milk with turmeric, gargled and drank hot water for four days. Perhaps only when I was sick, I indulged in a bit of self-pity, but nothing more than the permissible amount. Permissible as set by me, I mean.

I’ve realised it’s difficult to live alone if you’re the self-pity kinds. I, for one, am not that kind, not any more. Perhaps I was, when I was 16, 17 but after that, I grew to look quite decent, speak well, learnt a bit about everything in life (you know, sports, politics, people, behaviour, etc) and promised myself to never feel bad for myself. I learnt to respect myself for who I am, and enjoy my own company. I talk to myself, sing to myself, dance to myself, cook for myself and life alone over the past 45 days has been breezy! I didn’t expect that, really.

I realise I’m ready to run a house on my own, including paying all the bills, cleaning up the kitchen and doing the dishes, removing dead cockroaches and sometimes pigeons from the terrace and balcony, COOKING good food, serving tea/coffee to guests and hosting other people at home.

It’s such a wonderful feeling to work hard and go to sleep feeling real good about yourself, thinking about how many things you did in the day.

I’m writing this mostly because, over the past 45 days, I have realised I don’t need anybody else in my life. Haha! I just realised how that might have come across to my readers. :P I don’t mean to offend any of you, all you people in my life. (Except you, Nuvena. I don’t want maamis around me. :P)

What I’m saying is, if, at some point in life, I have to lead my life alone, I’ll be able to manage it. It’s like a life-skill that I can use, if need be. But I must add that given a choice between living with people and living alone, I’d any day pick living with people.

I think living alone for some time in life is something everyone must do. You realise what others mean to you and how much others do for you! You learn to be independent and self-efficient, something I notice that a lot of people my age aren’t. Even I wasn’t until 45 days ago. I did not know I could cook for myself for 45 days, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and survive it. I did not know that the electricity man just cuts off the electricity if you forget to pay the bill (and I learnt the hack to get electricity back without yet paying the bill. In your face electricity man!). I did not know that I could change a tube light, as simple as it may sound; I’ve never had to do it in my life! I did not know that I could keep 30 fish alive and nurse my dog back to good health when she had a stiff neck.

I did not know what perfect parenting was like until I saw myself imitating my parents everyday when they weren’t here, trying to repeat their daily actions – be it squeezing a tomato to put it in the rasam exactly like my mum does or fixing a light bulb and half-immersing it in the water like my dad does.

As much as I missed my parents, I’m glad they left me to fend for myself. I learnt of my own capabilities, which is why my self-esteem has shot through the roof. Hehe.

So, if you’re living alone, make the best of it. Don’t feel bad for yourself that you’re alone. In fact, you’re lucky that you’re alone and can be your own person. If you’re not living alone, throw the other person out of the house for a while and make sure you live alone. :P

Tips to live alone:

1. Learn to cook. It will take up most of your time.

Cold pasta salad

2. Invite some crazy people over. Even if they are donkeys.

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3. You go over to meet people

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4. Listen to music. Morning, afternoon, evening, night, 3 am. Doesn’t matter. Listen when you want to.


5. Have a sleepover in a tent on the terrace.


6. Pay attention to nature. It’s the fastest way to put a smile on your face.

7. Find a hobby. Something like making bookmarks. I made them for charity.

8. Visit your grandparents. Nobody loves you like they do.tatha

9. Go on a mani-pedi date with your best friend and party with her.

10. Go for a wedding. In this case, your best friend’s wedding. :)

11. Read as much as you can!

I’ve read a bit toooo much over the past month and a half.

12. Build an  army of doggies to protect you

Kuntea and Puppy. Piccolo was somewhere around the corner

13. Finally, keep in touch with your parents and do something nice to welcome them back.

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That’s all now! Good day! :)

PS: I logged onto WordPress today and it said, “Happy anniversary!” It’s my second year anniversary with WordPress! Thanks for reading! :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

This is in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.”

A major part of my revolves around this symbol.
A major part of my revolves around this symbol.

It began in 2007. Ironically, it was when Arsenal’s winning streak had just ended and they had begun to face a drought of trophies. Every year, I watched them win some games, lose important games and finish the season without any silverware. Yet, I kept supporting them. With every loss, somehow, my support got stronger. Now they’re out there, with two FA Cups in a row and looking quite formidable in the EPL. I can only hope I witness my first EPL win as an Arsenal supporter this season.

This symbol has taught me the art of consistency more than anything. It’s not just a symbol. To me, it’s a forever-long relationship. Go Gunners!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door

This week’s photo challenge is just simply Door.


I found this locked door when I went to KR Market in Bangalore. It’s a local market, with flowers, vegetables, little babies crawling on dirty roads and lots of flies buzzing around. It thrives with activity right from 5 am to 9 pm. It’s a very interesting place to shoot. In fact, I went there for a photography assignment.

If you want to see more pictures of the market, click here.