Saturday, September 30, 2006


The best things about libraries has always been the way they smell. I don'’t think there is anything in the world that smells better than read, dusty, old books.

Libraries have always intimidated me ever since childhood. I think this is mainly due to the fact that my old school library was an old chapel converted into a library. Therefore it always seemed a little daunting to me, until I eventually got used to it. It was a humongous, dark room with little sunlight, stain glass windows and no electric lights (at least during the day). If you entered the library in the afternoon, you would get temporarily blinded because it used to be so dark inside.

It was a beautiful room with stone floors that kept the temperature inside cool even in hot and humid Bombay summers. The room was equipped with a large circular table, which always fondly reminded me of King Arthur's round table and had a large circle of locked cupboards around its edges. Sometimes when I entered the library I liked imagining that time had suspended around me and I had entered another dimension. It was the only place in school where I could be alone and all by myself (because none of my friends cared much about libraries or books) and it comforted me. I used to sit for hours there and go through books until the dreaded bell told me that it was time to come back into reality and return to class.

Most of the other people in school ever read anything apart from old Enid Blyton books from the library that I had already grown beyond when I started borrowing books from there. So after much begging on my part, and deliberation my teacher's part, she gave me (and Eris, of course) a free reign to go through all the locked cupboards that were full of books no one had ever bothered to look at for decades and I'm sure no one after me will probably bother with them for a few more decades. I discovered some of my favourite books hidden among those shelves. I would not have read the whole Narnia series if Eris had not discovered it by mistake while looking for Trixie Belden books in those shelves.

My high school library, on the other hand, was much more modern and full of well known books. It didn't have any rare or hidden or dusty books as a matter of fact. It also had an electronic check out system (with the kind of machines you have in supermarkets) and a whole load of computers that we were supposed to use for research purposes. Most people actually used these computers for playing flash games because the library computers were not supervised unlike the school computers by our computer teacher. Most of the times the library was used either as a 'hang out'’ place by people on rainy days or as a last minute 'homework copying' place. I had a young, sweet, library teacher who was also my English teacher for my first two years in high school. I always knew that something was missing from that library, until I realized that it was the dark, ominous atmosphere and written check out library cards that I missed. Until that moment I had never realized how much I loved my archaic, middle school library that I grew up in.

Right now all I have an access to is a humongous University library where I have to look up all the books I want via an online catalogue. No more going through library shelves or reading book jackets. Sometimes, just sometimes I detest technology.

PS: On a completely unrelated note, today is also Pan's birthday. She feels too old to be true!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

University Reds

First of all I must apologise for my recent disappearance from the blogosphere. University began a few weeks ago, and therefore I have been pretty busy lately. Also TPF is leaving for Uni on Wednesday and I have been spending every bit of my spare time with her later.

What can I say about Uni? It's different, very different from high school. Everything seems so completely and frighteningly big here. When I say different I don't mean bad different though. But I miss my friends and Dave. TPF darling, it's not the same without you! *sniff* I can't make silly jokes anymore or make obscure references and have someone actually understanding them. On a lighter note, I emailed Dave a few days ago and he replied today *fangirlish squeal*. It made my day. I don't sound like an almost 19 year old University student, do I?

For those who are actually interested, I am getting my degree in a course called, International Economics and Management. I'm sure it sounds more impressive than it actually is. It is not as cool as it sounds (well, this is assuming you think it sounds cool) It just involves a lot of Maths, Economics and Law, at least for now that is. I've been meeting loads of new people, practicing my Italian (which sucks, by the way) and pretending to actually care about my studies. I can't believe I actually have three hour lectures. My longest lesson in school used to last for 70 minutes. Yes, I am whinging here, so please bear with me.

Social life seems to be on a weird high (kind of). I just got invited today to go to Germany this weekend for three days for the October Beer Fest (which is a beer festival, as you must have already deciphered from it's name). The festival involves going to Germany on Friday, drinking beer all of Saturday, getting hung over all of Sunday and coming back to Uni on Monday. If people have already started tutting and mentally chiding Pan off, I am not actually planning to attend this thing. I am a responsible young, adult who would not even dream of going to weird alcohol festivals.

I've been meeting a whole lot of new people lately and I'm terrible with their names. I don't remember the names of half the people I've had conversations with. Therefore, I've been a very horrible person and come up with mental nicknames for people. These include AcneBoy, FizzHead, HotBoy, CuteRear, NerdyGirl, FashionVictiom etc. I have also started catagorising people by their nationality, which admittedly is not a very nice thing to do. But I'm always going to be known as IndianGirl to people, so it is not technically horrible of me to call people NorwegianBoy or HungarianGirl, right?

Anyways, after more than a week of attending Uni I have come to the conclusion that the world is full of a hell of a lot of weird people and I happen to be one of them.

Monday, September 18, 2006

If she thinks can she tell me to prove it...

I've been tagged by TPF for a silly picture. TPF has asked me to prove her wrong by actually attempting to do this meme, so here is it. TPF is generally hardly ever wrong and so whenever I do get this great opportunity, I love doing it. Therefore, I have finally found a picture of myself which can embarrass me for life if uploaded on the internet and here I am doing it myself.

What can be sillier than a humiliating naked picture of yourself bathing in a bright, orange bucket? My mother put me in a bucket for god's sake when I was a child and then people wonder why I have issues about my childhood? Although I love my partially serious expression for the pictue. Ah, I was always the intellectual thinker even when I was a baby bathing in a bucket.

I think the legs behind the bucket belong to my mother, but I'm not very sure why exactly is she wearing a dress/gown that makes her look like a badly dressed hospital nurse. The thing in my hand is a chewing thingie that babies use when they are teething. Mine was blue and elephant shaped and I loved it from the bottom of my heart. *sniff*

Hmm, tags?

I refuse to tag people because I am officially the meme killer :) But if anyone does want to do it, they can feel free.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

I have finally managed to find the time to post some of the Bombay photographs that I had promised. It took to me ages to upload everything here, so please appreciate my hard work and effort. These pictures were taken solely by TPF and me, therefore no one else gets any credit, apart from our wonderful cameras, of course. I'm putting the pictures under sub-headings because everyone knows how anal I am about organisation.

These pictures are dedicated to Nikki, since I promised I would get something back for her.

The funny pictures that people with a sense of humour might enjoy:

I'm not sure if the above sign is readable. It was taken in a bus. The sign in English says, 'spitting and smoking prohibited'. I like the idea of random people trying to spit at each other in public transport.

I love how they are so honest about the warning above, and I'm sure the threat works. I mean, who would want to even risk parking there in order to see whether their tyres actually get deflated? Alright, maybe I would, if I had a car of course, but still, it is rather funny.

This sign was hilarious, I love the last line that says 'Fancy Item Available Here'. While I was talking this picture, there were a lot of guys around the shopkeeper of this store and I hear one of them telling this shopkeeper, "She's going to publish this picture in a big foreign newspaper and you're going to be famous." So yes, I now have the reponsibily to make someone famous.

Oh come on, we are not perverts, just hormone infested teenagers who tend to notice these kind of signs, point at them in the middle of a crowded street, giggle like lunatics and attract even more attention by taking pictures of the sign.

I think it would have been a bit more easier for this 'Order' to make a sign about the things one could actually do in the park, rather than the things that one couldn't do in there.

See, what I like so much about this pharmacy was their directness towards their customers. The customers don't even have to bother asking for bags and then have the shopkeepers rudely refusing. Instead, they just have a polite sign out up everywhere in the shop.

What more could a man want in life than a hairdresser who is also an expert on ingrown nails and corns. Ah bliss! How does one become an expert in ingrown toe nails? Is there some sort of university degree one can do?

This was funny. How can they randomly prohibit people from procrastination is beyond me :)

The not-so-funny pictures that amused only TPF and Pan because let us face it, they're idiots:

It says 'Fire Box'. I'm not sure why that's even minutely funny. It just is! 'Fire Box', ha! Alright, I'll just stop!

'Tourism Police'. That is almost as funny as 'Fire Box'. Oh come on, we were just being silly, don't look at me so strangely please.

There is nothing wrong with the one above, apart from the whole 'belt' bit I think. It must be funny if they check your clothes, shoes and not to mention, belt before you actually go in there.

In India, we have taxis and we have rickshaws (known as 'ricks' for short). I love rickshaws, they are three wheeler vehicles with open sides, flimsy canvas roof and a seat that can just barely manage to squeeze three people at the back. Although, I have sat in one with five people (alright, this was when I was about thirteen or fourteen so we were small people) . All the fare meters in rickshaws in Bombay have 'Don't Touch Me' written on them. As a child, I've spent many happy house pondering on how the fare meter could paint signs on itself when it didn't have hands. What can I say, my mother, as usual ruined all my fantasies.

This sign is printed at the back of some seats in public transport buses in Bombay reserving the seats for women. It's not very funny to anyone apart from TPF, Harry and me because it reminds us of an embarrassing incident which involved my friends actually making people (men) get up from those seats so that we could sit down in a rather crowded bus. I've never felt so privileged to be a woman in my entire life.

The Garbage Bins (because they are Pan's specialty and she can't not post them however silly they maybe):

The Touristy Images (which for some suspicious reason happen to be very few):

Most of the touristy pictures are taken by TPF because she is a great photographer. I, on the other hand, am rather bad and end up messing everything up, so I must thank her for letting me use her pictures.

We had such a lovely trip, and I must thank Eris and my other friends (who probably don't read this blog) that made it even more fun for us. Eris darling, you know how much I love you and your fuzzy hair, right?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Meme Time :)

I would like to apologies for my late post. I've been back for a while now, but have been busy with real life. I've been tagged by Sophia, which is great because now I don't need to write a comeback post.

1. One book that changed your life: This is a hard question, TPF and I had even had a conversation about this one. We interpret the question in very different ways. According to me every book I read, good or bad manages to have a tiny effect on my life. But if I was forced to choose, I would probably say that the first book that changed the way I viewed life was the play Equus, by Peter Shaffer (I hope plays count in this meme!).

2. One book that you've read more than once: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. I normally don't bother reading text heavy classics multiple times, but what can I say, Wuthering Heights just has that kind of effect on me. It's a wonderful book for angst loving, romance wanting teenagers and I would recommend it to anyone.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: I would love to take with me any elaboratete Dickens' novel with multiple plots and a lot of characters or maybe I might just decide to take along War and Peace and finally manage to finish it.

4. One book that made you laugh: The Simoqin Prophacies by Samit Basu. This book is hilarious and Samit Basu is one of my favourite Indian writers. It is full of really funny sections and one liners that actually have a point and are related to the plot. It's sequal The Manticore's Secret is also just as good.

5. One book that made you cry: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I have read this book several times now and the last two pages of the book always make me cry. I guess, it is a sort of a personal catharsis that I undergo every time I read it. But tears just can't stop falling every time I read this book.

6. One book that you wish had been written: I would have loved to have an Emily Bronte's autobiography or another novel by her.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Sweet Valley. I have wasted too many important years of my young and innocent reading life over this series and I genuinely wish that the whole series didn't exist

8. One book you'’re currently reading: The Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoyevsky and Two Lives, by Vikram Seth (yes, both at the same time. It's a childhood habit of mine, I'm always in the middle of at least two books at a time)

9. One book you'’ve been meaning to read: Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. Well, I first need to buy the black Penguin edition of this book (you know the ones I absolutely adore) and then I will eventually read it.

umm... I refuse to tag anyone else because I am the 'meme killer'! :)