Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Big Fat Tam-Brahm Wedding creeping closer by the day. If you had told me six months ago that I'd be getting married soon, I probably would have laughed in your face and accused you of being on crack. But what can I say... weird stuff happens. Good-weird. And this has been awesome-weird so far!

The most commonly asked question happens to be, "Love or arranged?" I usually go with arranged. I don't believe in love-cum-arranged marriages. That's like saying upma-cum-lasagne. And anyway, would you believe me if I were to tell you that I very conveniently happened to fall in love with my mother's brother's wife's sister's son, who obviously belongs to the same community as me, and whose family and mine have known each other for ages? That I agreed to marry him without having met him even once, or even seen him in person, ever? You wouldn't. I wouldn't. But like I said, weird stuff happens. And of all the things in this world, love is definitely among the weirdest.

I'm a rather sentimental person. And very filmi. P had once said, "Wow, look at you! You're quite the Bollywood-type, aren't you? You want to go eat chaat from a gaadi, in this rain, at this time of the night. You should be in a movie!". Well, I quite agree. I am the 'Bollywood-type', and I've always felt that people should make a movie about my life (and of course, cast me as me). All my life-lessons come from Bollywood. Between pyaar dosti hain and kahin na kahin, koi na koi, tumhare liye zaroor banaya gaya hain, they had me convinced that my one true love was lurking somewhere in my not-so-large social circle. But that wasn't to be.

In true Bollywood style, it all began at a wedding. But quite unlike Bollywood, Boy did not really meet Girl, and Girl wasn't even aware that Boy was there. No songs were sung, no dances were danced. What did happen was, the Great Indian Matchmaking Mob (GIMM) sniffed an opportunity and went to work at once. However, I hear that the GIMM's advances were scorned and the proposal rejected, "faster than you could blink your eye", to quote S. But thanks to S's perseverance, we became friends on a social networking site, albeit almost a year later.

A bunch of misconceptions brought us together. I thought he wrote comics. He thought I was "something like a doctor". Our conversations revolved around LOTR, zombies and music. It was funny, it was crazy, it was weird. Whatever it was, it worked for us. Nighttime conversations got longer and longer until my bedtime was officially moved to 4 am. I'd sit by the window talking on the phone with him, the hours just bleeding into each other. And I'd sit there even after he'd hung up, my forehead pressed against the cold metal of the window grill, listening to the song he had sent me, my phone clutched to my heart.

Within a couple of months, we knew. We were getting married. My mom and I had a very awkward conversation, during which she tried to get me to "talk about my feelings about S", which ended with me saying he was okay, "kinda my type." Because I had no idea how to handle these "talks". Hell,  I didn't even know how to handle this whole situation. Remember, I was yet to meet this guy in person. But our parents jumped the gun: my mom told his mom that I "liked him" (that was the ultimate outcome of the aforementioned conversation), his mom told mine that she liked me (she also just assumed S must like me well enough), and just like that, matters were taken out of our hands.

Not that S ever asked me, but I texted him a yes. I know. Weird. I told you it was! He said it was the best thing he'd heard all day, and went out for drinks with his friends while I, hundreds of miles away, worked on my Masters' thesis. We met shortly after that, I got piss-drunk on our first date ever, and everything after that was this huge whirlwind of activity which culminated in us getting engaged by the end of the month.

And now, here I sit, in his apartment that I moved into a few months ago. I have spent the day drawing up to-do lists: clothes, jewels, invites, food... the works. In a few weeks, I'll be back in my hometown, sitting in a mantapam, draped in yards and yards of kanjeevaram, my hands and feet covered in intricate henna patterns. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I look forward to it. Some other times, I just want the wedding to be over so I can get back to where I am right now, in my shorts and T-shirt, in this little apartment that has now become home. 

It's late, and S has fallen asleep. I listen to his deep breaths, and I realize I love the sound. I sometimes marvel at how everything has fallen into place so quickly, with miraculous ease. There has been no drama, and few crazy stories to tell. No naach-gaana whatsoever (though I believe there will be some later, at the wedding). However, the filmi me is, quite inexplicably, happy. 

As I type, the ring on my finger winks at me. If this is arranged marriage, well then, I must say we've arranged it all quite well!

Note: I got married three years ago. I just happened to find this post lurking among my drafts. It was written in October 2011.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


It's ALIVE!!!
Yes indeed, I am making yet another attempt to revive my dead blog. I know I promised myself I'd write at least once a month, but since when have I kept promises made to myself? Anyhoo, I did write a LOT of essays, and a few poems, even. But they were all on paper, and I.. erm... kinda lost them all.

So, for now, I shall respond to a tag. Tagger was kbpm, and she tagged me a couple of years ago. I couldn't come up with a good enough response then, and I doubt I can do it now, but anyway, here goes:

Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

It's huge. So large that we never ever all fit into the frame when it's photo-time at wedding receptions. Actually, our real problem is that we almost never succeed in rounding up all the family members and getting them to pose for a picture. But I digress... this isn't about wedding photos, it's about family. Immediate family consists of the father, the mother and the self. I haven't really blogged that much about them, or about the rest of the family, so I guess this post, addressed to my parents, will have to do.

That's a word that is used too loosely for my liking, and I hate it when acquaintances, boyfriends, classmates and even random people are referred to as 'friends'. I consider myself blessed, to have the kind of friends I do. There was this time I had to say goodbye to them (we thought I'd be gone for a long time), and it hurt so much, it became clearer to me than ever before just how much I loved this set of crazy, noisy, funny people.

My blog's title is 'Just Me'!!! Am I allowed to post a link to the blog itself? If not, there's this post in which I've tried hard to 'say something about myself'. Or maybe you'd rather read about how and why I dislike (some) kids. You pick!

Your love:
Hmmm. Tough one. At this point of time, I'm not sure if I've had something that can qualify as 'My Love'. Crushes, there have been several, but love? I don't know...

Anything you like: This one's easy. The one thing I like above all else is dance. True, I don't get to do much of it these days, at least not professionally, but I LOVE dancing- on stage, in the kitchen, in my mind during a boring class... And I don't even care what kind of dance it is. Dance is dance. Dance is happiness!

So, now that I'm done with that part of the task, I proceed to tag witnwisdumb (i don't know if he blogs anymore), avi (even though this isn't the kind of stuff he blogs about!), lekha (not sure if this is 'her kind' of post), piyu (my one true hope!!!) and... I'll try to think of a fifth blogger later. Ciao!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

60 Girl Confessions

Okay, time to respond to a tag! Here goes:
1. Is it cute when guys kiss you on your forehead?

2. A big poofy dress or a short party dress?
Short party dress

3. What would you do if you received a long love letter?
Read it. But I'd really prefer a cute sms.

4. Group dates or single dates?
Single dates

5. Do you hate it when guys act different around their friends?
I guess it's normal for them to do that

6. Are diamonds a girls best friend?
Not mine!

7. Is your hair up or down today?

8. Do you straighten your hair?
Never needed to

9. Favorite mascara?
I use Lakme.. don't really have a favourite

10. Do you get your nails done?

11. Small or large purses?

12. In your purse, what are your must have?
Again, I don't carry a purse. Pockets are good.

13. Jeans or sweats?

14. Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry thats uncomfortable?
Sometimes, yes.

15. Do you text message a lot?
You have NO idea how much! :P

16. What would you do if you got pregnant?
Depends on WHEN ;)

17. Whats your favorite color?
White, black, grey, blue..

18. Heels or flats?
Heels heels heels!

19. Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?
All the time!

20. Would you ever leave the house without make-up on?

21. Walmart or Target?
Uhm... Target.

22. Do you wear collared shirts?

23. Do you like preppy boys?

24. Do you think lip gloss is the best?
It's okay...

25. Do you own any big sunglasses?

26. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
20 minutes

27. Do you like to wear band-aids?
Heh, yes. A lot.

28. Do you like skater boys?
Again, pass.

29. Do you often wish there was something you could change?

30. Gold or silver?

31. Do you like to receive flowers?

32. Do you like surfer boys?
What the...

33. Do you dress up for the holidays?
Kind of, yes

34. Do you like to wear dresses?
Don't really mind them

35. On a scale of 1-10 how much do guys confuse you?
What's 1 and what's 10?

36. In the last 48 hours have you hung out with a guy?

37. Would you date a guy shorter than you?

38. Do you like to hold hands?

39. What is the youngest you would date?
Someone at least my age

40. What is the oldest you would date?
Hmmm.. Maybe 5 years older

41. What do you notice when you first meet a guy?
Height, language (yes, call me a snob if you will), sense of humour

42. Is it hott when guys sweat?
As long as they don't stink!

43. What is the best feature in a guy?
Eyes. And God bless those with long legs and sideburns! :P

44. Do you like making eye contact?
Eye contact is NORMAL.

46. Would you kill for chocolate?

47. Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy?

48. On a scale from 1-10 how fun is shopping?
I hate it.

49. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show?
I don't even HAVE a favourite show.

50. Do you yell a lot?
No, but I'm kinda loud

51. Do you wear sweatpants/pajamas to school/work?
Ha ha. No.

52. Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy?

53. What is one thing that really annoys you that a person can do?
Ask me to "make fraaandship"? Lots of things, I don't know

54. What makeup could you not live w/ out?

55. Do you fall in love easily?

56. What is the hardest thing to do when talking to a person?
Keeping him/her interested?

57. What is somethings that you do way too much?

58. Are you obssesive compulsive at times?

59. What is your opinion on long distance relationships?
No comment

60. What is one thing that makes you cry immediately?
LOTS of things.. kinda hard to single one out.

Now, I tag the only blogger-girls I know... Piyu, kbpm and Lekha.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On The Job

I wasn’t really looking for a job, but one landed right in my lap, and I thought, “Why not?” So here I am now, a ‘working woman’ (ewww… I don’t like the sound of that!), in my own large, airy office. Nature of the job- designing booklets on hearing aid use and care for persons who use hearing aids (no, we can’t call them ‘hearing aid users’ anymore).

As a part of my job, I had to ‘field test’ the material I developed. That just means I had to talk to a lot of persons who use hearing aids and find out whether the material we’d handed out to them at the time of hearing aid fitting had been useful, and whether they were satisfied with the services provided. In most cases, the answers were yes and yes. But then, there were a few other cases that cast light on the importance of stressing on the more basic issues in hearing aid care that most people would dismiss as ‘common sense’. Here are a couple of those stories.

An old woman had been advised to wear her hearing aid all the time, and not just for important occasions or when she was having a conversation (after the initial period of adjusting to amplification, of course). This was so that she’d be able to listen to all sorts of sounds, and not just speech. It would also help her get used to that annoying new ‘mic’ in her ear. She had also been told to keep her hearing aid nice and dry, and that she should not bathe with it on. But she was supposed to wear it all the time, remember? So guess what she did… She stopped bathing!

Another lady purchased a wonderful new digital hearing aid. With the hearing aid came a box to keep it in, along with a small packet of silica gel to keep the hearing aid dry. The audiologist showed the lady the silica, and told her that the crystals would change colour if they were saturated with moisture. “Just heat them a bit when that happens. The original colour will return, and you can use the crystals again”, said the audiologist.

A couple of weeks later, the lady brought the hearing aid back, saying it had stopped working. “I did exactly as you told me to…I cleaned the mould, I checked the tubing, I replaced the batteries… But this ‘machine’ has just not been the same ever since I microwaved it to dry it…”

I’m wondering if I should add “Do not bake, roast, fry, or in any way heat your hearing aid” to the list of dos and don’ts in hearing aid care….


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Go Girl(y)?

I just had a long chat with R, and I was telling her how all nice guys think I’m a guy. “This has been going on for a very long time now, hasn’t it?” she asked. She’s right… This HAS been the case ever since I was in high school. The guys thought I was “just one of them”. They said I was “too cool to be a girl”. Nice…. I liked that. They could share their fart jokes with me, they could come to me with their relationship troubles, they could say pink was disgusting and jewelry was boring and I’d agree with them. But somewhere along the line, they stopped paying attention to me the way they would to a girl. They stopped thinking of me as a girl. Result- no boyfriend.


R says I’m like Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. She suggested that I try wearing ‘girlie’ clothes… maybe guys would notice. I tried. And I was told by a guy that I had a ridiculously high amount of kajal on. R says I really AM like Kajol in KKHH… I try to dress like a girl and make a fool of myself. I really don’t know how to be a girl.


Anyway, we’ve drawn up a list of do’s and don’ts (mostly the latter), that I’m supposed to follow in order to change my ‘image’.


  1. Stop wearing my guy friends’ clothes
  2. Stop lifting weights with them at the gym
  3. Stop saying stuff like “Ooooh! Look at her look at her look at her… she has nice legs!”
  4. Stop voicing all my pervert thoughts
  5. Stop making fart/crap-related jokes
  6. Stop snorting while laughing
  7. Laugh softly, do not guffaw
  8. Think like a girl, act like a girl
  9. Cross legs demurely while sitting
  10. Nag. Cry. Blackmail.


There was more, but I won’t be listing EVERYTHING. Anyway, I better get going. It’s time to start working on my Plan. I should get out of these track pants I borrowed from Mr. C…

(And if YOU have any suggestions, please, comment.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My grievances :P

One sunday, after listening to five sob-stories, I decided to call myself The Shoulder. No, really, that's what I am... The shoulder everyone cries on. On the same day, I also realized EYE don't have a shoulder to cry on, if I ever needed one. What do I do with MY problems? Blog them, of course! So, here goes- a list of my problems. They don't qualify as sob-stories, considering I laugh at them myself, but still. Problems are problems, right?

The Tamilians didn't get my name right, and now, unsurprisingly, the Umreecans are butchering it, too. N-E-H-A. How hard IS it, people? Nea, Niya, Niha, Nina... One professor kept getting my name wrong (she had a different error each time she tried), and finally asked me to spell it out for her. I did. N. E. H. A. "Ah! Leena!", she said. I gave up after that. Another kid asked, "Uhm.... You mean, like Neo but not?", which was strange, because a friend of mine had asked me the same question a couple of days ago. I just burst out laughing, and I was like, "Not! Not!". Kid got a little offended. Oh well!

I hate pink. And this is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month (or something like that), so everything is pink. The fountains spout pink water. The Amtrak building is a different pink everyday. The clock on the tower has a pink dial. The city hall and the museums are lit up with pink lights. The skyline is pink. It's disgusting! The final straw- I used the copy machine in school, and the copies came out printed on pink paper!

I have the world's best roommates. What do your roomies say when you say 'Hi!'? Mine say "Sssshhh!". And mind you, it's not like I shout or anything. And a few days ago, some of the girls had exams coming up, and were studying. They need peace and quiet. I understand. Which is why I was using earphones to listen to music. But even so, one roommate complained that my 'music was leaking'. So I obligingly stopped the music (really, no point in listening to Nickelback at a low volume). And you know what? The hall, I realized, was FILLED with clicks and hisses because these girls mouth the words they read. That bugged ME so much that I couldn't study.

My only real problem, I suppose, is that I'm lonely. I spent most of the morning walking in the cold rain, and listening to the saddest songs you can imagine. You can easily guess how sorry I felt for myself! I even thought of writing a book or making a movie with the title "Friendless in Philadelphia". Okay, I am overreacting, but it's just so sad to be walking in the rain, alone, and listening to sad songs. I had to drink a large coffee (I never drink anything but Small, because even 'small' is much more than I can comfortably handle), eat a brownie and a whole packet of Cheez-Its before I felt better. I gave away my other brownie and my packet of candies to a student who said he was hungry, and I felt even better. So did he. He said I was the best instructor they'd ever had. So, yay!

Oh, and my other big problem is that I have a paper to hand in tomorrow, and I haven't even started writing yet. Of all the days I could have chosen, I HAD to pick today, to resurrect my dead blog. Oh dear... this last problem won't be solved unless I go DO that assignment.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saying Goodbye

"Neha! When are you leaving?"
"Next week"
"Oh cool! You must be, like, sooooo excited, right? I mean, it's gonna be like, a new place, new college, new house, new friends.... How exciting!!!!"

I just smiled and nodded politely. The girl stopped gushing and went away, leaving me thinking, I am not excited. I'm many things- nervous, worried, apprehensive, weary, sad, confused- but excitement, somehow, doesn't figure in the picture.

I carried on walking towards the Preschool Training Centre. It was past six, all the kids had gone home. The halls and rooms were now being used for dance and music rehearsals, for annual day. I know I'm no longer a student of that college, that I can't just gatecrash a rehearsal. But as someone who's always been a part of the annual day culturals, who's almost always been an important member of the 'Invocation' dance team (the college decided long ago that singing a devotional song for the invocation wasn't so hot), I would surely be allowed to stay and watch the rehearsals. So I went. I sat on a cold, hard, granite-topped counter and watched my ex-classmates and juniors dance to a song I'm not particularly fond of. They were quite good. But I felt so lost, so sad, that I wasn't there with them.

P, who was standing next to me, leaned closer and whispered, "I miss you so much!". I miss her too. I miss my friends already. I miss it all... hushed conversations in the classroom, passing notes during lectures, 6 of us sharing one vada in the canteen, nights on the terrace, giggling away madly, dance rehearsals, parties, cultural events, going out for a bite once in a while, the pathetic coffee we had in the mess, the walks in the rain.... The list is endless. Well, I'm sure I can find pathetic coffee in USA too, but the people whose presence made even the sorriest cup of coffee taste good won't be around.

But I'm sure I'll be fine. Right now, I'm just glad, really really glad, that I have such wonderful friends... friends who are sorry to see me go. I would've hated it if people didn't miss me. I love them all... We have spent four years together, laughing, crying, making beautiful memories. I'll miss them terribly, but I'll be back, and we'll meet again.

All I have to say now is, thank you, guys... for everything.