The backpack

Do you also have a backpack that is your favorite and which on emptying has restaurant bills from 325AD, one zipper that never opens or has been opened, one pocket which is meant to hold keys and coins but you never use it for them and one water bottle pocket that is only meant to hold this?

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Which backpack carrying grownup drinks water from these yaar?

Anyways, the backpack that I’m talking about is not just a bag with padded shoulder straps and roomy compartments for laptop and clothes. It is a holder. It holds emotions inside its pockets so that people only see the pack and never realize whether  useful things lie inside or simply rubbish. It holds those unsaid words which people want to say but eat instead. It holds those memories which they very carefully treasure like those photos which can never be deleted from one’s phone. Not even when the phone threatens to empty owner’s soul saying “low memory”.

The backpack that I’ve been carrying in the recent years is rather heavy because I packed mixed emotions inside- it is as heterogeneous as a Cadbury GEMS packet. From India to USA, I’ve come a long way (both literally and figuratively) as a person. Mixed emotions because sometimes, my heart says that I miss being that old Anupama and  sometimes I can clearly hear it say “Grow up,  woman!”

Living away from home teaches one to be responsible to say the least. For example, imagine coming home from work to a bed that was left unmade or a penalty for a missed bill. It reminds you immediately of your mother/father’s constant nagging to do somethings on time and her/his warning that that laziness would hurt later.  On a related note, It doesn’t hurt to say that those little acts of discipline that were imposed upon us are really what help us survive the extended stay away from home(with lesser discomfort). Back in those days when my mother used to ask me to clean the dining table while she cleaned up in the kitchen, I used to secretly hope that one day I’d run away to a house where there was a table-cleaning maid.

Living away from home in a foreign land also helped clear a lot of misconceptions that I had. A typical “frog in the well” me used to have some bad feelings about the West that most of the Indian mob have (which I won’t list here because I care for my skin).  And I am so glad today that I’ve been proven wrong! Few things that really impressed me at my workplace about them are how well they own up to their work without a fuss,  how easy and graceful it is to admit one’s shortcomings and how important the distinction between “break time” and “work time” is (talk about work-life balance).  Even on personal front, their sense of forgiveness and welcoming the differences with other person without judging is something that excited me. It is not an exaggeration if I said that I saw this missing in some of my own people.

garfield-1997-10-13

I’ve a strong feeling that I was Garfield in my last birth.

Times that make me sad are when I “virtually” attend a family event over Skype. Amidst a thousand  “Can you hear me?” “I can hear you but cannot see you” “I can only see X’s right ear and your finger” “It’s ok , send me the pictures” , I barely get to see the actual event and that quick peek brings out the homesick feeling from the backpack. It’s really hard to tuck this feeling back in. Interesting question (8 Marks): Is quantum teleportation really possible?

I also feel meh that I can never be the same pampered girl I was before marriage. Sure I enjoy the independence and power of running a household as “the queen” but the joy of being a “darling princess” at home cannot be matched. And the fact that kids born in 2000 are hitting adolescence while I’m nearing the ugly thirties is getting to my nerves. Sometimes, I wish I was born in the times of Ramayana or Mahabharata where some people could stay young forever.  Or in the later times say 3156 or 3567 when scientists will have invented some time-halting capsule.

Coming back to my backpack, it also has a dirty chamber where all my dark feelings go into. Lack of self-control to begin with. Along with easy loss of interest and deep brooding over certain things (tch..tch) , a teeny bit of jealousy lies underneath this pile of garbage. These feelings are like the shopping bills trash that never leave the bag.  I constantly try to throw each of them out of the bag but it is still heavy(This is why I stoop a little, you know). I am society fearing so I am generally tight-lipped ( and hence tight-zipped) if I were to use these.

I know that everybody’s backpack isn’t necessarily same as mine. You know what they say- to each their own.  But anyway, here’s a suggestion to everyone including myself- Travel light because it is a long journey!

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15 from 15

My biggest resolution for ’16 is to be positive. I hurt my finger 3 days back and I took a positive step by not panicking at the sight of blood and positively put a band-aid on it from a box that had a big “+” symbol on it. So much positivity is happening! Jokes apart, I am serious about being “+”. I cannot guarantee how long I will stick to this but this is how I have interpreted my retrospects for now-  a list of all my lowlights and highlights from 2015:

1. I wasted a lot of time.
A LOT! Wasted time on stupid things on internet, on incomplete projects and on useless gossip. Lesson learnt. I should have at least written sriramajayam all this time for punyam.
Anyways, I did come across some nice magazines like outofprintmagazine and good blogs like madrasink, padmum and mrigankwarrier. Please suggest good sites that you have come across{Bhagawan ke naam pe}.

2. I was open to failures and criticism.
Failure in my life is like that one FB friend whom you try to avoid deliberately but he catches you however and ruins your mood with nasty talk. And criticism is just the elder brother of failure. It’s hard to escape from these tragic bros and it is necessary to tackle them with wit and patience. In relation to this, some reality check happened this year and I have accepted that it is for my own good.

3. Cleaned my friends list.
I still have 500+ friends in my fb list for the record. But that is not the measure you want. Real friends are those people who “like” you for what you are and help you better yourself instead of picking on your shortcomings and bitching about it. I realized I’ve few such friends and I’ve been a true friend to just some few.

Free advice: Distancing from negative thoughts and gossip will save you from lot of nonsense and gives you mental peace.

4.Traveled.
Or should I say that I took good vacation? I’d been to many new places including a new continent! I had bad experiences with some flights and better experiences with ground transportation but the best experience was to chill with the group I traveled.

5. Pushed my comfort levels.
I am not a sucker for thrills. My biggest thrill is to go to the top of a green mountain (by road, of course) and drink coffee while looking at the clouds on the same level. I had this thrill couple of times already. So this year, I snorkeled (YAY!) and zip-lined through a rain forest. You people who did scuba diving and sky diving- please don’t mock!

6. Cooked, baked and ate all of it.
What else would a foodie like me say? I took a shot at cooking a lot of recipes from yummly and numerous cooking blogs that I follow. Some of them like lasagna bombed like crazy but hey- some like veg pizza were near to pro. Once you get a hang of cooking, it also relieves stress. This strictly applies to cooking and not cleaning the aftermath!

7.Tried new things.
I tried new color on my hair, did eye makeup all by myself and also baking.

8.Became health and weight conscious
I was always cautious about my health but this year I took it to the next level with next thing- my weight. Hoping to see results in 2016 or 2017 or 2032. Or may be sometime before I die.

source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

9. Made a stranger smile.

10. Got inspired.
This is not new to me because I’ve a new list every year. My list this year has one colleague who is our entire team combined into one and one fb friend who took up a challenge in 2015 and finished it. However in my case, this feeling generally has the lifetime of a cheese stick on my plate(approx 4 sec). I’ve decided to do better next year.

11. Read zero books.
Not that I am one person who reads everything that Crossword sells but I do read books. Especially when friends like Ro recommend. This year, I read ZERO. Discounting the book that airplanes have in their seat pouch with the safety card.

12. Sang something that I learnt when I was in high school and pulled it off.
Can this be something that I can be really proud of? Please please.

13. Netflix/Hulu and chill.
Imagine a kid who lives on dal and curd rice. Send him to a lavish buffet that has a nominal fee and spread from across the world. Not that the kid has never been to a multi cuisine restaurant before but don’t you get the point already? No torrents, HD Video and no pain of searching internet.
PS: Please note that the dal and curd rice are still my staple food. Masala is okay too as long as it is not unhealthy. Cannot eat stale food however.

OMG! I’m full of analogies today 😀

PPS: I followed “How I met your mother” back then for some time(but not for long). Now I wish Ted never met kids’ mother at all. ‘Kuch kuch hota hai‘ has a better storyline FYI.

14. Met a close friend and laughed to my heart’s content.
Kd, the fire star. Someone who has her name written in RED on (almost)every page of my college life. Cheers to 10 years of awesomeness and all that! There is one more that I haven’t met recently, but all in good time!

15. Spent quality time writing in Telugu.
I wrote several articles in Telugu (most of them are lying as drafts in my gmail). I read them every now and then and edit them hoping to publish but I honestly have no idea what I want. Everything either seems preachy or pointless. I am critical of myself.

If you’re still with me – I conclude this with a hope to have a positive 16th point next year. Here’s wishing everyone a very healthy and prosperous new year.

Friendship and such

“No Telugu in school premises. Fine of Rs.1 if you’re caught speaking Telugu.”

Rs.1 might seem like a joke looking at the current status of Indian Rupee. But it was everything for us in our school days.  It got us Pepsi from a local pan shop, Guava on the bandi outside school gate and also cloud9 (creamy chocolate that is extinct now) from school canteen. I was always careful to save my rupee (can also be read as honor) but sometimes I had to donate it to the school fund. PS: It is rumored that our school opened its sister concerns with the same money.

Apart from the fine, reporting names of rule breakers was considered an achievement. While the punished pupil had a tough time facing the lecture by Preeti miss, the remaining class used to LOL at him/her secretly thanking God for the narrow escape. I always used to react based on the circle we both shared (the one punished and myself). That was way before Google introduced circles. I am such a visionary I tell you.

source: 2.bp.blogspot.com

In one such bad situation, I had an encounter with the worst badass of our class. Let’s call him Sam to make it easy. All near and dear friends know how engrossed in talking I am when it comes to tittle-tattles. Tsunami or call from the principal’s office or such heavenly disasters can only divert my attention. Only after my zeal for knowing the latest gossip was satisfied, I noticed that Sam was eavesdropping on our conversation all that while.

I was enraged for obvious reasons:

  1. Sam caught me talking in Telugu.
  2. I had a tiff with him the very previous week. I wrote his name on the black board for making noise during leisure hours. He was made to run around the foot ball ground thrice for that. His every glance seemed like a death threat from that day.
  3. Sam towered about 5’10 in those days and I always had to tilt my head 45′ N to look into his eyes.  I think I am the only blessed one to see a hulk in real life.
  4. Again, why the hell did it have to be SAM of all people?

So the ruckus began.

Sam: “Ei you were talking in Telugu to Sruthi no?”

Me: “No.” (in Manmadhudu style)

source: manmadhudu

source: manmadhudu

Sam: “I heard no..you were talking. I will tell to Preeti miss wait.”

Me: “Go tell.” ( The very first rule when you do something wrong is to be brave and not panic.)

P.M: “Anu, were you talking in Telugu?”

Me: “No miss. ”

P.M: “Then why did Sam report your name?” (Poor teacher fell into my trap. I was waiting for this question.)

Me: “Last time I wrote his name on board no, so he is taking revenge.”  (Not even an iota of guilt in my voice)

Sam:” No miss ..Mother dead promise, I heard.”

Me: “Believe me miss. I was not talking.” (Promises can only be countered with tears. So sniffing for the good girl effect)

Sam: “You also put promise.”

Me: “I won’t put.”

Sam: “See miss..She is not putting. That means she is lying. Liar!”

Me: “You only liar. Your father only liar. Your mother also liar. Your whole family is liars family.”

P.M: “Enough! Stop calling names. And don’t fight like this. Say friends and shake hands.”

I wanted to push Sam off the second floor that minute and Preeti miss was asking me to be friends with him.

Me: “You say first.”

Sam: “No, You only say.”

Me: “No, I won’t say.”

Sam: “Girls first” (If anybody says that now, I will kick him first and say “you asked for it”)

P.M: “Come on Anu..Does it even matter?”

Me (Grumpy tone): “Hmmmph.. Okay friends?”

source: merchandisingplaza.com

The end.

Last month or the month before that, Sam added me on Facebook. Thus leaving an electronic proof that he said “Friends?” first.

Gentlemen, God is watching all your actions. Thus proved.

Another idiot!


Cheese pizzas and ghee sweets,
dine-in food and heavenly treats,
rice rich in calories and deep fries,
ice cream sundaes and chocolate pies.
roadside bajjis dripping oil,
hot and salted potatoes,with butter they boil.

I walked past all these,
with a sigh on face,
to a gym in my colony,
at my least possible pace.

Two hours of workout
and I was back in form,
My mind was then at peace,
like before a heavenly storm.

I rushed to the road opposite,
as fast as I could.
Greedily devoured some chat,
just like I daily would.

Suddenly it struck me,
my mistake is worth two hours.
Then I sung to myself:
Give me some sunshine,
Give me some rain,
Give me all the courage,
from high calories, I must refrain

What NOT to do on a rainy day!

What should you do on a rainy day?
Never ask your granny,is the first thing I’ll say.
All this happened in the first week of august,
The climate was a mixture of both rain and gust.

I saw that the rain was coming down fast,
I thought to myself-How long will this last?
For hours,I roamed around in my room.
Each minute passed and I started feeling gloom.

How to come out of this?-I had no clue.
I gave up and asked my grandma what to do.
She said,”You make me the happiest grandma alive,
Bring your brother home-Off you drive!”

On my sweet scooty,I started off to school,
successfully crossing each little pool.
As luck would have it, I fell into one,
Thanked Heavens, for I was seen by none.

Injured my leg for I hit a gravel,
Said sorry to myself and resumed my travel.
I reached the school and waited for him.
Stood there for 2 long hours with an aching limb.

Back home was safe, no landing in puddles,
My brother embraced me,just the way he cuddles.
Shocked I was, “Havent you been to school?”
“Today is sunday!”, happily he said cool.

Then I realized that she hadn’t sent me to school.
It dint struck me then for I am a real fool.
I shouted at my granny for the incomplete order,
She gave a lecture on how to listen to ppl proper.

What I’ve learnt?-Heres the clue.
Never ask your granny what to do.
PS: 1. The post sounds opposite to the title.  Pun here is intended.

Pain untold!

Not every body knows how it feels like
Pain cant be told aloud,
It hides in one’s self just alike,
Rain held in a black cloud.

One who’s expected to make you smile,
becomes the reason for your grief!
As you feel the break of something fragile,
you find you are dying and theres no relief.

The time of regret finally arrives,
You wish the meet happened never.
For it is pure sorrow this meeting derives,
Brush your teeth properly,Dont go to a dentist ever!