“Nomads”

“Do you remember studying about people that roamed around, not settling in one place because they were constantly in search of food and stuff like that? Nomads?”

“Yes mom, what about them?”

“We’ve become them, haven’t we? Just look at us”

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So this story of mine, is about how my family and I have been all over the place. An account of all the houses we’ve been in and how the situation was

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House 1 :

I was in the 10th grade, when my family hit absolute rock bottom. My father was here in India and my mom, younger brother and I were back in U.A.E. As we had no money whatsoever, we couldn’t pay rent so we had to leave the only house I ever knew. It was so sudden, I felt like my entire world crashed. I didn’t even know where we were gonna go

I had come back from school when my mother and her elder brother tell me we were to immediately go to this flat. We went there and I saw all my stuff there. Kind of wish I could have said a proper goodbye to my room atleast, and not a hurried one

So the house we were in now, was a sharing flat. The people who lived there were an uncle and his son, who rented out their other room to us. They were really nice people, and as much as I missed my place, I was okay

Thankful, that atleast we had a good place to stay. A decent place with all facilities and a good neighbourhood

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House 2 :

It was July. The people we were sharing the flat with told us to vacate the flat all of a sudden. We didn’t know where to go. We were just in shock

Where in the world were we supposed to stay? How could we find a place in two days??

We were out of our heads when the watchman of the building told us there was this ground floor apartment. Without thinking anything, we just went for it. It was backpacking time again

So this ground floor room was the creepiest I have ever seen. There was no place to keep any stuff. I don’t even remember how it looked! It was so dark, and had no proper lighting

Thank God we didn’t stay there for long I would have lost my shit I swear

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House 3 :

The morning after the move into creepy ground floor apartment, the watchman says we actually aren’t allowed to stay there. And I just remember going, “Great, so we are already all worked up about our situation and now this happens?”

My mother was about to cry at that time. How were we supposed to find a flat in an hour?

Felt like a horrible survival reality show

The watchman then tells us there was this flat we could rent out for 10 days. Until the family moved back in. We immediately said yes because we needed time to figure out where to move next

We moved into this apartment, and didn’t bother unpacking our stuff because atleast this time we knew beforehand that this was a temporary solution

The house was really nice. My mother and I talked about how if everything was okay we would also be staying in such a nice place. My brother was really small so all he bothered about were his cartoons

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House 4 :

It was now August. We shifted to a flat in a badly lit neighbourhood. The place was a bit sketchy but the building was okay. We lived on the first floor and the flat had no ventilation whatsoever

There were windows, the long sliding ones but because it wasn’t used in a long time, they wouldn’t budge. The window itself was covered with this off red color paper due to which sunlight never hit the room. We used to switch the lights on 24×7 or else it would be really dark. Differentiating between night and day was hard

School had resumed and honestly, I was not in the best state of mind. Seeing all of this unfold right infront of your eyes takes a toll on you. And on top of that having school work didn’t make it easy

I had to pretend like I was okay, because I didn’t want anyone to worry. I also knew I could not talk about it. What was I even supposed to say? From where was I supposed to begin?

It was one thing, to learn I had to leave the country, it was another to see everything just break down. The life I had known, everything shattered to pieces. And the future remained so uncertain

It was only in this house that I sort of envied my brother, because he didn’t understand anything going on. All I wanted was to stop understanding and being in so much chaos. My brain was unable to function

I don’t even remember how I studied for my 10th boards in this house. Conditions were just so off at that point. But that house was one of the places that made me really strong on the inside. It taught me how to brave through some of the worst conditions

I went through my first gap year in that house. The unexpected one. It was a case of, “We’ll be leaving for India in the next month” for a lot of months. And then we did the actual move

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House 5 :

On reaching India, I stayed in a relative’s place along with my family. The experience was definitely something. New country, new place, new me and better situation now I hoped

Oh how I was wrong

We kept waiting for things to get better. But with schools who once agreed to take us in, refusing at the last moment, to dad not being able to get the finances in order, we just went downhill. And it was in this house that I started getting the case of the anxiety

I started to feel really overwhelmed with everything going on. It wasn’t easy. Not at all. My mother would come up to me and share everything, all that she felt with me. And I just kept feeling burdened more and more

I wanted to scream. And I did that. But internally. Kept feeling like I wasn’t allowed to. Had these awful thoughts always roaming in my head. All I wanted was to be invisble

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House 6 :

My father was in Kolkata at the time, working on a project that would get us back on track. The relative wanted to shift so we went to our place in Karnataka and stayed there for 7 months I think, with my grandparents and aunt’s family

My time in this house is another story in itself. I can forget any house but I can’t ever forget the time I spent here

It was in this house that I also disappeared from the internet. As much as I would like to blame the fact that I didn’t have a computer that’s why I abruptly took a leave of absence, deep down I know that I would have done it

I was at one of the lowest points in my life. Life was crumbling on one end, and on the other the incessant taunts from passers by and relatives made me feel nauseated. Talking to people and pretending I was okay and just a bit off was something I could not do

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House 7 :

Once dad was done with his project we came back to Mumbai. We lived in this horrible and crowded area but the colony and people were okay. We were to live here until a proper arrangement for my brother’s schooling was done

We used to face a lot of issues with water. And we lived on the 3rd floor. There was no lift. So we had to go till the ground floor and bring water up at times. Not an experience I’ll forget

I distracted my mind with tv shows and movies. We also had a really nice neighbour. So days would be spent like that. Don’t really remember how this house looked though

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House 8 :

Once everything was sorted, we shifted here. We were doing much better now. Mom even started earning here, and that helped our case

Also the fact that somehow I finished my 12th and was actually gonna start undergrad school was surreal. I remember crying on the day I got my 12th result because I couldn’t believe I did it. That I survived through everything and finished school

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House 9 :

This is my current place which is literally next door to House 8. Shifted because we liked the flat and also the agent was giving us some trouble. This house saw us do so much better than we expected

Than I expected myself to do

I have good memories in this place. Of course there have been my ups and downs but I expect nothing else from my life now

This is far better than any of the other houses

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And that marks the end of this detailed report on all the houses I’ve lived in. It really feels like I’ve lived different lives in different houses

It’s not easy, to be in and out of houses so much. Especially when you’re going through so much you can’t even talk about. But I’ve always been proud of myself, for being able to handle it and not letting it break me, even when it could

A Quick Look At The Past Three Years Of My Life

Hey-lo humans who are reading this poorly constructed post!

So as you all know, I disappeared for three years from my blog because of a little thing called life. And for those of you who don’t know – well, now you know!

There are plenty of questions in everyone’s head as to what is it that happened in these past years. Today, as the title reads, I’m going to be addressing just that.

So let’s begin from the start shall we?

I had to move to my hometown as we, well, had to move out. My hometown is this area which neither is a village nor town. I like to call it a town-village. I have no idea how else to describe it. Is this really a term though? Or have I coined a new term? Am I the inventor of a new word? Oh my God…..

I spent seven months there with my grandparents, my aunt and uncle and my younger cousin sister. Also this dog. Can not forget the dog. Ugh.
In the start I had few bits of le internet thanks to my younger brother’s constant whining and crying but I refused to use it largely because I had to save it up for him. Things an elder sibling has to do. Sacrifices and all for the younger one. Pfft.
I only used it to keep in touch with my friends (read : annoy the crap out of them) and things were going okay, until my laptop crashed. Big time.

No internet, no system – living those seven months was a complete torture to sum it up in a nutshell. So many people, no source of entertainment, so many people, constant bugging, so many people.
Yes, I said ‘so many people’ a lot of times. Why do you ask? Well,  imagine a socially awkward girl among a whole bunch of people. Perhaps now you can understand how annoyed I might have been.
And I’m Indian. Add that to the mix. Now imagine the situation. Can’t? I never could either. Until I lived that nightmare. The horror *shudders*

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Seven months later, we moved to a different place. Another crappy place. We didn’t have proper water facility for goodness sake! No internet again but finally as we were staying by ourselves, we got a cable connection for our TV. So I spent time watching a lot of series’ again. Boy oh boy was I so happy!
I’d go around saying, “My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive! GO FLASH YESYES!!” My mom would just stare at me in utter disappointment. She’d say, “You’ve started again. Why are my kids not normal?”
Quick forward to the present day – my mom loves The Flash. When I used to watch it on TV she’d go all, “Woah!”, “My God!”, “This is awesome!”, “He’s so fast!” etc. She loves Empire the most though. She was shook by the season 2 finale and started screaming, “WHY DID THEY NOT SHOW WHAT HAPPENED AHEAD? WHO FELL?!” When I went home and binge watched my shows, she asked me to tell her what happened and I showed her the clip. She then proceeded to ask my father why is it that he unsubscribed to english channels. If he hadn’t, then she could see little glimpses as I’d watch. I miss mom..

Back on the topic at the hand, I stayed there for around 9-10 months I believe. It was until my school wasn’t decided. And when my new school was decided and also our flat picked out, we moved out to stay at the place where I currently am residing.

How has my life changed? Well, I ended up having two gap years after my tenth grade. I completed my twelfth year in a span of three months and somehow managed to pass with decent scores! I made new friends who are absolutely amazing and have restored my faith in humanity a little bit
I know, I know. Me? Making friends? When did this miracle happen? Yeah, I’m surprised too. Life is full of surprises now isn’t it?

Currently I’m pursuing my first year in the field of Engineering in a college away from home. Hostel life. BLAAAH.
Finally a step towards achieving my dream has been taken and I couldn’t be happier! Yay!

Situations were horrible and we faced a lot of hardships. Life turned out to be nothing like we had imagined and majority of the time we all were just really upset as to how events were turning out to be. My brother wasn’t the least bit upset though. He just was happy he got to see Power Rangers………………

In short, life wasn’t the slightest bit easy. When we thought things are starting to get better, this storm would knock on our main door and say, “Did you order for a problem?”

Things are finally shaping out better now. I’m proud of all of us for managing to keep ourselves together and come out stronger from the experiences. I know that all of this has made me so much stronger, a level of strong my twelve-year-old self never imagined she would reach.

Things are okay. Life isn’t great but it’s okay. And I’m fine with okay.

When questions about marriage are asked to a teenager…

Belonging to an Indian family, marriage is a huge thing for us. Especially for us girls. I really don’t understand why it is so, but I have no other option than to live with it. So all this really doesn’t bother me. Do what you want, talk what you want. As long as it doesn’t involve me, I’m cool. This attitude of mine seemed to help me escape wedding talks of my cousins, but it din’t when it came to um. me? I know what you’re thinking. A teenager and marriage? How’s that possible? Well obviously I’m not getting married! I’m not even legal. But that doesn’t let me escape!

Now that I’m in India and in the close vicinity of relatives, they talk about weddings. And when they see me, they start having speculations of how MY wedding is gonna be, and whom will I marry! Well obviously they don’t just jump on the topic, where’s the sense in that? It normally starts when they talk about my future. The talk starts very subtly with the first question being, “What profession do you aim to go for?” And after 5 – 10 minutes of talking I won’t even realize how they ended up talking about my wedding day!!

Now these ‘serious’ talks only last till those relatives are at home. But that is not the only ‘marriage talk’ that exists you see? You constantly get teased about it by your parents, especially your mom. To help you understand better, I will now provide some examples.

“You don’t even know how to cook till now! I’m telling you, no one will want to marry you when you grow up. No one!” – How is cooking and marriage related is something I find very difficult to comprehend. And cooking isn’t rocket science! We are just teenagers right now. Its not like we are gonna marry tomorrow!!

“You can’t even clean your own room? What will you do when you get married and will have to clean the entire house? Do you really want to leave a bad first impression on your in-laws?” – Um, haven’t you heard of house servants? I think they will be of great help. And I really don’t think the first thing my in-laws are gonna tell me to do is to clean the house. I don’t think cleaning my room should be associated with my marriage. Again, I’m not getting married tomorrow!

“If you want to marry a good guy in the future, then you have to study very well for that and get excellent grades. If you want to marry a beggar, then you can continue to get these average marks.” – Our class tests also come in this. According to our mothers, we are gonna take our class test paper and show it to the world after 10 years. This an incredibly good logic. I’m surely gonna do this. I might even frame my kindergarten test papers and hang them on my wall…

If one person is incredibly close to their mother like I am, then only will the following example occur.
“Just imagine. 10-12 years from now, we won’t be talking like this. Why? Because you’ll be married to someone and off to his place! I can’t begin think how fast these 10 years will pass by. I wonder how the guy you or us choose will be.” *laughs* – This is the joking part I was talking about. This is what comes up sometimes when we sit to talk. This is why I sometimes feel like running away from the room while talking to my mom. This is when I smoothly change the topic. This is when I drift away to my room and face-palm myself.

So I think the examples have given you enough explanation of how us teenage girls are always taunted about marriage. Thank the Lords that my mom isn’t so strict and not so serious about marriage and because of that I haven’t heard the first 3 examples in my house. Only the last one! 😀 But I pity my fellow friends who go through this on a regular basis.

So to all the great family relatives, the mothers and also the siblings who do this, kindly stop. We aren’t getting married tomorrow. When we are getting married, you can talk your heart out then. Stop assuming what we are going to do after 10 – 12 years. If we don’t get married even after 10 years (that’s my plan) then what will you do? Would you really like to be a matter of joke to us?

Surprise Surprise!

So on Friday my friends in U.A.E. organised a surprise birthday party for my close friend. When I was talking to Nerd Enchanted about it, the event triggered a lot of memories of mine regarding surprise parties. And so here I am blogging about all my memories.

The series of ‘surprise parties’ started in April 2012, and I was the first um, victim? (I don’t know what to call myself).
So it was a Monday (yes I remember all the details) when a close friend of mine called me up in the afternoon. She asked if I would be able to join her for a trip to a nearby park on Thursday. I said yes, but I was wondering why all of a sudden she wanted to go to the park! We don’t go a lot to parks you see?
Everything was okay till Wednesday. In the evening I was watching TV when the phone rang. I saw that it was a friend of mine who was calling so I picked up. And as soon as I said hello she said, ‘Is your mom there? I want to speak to her.’ Without any questions I gave the phone to my mother but was really surprised. Why would she want to talk to my MOTHER? My mom spoke to her and gave the phone to me again. When I spoke to her she said, ‘Ask your mom.’ I asked my mom and she told me that she asked for permission to give me a send-off party on the next Thursday. This really got me suspicious.
So that night I saw a dream (like I do every single night). In the dream, I saw that I was in the park with my friend. Nothing strange until I saw my whole school bus group seated right next to me! I immediately woke up shocked and wondering why I saw such a dream. You see, I get a lot of prophetic dreams. I’ll tell you about them some other day maybe. 😉
The next day I was walking with my friend to the park and was telling her about my other friend’s phone call. She din’t respond and normally she responds to such stuff. Now I was quite sure that my dream is gonna come true. I went to the park and from behind a tree all my friends jumped up infront and yelled ‘SURPRISE’. Well it wasn’t a surprise, but still I was the happiest person on the planet that day!

So from there on, surprise parties are held for the birthday girl. It is so common that the birthday girl expects a ‘surprise birthday party’ on birthday. It is so unpredictable you see?

After this I was part of my friend’s surprise party on Halloween last year. The most hilarious part was the cake! I have this extremely blonde and childish friend who had taken up the responsibility for the cake. She did get cake, but forgot a knife. Now how will the birthday girl cut her own cake? More importantly how will we eat the cake? Seeing no other way around it, someone suggested that she should cut the cake with a plastic fork and that we eat it using plastic forks. And 5 minutes after, everyone destroying the cake with their respective plastic forks!!

After that I came to India. So all the ‘surprise party’ stories were conveyed to me by my friends via Facebook messaging. One party wasn’t a surprise because she realised it while the other party was a surprise until the other girls came late which made the birthday girl confirm her slowly increasing suspicions!

The party on Friday marked the very first success story of a surprise party, because it really was a surprise. The plan was perfect and it blowed the birthday girl’s mind!

All these events might just be a memory for me, and to know about the other parties I’ll have to rely on the Internet but it still makes me so happy! On Friday when I got to know about the success, even though I wasn’t there I was still so happy. Obviously my friends don’t know how I actually feel because I din’t tell them! Oh wait they might know now if they read this.
Lets hope I make new and wonderful memories here as well!

The Bully-vard Of Broken Bones

If you are a regular reader of my posts then by now you will know that I have a 9 – year old brother. And this post is inspired by his struggles in my native country.

Yesterday evening when my mom and him came back from the playground situated right below my building, my brother looked upset and my mom was in an angry mood. When I inquired, she said that the children with whom he ‘plays’ told her that my brother swears a lot in my country’s national language – Hindi. They also told her that he curses and teases the children. I was shocked because I know he doesn’t even know one bad word, and now we have complaints that he abuses? Then went a long conversation between my mom, me and my brother. We needed to know if this was true.

My brother admitted to telling some words, but he never knew that they were bad. He heard the other children using them, and picked it up. He told it to them because he wanted to be accepted by them. He wanted to play with them.

These kids dominate the entire building. They are from the ages 9 – 12. You’d expect them to play with someone who obviously is the same age. But things don’t always turn out to be the way you expect them to be right?

My brother isn’t physically strong. He can’t run fast without tripping down and he still can’t jump. In short you can say he is weak. So the kids in the country where we both grew up took care of him in school. He had amazing friends who would guide him anywhere in school. His best friend was always regarded as his body-guard. They cared about him that much!

But the kids here have a totally different definition of care.

When we just came to the building they treated him well and played a lot with him. They loved him and cared a lot. We were really happy that he found good friends here too. But we jumped to conclusions too soon.
After 2 months of everyday play, one boy decided to turn the tables. I don’t know what was his problem.  Let’s name the boy XYZ here.
Whenever my brother would go to play they’d just ignore him. My brother would run behind them, and they can’t turn around and tell him to stop! Then one day we found out that XYZ and his partner beat my brother with a dirty broom that was just lying around. They told my brother not to tell my mom or else they’ll stop playing with him. Living in that fear, my  brother never opened up to my mom, dad or me! That broom caused him allergies. His entire body was red, and for two days he couldn’t go out.
Next day my mom and I shouted at those kids and especially XYZ. We gave him a final warning. The next day they played extremely well with him. We thought they learnt their lesson.

A month passed by, and everyone was happy. Until one day my brother started crying at home all of a sudden.

After a very rigorous interrogation and numerous attempts to break his loyalty towards his ‘friends’, my brother decided to open up. And what he said, left my mom and I in tears.

He said that XYZ would tell him to hide in a room. When my brother tried to get out, he and his friends would be pulling the doors so that he’d be trapped inside. Sometimes they pulled his pants, slapped him or made him trip down by putting their leg in the way while he was walking. And when he fell down, they wouldn’t let him up. Instead they’d stand on his pants so that standing isn’t easy for him. And after all these disastrous events, they’d tell him to shut his mouth about all this and never utter a word to my mom and I.
He was being bullied everyday and he kept quiet about it because he was scared.

My brother was weak infront of them. Their continuous fighting among themselves followed by a series of curse words to their own siblings, it was too much for anyone to control.

We told them to stop playing with my brother anymore, and told my brother the same. But my brother was so lonely here that in the end he ran behind them again.
Those kids gained a bit of sense and started playing with him properly. And they were always under my mom’s guidance. So my mom always monitors  every move of theirs.

Then came yesterday. My brother is also at fault here because he din’t need to repeat the words that they use. He’s extremely short – tempered and whenever he’s angry, he’ll start saying each and every word that comes to his mind and gets really hyper. But those kids are obviously at a greater fault here.

Now my brother swears he will never play with them and those kids also say that they never ever will play with him. I don’t want to hear anymore of these cases regarding bullying. I just hope that everything is back to normal till we shift from here. Then none of us have to face these kids ever again.

One thing is still confusing. If they never wanted to play with my brother, then why din’t they tell that directly to us? Why all this torture and made up stories?

These kids were at such an extent because their parents never took their actions seriously. They always say, ‘They are kids. They’re just having fun!’ Everyone in the building knows how bad they are, yet no one stands up to them. That’s why my brother is their first victim. After all this those kids have got severe shoutings by their parents and everyone else in the building. Hopefully they learnt their lesson now and no other kid will be a victim of bullying in this building.
If you yourself are either a victim of bullying or you know someone who is being bullied, stand up to it and defend them. You are not going to lose anything but you will gain respect from others. This needs to stop, and we all can do that. No one should feel the way my brother does. No one deserves that.