The Hostel TV Jhanjhat


Three hundred and twenty girls in one College Hostel of which at least seventy of them have regular TV shows ranging from regional soap dramas (in languages ranging from Telugu to Bengali); the reality game programs that make us the MTV Generation; music videos of our favorite artists; the Nat Geo Documentaries; Movies and the more in-demand English TV Series (read Comedy Central) et all, to watch. But for a plethora of reasons we miss out on these programs. College life is such. Moreover, all prime time serials air on the same time indifferent channels. Dinner time was is always a war between locala wanting to watch Kannada series while the rest of us just want to chill with breezy music on VH1. This continues until warden switches of the TV and walks away. There goes our entertainment out of the window.

Then come the binges. Saturday nights : you’ve been working on this certain project for so long that its already past curfew and you cannot go out anymore. This is when you want to binge watch movies or catch up on TV Series but you know that you’ll have to battle at least a dozen girls watching reality TV to watch your favorite Comedy Central prgram. It’s my fix, really. The best way to end a crazy day is to watch some TV series if nothing else. And its almost upsetting when you can’t do that. You miss home all over again. From fighting for the remote with three others I’ve graduated to fighting against a battalion. Soon you miss enough episodes to stop caring. And the entire serial turns into forum discussions on a website or Facebook Memes. 

And what about missing your Mother Tongue? I can almost feel waves of happiness run through me when someone puts on the Sun Music channel and Dhanush appears in all his glory dancing to a fast-paced Koothu song or when I see glimpses of Pattimandram  on Sunday morning as people channel surf. I’m almost transported to my home where my Grandpa would be watching Kalyana Malai, Pattimandram and the Weekend special Movie on Sun TV. Its a ritual to watch these shows on Monday and then Sun Singer at night. Also, Neeya Nana on Vijay TV. What I would give to get these shows here.

But now there’s a solution in the Horizon. And its better than just recording the episode on your Tata Sky and waiting your turn to watch it. Now you can record the episode and TRANSFER it to your mobile-device and watch it at our leisure , wherever you want. A much smarter approach than staying stuck before the television. I can now carry Citizen Khan and watch it as I walk on the treadmill; enjoy VH1 Classics while travelling from my College Town, Tumkur to Bengaluru which is like a 2 to 3 hours journey. Also, I can watch my Game of Thrones even if I miss that special episode before the spoilers get to me. Whats more? No more sacrificing sleep for those crazy matches that always seem to take place during exam times. Also, I dont have to sit hours together to watch say, the Academy Awards at 6AM. I can always watch the rest after class. The new Transfer feature now lets you record your shows AND have them stored on your iPads, phones and other devices so you can catch them at your convenience anywhere. A restriction free life with no boundaries. Carry your entertainment with you – latest at that, too. All you need is this quick upgrade to the #TATASky+Transfer  

Season premieres, blockbusters and Music Videos can all fit in your bags while you commute, transit or fly. Technology that moves with you and moves you.

I can now comfortably watch my Citizen Khan anytime and laugh my lungs out. If you haven’t see it, yet, check it out. Its a very funny take on a Pakistani family settled in the UK living their life that’s a hybrid of their own culture and beliefs amalgamated with the British Culture. Add to it an Eccentric Community Leader who is also a crude Business man with a crazier Family and you have entertainment at its best.

Entertainment keeps us college folk going despite the crazy submissions and what-not. 

Saucepan Weavers

Yesterday was beyond tiring. There was no sleep-requisite so I felt like I was living on Battery-saver mode (sans coffee or even breakfast until 10AM) with three submissions and an exam in my schedule. Early morning efforts to read up helped me through the exam and the submissions were all in the clouds. One was still an abstract collage in my head and the the others were in various stages of completion.

I felt like a saucepan in which somebody was stir-frying vegetables. All these colours and ideas. The crackling noise. And the uncooked-ness of undergraduate life. The longing to be part of a platter but finding no sauce to go with. I think I my found the right pickle but there is no saying how it will taste later. Plus reading pessimistic views of Woody Allen in the morning doesn’t help, either. There was all this and more work.

We find it very easy to dramatize our life with workload, busy schedules and the lack of social-life. But we are constantly engaged in some sort of media. Has the idea of social changed so much and its our 90’s kid inertia?

Anyway, there are exciting things coming up in life and I need to be prepared for them.

So anyway.

After the announcement that submissions were postponed, we all felt like we were made of Helium. We just relaxed after a taxing weekend. Whenever anyone calls or text, I’m like…working. And they feel like all this work is taking my life. When actually even though we are working, we’re doing it with classmates. So its actually not that unsocial only the crowd remains stagnant. No new faces. nothing. I even get my teammates in my dreams. Its infiltrated that deep, yes.

But in the evening, I just let my hair down. Got that light lipstick in place. Took a break from the loop. I had some work with my laptop and I decided to get that done so I can stop complaining.

And in the process of getting my RAM upgraded, I overheard a conversation – like people do when they’re alone in a crowd. Bound to happen, yes? I could hardly make head or tail of it but my mind began weaving its own interpretation of the tid-bits. And it went on until I realised how far I’d gone with the story which had no basis except the two people beside me.

And this happens a lot. My mind fills in the blanks and crevices to weave its own tales to suffice the curiosity. And the speed and details of it, though frightening are very interesting. And its happened quite a bit.

So, anyway, such experiences happen to you, too?

Nostalgic Wonderment

The fan-blades swoosh as they repeatedly churn the air mixing it with whatever little breeze manages to enter the room. I look around. The laptop screen show me nothing inspiring; the coffee in my cup is a depressing cold brown; my diary has new creases ; a pen’s cover stares up at me, blankly and pictures clicked by my seniors of sunsets, boats, roads, beaches and clouds maintain a platonic silence. I turn my attention to my prized possession : my make-shift bookshelf which is nothing but the metal study table in my room. I’ve stacked it one against the other in no participate order, aesthetic or otherwise. Also accompanying them are an array of spiritual idols. A black, clay Buddha; a gold-Bronze Ganesha, etc- I cannot say if its bhakti or is it just my love for idols. The serenity in the Buddha’s face will take you to another level.

Any way, even they didn’t hold my interest for long and my morbid thoughts were catching up with me. I needed distraction, nothing my phone could offer. It was filled with everything I didn’t need. My eyes fell upon a framed photo of My parents and me (sandwiched between the two) cutting my third birthday cake. I have short, curly hair and a plump-fair face with pink cheeks (always been an excited kid) wearing this huge frilly frock (I’m sure it had been tough for them because I hated and still hate pokey bet clothes)

My stream of thoughts change course: from endless project submission, anxiety, sleep-deprivation to wonder.

How did that popo little blob of happiness turn into whoever I am. How did the mind start thinking so complexly. How did that small person survive these many days? Did she ever know this was what her future would be? I wonder and I feel that we waste ourselves chasing too many unnecessary things. What matters in the end is : ourself. Our memories. Our ties with the people we love; the places that gave us our experiences; the experiences that changed us and the change that makes us look back in awe.

Are we doing enough? Or are we over- compensating for every minute we lost, every dream we failed, every person we drifted away from et all. Is living in the now really that tough? Are we fighting for the right Things? Or romanticising our follies until we turn into fools?

I wonder. I turn away. And I stare at that blank computer screen. It will devour us all under the pretext of forced entertainment, work, socialising, knowledge and what-all.


To be beautiful means to be yourself.You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.
– Thích Nhất Hạn

COURTESY : Berlin Artparasites


I know, I know its been ages since I last wrote something in here (not that anyone else is checking but myself). I’m giving no excuses except one : Its 7th Semester. The semester where all your professional subjects are packed in so that your 8th can be reserved for your Thesis (the Grand Finale of your collegiate education) . But I know of working professionals with kids et all who make it a point to write, proofread and post something every day or at least every fortnight.

I choose to wait for free mornings like this when class is at 10AM and I’ve got time to have an elaborate breakfast with coffee. Ah, Friday mornings.

But TGIF makes no sense to students like me who have class on Saturday even if its a *half day*. Sunday cannot be counted as a holiday because all I do is laundry and prepare for the week ahead. Saturday night is pretty much the only time we get to chill. And by chill, I mean : watching Futurerama or Modern Family in jammies with dinner on our laps. Or watching movies with Roomies (again, in the room) or go for a leisurely stroll in the bustling back gate road  (because a stroll is all you can afford by the end of the week)

There, there.

Weeks pass by like nobody’s business. Just last week I ranting about how we don’t have a free evening because of Design in the mid-week and its already the next Friday ! Are you kidding me? When did the days go zooming past? How?

Ah! Anyway, soon there won’t be college scenes and a new life awaits us. The escapist in me is already marking plans while I try to make memories.

Well, I bought a note book to help me write as and when I want to but Um.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great week. And no my love for Nivin Pauly (and his cute family)  hasn’t decreased a bit. I’d still put it as my wallpaper or WhatsApp picture but Mum thinks its crazy. Gotta listen to the mother.


Fix whom.

All of us love Fix You by Coldplay. It’s my go-to song when life gets a tad bit overwhelming like when your seniors (who’ve become as close as siblings) leave college, you make your crush get back to his ex, lose your cool at the wrong people, fight with your best friend, miss your parents, get hurt, breakdown and my list is endless.
You must know by now that Chris wrote it for Gwyneth when her Dad passed away and she held onto him for dear life, in pain and asked him to fix her.

But today is not about getting fixed. I could write a book about it. And in that 60% would be dedicated to both my parents who are experts at that stuff. Any my sisters, Rhea & Rhea.

(Note: Right now one of them is playing a movie version of Tum Ho Toh by Farhan Akhtar and we are singing along)

Today is about FIXING PEOPLE. Somehow we all feel that we have this inherent gift of knowing exactly what a person needs. We may or may not know them too well but we are ready to suggest things to them in a jiffy. Hey Bobby, don’t smoke so much and have breakfast ; Hey you, stop making so much never-going-to-get-published art and work on your course book; hey stop dreaming about NYC and study for GRE: hey stop dating that Fauji and think of your own profession; hey stop drinking every damned weekend; hey don’t wear that shit : you look like our Mother (aka Kurta with Shoes, no eyeliner on dull days etc) …

Maybe you’re wrong. Wait, you’re most likely wrong. I’ve done it, too. Probably still do it to some close friends because what, I’m better than them? Just because I don’t drink I can’t tell my buddy to stop. Hell, I don’t even know what it means to him or her. We keep trying to fix people and their habits , all in good thought but maybe we’re not helping them. Maybe we are interfering with something else. It’s okay to make sure they don’t fall off the ledge but constantly buzzing them with advice is just reinforcing the fact that they need help , in their head. NOT something they need.

Help… but give them some space to breathe, grow and learn from mistakes. Don’t be the doting Mother Bear all the time.

Ah well, why? Because I caught myself doing the same last night and I realised why I’m wrong and that I can’t make any real difference by doing that.

Love people for who they are. Not what you want them to be.

Happy Sunday folks.Arundhati Roy is still sitting on my drafting table : half read and beautiful.

Sunday Serve

The Classmates. L-R: Myself, Jois, Hrishi and Priyo

This officially marks that its been two weeks since Joining Date. The rooms are set, more or less and we’re getting used to the week’s grind of Design, Urban Planning, Landscape and Interior design plus the electives. Some major work this semester because we are in the final semesters of Collegiate education. Next year is all practical-real-time work . There are other things like laundry and maintenance that also need your attention unless you like living like Shrek, that is. Entertainment comes in diluted forms of watching movies (Malayalam being my Choice of The Month) or just talking to friends sitting on stairs. Whatsapp consumes far too much time than I can spare. Hostel lunch during the weekends suck but the rare weekday lunch of ladies fingers and potatoes and the Friday idli-vada-sambhar comfort us enough to let the issue go. 

Just last Sunday we were all celebrating my classmate’s birthday in CCD and then we drove up to DD Hills which was a blissful experience. We sat there on huge boulders until the sun set, the clouds rolled by drizzling on us and the stars came up. We had tea in a stall while driving down; dinner at a famous restaurant in Khyatsandra before getting dropped at the Hostel almost at Curfew hour. I can’t believe its been a week, since that.

I simply don’t understand how Sunday rushed by. I remember waking up at around 5AM, thanks to mosquitoes (someone left the door open the previous evening) and replying to some message. I thought I’ll just sleep a little bit more and suddenly its 8:41AM and we rush for breakfast.

I spoke to The Parents and read a few blog posts by friends listening to Teena Marie…and suddenly my classmate enters and she’s like, ‘Let’s go for lunch.’ Its 12:27. Though yes, I got to read some great blogs. Today I focused on Ex-army and Fauji wives’ tales : Aditi Mathur and Vikram Karve Sir. And of course, Farooq-Sreesha-Shyvish and my other Indiblogger mates’ blogs. I honestly wish I read more. Arundhati Roy is staring at me from my table, ‘You use my cover as background for new ear-rings for Instagram but you can’t read a dozen pages a day from me!’

The iPod is charged so say hello to songs from the yester-years of my life. I can’t get over The Science of Sleep’s haunting background score.

I mean, are you KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? We get one day to recoop and even that goes by so quick. I’m already worried about pending assignments and submissions. Saavu addikeraanga pa! I just pat myself for being alive. Oh and did I tell you, I still have a bit of laundry left and there’s oil in my hair that needs washing off? Oh and we have some NASA work to tend to, too. Oh and did I tell you I was writing poetry until 2AM. What is up with me?

Hoping we get things done on time. I’ve still not watched Irrfan Khan’s AIB video that’s making the rounds.

ANYWAY. Hope you had a great week. And will have a nice one, too. Send some love. I could really do with oodles of it.

Fakir Palya : A Squatter Settlement

In a world where streets

are extensions of homes

and windows are merely 

punched into walls;

Where wealth is a meal

and warmth to share

and health is escaping 

dengue and death, itself;

Where they burn old planks

to boil cheap broken-rice grains

and their entire lifetime

fits in a carton box;

Where marriages are fixed not

by love or tradition

but by the needs of the 

owners of livelihoods;

Where kids play in 

the sand that their

parents build houses with,

in unpalatable haste;

And school is an abstract

idea of keeping kids busy;

Where streets are front yards

and backyards and entertainment.

And tiny boxes are living rooms;

Where dreams are seen, love is made

and so is food and violence between

short spells of sweaty sleep;

Where people bathe upon the drains

because pipes are too expensive

and kids are washed away in drains

when the rains are excessive;

Where money is made on daily wages

and the threat of displacement and

poverty wakes them from their

light slumber: a predicament;

Such is the land where I see

children filling coins in plastic jars

Dreaming of owning cycles

pedaling them to Schools

Where women laugh despite

the scars they hide.

And men buy kids scrap

toys and things to play with

despite their bones

sticking out through their hide.

Each hut here is the same

Single rooms and leaky-roofs.

But everyone has a story.

A beginning and an end.

Architect Sangeet Sharma in his book ‘Architecture, Life and Me’ writes: “Buildings must have a silent narrator. They must hold your hand and take you along the journey while narrating all those violent flushes of the heart that made the architecture of that building come alive. I do not build to exemplify the philosophy of my life and I am not on the path to prove myself; I am here to please myself. I leave a silent narrator on my buildings so that he does the talking, and works as a mute guide. While I, the architect, will slowly be shunted into oblivion… until the user of the space is compelled to inquire about its architect, the endeavour is incomplete.”