A to Z Challenge 2016 – C for Cliché (Day 3)

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C for Cliché
(n.) a trite or obvious remark; platitude; banality; commonplace; bromide;

When I first learnt this word, I yearned to use it in a conversation. Somehow, the word felt brilliant and hence the lame addiction. Though many of most the people I was surrounded with knew the word, I just had too much using it.
‘Dude, that is so cliché!’
That was the way I incorporated it in a sentence. (crazy confession)

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You Are Worthy And You Know It – #UseYourAnd

I have made some incredibly foolish decisions in my life. There are so many that it has become countless. No doubt that it will continue in the future as well, but I would like to point out one such decision that changed my life.

Competing for the post of Literary and Debating Secretary in the Students’ Council (Year: 2013-2014) was a rash and stupid decision. It can be compared to deliberately burning oneself alive. Despite my seniors warning me about what is at stake and everything, I just went on the jolly ride. And let me tell you, it was not as “jolly” as I thought it would be. But I would like to give credit to one person who made it out alive with me, and that is Lubna, who was the General Secretary then.

It was a difficult time in my life when I was juggling both college and my marriage. Especially during the second year of my college, I was determined to go out there and “find myself”. Though I could feel the weight of the mounting tags – Student, Wife and Daughter-in-law, I just wanted to wiggle out to feel normal, bunking classes and being reckless. In addition to all those tags, I had brought on the Students’ Council business upon myself, knowing all too well that it is going to be a living hell.

Thinking about those days gives me the jitters, because I know the things that I have sacrificed and the things that I had done to please everyone. It was unwise and imprudent, but I had to try. I would never be able to forgive myself if I hadn’t put myself through that implausible journey. Today, I can proudly say that I managed to do justice to all those roles, not up to anyone’s satisfaction, but to mine. I am glad that I made all the heedless choices and ended up here, feeling satiated.

I chose, not wisely but to my own accord. It is that feeling of self-gratification, when you want to thank no one but yourself, when you know that whatever you did is because of what you decided to become regardless of what people say. Prove to yourself that you are worthy, because your opinion about yourself matters the most.

Theme : Journey from ‘OR’ to ‘AND’ – Your story of how you took charge of life and made a choice, not a compromise. When you refused to choose one thing OR the other, and instead followed your heart. Tell us your story or an inspirational story of a woman you know that defines #UseYourAnd. You can also tag a woman blogger in your blog post who exemplifies #UseYourAnd, because we would love it if all of these stories came out into the world for all to see.

#UseYourAnd activity

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

No More Unidimensional Labels (#UseYourAnd)

I am incredible, amazing and extremely smart. Hell, I am the best thing that happened on this earth. I know what you are thinking, but it is almost impossible to stop myself from patting myself on the back. This is a long overdue self-appreciation post. When I look in the mirror, I cannot help but think how lucky I am to just be myself, to be in my skin.

How many times has it been that you have read somewhere how would it be to become someone you are not? You wake up one day and then you are someone else. Can you imagine the repercussions? Do you think you will be able to pull it off, even for a day? I might be excited for five minutes and then lose my mind, eventually.

I want to wake up every day and say yes to my reflection, be blessed that I was the born the way I am. I might be afraid but I am glad that it is a part of me.

It is hard to visualize my life without writing. One would say that it is my oxygen. I am no prophetess, but I do write decent poetry. It is one channel of letting me run wild and free. When the ink touches the paper and the words start to flow unconditionally, I know I belong there.

Teaching is almost a similar phenomenon. Nothing gives me more joy than spending time with the little devils. They may claw and cuddle, but I know I want to be there with them, every morning, listening to their ridiculous qualms. I think it is that reverent look they give you and worshiping your every word. Honestly, I never knew I had it in me to become one.

It has been seven months since my belly started to swell, and we all know what that means. One more tag is along the way. I don’t know what kind of mother I am going to turn out to be, but I will give it all I that I have got. I just want to be there for my child when he or she needs me. I want to love and be loved in return.

Nothing and I mean nothing can stop what you want to be and what you aspire to become in the future. As Meghan Trainor said, every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top. Why do you compromise with others for what you are made of? #UseYourAnd, hold your head high and be known for more than one label that defines you. I am proud to call myself a poetess, a writer, a teacher and a soon-to-be mother.

What about you?

Theme : Things that define me – Every woman has some things that she is passionate about, things that make her who she is. Tell us about the things that are important to you, the multitude of things that make you who you are, because you can’t be limited by one label.

#UseYourAnd activity

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

 

Into the Woods – #RiseAboveFear

Fear is omnipresent. Fear is inevitable. And there is nothing to be ashamed about admitting one’s fear. It defines a part of who we are. We all have our fair share of fears and my list is pretty extensive.

My honeymoon trip was pretty exciting and my husband had planned for us to go to Kerala. It was quite exotic and as you all know that it is thickly populated with forests, no doubt about that. We had traveled along with my sister-in-law and her husband. The more the merrier, right? We had planned out our trip and narrowed down to visiting three places in ‘God’s own country’. Our agenda included that we start from Munnar, onto Thekkady and then the last stop would be Alleppy. Munnar was a harmless hill-station where we just went onto visit the famous tea-estates and mountain peaks. But the real crazy streak began in Thekkady.

The resort where we had checked into was in the middle of a freaking forest! If that was not creepy enough, wait till you hear the rest of it. The nights were the scariest when we could literally hear the hooting of the owls and the howling of the wolves, or was it just my imagination? I don’t know because I was scared to death and hid under the blankets holding in my pee. If that portion was not scary enough, we had bizarre insects invading the balcony and I don’t do well with them either, they frighten the hell out of me.

My beloved husband took me on a forest trekking adventure the next day and it was meant to be a surprise! My sister-in-law and I were entirely unprepared for the trek. I didn’t even have my trekking shoes, for crying out loud! I was clad in my Christian Louboutin peep-toe boots. Yeah, I used that as an excuse because the forest had already freaked me out until it had driven me crazy. My sis-in-law was running half-way back to the spot where we had started from and her husband ran out to catch her.

We were compromised and dragged into the forest. The trekking guide had provided me with a pair of protective stockings that had HOLES IN IT. I mean the whole point of it being ‘protective’ was the fact that it covered your damned leg. And he sprayed some extra salt on my legs to calm me down because I had started hyperventilating. He had just warned me about the slimy leeches that would proudly suck on your legs if you don’t pay attention. And also if we were to be attacked by an enraged wild elephant, we should simply stand still and quietly get out of it’s way.

My face turned pastel and suddenly I could not breathe. But I knew that I had to go on, because there was no turning back after that point. That was the moment I decided to face my fears. Not that I had over-come them unreservedly but a part of myself the felt unwavering to get through the ruckus. I braved through the smarmy leeches (totally screaming, but hey, I made it!) and other sluggish insects as well. Thankfully, there were no infuriated elephants along the way. I proudly passed by the sly foxes as well.

I consider this little incident a victory. I credit myself for this remarkable feat. Even though my Christian Louboutins were destroyed in that trekking adventure, I had overcome my fear of insects and wild animals. And that, ladies and gentlemen is how I rose above fear, through that daring little venture.

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(Images Courtesy : https://www.indiblogger.in/happyhours/rise-above-fear/#)

This post is a part of Indi-Happy Hours #RiseAboveFear Contest by Mountain Dew in association with IndiBlogger.

Check out Mountain Dew’s Facebook Page for more updates.

Those were the best days of my life…

Starting my college life in India was not easy, as I had to shift my base from Dubai to Chennai. It was a phenomenal change for me. Though I could make friends in a heartbeat, I could not fathom the change, I was homesick, missed my high-school friends very much. You know those jokes you crack and only your friends know what it is that you are referring to, I guess I missed that the most. The process of adapting to the environment and the people, well, it was excruciatingly painful to move with the flock. But things did change when I met the right people who made the burning hell fun to blaze in.

I thought I should join in on whatever the hell was going on in the campus and decided to check the Facebook college group page. I found a fellow potter-head (fans of Harry Potter) and started chatting up with her. And guess where I met her after the heart-to-heart about being an ardent Harry Potter fan amongst other things. She was running for a post in the Students’ Union and she had come with her gang of pals to ask for votes in our class. Obviously, I recognized her from her profile picture and that was where we hit off. She was my senior, a psych kid and to top it all off, she had a complicated surname which I conveniently mispronounced almost all the time. So, it was easy to remember this tall lanky figure named Pooja Sathyanarayanan…see what I mean?

Soon, I had established my base in the psych department, and I was spotted there more often than in my very own department (The Commerce Department *puking in a bucket nearby*). Well, I don’t want to get started on that story. I think it does not even deserve to be mentioned. Just know that the Professors and the kids in that department are all a bunch of losers who don’t know how to spell the word fun (except for a handful).

I stopped moping around and hiding behind my hardbound novels to face the music in my second year. It was an endless saga of inter-collegiate festivals where I found my spot in the literary competitions. One of my very first was in the B.S. Abdur Rahman University. It was a memorable day because I had actually participated in the public speaking events for the first time in my college life (like a “spotlight me” moment when Robert Downey Jr. gives a speech). I loved the adrenaline rush in a heated debate or a one minute block and tackle event. It was exhilarating and I never stopped speaking after that. I teamed up with this other junior kid from the psych department for a game of scrabble and we lost. But we bonded over Batman and soppy romance novels and her name is Fahima Mohideen.

What is college life if we don’t make stupid decisions? I decided to try my hand at the students’ union and stood for the post of literary and debating secretary. That is without a doubt the second worst decision in my college life, the first one being Bachelors in Commerce for my under-grad.

I met Lubna in the candidate selection interview and we became inseparable since then. She ended up as the General Secretary and I became the literary and debating secretary. I really could not believe the faith kids had in us. Be it organising inter-departmental or inter-collegiate events, we stuck together, besting our pea-brain of a President. The job requirement was simple really, be at the beck and call of the cultural coordinator and that was the show, baby! Satisfying her was the key to our success. And how can I forget the mandatory ritual of getting coffee and sandwiches from Café Coffee Day with Sahana and Pooja after the end of a major event. I just love the after-math of an event when I soak in the glory of actually having pulled it off! (Could not have done it without you losers!)

The final year was indeed memorable because we did okay. And I would not have been sane if not for these beautiful people I had mentioned previously. Right from the juice shop opposite to our college where they served the best cheese-chilli sandwiches to the Gobi Pakoda stall, we have been there and done it all. Although my favourite stress-buster spot was the Kachha-Mango Vendor who makes my day, EVERYDAY! Honestly, this post feels like a tribute to all these morons who made my college life bearable and amazing at the same time. Now I can proudly say that I graduated from the J.B.A.S College in Chennai and not cringe when I hear my voice. (*insert* those were the best days of my life…)

Special thanks to Arti for extending the invitation to write for this giveaway/contest.

This post is a part of the ‘My College Diary’ contest held by travel blog My Yatra Diary in collaboration with Collegedunia.com 

I would like to tag Pooja Sathyanarayanan, Fahima Mohideen and Swati Shenoy to write for this contest.