This time last year

It is only when I open Google Photos & it reminds of what I was doing this time last year, I realise how much time has passed. The summer has come & gone and the rain is back, and with it the promise of more.  Looking at Google photos of what happened before is a mixed bag - it is what I imagine a bag of Bertie Bott's every flavoured beans would taste like. Some pictures bring back memories - clambering on the rocks near the sea, so close you can taste the salt on your tongue; clammy air and the faint sound of drunk second years in the background as you look up at the stars in the amphi; the cold air and the turbulence as the Himalayas shine below; the smell of chakli and chiwada in the air and glow of earthen lamps.  Some pictures tease you about how much has changed since. It is all about missed opportunities and roads you took. I like seeing those too - they are the ones that remind me that the reality of today is better than the dream of yesterday. I think of all the le

We are all searching.

I am a part of a tribe. In this post MBA-catalytic world, where the reality has finally smacked all of us in our faces and shown us how empty we actually are, my tribe flourishes. We wear expensive clothes because we can afford it. We drink at pricey pubs and long for the days when all we could afford was old monk with a twist of lime. We brunch and reminisce about the tapri wali chai. We take cabs from Andheri to Chembur because comfort is important and in that hellhole of a ride, we make power-fucking-point presentations. We live in dreams and the reality keeps killing us. We all think we are special. Even our dreams are the same. We long to quit our jobs and pick up a backpack and travel across the world. Find answers to the emptiness inside. Yawn. All conversations are the same. 'Bro, how is your job?' 'It's shit dude, what about yours?' 'It sucks.' 'Yeah, tell me about it.' Why is everything so meaningless? So repetitive? If

Dreaming of other things

This June, I completed four years in Mumbai. Bombay. I was astounded - it couldn't be, I told myself. It couldn't be that I had been away from home, from Pune, for four years and I could still be this...restful. I no longer haunt the tree-lined bylanes of Fergusson College road, no longer sit on the steps of the cake shop drinking pathetic coffee spewed by an angry machine, and I no longer beat the dhol when the skies darken and the cries of Ganapati Bappa Morya echo through the streets. I don't write as much anymore, and I don't read as much I used to. I don't dream that wildly nor do I make tall statements that have no basis in reality other than  my fervent desire to make them come true. I am not that person anymore.  I am a Bombay person now. I carry an umbrella everywhere, I have m indicator on my phone, and I time my life not by hours, but by minutes. I stay in a rented flat with walls that are white and clean, and the only hint of my

From Campus to Corporate

I am now a part of those who are gainfully employed. I have joined the ranks of the 9 am to 6 p crowd. I am now one of those women wearing inappropriate footwear in Mumbai rains and expensive jackets that serve vanity more than utility. I am now one of those women who talk about the targets for the year and clip clop around the office in dangerous heels. I am one of those women who lug a laptop bag everywhere and give presentations in slick meeting rooms. I am all that and hope to be more. This transition to corporate did not feel like a shock - four fieldworks have ensured that. Rather it feels like slipping into old shoes that I had stopped wearing (why these shoe metaphors today, I wonder).  But that does not mean I do not miss TISS campus. I crave the green lattice on damp roads, the steel tables and the smell of hot tea in the DM canteen, the rain drenched amphitheater, and the smell of cold rain on hot soil.  But in the past weeks, I have sat through numer

Gudetama is my soulmate

Have you met Gudetama yet? He's the lazy egg. Say hello. He probably won't say anything back, he's lazy that way so I totally understand. He spends his time being fried, boiled, cut and made to suffer other indignities, but he always prevails and returns to spread the noble message of indolence. He clutches to a strip of bacon as a blanket, is always tired and his past-time is lying tiredly. I totally get him. I love him. Thank you, Mohita for the introduction. You may now call yourself the duenna of matchmaking business.

Struggle and a lesson in theory of literature

Struggle is eternal. Don't roll you eyes. Don't scoff at me. If my twenty-three years (yes that many now) on this planet have taught me anything, it is that struggle is eternal. The knowledge for the struggle of existence is innate. For Darwin, struggle for existence was the basis of natural selection. The war of nature is a reality. I prey on you, you prey on him, he preys on her. This is not a lesson in pronouns; it's the truth. Juxtaposed on theory of literature, this finds four forms: A. Character versus Character Ex. Pooja versus Sonakshi (bwhahahahahah) B. Character versus Society Ex. Pooja versus Middle class Morality (I am a heroine don't you know!) C. Character versus Nature Ex. Pooja versus Mumbai Rains (especially when she wears inappropriately expensive footwear to fieldwork) D.Character versus Self Ex. Pooja versus her pet demons. There you go.

My Unilever Diaries

A bead of sweat rolls down my forehead, even as the AC is running at full blast. My legs throb with a dull pain - I have been standing for four hours now. A lady in red approaches me - she sees me smile, she sees the glint in my eyes, and she tries to side step me, but it's too late, I'm already in the fray. "Hello, good afternoon! Would you like to taste Lipton Ice Tea?" She gives in. After a small spiel, and a five minute discussion about Mumbai weather, she is on her way with two packs of Lipton Ice Tea in her cart, and I am closer to my goal of the day. This is Modern Trade Blitzkrieg, and like me, there are several interns, and managers in the market, working side by side with the field forces that drive the monolith that is HUL.  I am almost at the end of my two month stint in Hindustan Unilever. My days might seem to follow the same set pattern - hurried breakfast at the 'Wadala Sheraton' (an affectionate, slightly derisive nickname fo