So I have my finals coming up in a few days and its is precisely at this time that I understand the value of sleep. On a normal day, a 5 hour sleep would work just fine for me, but nowadays, I could sleep anywhere, anytime, anyhow. The other day I actually dozed off an entire HOUR in the library over the sound of the Air Conditioner and the scratching of pens on paper, in my slightly wet jacket from the rains. And I woke up with an irritable crick in my neck, red marks on my hands and smudged eyeliner all over my face.


Its almost as though, as stress shows its ugly head over the horizon, the invisible ubiquitous force of the Sleep Gods comes into action. Maybe it’s just my coping mechanism, I don’t know, but I’m not sure if it’s the best. My system seems to be so used to coffee, it has sort of developed a resistance to it. Coffee now has the PHENOMENAL ability to put me to sleep too.

So now what happens in my head as I doze off. It’s a place I’d love to take you all through, because I seem to love it so much- IF ONLY I REMEMBERED. Those things you see inside your head, what are they? Dreams, nightmares, why? A beautiful cocktail of biological, psychological and spiritual process happening all at once, overlapping in the most non-threatening way possible- to lead us to absolute nothingness. Why is it that this nothingness is so fulfilling? Babies sleep all the time they can, children try their best to avoid sleep, but us teenagers and adults savour every moment we get.

And now writing this is making me sleepy too- not that I actually need a predecessor for it, but like I said, I love it’s nothingness. Nothing is just so beautiful.



Should beggars be encouraged?

Begging is a business.

I’ve lived in India for almost a year now and this place is a beautiful but rather uncomfortable mix of rich and poor. I say begging is a business. There’s a long traditional line of people who exclusively get past life begging.

Why am I writing about this today? I had 3 encounters in 20 minutes- I am not kidding.


The first was at the ATM. I was standing outside in line awaiting my turn and listening to music. As soon as I come out, I am surrounded by 3 children of about 7-10 years of age. They wait for you to get out of the ATM knowing that you will have money in hand, and pounce. It was hard to ignore, but I just look away and walk.

I know you must be thinking, why didn’t I just give them money? Well, experience is the best teacher. I am required to give each one of the children their share and you’ll have another one joining the army every step you take. And there’s another thing. If you do give them money, they ask for more, claiming its too less and not enough.

The second encounter was with a girl, about 7 years of age. She wore loud paayals (anklets with bells) and ran behind anyone she could find.

Before I tell you the third encounter, I have to tell you about another beggar I saw. This was a man, of about 40 years. He was sitting in front of the hospital main road, and he didn’t have a hand and both his legs. Even as I passed by, he didn’t utter a word. He just watched as everyone walked past and stayed where he was. I took out the change I had and handed it over. He simply smiled.

The third encounter was when I was walking with my friend to the clinic. Deepicca, I hope you’re reading this. We were holding our fancy articulators and trying to cross the road, when suddenly out of nowhere, 2 kids spot us and lock targets. They jump towards us and are YELLING (no, I am not exaggerating) and jumping around us asking for money. They wouldn’t let us move forward, they would touch our hands and bags and my labcoat (as I gripped my phone tighter) and continued to walk. I kept telling my friend to keep walking and not to acknowledge their presence. They went on following us for half our route and figured they weren’t getting anything from us, muttered some profanities rather loudly and walked off.

I completely understand that consequences and bad experiences drove them to beg. But what the issue according to me is that if they can come up with such smart ideas about where and how to beg and if they have hands and legs that work well, I’m mighty sure they could get a job. Maybe not a respectable one (washing dishes in a hotel, cleaning), but surely more respectable than begging. I wish I could do something, but I just can’t think of anything to fix the situation, because at the end of the day, they’re human beings too..

The definition of “Aggressive panhandling” may vary. In the USA, aggressive panhandling generally involves the solicitation of donations in an intimidating or intrusive manner. Examples may include:

  • Soliciting near ATM banking machines.
  • Soliciting from customers inside a store or restaurant.
  • Soliciting after dark.
  • Approaching individuals from behind, as they are exiting their vehicles, to solicit.
  • Soliciting in a loud voice, often accompanied with wild gesticulations.
  • The use of insults, profanity, or veiled threats.
  • Refusing to take “No” for an answer or following an individual.
  • Demanding more money after a donation has been given
  • Invasion of personal space, cornering, blocking or inappropriate touching.
  • A “team” of several beggars approaching an individual at once, often surrounding the person.
  • “Camping out” in a spot where begging negatively influences some other business (such as in front of a store or restaurant) in the hope that the business owner will give money to make the beggar go away.

I have instances for each one of this, experienced personally over my last 19 years.

India is not the only country with this problem. I love India, I love everything about it. But doing something about this could make things so much better.. The only good thing about all this is that they’re just begging and not thieves.

The zonked out bond

This is what my friend wrote for me. Katurriiiiiii :*


well, i was actually in a huge turmoil on how to start with this piece of mine.. i mean there are so many ( like innumerable) things that hit me the moment i think about that perfectly shaped, sharp-nosed, extremely long and jet black-haired , and exceptionally beautiful joker, that i really had no clue from which end to begin (literally)

we met in the most uncanny way possible, during our fresher’s auditions, (where we were morally getting punched from every aspect by our so called heads, so not a really pleasant day). all my classmates had already been insulted by our, oh-so-cool seniors ( who are absolutely useless) and it was my turn to perform now. i was pretty confident that i would manage to shut their traps completely when i would start with my singing ( see? i am not-self obsessed at all, just a realist 🙂 )…

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Where I want to be

WHERE I WANT TO BE (based on personal experiences)

I can’t wait to get back,

Back to where I want to be,

I just want to leave where I am,

And see the place I’d rather see.

I’m running away from here,

As fast as my feet can take me,

Away from the people I’m with now,

I just want to set myself free.


Its killing me now,

Even near is too far away,

I’m running, jumping, fleeting,

It’s farther than it ever was, I’ll say.


And as I turn the key and open that door,

Staring at the familiar tiled floor,

I realized there’s no place I’d rather be,




Than my toilet. I really had to pee.

10 reasons you gotta love House MD

This is a tribute to one of the shows that has kept me entertained in the most boring of situations, made me lazy and fat and pulled my grades down, but made me feel clever because of the Medical stuff happening.

I’ve come to realize, I’m so MADLY in love with House MD, that I think the way he behaves is perfectly alright. Actually, there are a few reasons I wish I was just like him.

  1. He’s his own boss: He doesn’t care for what Cuddy has to say- even though she’s his boss, because at the end of the day, he’s always right.
  2. He’s good at what he does: He’s the Head of Diagnostic Medicine and he deserves every bit of it and more.
  3. SWAG. Despite the limp and the salt and pepper hair and stubble. In fact, they just add to it.
  4. He’s always funny. Sarcasm is the best form of humor.
  5. The MOST perfect blue eyes. (Okay, this is in regard to the actor more than the character, but there’s no way I wouldn’t include this in my list.)
  6. He expects the worst of a situation (Everybody Lies, ring a bell?), so if anything good happens, he gets to be PLEASANTLY SURPRISED. I call this “reciprocal optimism”.
  7. He knew how to love, he didn’t know how to show it. Isn’t that the best form of love there is? RAW natural love.
  8. He had friends who stuck despite it all. Even though he was an “ass”, as Wilson would say. At the end of the day, people still said good things about him at his “funeral”. Except maybe Wilson- that too briefly. He got away with that pretty good.
  9. He stuck by what he believed in, no matter how crazy. I think that’s what gave him the edge over others.
  10. And most importantly, he could get away with ANYTHING. If he did something crazy, people would say that’s normal for House, but if he did something nice, they’d say he’s changed. It’s a WIN-WIN.



What does the future hold?

I sometimes wonder if all this time is leading up to something BIG or just plain empty nothingness. I would like nothingness, I think because everything is too much for me to handle.

From the time I was 2 cells old in a place so quiet and dark and peaceful, is that where I’m going back? Or is it going to be a place so crazy and filled with maniacs (a lot like my younger cousin sister’s birthday parties)?

I don’t know if you wonder, but I do. Sometimes drifting away into an alternate world where things are a lot simpler but so very different. I’m sitting in the library and studying about the Kreb’s cycle and the next minute, suddenly out of nowhere, I’m almost STUCK in nothingness, my head is chanting “THIS IS REAL!” over and over almost like I might forget if it wasn’t there to remind me. And I think of all the people around me in a flash of a second and wonder- Are they all real? And then I snap back into reality, all normal again. It’s almost as though an invisible hyponist is around me and dragging me away to some place I wish I knew and then swooshing me back.

Is this an indication of the place I’m coming from or where I’m going to, I don’t understand. It’s so beautiful, that feeling, but so scary at the same time. I just end up asking myself “Why this kolaveri?”

There are so many things about life and after that I’d like to know about, but that might just take the fun out of it, right? Let’s just keep it the way it is. A big secret under a pretty package with the bow hooked with the noose of, how to put it simply, death.

Mugdha <3

If someone asked the meaning of a friend,

It wouldn’t be too hard for me.

I’ve got the perfect person in mind,

Any guesses as to who that might be?


She’s someone who’s always been there,

Without expecting anything in return.

She’s always ready to apologise and forgive,

No matter how much it may burn.

For her, ego means nothing,

She’s ready to push it aside,

I respect her for that.

She puts friendship before pride.


We were different when we first met,

With completely different opinions from now,

It was back in third grade in Gita class,

We didn’t quite click then, I wonder how.

All through high school, we were “indifferent”-

And I say “indifferent” because I know how exactly you describe it,

We never really spoke much, I spelt your name wrong,

And I’m sure that annoyed “Mughda” quite a bit.

Then came the time of the Arabic dance,

And math tuitions and X-A,

We got closer and closer to each other,

More than words can say.

But just as things were starting to get too perfect,

Distance decides to show its ugly head,

Funnily though, it wasn’t as bad,

I’m happy to see, to what it lead.

We still met at tuitions,

Spent some of the moments, hard to forget.

Walking with hands entwined in the weirdest ways imaginable,

We’re as crazy as they get.

Be it the inside jokes like fire extinguisher,

Or the honest conversations that would have other people laugh till they cry,

Talking about people we love and hate,

The unimaginable names we call them by.

There had once been a time, a test,

We passed with flying colours,

Proving to me you were the best.

Anyone can stand by you when you’re right,

But it takes your best friend to stand by you even when you’re wrong,

It wasn’t over easy, it wasn’t over quick,

It took forever to get through it- quite long.

It’s funny how you cared more about me and less about you,

I realized you loved me more than I knew.


We’ve had our share of giggles,

From private jokes to private hotel rooms, *wink*

And right now, writing all of this,

Makes me miss you more than you can think.


Considering the short fuse I have,

You’re the strength to keep me from breaking,

I may fight with everyone,

But with you, I can’t really fight about anything.


There are way too many memories to write in a poem,

You’re surely worth way more than just this,

I wish I could see you right now, at least get a hug,

I hope you realize how much I miss

You right now.


A new place, new people, new things- all of it is very scary. It’s scary to see your life change and most of all, it’s scary to grow up. With age comes responsibility and independence, both of which are risky topics to bring up in my house. I started college with a lot of doubt and premonition, wondering if I could do it and if this was the course for me. I viewed everyone with suspicion, (Bollywood to be blamed for portraying India in such poor light) and caution.

But that was all almost a year back. Now all the women are my ‘akkas’ and the men are my ‘annas’. It started from the day of the orientation, I realized I was going to be part of a SUPERinstitution (that’s the only word that comes to mind). I was going to be part of the Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal which many of my friends recognize as “only the best dental college in India”, often suffixed that way.

Coming from classrooms with a maximum of 35 students, I was sure I’d be lost here among 100 of them. But I was wrong. MCODS has a way of making everyone feel special.  I can proudly say this, being the girl’s Class Representative of my batch.

The college displays a sort of patriotism that is almost contagious, be it cultural events, sports events or editorial board work. Talented is an understatement to describe many of my seniors and faculty. People always encouraging and pushing you to limits you never knew you had.

The lectures, sometimes interesting, mostly boring requiring a regular 6 hour dosage of caffeine to keep up with; faculty that we love; eight labs spread over a 6 day week- other students would complain.

When I first came here, I would shriek at the sight of a cockroach, but quite recently I’ve posed with one (dead) over my head. I’m getting used to seeing animals crossing the mainroads (like a boss)and it’s all very amusing. The sight of a formalin stinking dead body would send a shiver through my body and contribute to piloerection, but now, it’s all cool.

The three places I most frequently visit other than my room are CBS, Food court and Library. Our college has the most amazing infrastructure and I can’t really think of a better place to study. I love how Manipal is a perfect mix of traditional and modern: be it the infrastructure or the mentality of the people.  The Manipal.edu and the CL building, the Marena, the Food Court, my hostel- places I look at with pride.

This is the place I want to be the referring to, when I tell my children about my college days. It has its share of everything- foodjoints and clubs to temples and churches. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, but then I realize how much Manipal has changed me, and sometimes change is good.

I’m proud to be a part of the best Dental College in India. 😀


When all feels gone,

And I feel like I have no one.

There’s always someone to prove me wrong,

Assuring me she’ll be there my whole life long.

She’s my strength, my asset,

She’d tell me about my weaknesses and teach me to face it.

She is my creator, the God I can see,

Longer than anyone knows me,

She raised me from the smallest I could be,

To what I am now,

Instilling in me values, as I grow,

She taught me all that I know.


She is my doctor, my nurse,

My teacher, my psychologist,

And whatever I tell her, I trust,

Remains highly confidential,

She is my best friend, as we talking about diets, boys, grooming,

She exhibits the qualities I would expect in a superwoman.

The one with a metaphorical “S” on her chest,

Who blends in with the rest.

In the end, proving to be the best.


I’m proud to be her shadow,

Knowing all that she would know,

As she shields me from the harsh sun,

And holds my hand when we run

Away from the things that could hurt me,

Hugging me tight when we’re free

Of it all, making everything seem alright.

And as I sleep in the night

She plants a kiss on my forehead,

Sitting on the end of my bed

Watching me, praying,

Hoping that God hears all that she’s saying.

To give her baby the all the happiness she wished she had,

And to keep her safe from all things bad..

The silent prayer of a loving mother,

Is stronger than the wishes of any other;

And that’s the reason I am where I am today,

My mother’s dreams and strength paving the way.

Then and now

The sun was piercing its way

Into the irritated lives of millions that day,

My grandmother sat behind me oiling my hair,

Which she perceived to be the ultimate in hair care.

Patiently parting segments of my knotted mane,

Smiling at the pitiful heat stricken passerby’s on the lane,

She decided to start a debate.


She told me how much times have changed,

How she would (and still) follow a routine, but my life seems so deranged.

She wakes up at dawn,

And that’s when I go to bed, with a yawn.

I argued that I was on a holiday and this was my well deserved rest,

She told me not to take offence, she was telling me for my best.


But I wouldn’t give up so easily, and so I said,

“My generation is awesome. We have X-boxes, Play Stations, iPods and iPads,

In all colours from Violet to Red.”

She replied simply, “We had hopscotch and kabaddi”, with a grin,

And then she asked me to hand over the hair pin.


That’s point one to grandma, none to me,

I can’t simply let this be.


I held the hairpin back, interested to keep this discussion going,

Racking my brain for something to keep my generation from losing.

When I did think of something, I handed her the hairpin,

“There are the medical advances and milestones in science”, I said.

“You obviously didn’t have all that..”

She secured the hairpin tightly over my head.

I turned to look at her wrinkled face,

Wondering if I’d be as beautiful as her, at that age.

Happy, I pulled myself off the ground and sat beside her,

Satisfied with my retort and guaranteed that victory was near.

“But still the life style then was better than the lifestyle now.

We were active and kept healthy and how!

All this science has made you lazy, and made your definition of fun, hazy.”


That’s point two to grandma, and none to me,

I can’t simply let this be.


I said, “Explain the internet, the ultimate tool,

How it has everything we need- that’s pretty cool!

How I can read the news, watch a movie, chat with friends,

Listen to music, catch up with the latest trends.

I can even learn how to cook, sew or sing.

I can learn to do anything!”


She told me how she used to read the news on a paper,

How much fun watching movies in the cinemas were,

The excitement of receiving letters from the people she loved,

And listening to music on her tape recorder, loud.

My grandmum is a perfect cook, who could sing and sew,

I knew I was losing this one too.


That’s point three to grandma and none to me,

I might have to let this be.


She looked at me with pity, and smiled.

“When it comes to arguing, you must know I’m your grandmum, my child.”

And then she winked and whispered in my ear,

“If it wasn’t for your lovely generation, you wouldn’t be here.”