Friday, February 28, 2014

If You Are a Woman... Be Super Woman!

Ramesh has a high profile job which involves a lot of travel, he traveses the globe & hence, rarely has time for any personal life... even though he has gone far & beyond in his life, the fact is, there is a void.. an empiness... he has money to spend... cars to drive... suits to wear... but he still is an balding unattractive 38 year old single... there is no feeling of belonging-ness.. there is noone to call his own... parents passed away a long time ago... no wife.. no kids... just one friend, Prakash, who he visits whenever he lands back in India... has lunch at Prakash's place... where Prakash's wife (Supriya) lays down absolutely delicious home-made food for the men & the child, while clad in the traditional Indian sari... Ramesh always sits right opposite Prakash so he can peep at Supriya's voluptuous bosoms as she bends over to serve food to Prakash... he tries to rub his face against the sari's pallu as she serves him... when Ramesh is not around & Supriya is in the kitchen cleaning up... he points at the couple's 6 year old daughter, Laali, to come sit in his lap as he gives her a box of those tasty Praline chocolate that she loves.. he kisses & caresses her & fondles her undeveloped body... afterall every give has to have a take... he asks her is she likes the chocolates & as she sticks her tongue out, he sucks the chocolate off her tongue... "ummmmm... tasty" he says & Laali chuckles... She has been doing this for years... she possibly does not even know what sick pleasure Ramesh derives out of this...

There is only one person in this whole world that Laali shares her chocolates with... & that is her best friend, the 9 year old Chutki, the street urchin who saved Laali from coming under a truck 3 months ago... Even though Supiya & Ramesh do not appreciate this comrade... Chutki did save their daughter's life... so they make an extra roti or two, so that the poor kid does not die of hunger... every day Chutki religiously comes to play with Laali in the evening... today, Laali shared her chocolates with Chutki instead of giving her 2 rotis & sabzi (veggies)... Just because Laali is a friend & Chutki is essentially a nice person, she does not steal from her... else... the urchin does actually have a career... a career in theft... theft of food... after all, she is the sole bread earner at her home, a home that constitutes a drunkard father who spends all his money on booze... but today there were chocolates... today there was no food.. so Chutki had to bear the wrath of her father... as he shamelessly beat her & rape her to vent his anger!

The 13 year, Bali {muh boli behen (not blood sisters, but by bond) of Chutki} kept banging the doors for a good 25 mins begging "Darwaaza khol do, Suraj Chaccha" (Open the door, Suraj uncle)... But Suraj din't care a damn while raping his own blood daughter... none of Chutki's howling nor Bali's door-banging made a difference to him... Bali ran to the police chauki to rescue Chutki... "Saab... jaldi chalo... Chutki k saath galat ho raha hai (Sir.. please hurry... Chutki is being victimized)" she cried out loud... "thamba thamba.. yo chutki kaun hai.. aur tu kaun hai... aur k ho reya hai uskay saath, baawri? (slow down... who is Chutki... & who are you... & what is happeing with her, you moron" said the officer as he came to the front of the table & sat on it while actioning her to come closer... "uska baapu uskay saath galat kar raha hai (her father is wronging her).. mai uski dost hu (i am her friend)... aap chalo afsar saab usko bachanay (please come to rescue her)"... "k kar raha hai uska baapu uskay saath? (what's her father doing to her?") "balaatkaar (rape)... ab chaliye (now come)" "aur tu aisay ad-nangay kapdo mei kahay ghoom rahi hai? (& why are you roaming around half-naked?)... tujhay bhi apna balaatkaar karwana hai k? (Do you also wanna get raped?)... aisay kapdo mei ghoomegi toh balaatkaar hi hoga (if you roam around in such clothes, you will be subjected to rape).. ya shayad nahi... lagta hai tu toh apni marzi se degi (or maybe not, seems you will concede) said the policeman as he rubbed his hands on Bali knee... Bali looked down at her handed-down-torn skirt that she adorned & then at his hand & she grabbed his hand & jerked it off... "tum sab aadmi 1 jaisay ho (all you men are alike) she said as she turned to the door...

The police man tugged her by her elbow, pulling her between his legs so his crotch was against her ass.. she tried to struggle, but he pulled her closer... tighter... touched her in every possible place while pretending to calm her down... he then licked the sweat off her ear & whispered "pehlay FIR toh darj kara... fir hi toh koi kanooni karwaee hogi, bawaari (you gotta lodge a FIR first, criminal proceedings will follow only then).. by the time this ordeal was over... Bali was beaten & raped like an animal... but the proceedings did follow... Bani & Surbhi (a 16 year old orphan) were sent to an orphanage... where they were given plentiful to eat... clean clothes to wear... even got a tutor who home schooled those girls there... it was the nicest orphanage in the day.. every one was nice & they even told the girls about their bright futures & how can step outta this poverty... step outta this poverty in the night... when it turned into a brothel... a place where all Surbhi had to do was take off her clothes & do whatever her client asks her to do... one could either love the place & make their money & this bright career... or they would end up like Aarti...

Aarti was 18 when she was sold to Khalid Usuf... because she claimed that she is an adult & can take care of herself.. because she ran away & the police brought her back.. because she refused to sleep with men in exchange of money... she was SOLD... after all everyone has a price tag... hers was 200 per hour, for services she refused to render... or 27000 for lifetime which Khalid willingfully paid for... now she does not have to sleep with men on a per hour basis... she just has to please Khalid.. she has to cook for him.. clean for him... & generally she only has to sleep with him & 4 - 5 of his friends... they all seem to like her.. & when they all get together for drinks.. they share everything... they eat outta each others food... they drink outta each others drinks... its only obvious they share her too!!! Usmal is not into sharing so he refrains from the orgy... when the bunch becomes wild... he tends to hit home... what can someone say... Usmal does not like to share his pie... so he walks the dark streets as he hears pale screams...

he heads towards to the direction of the screams & locates a parked Innova shaking rigorously... he peeps in as he is sure the gagged screams are coming from the cab... he smashes the rear windshield & unbolts the lock... flings open the door to find a 23 year old Swati gagged... screaming & crying with her sari ripped off her & her blouse & brassiere torn while Shantanu, the cab driver, gropes her & releases himself into her... Shantanu plunges at the knife he had kept on the side & Usmal seizes the moment to smash Shantanu's head with the brick he still held in his hand... He tries to drape the shocked & shivering Swati.. pushes Shantanu outta the Innova & drives straight to the police station... where the police's concern really is why is Swati with Usman at 3 in the morning! Well... Swati works the night shift & Usman was passing by when this incident happened... the police questions the call center employees & the manager, Chiragh!

Chiragh is blamed for not taking enough safety measures... there should be no women dropped home LAST so late in the night... has there been a security check? who is to be blamed? after all... it was Chiragh's decision to use the transport that has cab drivers such as Shantanu... Well.. Chiragh was just pissed... & almost had an accident on his way home... he reached home at 8AM.. woke his wife up & narrated the whole incident & told her that he needs to release his tension... The 29 year old Deb, even though sympathetic to her husband, had witnessed a bigger tragedy.. her 64 year old mother was dead... looted, raped & shot... Chiragh's phone was just not reachable so she could not inform him... She tried to tell Chiragh about it.. but all he wanted was to release his tension... She said, "i am in no mood Chiragh... its just a rough day" "but i need this baby.. please" "no.. listen to me" but he just slid up her gown & took her against her will...

We live in a society where woman is synonymous to God... yet we abuse her... first we dont want a girl as a child... & then, if we do have one... well.. someone has to pay... Women, these days are standing as tall as man... work the same no. of hours.. share the same designations... are catching up on salary... all while... maintaining a family balance.. juggling perfectly between work & home.. cooking.. cleaning... teaching the kids... loving.. caring... yet, they are being objectified, glorified, letched at... they are women after all.. they are not humans right?? men have the right to objectify these beautiful creations by God... why do they need to work.. their only job is to please men... she can either do it all willingly... or else.. men can force themselves on to these women.. women don't really have the right to say no... right? & men have all the rights to do as they feel.. right again eh?

It is time to fix this.. it really is... You know, most of the sexual abuse stories go untold... One reason is because women fear being condemned by society... but the bigger reason is because they believe that they are supposed to take all this crap... there must be hundreds & thousands of NGOs that work towards the welfare of the abused women... but I have a fundamental question... the question being... why don't we stand up for ourselves... why don't we do something so we don't need these NGOs because we NOW are broken?? why don't we be safe, than sorry??

I believe the first step is to educate women about their rights... they have a right to stand up for themselves & their respect.. & they definitely have the right to say no... As much as it is important to have a defense... it always is good to have an offense strategy as well... Hence, I believe the second step is offense.. yes, it helps to carry pepper spray & share details of the cab you boarded to your dears & have the send my location app installed on your cell phone... but the truth of the matter is... for women... NO area is safe... I am based outta India's capital... but is it safe? Did you know that Delhi is also the "Rape Capital" of India... so do you know what is safe? safer than the pepper sprays & the apps?

Martial Arts... there is a reason why women commando officers are being trained in the same... THIS is the reason... & it is the biggest reason - sexual. abuse. against. women. .. when a man jumps on you from behind, the pepper spray cannot do no NOTHIN'.. the only way you can use the pepper spray is if you swing at his nuts & he releases you... the power to be safe lies with you... learn martial arts... it's a fact that men are physically stronger... but a little training can help us fight them! It is not unlady-like to be strong & it is not unlady-like to know how to fight... Im sure you know that the queens & princesses before us... who were supposed to be the epitome of lady-ness (if that's a word)... were trained in combat... sword fighting etc... they were taught to fight back & not endeavor any & every shit that was shoved their way... it is time for us ladies to realize we are capable of being every inch a lady while not needing to be the delicate one who needs prince charming to rescue us!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


"She got burned... must be for dowry...
he got burned... what a tragic accident...
she filed a case of sexual abuse... what a disgusting man...
he filed a case of sexual harassment... can a woman actually do that?
he cheated on his wife... she deserves a big fat alimony...
she cheated on his husband... he never was there for her...
and you say we live in a male dominant society? Members of the jury, I would like to ask you - do we?

The fact is, there are quite a few laws to protect women... 49 to be precise... there is the dowry prohibition act... the domestic violence act... the sexual harassment at work place... married women property act.. the equal remuneration act... members of the jury... i can go on & on...
do you know how many to protect men? do we have them at all? and you say we live in a male dominant society!

The cases of sexual harassment have gone up by 76% in the past year itself... is it because the men have become more & more lecherous over the last one year? or is it that the women have found their voice to stand against what has been happening for years? or is just that the women have started to abuse the laws that were made to protect them? Did you know that 6% of the sexual harassment cases filed last year were settled, 23% withdrawn & 39% lost & you, yes, YOU the JURY made these decisions... & you say we live in a male dominant society...

Its just aggravating - we live in a male dominant society... all i wish to ask is DO WE?

This man... this man sitting in front of you members of the jury, is a man who loved his wife... & what did his wife give him in return? deceit... lies... SHE CHEATED ON HIM!!! Yet, look at his love for his wife... i stand corrected, his late wife... he let her go... asked for a divorce... that's all he asked for... he never asked for her life... the police have no real proof to incriminate this man... none... in fact, there are no reasons to... this is a clear case of suicide.. the absence of a note does not justify him as a killer... the late victims' therapist's testimony that she feared her husband would kill her if he learned of her affair is just an altercation to frame my client... there were no signs that it is not a suicide... there are fingerprints of the accused.. but that does not justify this conviction... of course there will be fingerprints... after all it is their house... what would be fishy is if there were no fingerprints... what you should be asking yourself is were there any signs of of resistance... & there were none... the man is 6'2"... if he would have shot her the bullet would have pierced through at an angle of 135 degrees & most probably the center of the forehead... it did at a 45% angle & from the temple... clear case of suicide.

Members of the jury... all the laws are for the women... so we assume that he killed her... & then we say we live in a male dominant society...

Members of the jury... the fact really is... he loved her... she cheated... but that does not make him a killer... I implore you to protect the rights of the innocent... Every suicide cannot be a homicide... I implore you go into that room & when you come back.. come back with a verdict that makes me say we live in a fair society"

This was the closing argument of Mr. Bayer that won the freedom of Mr. Cummings. Winning is all about persistence... persistence is what sails you through; even when everyone & everything is against you... persistence is what sails you through; when no one believes in you... persistence is what helps you sail through because if you stop persisting, you fail! Persistence is the key to triumph!

This post has been written for the "WINNING for India Today Conclave 2014" contest and is pure fiction.
Click "India Today Conclave" to visit the same.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

These Lovers... I Tell You!

"Goodnight Kuchi-koooooo"
"goodnight puchoooooo"
"sweet dreams kuchi-koooooo"
"come in my dreams puchoooooo!"
"ofcourse kuchuuuu.. where else will i go?"
"what do mean by where else will I go? Do you wanna go somewhere else?"
"uh... uh.. no baby.. i meant... you're the one for me... i have no where else to go"
"don't baby me... what do you mean by i HAVE no where else to go? Do i keep you on a leash?..."
"no.. no.. li.. lis.. list en"
"Do you mean I tie you to me & give you no space?..."
"bah bah but"
"I love you so much & you are always so mean to me..."
"listen to me"
"you always say things that will hurt me..."
"but... um"
"you are the meanest guy ever.. i do..."
"so much for you... all the time.. i always make all the compromises & you want somewhere else to go... i'm not good enough for you or what?"
"no baby.. you're the best... just listen to me for one sec"
*sob sob*
"i'm a fool... sometimes i don't know the right words... but i love you.. I'm sorry"
"do you *sob *sob do you mean that?"
"ofcourse love... i meant it.. from the bottom of my heart"
"so.. you don't wanna be with anyone else?"
"nooooo... ofcourse not"
"* puppy voice* you promise?"
"swear on my mum"
"okay... aaah" #long pause
"i love you dear"
"i hope that you mean that... i love you too"
"now you sleep tight my angel"
"you too"
"i love you"
"i love you too"

#Adarsh's thought process: Phew... I don't even understand what i said that i needed to be sorry for... Phew... Kuchi... why do you do that? you know I love you!!!

#Pankhuri talking to herself (out loud): I'm sure Adarsh is talking to that witch Maaaendy again... These guys... they are all the same... one day they love me... the next day that stupid *aaaargh MADHU CRAZY PANDIT.. He is going to leave me.. I'm sure he will... Why??? why are all men like this? why can't they be loyal? why can't this stupid moron stay in love with me? *sobbbb through the night!

Today morning Pankhuri (Pihu/ Kuchi-koo) re-iterated this conversation to me... & I wondered to myself, what do I do with this girl.. she is an adorable friend.. just about everybody loves her... but for some reason, she never is lucky in love... I mean.. i know the reason.. she suffocates her lovers till they break free or she guts the relationships as they cheat on her (which she is sure of irrespective of any proof)... but how do I tell her that? All i know is Pihu ki #conditionserioushai! The funny part is, in spite of knowing that Pihu is like this, Adarsh jumped into this relationship... I'm sure, Adarsh ki bhi #conditionserioushai

Pihu, being the talkative girl that she is, actually cried out her woes in front of almost everyone of her friends... & pat came the reply from Sakshi "yaar, Pihu.. all these men are like this.. one day Pooja... next day dooja.. don't be heart-broken.. you can do better... you will do better than Adarsh... he is not worth you in any case.. you are in every way better than him... you look better.. you belong to a better family... you have better taste... just dump him.. you will find a man who deserves you" "but... i love him... i love him much more than that Mandy will ever love him..." "i know.. these men.. they will never understand us" Watching all of this happen... right in front of my eyes... From it being a Pihu-Adarsh story to being labeled as generic men psyche.. I don't understand.. how did it get so serious? I guess seriousness is contagious.. From Pihu.. to Sakshi.. to Tania... it seems like a war raged against men...

& when Adarsh told his mates about the tale from last night... it witnessed a roar of laughter... this ludicrous ESCAPADE.. how words were tweaked to make Adarsh more & more guilty... oh.. the poor soul had to be sorry for NOT wanting to go any where else but stay with his girl... Finally, Saransh asked "why don't you leave her? If she drives you crazy like this?" "cuz I love her... & when we are not fighting, it's just perfect... she makes me happy.. & i like being with her" "bhai.... tu toh bada serious hai... tu toh gaya (Dude... you're in serious condition.. you're gone!).. go & give bhabhi (sister-in-law) a 5 star & kiss & make up before this gets blown outta proportion then!" "ha ha ha.. very funny Saransh!" "these lovers man.. inki #ConditionSeriousHai!"

This post has been written for the "Condition Serious Hai!" contest.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Heights of Love… Heart Shaped Box!!!

“Rev up my girl” said Mel to Grata… “we are going on a double date & we are going to have fun… & you are gonna wear the smile that has everyone tumbling” & she literally pushed Grata in for a wash to get bright & perky while she picked out the champagne color backless from the wardrobe… After all… Grata had agreed to go out on a date like after ages… Plus, all the Adam running through her head had soaked up the color of her skin…

“why we dressing up so much??? I can do my hair… don’t act like a mom” said Grata while battling Mel away… Mel - “I want you to have a good time, that’s all… & I don’t want you to look or behave like a heart broken project… it IS a warning!” “yes Mum… ill behave.. now get off my back!” said Grata as she pulled her hair up into a neat bun, put back the dress & pulled up her cream jeggings & a cream top.. Mel - "That's boring!"... G! said "I'm not done yet!" as she pulled out a pair of golden danglers & a set of bangles... Mel - "Still boring!" "Give it a rest" said G! as she wore a crimson belt & a Crimson jacket & painted her lips red too... "Good to go now ma'am?"... "A1" said Mel as she blew Grata a kiss!

Mel would just not give up who the dates were… but The Barracks is one of Grata’s favorite cafĂ©… the chicken nachos & mojitos there are to die for… even if my date sucks… I still have some things to look forward to, she thought to herself… The Barracks was Grata's hang out joint during college as it was one of its kind open roof 24X7s with good food & cheap booze... //Maybe I'll run into some from the Uni & have them gate crash my date //Why did I choose the Barracks? //Why did my date agree to such an odd place & time?? //Who goes on a date at 5PM? //Maybe my date ain't really interested in this date //It still is sunny// ...

Grata's mind was pre-occupied with a million thoughts when Mel smiled & waived towards the door, Grata turned around to find her greatest nightmare come alive… “You set me up with SCOTT?” she angrily mumbled to Mel… “Have you been absolutely blind this whole week?”, said Mel //Grata confused// “I am kind of with Scott… check out who we got for you!!!” As Scott walked up to the ladies while Grata & Mel got over the discussion & stood up to meet Grata’s date for the evening… Henry!!! & was Henry a sight… he could just melt any woman with his baby blue eyes… he looked like the perfect gentleman & smelled absolutely delicious… “Henry J. Carter”, he said as he pecked Grata’s cheek! "It's a beautiful evening & you look rather gorgeous" he said in his strong British accent that could explode an adrenaline bomb inside of any woman's head/heart/pit... "You look very handsome yourself, Mr. Carter." pat came Grata's response. "Please, call me Henry, I insist!" he said while pulling out a chair to seat Grata!

Just as they got seated a voice said, “This song goes out to a lady in this bar… its called Heart Shaped Box – by Nirvana” & then Adam sang “She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak . . .” looking straight at Grata... //great… so it is Jam time here for the local bands today… & Hysteria is 1st on it... This is going to be a looooong uncomfortable night// thought Grata to herself & looked at Mel in distress!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Always Hungry... Always Foolish!!!

As a kid, I could not wait to grow up... I hated studying... all i wanted to do was grow up & start working --- So there is no homework... so that I don't need to carry no bags anymore... so I don't need to dress up in a uniform to go to school... & most of all, so I don't have to be the bullied or be the invisible girl who has no friends... they were all too suave & elegant for me... some people said, you get good grades, I'm sure you don't hate studying... maybe you need a change... & the change will come... everybody loves college... but I hated college too... I wasn't invisible anymore, but it was worse... I still had no friends, but this time it was out of choice... there were all too small town for me... this time, I was made fun off because of the fact that my primary language was English (that's what happens when you have a Malayalee father & a Sindhi mother - English becomes your first language)... So, I still wanted to get rid of the studying & start working... I did... Graduated & worked as a Software Engineer with Infy... Funny part is... the phase that I enjoyed the most during Infy was the 1st 4 months of rigorous training... that's when I realized, maybe I don't really hate studying!

Infact, during Infy, I voluntarily undertook multiple trainings - I found joy in studying & learning anything new! After 2 years... I did an MBA... & I loved everyday (actually every minute) of my education... that's when I decided, every few years, I will study some more... The more i work, & do the same mundane jobs... the more I realize, I have a craving for learning something new, even if it is of absolutely no relevance to my career, learning makes me happy.... learning anything new gives me a moment of nirvana... For example, during my days a child, there were only 2 professions that all parents rooted for - Doctor or Engineer.... Hence, even though I wanted to learn music, it was frowned upon & passed off as something I will forget about eventually... But I did not, I picked up the guitar now, NOW, when I'm 29... & trust me when I say, many 11 year olds can play a 100 times better than me... but trust me also when I say, many of them do it as a part of their curriculum & learning how to do tricks such as bending or hammering means nothing to them, but for me - learning the same & being able to do them mean happiness!!

I would love to study something or the other all my life.. but there are 2 major specializations I wish to do.. Marketing & Law. I already have a degree in Marketing & even if it makes no sense career wise, I plan to get a degree in Law as well. Now, when I put my mind to it, then, what better place to get an (a/an - I get confused... I have a tendency to add an an when the words seems to sound with a vowel - el el bee???) LL.B. than at the place where it originated? Voila - England it is... (Trivia - It believed that the LL.B as a degree originated in England & so did Civil Law - the legal system!) & If it is going to be England, then it has to be the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford (Trivia - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings tied Oxford Uni & Harvard at the 2nd position this year.)

I hate to deviate, but when I was much younger.. My mother & I were having a fight as she interrupted when I was watching a suspense based scene @ Alley McBeal or Boston Legal & I told her to talk to me when the damn trial proccedings get over & there is a break... She closed with "you should become a lawyer as you love to fight & nobody can beat you in words"... Also, a few days earlier, I was just finishing up the Racketeer & must have had an animated face when my mother asked me what I was upto... I told her that I am reading a law based book & I went on to tell her how I love it better than John's million $ Rainmaker... she told me its funny that 2 things have not changed for me since I was almost a baby... My love for advertisements & courtrooms... Now, I myself have been aware of my love for advertisements as I get angry if I'm watching a new ad & somebody flips the channel.. but I love Law was new to me... So, my mother went on to tell how I used to love some courtroom serial as a 4 year old... how she knew that I watched a lot of detective/courtroom drama series when I was in school... how most of the novels I read were around the law... she even pointed out to me that the only 3 subjects where I got full credits during my MBA were Advertising, Law & Entrepreneurship... I guess even though all your life, you try to find what you  are looking for... Your parents know the same just by monitoring your likes & dislikes! & I like it... Both - a well thought commercial & a well argued motion, give me an adrenaline pump! So much so that I fell in love with James Spader (Alan Shore) & William Shatner (Denny Crane) even though I would not classify any of them as my type while they were in their 40s & 70s at least!

I guess, my point is... what you wish to do in your life... where you want go... are always a part of you... you just need to dig deeper & do a little soul searching to know how you want to get there... Like I've always loved ads & law... I just did not know it till my mother pointed it out to me... & I also now know that I have an appetite for learning... I am a classic case of always hungry.... always foolish... so, what better thing to do than to study... to learn about.. something I love... I enjoyed my MBA because I studied what I love... So, the next logical thing to study is Law... & like I said, where better to study than where it all started (England) & where better than at its finest University (Oxford Uni, Faculty of Law!)

Some may ask - Why Oxford... why not Cambridge? Well... my answer to that is Cambridge is a damn good option... but it still is 2nd to Oxford... after all the genesis of Cambridge Uni is Oxford.. Right? It's the same for me, as to why I really cannot explain why I still love Apple when Samsung loads better features at a better price... I guess I have a loyalty problem!

Did you know that the Oxford legacy has not been dated but is believed to date farther than 1096, which makes it the oldest university in the English speaking world & the 2nd oldest surviving university? (University of Bologna is the 1st).. Cambridge follows! Did you know that Oxford includes 38 constituent colleges & Cambridge has 31?

Did you also know that Oxford is ranked the 7th highest w.r.t. the nobel laureates (the no. is 58) - FYI - Cambridge stands at #3 with a 90 & Harvard at #1 with a whooping 151 nobel laureates!

Imagine the size of the University if the University Parks are a 70-acre parkland!
Fun Fact - The Botanic Garden on the High Street is the oldest botanic garden in the UK & the 3rd oldest scientific garden in the world.

There are a numerous reasons to point out why Law & why Oxford... and the 1st one is - because I want to!

This post has been written for the "Knowledge is Great" contest.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Have a Dream #ToTravel

It is a common belief that dreams, even though are a succession of images, ideas, emotions & sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep, are signals sparked by your sub-conscious mind. Dreams are things your mind tells you that you do not gauge in your waking life! I believe very strongly in this analogy & hence, it is obvious that I always try & interpret my dreams. Recently, I dreamed of travelling & honestly, that's all that I remember.. Oh no, wait... I remember I was excited about it... I remember there were a lot of hurdles... & I remember that I was able to make my travel arrangements at the very last minute... I guess that's all that I remember... When I woke up, I tried to figure out what my dream meant... Well, all I could figure out is that as I was travelling alone, it is somehow trying to depict a picture of how I experience personal growth & progress through life... So, my personal growth & progress is filled with hurdles? I am anxious about my goals but I don't give up & I am always excited???

As my interpretation was vague, I decided that maybe all my dream meant is I NEED TO TRAVEL. After all, dreams need not always be metaphorical, sometimes, when you ignore things, dreams kind of slap you right in the face with the facts... So BINGO! That's what my dream meant - after all, I cannot recall when was the last time I had a planned vacation. Yes, I got one about 4 months ago, Goa, an extended 2 day business trip, but that was a fluke & absolutely unplanned, fine, I had fun - but that's because I make friends easily & I was lucky to run into known faces. Even if this was to be counted, it was my 1st vacation in the past 4 years. So, I did the next thing to do, figure out that one place I really wanna visit in my life. That one place came easy to me - I have always wanted to see London, but then, if I do go to London, why not do a Euro Trip? I guess I am not alone here, I am sure, just about everyone wants to visit Europe once in their lifetime. Why you may ask... ?

Because Rome is not knocking at my door so how do I do as the Romans do??? Because the Kohinoor isn't coming back to India... The pizza I eat, is not really Italian... Because the Eiffel Tower ain't getting on a plane to come see me and Barcelona & (Real) Madrid come to me only on the Television... .. Because Venice is never coming here to drift away the traffic... & to top it all, because you cannot borrow a bike to sight see by depositing a coin & get it back anywhere in the world but for Copenhagen! Oh! & how can I forget this one... Because we would rather fight over tomatoes than fight with them! So, if I wanna partake in the food fight, it is established, VALENCIA IT IS ! ON 27th August, 2014. The good thing is that the timing is right. For Europe, Spring & Fall, are beautiful weather times & the airfare are not too high. In fact, some call it the ideal time to travel to Europe. Also, as there is no need to carry winter wear, I get to travel light! I plan to use laundry when renting studio apartments... The intention is to smile a lot, be frugal & local and make people want to be nice to me. These things always help connect with people & learn much more about the culture & share experiences.

My first instinct was to check for EuroTrips.. However, I am not a person to be dictated where to go to... where to eat... when to sleep... where to dance... especially when I am on a vacation! I mean I would rather see a few more places, stay a little longer at a place I like... even if that means I would dance in the streets, take the bus & stay in BnBs. I mean I would much rather go into the side streets & eat at 15 local cafes than fine dine 5 nights! (It also means I have got to pay out in cash mostly, so I plan to have a cash card handy.) Also, some research told me that to save on a few dollars, oh, I mean Euros, I should stay over a Saturday (I plan to stay a month, so that's taken care off) & fly on Weekdays (that's a generic rule all travelers follow - ain't it?) & airfare sales on flights to Europe are much quite random, hence, it made sense to sign up airfare alerts to learn about the sales (also ensure insurance is taken care off side by side). I also learned that where I fly to makes a difference in price, so Spain is a better option than London (Great! How about I land in Spain & start with La Tomatina?)

Start with Spain (Maybe learn a bit of espanol)... have the maps & route maps stored on my phone... Get the Euro Rail Pass... (Carry my Lappy/Tab for ease of bookings online & make use of the abundant free available wifi at the coffee shops)... Move to Milan (Stay at Sehaj's (Oh yes - I have a friend in Milan! who is also going to help me with a local no.; though I still will route all voice & texts messages to my email & respond as & when I use the wifi - Roaming kills)) Then Rome & finally do as Romans (do a quick comparison online for hostels & apartments - after all I am only going to be sleeping, bathing & maybe having breakfast there - I will stick to this regime wherever I do not have a friend to crash at) followed by the Vatican.. Drool at Italian men.. Sailing into the Athens... Istanbul.. Have a hot spring lazy day at Pamukkale... have a mouth-watering-heart-melting Bakhlawa in its real taste... Drool at Greek Men... Hit Budapest & Prague (take in a little scenic beauty)... Fly to Copenhagen or register with a lift club till there (actually rent a bike for the city tour)... take the bus to Berlin (flaunt (& flirt in) the little Deustsch I know in Deustschland!) Okay - I'm beginning to feel I wear my heart on a sleeve now!

I think I will follow this by drinking on the waters in Stockholm (sing LoveFool by the Cardigans at a cute bartender - what better way to connect with someone than their own country's music - maybe go to the Street with him) take the party to Amsterdam in a bus (apparently, it is the cheapest option)... Maybe go out on an Irish coffee date at Dublin... I have to remember to avoid Drew's Lane @ Birmingham... I'd better not be haunted in Foreign lands! I'd rather give my sweet tooth a delight with those beautiful mouth melting chocolates from Belgium... I would follow this up with scuba diving at Kilkee (already registered at - all I have to do is write about it & I get to dive for free)... Follow this up with a bright, colorful & pretty Sunday morning at the Columbia Road Flower Market... roam around whole day gaping awkwardly at the huge billboards... Maybe enjoy Jazz music & the British look & feel of the restaurant that gives away online discount coupons! Try as many cheap eats as I can from I think I will try the free boxes too... ha ha! See the Kohinoor (I wonder if I will get amused).. I'll try finding a love at the love bridge & wrap it up by kissing a beautiful stranger at the Eiffel Tower when it is in all its glory!

I think it will be a beautiful experience and a wonderful vacation!

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