Month: February 2016

Quali Tea! Adieu Winters

You know I really love photography.
And the best images I take are often of the other Love of my life- Food.

Since winters are ending. I thought I’d give you a little montage.
Simple pleasures like these add Quali-Tea to one’s life.

image

This is the Cutting Chai from Chennai

image

The sweet nectar of Paradise- Kehwa from Kashmir.
(Do notice my supreme efforts at making the shot look Food magazine worthy. I spent hours collecting those leaves 😛 )

image

Fancy tea at a holiday resort with the Himalayas in the backdrop

image

This is how we have tea at home. That is Black Tea with cinnamon, cardamom and Cloves.

image

Slurp! Aahaaa!

What is your favourite Tea?

If you wish to follow more of my photography hop onto
http://www.facebook.com/PicTales101
For more food photos
Instagram- @fictionatrix

5 things I learnt in 2015- Letting Go

image

Letting go is an essential aspect of being human.
It is a crucial element in the dynamics of life – which is always in flux.
Always changing.

The past year has been very challenging for me. It has been challenging because I have grown a lot more in this one year than I have in the two decades of my existence. Battling depression, getting into university, making adult decisions, and learning to stand up for my choices.
But the most crucial of them all, was learning to Let Go!

image

1. Letting Go- Of FEAR of JUDGEMENT

In life we all always fear one thing.
And that is the fear of Judgement.
It is crucial for us to realise that at the end of the day, the one who matters the most is – You.

For those who mind, don’t matter.
And those who matter, won’t mind.”

Thus, let go of yourself from time to time. Learn to enjoy yourself. Do what you would have done if no one would have known. And do it despite people knowing. Don’t let the Inhibitions hold you down.

image

2. Letting Go – Of PRE-CONCEIVED    NOTIONS

The past year has made me question a lot of things I had set in mind.
Having rigidly set pre conceived notions is not suitable.
Be it towards new people, newer experiences and newer ideas.

The essence of living a good life is to be open to “NEW”.

I had pre- conceived notions, not just about others, but also myself.
As soon as you let go of such notions, you make space, you open doors for self reflection and self discovery.

image

3. Letting Go – Of EGO
The one thing that stands in between an individual and meaningful relationships is Ego.
Most of us don’t even realise how our ego ruins our chances.

Sometimes, it is better to make compromises than fight where both parties loose.
Thus, it is essential to let go of our ego complex.

4. Letting Go – of GRUDGES
The worst thing a person can do to themselves is to hold on to grudges.
We all hurt, we all feel pain and we all fear rejection. But holding onto things that have hurt us only hurts us further.

The best thing thus is to learn to let go of such grudges. Yes, it is difficult, but it isn’t impossible to turn over a new page.

image

5. Letting Go – Of PEOPLE
The worst thing that one can do to oneself is holding onto harmful people. You may not even realise how certain people are damaging you. We often tend to hold onto people because of comfort, emotional attachment.

I had to end a 4 year long relationship. It was difficult, it was sad, but I had to. Because, at the end of the day, the relationship was ruining both of us.

At the end of the day, relationships are meant to add something more to both your lives.
If, they seem burdensome and tiring, it might be better to let go.

Every year, I try to make myself better. Because the only competition that there is – Is the one that you have with yourself.
What have you learnt in this past one year? Let me know. 🙂

What makes Jawaharlal Nehru University Special?

Years ago, there was a certain, highly coveted institution of magical learning that was shut down.
The Ministry of Magic disagreed with its practices and the Daily Prophet went on to spread lies about its functioning.
Cornelius Fudge was on a rampage and Dolores Umbridge was appointed to take matters into their control.

What happened next was a series of acts to punish students, eductional decrees that prohibited them from basic functions like going in groups and having discussions.
No opposition was allowed or tolerated. Will this be our future?

image

As a graduate student in Delhi University, I would look at J.N.U with awe. Those students seemed so well informed and in control of their lives. They had stand points and opinions,had in depth understanding. They stood for what was right, what was human and made their opinion matter. They made headlines,they shaped politics, they made the present and they made history.
The three years in my Graduation, I wanted to be just like them.

image

The media has a very different, stereotypical understanding of what Jnuites are like.

“Leftists kahinke”

“Khadi kurta donned charasis”

“Dadhi waale radicals”

Who, according to many, run the narcotics trade in this country.

J.N.U they believe is home to and a breeding ground for communists, radical feminists, anarchists, naxalites, maoists, and now even anti-nationals. These are beef eating, devil worshipping misguided stoned youth who are wasting tax-payers money.

However, in just the one year that I have spent in this place, I have seen a very different world.
A world where one can truly be themselves. Where every opinion was appreciated, even encouraged. Because all opinions deserve the same platform and equal respect.

I studied Political science for 3 years in graduation, and dissented the whole idea of politics vehemently.
But after coming to J.N.U I have truly understood who stands left, right and centre, and why. Because here I get to witness mere theory in active practice!
image

Most of us don’t even have political associations. Even I don’t adhere to any ideology or political association. 
We see practical results, based on what the counsillors have done for the centres and then we caste our votes. Not once were we pressurised to follow an agenda. We joined in large numbers because their agendas made sense to us. We joined because we believed in their argument.

The recent events have been coloured with the wrong brush. Media trials and hashtag trends have distorted the truth.
What the students union did was merely support the rights of an alternative minority opinion to have its freedom of expression.

As is depicted by this very famous quote allegedly attributed to Voltaire.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
image

From where I stand, the situation has grown beyond what each of us thinks individually. There is no black and no white, just a whole lot of greys.
And amidst this, the unity of J.N.U is nothing short of beautiful.
We are united and are very clear in what we stand for. And that is the sanctity of J.N.U as a democratic space.

In our opinion nothing justifies police presence on campus or Bajrang Dal on our gates questioning students.
The fact that I was scared to express my opinion for all these days, is proof of the fear that the current scenario has left on us.
Today it is J.N.U, tomorrow it could be any other University.

image

But, yesterday I saw almost 20,000 people on the streets of Delhi, Teachers, students, social activists, city dwellers, karamcharis even Journalists. All supporting the idea of J.N.U and its cultural ethos. All supporting the idea of democracy in educational institutions.

Voltaire, in his Treatise on Toleration(1763) said,
“The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs.”
This can be paraphrased to fit our digital age of TRPs and Retweets.

But the matter of the fact remains that Jnuites are as much a part of this great Indian Democracy as anyone else.
As students and as citizens of this great nation I think everyone has a right to be heard.
image

I am proud of this nation and its institutions that work for the people, but  I am also proud of this educational institution I worked so hard to get in.
Because today if I can have an informed opinion, about a pleothora of subjects across the canvas globally, it is because that I get to live in breathe in this space. It is J.N.U that has given me the courage to stand for others, and the confidence to stand up for myself. And I hope that its sanctity shall remain sacrosanct.
And if you were to ask me, I’d do it all over again.

This Valentines, Love yourself.

So valentines is here! Yet again *sighs.
For most of us, the single people this is a nightmare!

We wish to remain burried in our houses, under our blanket forts than associate with society.
And since this year it happens to fall on a sunday, work is no excuse.

image

We are The Loners
We will not let anyone enjoy, like they should.
Any expression remotely implying love would bring immense hatred in us.
We are the ones who roll our eyes at kisses, and throw soda cans at couples and disrupt proposals.
(Slight  exaggeration but you know what I am getting at.)

And not generalising, but still most of the time, the loners are the ones who have lost love or were crushed by love or are waiting for love but haven’g got any.

image

But, its time to change things around a bit.
The whole concept of Valentines Day to me is a large commercial cnstruct made to bring revenue to Multi nationals that produce those heart shape chocates, jewellry or teddy bears.
The act of expressing love doesn’t need a specific day. I know there is a historical significance.
But love isn’t restricted to the conventional Couple love.

image

Love is everywhere, in all relationships. But most of all, it needs to be within you and for yourself.

Psst, I’ll let you in on a secret- I actually had someone ask me out for valentines day but instead I refused, because I couldnt handle the pressure.

I kept thinking why me. Maybe he was awfully lonely and thus I was a just convenience.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to remind you, that you are special in your own way.

That we all need love, but self love is most important. All our relationships get altered the day we begin to appreciate ourself.

image

So this valentines, do something for yourself.

Despite having high fever I attended food festivals across town, attended an Urdu poetry fest and bought myself a handmade leather bound journal.

And honestly, a lighter wallet and heavier belly does no harm. *Feels content*

image

Do something, anything that makes yoy happy. That makes you joyous.
Don’t bother with what other people are thinking.
Most people would pity you, or try fixing you up.
You need to make decisions which make you feel good about yourself.

I love food. It makes me feel good. It doesnt reject me, understands my feelings, and is always there.
Food is my valentine, and I honestly had great fun this weekend. *Barfs

image

Just kidding! All jokes aside.
You can try something different.
Maybe hang out with friends, go to a convention or stay at home and watch re runs of your favourite show. Not because you are a victim of this commercial enterprise.

All of us can be complete in ourselves. and if you don’t feel it right now. Make efforts in that direction.
Afterall, New year resolution making can extend till June right. 😛 

Last but not the least. Whether you have or don’t have a valentine. I love you my dear readers. Sending you lots of love, wishes and warm hugs. Take care. ❤

Photograph – Little Poem # 26

“Life will pass in a blurr.
Forevers are a bluff!

No matter how many.

Photographs
Are never Enough…”

image
What my gallery looks like. Includes Bruno from Pup to grave. :')

In the 9 years that we had our dog, it never struck us to have a family photograph. We all have individual images with him. But the 5 of us don’t have a picture. The day I realised that, was hours before he passed away. I had planned on taking a family portrait the next day.

Its been a month and I keep scrolling through my gallery looking at pictures of him.
They don’t seem enough. I am stuck in a perpetual cycle of “If Only’s”.