Non-stop Series – F.R.I.E.N.D.S

What happens when you watch a whole series at one stretch, non-stop?

Let’s try it out with ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ this time.

… …

It was a big weekend, and I had no plans whatsoever with anyone alive or dead, from this world or otherwise, in real or even in my fantasy.

So, in order to stop my mind from feeling low and depressed, I started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. One after the other, each episode indulged me to watch more and except for a few “necessary” times, I didn’t get up from my bed during the whole long weekend.

By now, I would have seen this series several dozens of times, but still it’s my favorite pass time.

But as soon as I finished all the available seasons of this series, something weird started to happen with me. I started behaving strangely for a couple of days after. It was no longer my world that I was living in, it was the world of F.R.I.E.N.D.S that I had fallen into.

All my surroundings and my behavior changed to match to some or other character from the series. And reading the following scenes, you’d surely understand it had been weirdly funny:

– As soon as I opened the door to my house, I’d announce my arrival in some funny way, expecting my friends to be present in the hall. Although, I live alone.

– I’d want to go to the coffee bar all the time with my (fictitious) friends.

– While sitting alone in my room, suddenly I’d jump up to tell something really interesting I remembered by saying ‘Hey! Guess what!’ or ‘You know what…’ but then I’d realise there’s no one around and would keep that thought to myself.

– Whenever I’d see someone appealing, I’d instantly speak up, ‘Hey everyone check out the…’ and then realise I was speaking to myself.

– Unknowingly, I’d start singing “I’ll be there for you…” Or while playing guitar, out of tune, I’d start playing the intro music, surprisingly in tune.

– I’d suddenly realise that life without real friends is so miserable and that I’d been living such a life since a long time.

– Suddenly I’d choose a character similar to me and start quoting his dialogues everywhere. Everywhere.

– I’d pay more attention to details and try to say something sarcastic, the moment I get a chance. And then smile like an idiot as no one else would have understood that. (Remembering Chandler)

– I’d make a loud expression saying “I don’t share food!” whenever someone tried to take a bite out of my plate. Just to laugh later to see other’s shocked faces. (Remembering Joey)

– I’d clean the mess out of my house every weekend and will go all crazy on people who move things from the places. That’s actually me, even without watching friends. (Still, remembering Monica.)

– Sometimes, I plan a wicked trick with my friends, let them fight with each other. Then again use some sort of trickery to resolve things between them. I love playing mind games. But then am good at heart and can’t see bad things happening to others, so I help them make better choices. But things make me hard to understand. (Remembering Phoebe)

– Sometimes, I just can’t stop bragging about things and showing off my knowledge, on topics that no one is interested in.

– Thanksgiving, or any festival for that sake, are not fun unless you have the right conpany.

– Watching from the window, checking out the opposite balconies is fun. But not so much without friends nearby or without the ugly naked guy.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S is a television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, distributed by Warner Bros. All rights are reserved by them.

Living alone vs Living with a family

Living Alone vs Living with Family, which one would you prefer?

… …

When you live alone for long enough, you tend to develop mixed feelings for both these types of living habits.

I stayed away from my family for more than 5 years to complete my education. Thereafter, I have a job away from my family. However, mother or father or both do occasional visits to my place. And so do other relatives.

While I stayed with my family, I never had such thought in my mind. But now I am confused whether I like to stay alone more or with my family.

Look at my own-self argue with other regarding which lifestyle is better:

When we stay alone, we are totally free to do whatever we want. We can give our entire time to ourselves. There’s no one to give us any work, there’s no one to interrupt in our personal time.

While at the same time, there’s no one to talk to. There’s no one to take care of us when we are down with sickness or just depressed. There’s no one to look forward to when we are returning home. It feels lonely at times and depressing even.

But when we stay with our family, we can’t watch whatever we want on TV. Sometimes your favorite show coincides with that of someone in your family. (No you don’t have another TV and neither do you have recording facility). What if there’s someone elderly and their views about something are not the same as yours? What if all they talk about is God and your marriage? It’s better to stay alone than to handle this.

But then whom would you tell all the incidents from today? Whom would you play games with? Whom would you show the profile of your crush and ask for some ideas to approach her? Whom do you ask for a warm hug when you need it so dearly?

But then they invade your room without your permission! They keep on asking weird questions and annoy you. They use your things and change their places. They put their views above yours b’cuz they are elder. Their needs become your priority above your own personal pass time. Your free time gets occupied by their activities.

Nevertheless you were not going to do something great in that free time, were you? You were going to watch some stupid movie or waste your time organizing your library. Or you were going to go through all your friends’ updates and feel miserable about your life.

But then you missed that movie with your friends as you had to take your elder shopping. You missed your night out with your best friend as your family won’t allow you to do that. You couldn’t arrange that match at your house as your grandma won’t like it.

Yes, but no one is stopping you from enjoying. Family deserves your time too. And you can have lots of fun moments with your family too! And you can always mix your family and friends to enjoy events.

But you can’t enjoy the same way as you enjoy with your friends alone.

Vice versa applied too…

Yes but then there are lots of restrictions.

You consider them restrictions. They are only guidelines. For your own safety. And when we live with someone we have to take care of their needs to. Don’t your family takes care of you in all circumstances?

They do. But we don’t have to sacrifice our desires with friends.

Oh is it? Don’t you have to go with them even when you don’t want to? Doesn’t deciding a place to hangout makes you sick with all those arguments and discussions? Don’t you miss your brother or sister more when your friend doesn’t help you with something? You sacrifice in case of friendship too. And haven’t family members sacrificed a lot for you? Now don’t get me started on that…

Yes, but then as we grow up, we have our own views about life. We can’t follow someone else’s views. With change in time, we have to change our views. We have to accept new culture and move with it. We can’t live in past. But these elders at home won’t understand this.

True that. But that is generation gap. You have to make them understand. You have to prove it to them that what you think is actually valid and safe. It takes time and effort but remember that will help you too, when you’re on the other side of the table.

Do you think I wouldn’t have tried? I have tried explaining them my point but they always take the discussion to that point where it is question of their respect and seniority. And hence, we cannot speak anything further. Besides, don’t you think you lose your freedom while living with them?

Freedom is a relative word. What you consider freedom might not be freedom for me. While I might just solve all conflicts with a simple discussion with my family. There’s nothing a discussion can’t solve.

Yes, but discussions do not always come to your favour. While if you had been staying alone, there would be no need of these discussions.

But don’t you feel lonely at times while staying alone?

Yes, but I miss my carefree and independent life more…

But…

Their arguments would never end…! And I don’t think they will ever come to a conclusion either.
… …

What about you? Which lifestyle do you prefer – Living alone or Living with a family? Say in comments…

Solo Travel Diaries – Strangers

While I travel seldom, of the times I travel, mostly I travel alone. Solo travel diaries are my weird experiments and experiences from incidents during my solo travel.

—–

Don’t talk to strangers. Stranger is danger.” something that we are taught since childhood.

But still, it happens, often, that you meet someone on your journey, you talk with them, and they leave a lasting impression on your mind, sometimes on your wallet.

I was standing near a charging booth, refilling the juice in my phone, which would help me stay alive that 9 hours solo journey.

While we don’t have anything to do when we can’t use our phones now-a-days, I usually have a lot of fun when my phone’s not in my hand.

I was whistling the tunes of some of my favorite songs, sometimes singing them along. I was observing the people around me and started noting down the types of people that one can find on a common station (probably future post 😛).

While doing all this, I had my one hand fixed on my mobile phone while the other on my bag. I just couldn’t let go of the fear of someone stealing things from me from that crowded place.

Suddenly, a man in his forties came from behind me and started talking to me.

“Hey. You’re a local resident of this place?” The man said.

Rather hesitantly, I replied “Yes.”

“Actually, I was here to meet my friend. He’s at the platform 10. (We were at platform 1). But the problem is I forgot my wallet at home and I need to buy the platform ticket. Can you please give me some money?” The guy continued, in English. Yes.

He was dressed decent and was speaking to me in a sophisticate manner and in English, in a state where very few do that. So, his first impression on anyone would be that he’s a genuine case. And he was asking for a nominal amount, so one would just give him money, with intentions to help.

“Actually, I don’t have change for that amount. Sorry.” I said the truth, but even if I would have had change with me, I would have lied to say the same thing.

“How much do you have? These shops can give you change.” He said pointing at the nearby shops.

I said bluntly “Why don’t you go and ask them directly? They would probably give you some money.”

This would have offended a genuine man. But he went on to talk to the shopkeeper.

While he walked to the counter, I watched him from the corner of my eyes. He walked to the counter, looked at me, and then was standing there for a while. There was confusion on his face. And it looked very genuine to me.

“He would give change if you buy something from him.” He said to me when he came back.

“I already bought what I need for the journey. And I gave him all the change that I had against those stuff.” I shrugged.

There was silence, a weird silence for few moments, after which he was about to speak something. But I interrupted him – “Why don’t you ask them? They might be having change and they might help you.” I was pointing towards the station officers.

He looked towards them. His face showed hesitation and he left, slowly looking around him, as if finding someone.

Then he boarded the train standing on Platform 1 itself. While moving towards the train, he briefly glanced back towards me.

I was watching him, indirectly.

He was obviously not a genuine case. He didn’t need any platform ticket. The train that he boarded left soon thereafter, and I never saw him come out of that coach. He might have needed money for some other reason, but he lied about the whole friend thing.

And I didn’t fall for it, being a cold hearted person. Had he told me the truth, I might have helped. Probably, still not. It’s hard trusting people nowadays.

While we may make friends out of those strangers while travelling, we have to be vigilant too. Not everyone’s the same.

Restauropedia

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I stay away from my family and usually eat everyday at some or other restaurant or food stall, as I’m too lazy to cook.

When you eat outside everyday, and there’s no one to assort you, then all you can do is observe the surroundings and people around you, while eating that not so delicious dish in front of you.

So here is synopsis of my observations for single visitors (not considering people in groups):

Noisy Muncher
Crip.. Crap.. Crunch.. Munch.. Tik.. Tak…
With all such different sounds, this guy here could be the next best background musician! He can’t gulp even a single bite of food without first making several dozens of weird and irritating sounds with his mouth.

And just to take your irritation to a higher level, they are found sitting very near to your table, or is the sound travelling faster than light here? 😕

Cute Table-for-Two
These are recently bonded in the bondage of love. So instead of chitchat, silence pleases them more. They find it better to sit quietly, looking into each others eyes. With occasional talks and several minutes of blushing and trying to touch each other stuff, these guys here are your sweet dish, which is way too much sweet to take in for long…

And for some people, they might stimulate jealousy, due to the big void of relationships in their life. 🙃

Cool Table-for-Two
Now these are rare, but they are amazing to watch. They inspire you to find and settle with someone, instead of buzzing around the flowers. They look cool together, make fun of everything around them and can’t seem to stop talking and laughing.

They don’t care whether they are audible to the whole crowd or if they are in limelight, they’d have fun anyway! But take care, their chats may require parental guidance. 😜

The Social Net(no)work
Looking at this guy, you’d wish God to give him another hand instead of fulfilling your wishes first. He would be constantly busy trying to rush through the trammel of notifications on his phone from social apps.

While he eats his food with one hand, he uses his other hand and those non-dirty fingers from the first hand to touch his phone. He might even use his nose to touch. If he eats one crumb without using his phone, it would be a miracle! 😉

(Un)fortunate Boyfriend
I feel pity for this guy here. His girlfriend speaks a lot, and a lot means A LOT! She keeps on blabbering about some or other thing, which has no relevance to this guy. But as she is speaking, so he has to listen – according to the General Rule Book of Relationships.

He concentrates on multi-tasking by looking at her – constantly nodding and giving mixed expressions of shock, surprise, disgust and amusement. At the same time, his mind is on the food, people sitting at other tables and what would be the score in the semi-final highlights going on at that time… 😆

(Un)fortunate Family Guy
After being exhausted of the daily trouble at work, this one works yet another shift to take his/her family out on a dinner.

There can be different types of people in this altogether, but one thing is common in all of them. They are hardly interested at all. They are either glued to mobile screens, or some other table or on the match on TV. Their family consists of their spouse trying to grab their attention and kids ruining the table like mad people, and probably another person who is not happy of anything. 🤐

The Flash Eater
While you might have just ordered a starter and were thinking about what to order next, this guy here would have finished his dessert even. Yes, you both would have started at the same time!

He eats his food as if he has a million dollar deal to attend next. His food is just a piece of energy, fat and nutrients for him. He will cut it with a strike and crunch it in just one bite, without any feelings for those tiny little pieces.😱

Mr. Foodie
This guy loves food. He has tasted every dish in the menu and knows about food in detail. He can instruct the waiter to tweak the food according to his style to enhance the flavour. If you wanna find a good place to eat, he’s your living Zomato! And if you are making your own dish, he’s your recipe book.

If it is a new dish, he would analyse each bite slowly and would try to guess all the ingredients. He would eye-gaze at the food well enough before taking his first bite.

Even a tinge of mistake in making the dish and you wish he wouldn’t notice that. Things have to be perfect for this guy. Or at least, he can make them perfect by adding extras himself.😎

The Cutlery Drummer
His spoons are his sticks, and his plates are his drums. And no matter what his dish is, he will produce a not so tolerable drumming sound while eating his food.

His spoons hit the plates so hard, you almost fear the breaking of the chinaware.🙉

The Waste Machine
Well well well… Look who’s here! They are responsible for the food problem in our country. Or at least blamed for.

They will order things way beyond their capacity. Just because it’s their first date, or a big party, or ‘cuz the boy’s paying, they will order with a big mouth. Then they will take a tiny piece of everything and say “Oh God! I’ve had too much…!” If only they would just consider that before ordering, others would have got fresh cooked food instead of food off their plates! 😒

The Dirty Toddler
He’s not actually a child, but his behaviour might just confuse you to think of that. He eats in a way that one cannot tell what way! He has no sense of using spoons, and he gives his food to his shirt more than what he eats himself.🤒

The Rule Book
He’s just the opposite of Dirty Toddler. He knows his spoons correct and eats in the most decent way possible. A complete gentleman to assort on a dinner, while you might feel a little inferior about yourself if you’re not into such rules kinda thing.🤓

Master Chef Thief
If this guy comes to the restaurant, he takes something back with him, other than a full tummy.

Spoons, crockery, salt-pepper holder, napkins, complimentary mukhvas or even a bunch of toothpicks – he will definitely bag something. (^_-)
(just came to realize that there’s no one-eyed-pirate emoji…!)

The Stare-crow
Do you feel like you’re been watched? Like a wild cat watches it’s prey right before it strikes then down… Yeah? Then definitely you’ve been having dinner around this fellow here.

He will stare at you every now and then. And when you look at him, he will casually look away and eat his dinner. Or may not. But his eyes will pinch you and you better stay away from that stare-crow. 👀

Mr. All-alone
He is so desolated, but still has to eat his dinner alone as he has no one to accompany him. His facial expression would imply that he’s the only sad person in the world. Usually, you’d find him drinking too.☹️

The Fictional Someone
I’m putting this up here just to please my little sister, but this fictional character is your dream.

You are eating your dinner quietly. And everything’s ordinary until your eyes meet with this character. Your heart skips a beat and either you go up to her or he comes up to your table. It seems something different than the usual. You guys have a great time together…👤
(Remember sweety, it’s just your fantasy!)

P.s.: The references to he or she doesn’t in any way make reference to masculine or feminine genders. It just indicates a person I know… 😛

Roomie-pedia

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I can’t deny the fact that the time we spent staying away from our family, with our roommates / hostel mates, was one of those memorable times of our life.

We had several instances, events, cases, results, tragedies, melodrama, travesty, ridic and jocose events… It may have been several years, but still we can remember minute by minute dialogues from those occasions.

And also we remember that miscellany of diversified people whom we called our roommates.

This post lists down the varied types of roommates that we come across in our lives.

Silent Roomie
Like Silent Partner in a Partnership, this one never shows up in public. He stays in the same room as us, but no one would know it, not even the landlord. Sometimes, even the roommates won’t recognize this guy. It would be almost a treasure hunt to find him. 😛

The Blabber-blast
Remember that Duracell bunny? This person never drains off his battery too. He keeps on talking and talking and talking about all the rubbish things possible in our world and alien world together. His blabbering is so annoying that you’d even enjoy your girl best friend or girl friend talk! Remember to keep this guy away when your parent’s are visiting. 😉

The Doomed Soul
He’s always sad, always irritated. When you ask him about his day, I can bet you won’t be motivated a bit. Give him any situation, and he can turn & twist it to look ill-fated for him and fortunate for others. Nothing can motivate that person, not even a shower (with or without someone).

The Priest
This fine type of roommate is in abundance in our ‘God-fearing’ world. His prayers are so loud that even that Saturday night DJ would feel dubious of his skills. He would never say a sentence without including God’s grace in it.

The Pirate
Beware the Pirates… Not everyone is fun and helpful like Captain Jack Sparrow! Some pirates just steal and loot and plagiarize. They use your things without your permission.

He cannot be trusted at all. From your mother’s cooked munchies, your clothes and accessories, to your secrets. Nothing is safe with this buccaneer. So, if your shampoo bottle got empty a little too quick, then you know who did that.

The Hungry Beast (Bhukkhad)
Nothing can satisfy our Mr. Bhukkhad. No matter how much he eats (his own and even from your plate), his hunger cannot be satisfied. He will be hungry all the time and your only company for late night hunger games. While he is the most jolly person of all us roommates, but if you’re cooking, God bless you. 😛

The Sleepy Fellow
The world may turn into ashes, but this fellow will not sacrifice his sleep. Not that he is not interesting. But, most of his time would be occupied in sleeping. He’ll keep several alarms in a span of half hour in the morning, intended to wake him up, but turns into a disastrous morning for you. And never ever, ever, forget the key to the house, while he’s sleeping inside. You’d probably have to sleep outside that day. 😉

The Poor Boyfriend
Some people call him lucky, while some feel pity for him… And both are correct! He is so poor that he even doesn’t own his own time! He has to borrow it from her girlfriend. 😀

This guy here is totally chained from head to toe. Making plans for a night out, forget him. Or else, all he will do is talk to her ‘sweetie pie’! Not that he likes that… But she likes that, and he likes her and wants her to like him back! 😉

Girlfriend Grabber
Keep all your passwords protected, as this dude here has all the charm, all the sly and knavish techniques to lure your beloved out of your life, and onto his “to-do” list. Keep her away from him, or that would be the last time she is with you…

The Dumb Dummy
Do you know who discovered a dumb man? A dumber man…! Otherwise, a wise man would not have let the epidemic spread! This one here will sometimes be the tickle bone of your room and while other times he would just make the situation a fiasco. He is not good wingman, believe me. And he is certainly not a person to ask tricky queries. But he’s the best Dummy you’ll ever find for all your evil and escape plans. 😉

The Creepy Ghost
They have been probably evolved from cats. He walks with that sky that you’d not know the he is standing right in your room listening to your dirty talks with your girlfriend. Keep an eye out for him. And if you’re weak hearted, don’t stay alone with him at the room.

The Dirty Pig
The most hated of all are these Dirty Pigs. They will spoil almost anything they touch. If there’s a choice, choose not to share a room with them as otherwise, you’ll be lost in their scrapheap. And if you can, rent a separate bathroom for yourself.

The Movie Junkie
This guy does nothing expect watch movies all day, all night. He has no other hobbies, no other problems either. He is great person, but only to watch movies with. He will keep you entertained with his never ending collection and if you are trying to remember that character from that movie that you saw several years back, he’s your man!

The Telephone Booth
Tring Tring… Ah! Don’t worry. If a phone rings, it is got to be for our Telephone Booth guy. He is always talking over the phone. To his mother, brother, sister, friend, neighbor, colleagues, girlfriend, the newspaper guy, the laundry guy… Using any phone that he can get a hold of. Phone locks are necessity for you, if you are to stay with this guy.

The News Reporter
From what’s cooking at our neighbor’s place, to who’s available and who’s dating whom in our society, our news reporter knows it all. Nothing happens without him getting a notice of it. And keep him entertained to keep your secrets a secret. 😛

The Musician
When nothing is working out, when you feel low and tired with your life, go to this guy. He will play the guitar so well that you’ll almost fall in love with his fingers. 😛

The Scared Kid
Ah! Watching a horror movie again? Keep him with you… And you’d be amazed how the horror movie turns to a humor one. The scared kid here will go shaky legs by the most lame horror scenes! In case you’re the daring types, don’t keep his company as he will spoil the air with his loose guts in tensed situations. 😛

The Master Chef
This one is the Angel for all other roommates. If a room has one such guy, they live happily ever after. If anything can at least reach to the level of your mother’s cooked food, this is that guy. A nice friend to have and a perfect roommate for making your room a paradise.

The Lucky Bastard
Mr. Lucky is that guy that you see in the movies. He has money, talent, good looks, great body, cool girlfriend and all the luck in the universe! But he’s a bastard too. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Some bastards are just lucky! If you’re the jealous type, better look away.

The Sarcastic Gagman
He has the perfect replies every time. And he will make you laugh in every situation. He can be so sarcastic at times that you’ll have to tickle your nerves to understand his shot. And wanna prank your roomie? He’s the man with all good ideas…

The Time Machine
No this has nothing to do with time travel. This guy here works like a machine at the time. He has all his day planned up, months booked up and years fixed up..

He does everything on time. He’s never wasting any of his minute and is always occupied with something. Going for some unplanned night out, he’s not free.

The Paid Slave
Poor Rich Guy here is a paid slave in some big company. He works his *** out and is always late from office. Give him any work and he will forget it due to office work pressure. Even his holidays are not his holidays. He spends his weekend mornings shouting slangs for his bosses while getting ready for office. And his evenings pleasing the same person to let him go home.

The Pseudo Parent
Where are you going? With whom? When will you come back? That late? Why? You are wasting your time? You should see where’s your life headed! – all these questions are usually asked by our parents and elders. But here, a roommate is trying (successfully) to become our pseudo parent!

Mr. Sham
All he ever speaks out of his mouth is a sham, a lie. Not necessarily a fraudster, but a person who is habituated at telling things while adding his own flavours and versions to it. Keep your head clear and never believe a word he says. Mr. Sham here is not a good company.

The Good Guy
This guy here does nothing bad. He talks to his parents about whatever he does – bunking a lecture for a movie, late night hangouts, everything. He will not do anything that violates his virtues and ethics. A nice guy, but sometimes not a good company in your risky gambles.

The Fashion Star
90% of his cupboard would be filled with clothes and accessories. He would have matching shades, belts and wrist watched for all his weekly looks. He takes heck lot of time to get ready and is always buying fashion online.

But he’s your man if you’re not sure what to wear on your first date, party night or that important meeting with your customers.

—–

Did I miss any other type? Do tell…

Complicated Relations

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Relations… How is one related to someone else? Is it maternal or paternal? Uncle, aunt, brother, sister, cousin, nephew, niece, in laws… English language has words for these relations.

But in Hindi language, the two words uncle and aunt, nephew and niece, and several other relations are given specific names.

Uncle being mother’s brother becomes ‘mama’. Uncle being father’s elder brother becomes ‘bade papa’. Uncle being father’s younger brother becomes ‘kaka’. And their spouses are ‘mami’, ‘badi maa’, ‘kaki’ respectively.

Aunt being father’s sister becomes ‘fayi’. Aunt being mother’s sister becomes ‘mausi’. And their spouses are called ‘fuva’ and ‘mausa’.

Courtesy can be given by adding ‘ji’ to each one of them.

Similarly, nephew being sister’s son becomes ‘bhanja’, brother’s son becomes ‘bhatija’. Niece becomes ‘bhanji’ and ‘bhatiji’ respective. (Don’t confuse ji at the end with the earlier one courtesy ji)

Further, sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Hindi is not that easy to understand. Find out yourself… (I took more than a decade to understand these words :P)

Sister-in-law for a wife is ‘nanand’. Brother-in-law for her, if elder than husband is called ‘jeth’ and if younger, is called ‘dewar’. Whereas, sister-in-law for a husband, if younger, is called ‘saali’ and if elder, then it’s called ‘jiji’. Brother-in-law for husband is called ‘saala’.

Spouse of jeth is called ‘jethani’, dewar is ‘dewarani’, nanand is ‘nanandoyi’, and spouse for both saali and jiji is ‘sadhubhai’.

Further, husband of sister is ‘jija’ and wife of brother is ‘bhabhi’.

And other woman or man is bhabhi or bhai if in formal relation, or else call using name directly.

Phewww…!

For my mind, this chapter of relationship was blurred. Hence, I had simple rules for defining relation name.

If he was elder and young, he was ‘bhaiya’ (brother), if elder and old, then ‘uncle’. Otherwise, his name. Similarly, if she was elder and young, she was ‘didi’ (sister), if elder and old, then ‘aunty’.

Only problem I faced was when elderly people asked me to call a specific one from the above list. For me all of them were either uncle or aunty, but when they required a work from a specific one, say mausi, which aunty would I call?! Stumped! 😀

But I had my ways… I would go to those group and yell whatever or whomever I was supposed to call. Then wait for them to respond. Everyone would turn and look at me, but only the correct one would respond to me by asking what was it. Bravo! I got the one! 😛

—–

My niece (bhanji) came to my house yesterday. Being a boy (not an uncle), I only see her as my younger sister. But elders in my family want to see me aged so early that they want that little one to call me uncle (mama).

Both she and I make faces when we are required to communicate in that way. But then she forgets to call me that often and calls me bhaiya . That brings a smile on my face, to see her do those crazy things and involving me into it.

I wonder if things were simple like my rules of defining names for relations, how would it be to live in my world. Would it be simpler than now or more complicated?

Wonder is all I can do…

—–

One more complain that I always have with elderly people here is that they always call my friends as bhai and behen (brother and sister)! Huh! How can they tell what’s in out little minds. Don’t they know there’s a word known as ‘friends’, which is different than she being called as my sister! Please! 😛

Lens vs Eyes

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Months of boredom and years of frustration is making me all cranky and sad. I have to go out somewhere. I have to take a break from my daily life. I have to do something…

The ring of my phone dragged me out of my frustrated thoughts. My friend asked me to check out a trip cum trek plan to Kasol. Instantly I got up, planned it with my friend, decided about going, informed office and family about it and booked the tickets within a span of half-a-day.

A vacation finally, after a very very long time…

Waiting for the Time

We reached early at Delhi and had a few hours before our trip started from there. So, we took rest in the garden near the India Gate eating bhutta (corn), waiting for the opportune moment to leave the surreal place towards our pick-up point.

At the Gate, we took some pics and sat down to rest.

Our trip captain had created a group on WhatsApp of all the people being part of the trip. People were sharing their experience in the new town, pictures of places they were visiting and the usual useless stuff.

My friend was busy in trying to create his first impression in the group by following the herd. It was boring to sit there silently, but as we were tired of the past 4-5 hours of walking with all the luggage, it was nice.

When we reached the Gate, there was a flood of selfies and group pictures. I saw a man, in his late 60s guess, looking at all of them. He was a good physique, slow steady walk, sharp eyed man with his hands folded behind him. He looked like an ex-army person.

He looked displeased with those kids. Probably because those kids were happily taking pics with the Gate instead of feeling gratitude for those souls, that the Gate represents.

Then there was a woman in her late 40s. She was selling baked corn. We weren’t starving, but we took one each and sat there in the garden. I had to pay but as I didn’t have proper denominations, I told her to pay her in a minute by borrowing from my friend.

Her girl came after a few minutes to ask for payment (probably the woman thought we’d forgotten the debt). I told her to bring one more for us both. That was I could use the bigger denomination. She went back happily.

After that she went to (probably) her brother to play with him. But her brother scolded her and said that the game wasn’t suitable for her. She sat there watching them play.

They were playing lagori (satodiyo) (seven stones). One of them was very good at taking the aim, but his partner was slow at supporting him. The other team was not so good either in seeking or in hitting. But they won most of the matches as they played well as a team.

Besides, the one who was good at hitting missed several aims in boasting about his ability and telling his mate how to play the game. But none of these mattered to them.  They enjoyed anyway.

As the bulky-tummy-boy missed hitting the hitters, his team mate hit the ball on his big-bang-bum, calling him a slow ass. I and the other team members laughed

Mixed Introduction

Our trip started with gathering at the pickup point. Having this bad habit of being on time, we reached at the spot a little late and still got early than 90% of others. 😛 We started introducing ourselves. There were people from different parts of the country.

People started sharing their personal details, family history, job details etc. and we started judging people based on the details shared by them, while trying desperately to remember their names. It was a good deal of effort to talk with a few and there were some who never stopped talking, even when we looked away.

While people were interacting and trying to break the ice, I was busy at studying their behavior. How differently people behaved on the same situation and how different were their views on the same topic – was exciting to me.

With each conversation and with each of their expression, I knew more about their nature and their attitude towards different things. Who was more interested in whom, who was scared and who was really excited, who was humble and who was a show off, all came out with more time spent talking to them.

It was supposed to be one group going on a trip, but from the start itself, the group started splitting into various mini-groups based on the law of mutual attraction, which states that “Just by one glance at the person, instinct tells us whether we would be comfortable with them or not, and most of the times, that instinct is true.” The instinct is not based on judging others, but on knowing ourselves very well that it might require us to go out of our comfort zone.

There were three types of people on the trip – one who cared for no one and enjoyed in their own style, one who were attention seekers trying to please “the cream in the crowd”, and the attention givers. And there was me too, the forth category. 😛

And they were doing similar activities – enjoying themselves & getting involved in the group or learning from attention seekers to seek attention; seeking attention or desperately trying to; and giving attention or bearing the pain of smiling at those stupid gimmicks by attention seekers.

Start of the Journey

The journey started with people occupying the seats in the bus. Old childhood habit of climbing the school bus last didn’t let go of us this time too. We saw a few seats available in the front while many at the back. We instantly went to the backside, another old habit. We settled and starting talking with each other about how excited we were about the journey. It was going to be awesome – claimed different exclamations.

Soon the party started and more “cool” people started to show off their “cool” traits of drinking, joking and sharing their previous experience (more of exaggerated escapade).

Based on the mini-groups formed while waiting for others, the sitting arrangement wasn’t hard to guess. It was obvious that the back seats were full of extroverts and front seats were full of semi-introverts, who took a little more time trusting others. However, I was at the back, even though being wholly introvert.

While the ice had been broken well in advance, it took me more time to get along with the whole jolly attitude. It was a difficult switch to make.

But I just ignored trying to do that and continued with my observations. There were people worse than me. They were not interested in getting along at all. They were more like – “let me sleep in peace till the end of this trip.” 😛

Night, Morning & Dancing Bus

Night was the time to take rest and recharge for the next full day of adventure. While some had started the excitement right then and there 😉

We were watching a movie on our phone, but that didn’t last long and I fall asleep.

As people started to wake up, the morning got more and more interesting. We stopped at a ‘dhaba’ (roadside eatery). Our cravings had crossed limits and it was a fight to get our breakfast in all that crowd and confusion.

While the route was long, fellow travelers wanted to wait no more for having fun. The music system started playing some beats and those of the extrovert types, who could dance, started grooving to the tunes. Soon people started stepping in the narrow dance floor.

While those who could dance raised their ratings in the bus, while those who couldn’t but were enthusiastic enough to dance raise the drollery in the bus to high levels.

As one after the other people started to switch off their eyes, my mind filled with several thoughts about how the next few days would be. It was just a trip you would think. But it was way more than that for me.

It was my first encounter with strangers. It was a chance for me to become an extrovert from an introvert person. And apart from all these, it was an item from the list of places I wanted to travel in the world.

So, all in all, it was a big deal for me. And imagining the carousel of images flashing by my mind along with a mixture of scenes visible through the window, I slowly drifted into dream world.

The morning was difficult as my friend had started drifting away into pleasing the cream. I started conversing and slowly felt that it wasn’t that difficult as I thought. But then again my introvert mind made likes and dislikes about people and took me away from them.

When the dancing acts started, I didn’t get up and show some moves in the bus. First I was more interested in watching the natural beauty outside the window and second, I just couldn’t. 😛

There were some humorous & some sizzling dance moves, some quaint and amusing jest, while some irritating and odd comments that raised sparse rivalry amongst people, while bonded a few others. It even showed that some of our fellow travelers were totally pesky and some were awesomely cool.

Photography

In this age where it was more important to tell others that we were enjoying rather than enjoying itself, photography is the first thing we do at every place we travel.

Here also, there were selfies and abundant natural pictures of whatever came in the way. In just a span of an hour, there were a thousand clicks and several hundred “woo” moments for the crowd.

While people either took pictures of self, where background didn’t really matter at all or tool pictures of natural landscapes and scenery like a pro. But very few, actually none, were interested in capturing the odd.

The people there, their culture and their style of living, the natural habitat and the shrewd juggad in various day to day activities.

Apart from that the usual mountains, trees and river, I was more interested in the microscopic beauty of nature. Some I was able to capture, while some are only recorded in my memory.

While a fake sunrise pic through accidental flash of my camera amazed others believing it to be real sunrise (even in their social site updates), my camera captured old architectures, dew formation on leaves and wires, naturally grown green gardens, the fight of sun against the clouds…

While things only in my mind were – a dirt hill made by ants which had weird formations all around the top, a bird teaching her babies the first flight, a dog reacting to the sudden human invasion to their territory by shaking his head, and a bird hunting a fish from the gushing river flow in a flash… These and several such serene sides of nature were captured in my memory.

Dangerous Turns & Tunnel

While climbing up the hill, there were some parlous turns on the road. They created a sense of roller coaster ride for those on-board. We were awestruck by the way the tire turned just inches from the end of the road. Just a slight error and we would have fallen down the cliff in to the river. The driver, of course, was very skilled that we didn’t.

When bus entered in the tunnel, people started shouting, coming out of the window. They waved to the other commuters on the road and yelled hip hip hurray when we came out in the light.

The turns were terrific. Sometimes the tires even went outside the edge of the road, hanging in the moment and then came back on the surface. It was a sight to be seen, if you only see the tire and the cliff below, you’d feel that the bus is falling down the cliff and still you’re happy. An amazing illusion of emotions…

When we stepped in the tunnel, there were tiny orange lights on the ceiling. Right above one of such light, I saw a nest of a bird. In the dim light, it was not a clear view. But I wondered how our paths always intersected with the habitat of other animals.

At the end of the tunnel I saw the light. The echo of different sounds created a unique effect in the Tunnel. And when we came out of the tunnel, just then echo suddenly disappeared and there was a crisp change in the sounds that we heard before. As if the horn was suddenly kept inside the water and blown….

The Rain – Spoiler and Maker

As soon as we reached the destination of our trip, it started raining and continued with a few breaks. The rain spoiled our plan for the big trek, however, we continued with a smaller trek and had fun with it.

Crazy excitement, going through those mud ponds, conquering those rocks and walking with our mates was so much fun. In between that came photography time, selfie time and several hours of chit-chatting.

The rain created a mesmerizing environment there and the view of the dark cloudy sky with a mixture of snow covered mountain peaks and the sound of the nearby river created a perfect representation of nature and tranquility. The placid serenity of the silent mountains created a perfect studio for the photographer in us.

Bonfire

At night, it was time for the bonfire. After getting fresh and eating our food, we assembled for some fire and dance, both real and metaphorically. We danced and enjoyed till late in night. This was the time when almost everyone enjoyed dancing and chilling.

While I was so excited to dance at the bonfire, it didn’t quite go well. Apart from some dancing and grooving, people were more interested in smoking and weeding around. The smoke filled the air and created a mixture of pollution & irritation in the otherwise dulcet night.

Bonfire was at its place, but the dancing was not organized. With so many people around, less number of dancers and very few interested in dancing, it was very difficult for me to dance my heart out in that smoke and rout mob. Still I tried, but finally gave up as smoke filled my lungs. I was so roiled that I didn’t even attend the next day bonfire night.

Night and the Emotions

Dance let the emotions flow. The starry night and the pleasant cold breeze created a romantic atmosphere and helped create more bonded friendship amongst a few. While others were fuddled in weed and alcohol.

All the smoke and alcohol made me totally irritated and disinterested in the group and I was more interested in sleeping than to befriend anyone. I went straight to my room and let the night end for me.

The Next Day

While it continued raining and spoiled all our plans to visit nearby places, we were going to nearby Gurudwara and the natural hot-water spring. It was inexpressible how soothing was the experience to take a dip in the hot-water pond.

People shopped and wandered around while coming back from the Gurudwara. At night, was another bonfire, but I didn’t attend that.

While the soothing hot-water touch was great, but I was more interested in going further towards the mountain peak, where it was snowing. We tried searching for a mode of transportation but couldn’t. We even tried talking to the coordinator regarding taking the whole group further up the mountain, but due to time constraint, he couldn’t.

While coming back from the Gurudwara, I was filled with varied emotions of not being able to explore everything, yet happy to have seen these beautiful places. I let my emotions take form of art and drew a half-face on the dew-filled window of our bus.

Someone point it out to everyone in the bus and it came to my attention that I was not alone there. 😛

Curfew Cries

It was time for us to leave. The sunny clear sky mocked us when we were leaving the place. While traveling back, a riot occurred at the city and we were halted on-route. We had to spend the whole night on the highway. People went out for some tea, food and yet another round of smoking.

The roads cleared in the morning and we departed for our way back home. On our way back, we saw the devastation the root has caused and clicked a few pics for memory.

It was time to turn back and go back to where it started. But some kibosh stopped us right in the middle of the road. While in the midst of riot and people killing each other, the adventurous gut of people inside the bus was still high. But as soon as my mood for fun started, these people started to smoke. And all my adrenaline to do something crazy would flush down the sewer.

The night was long and the silence was irksome. So people who had bonded well during the journey started conversioning, while waiting for sleep to fill their eyes. I listened to their conversations silently. They were interesting sometimes. 😛 At least they were better than the folks outside smoking their lungs out.

On our way back, I saw how easy it is to last our minds and go crazy for us humans for some selfish cause. We can do anything to disrupt normal life, but we can’t do even slightest of hard work to make it better.

Run Away Baby

As soon as we reached Delhi again, the rush to run away from the city towards our home started. The departing goodbyes were a little dramatic. People were hugging and bidding farewell to each other. It was a little heavy.

We took a train back to our home and our fairy tale came to an end.

While I had not bonded with anyone to feel emotions for anyone of them, yet leaving them was a little emotional. I couldn’t express any of that, but still felt happy that I had made lots of friends on this journey and the moments would be cherished for days to come.

While for most of us, the trip was over. But for us it was still a day more. Two of our mates joined us on our travel back to home and we took whatever train we could find on the platform going towards our cities. It was a Run Away rush as the riot was not stopping and we had to save our asses.

But in all that upsurge, me and one of my friend stayed real calm. We cared nothing about all that and had a few common ways of having fun. The train journey was a story to tell, some other time may be. 😉

The Aftermath

The aftermath of the trip was bewitching. It took several days to recover from the emotional flood of excitement and fun from the trip and to get back to our boring usual working lives. And several instances of that aftermath was poured out in form of social media group chat. Group chat was filled with emotional messages and ‘miss you’s and other such stuff.

Slowly the shine of that trip fade away and we were back to our busy selves. But it was amazing how few of us were bonded for life…