Is it mandatory to rock and roll in Dharamsala?

Given that Delhi weather becomes similar to inside of an earthen tandoor in the month of June, for the second consecutive year I did what every middle class Delhiite does: go to a hill station in Himachal Pradesh decided after a meticulous procedure of research with special emphasis on affordability and number of leaves sanctioned from the office. Last year, I went to Shimla, and this year, I went to Dharamsala to enjoy a sudden drop of temperature from a burning 38 degree Celsius in Delhi to an icy-cold 33 degrees in Dharamsala.


Dharamsala is a green, hilly place in Himachal Pradesh famous for the fact that his holiness the Dalai Lama used to live there for some time during his exile, and that now there are a lot of restaurants serving good Tibetan food with names like Thenthuk and Gyathuk which formed the basis of a marathon of lame jokes on the same. I went with three other male friends, and we decided for Dharamsala because we found an affordable hotel with a great view from our balcony to enjoy while having a drink (or may be two, or any random number onwards of ten) in the evening when it’s totally dark outside and we realise that view ke naam pe toh kat Gaya BC.


We survived a 12-hour back-breaking sleepless bus journey in a Himachal Roadways bus (with seats which oscillated back-and-forth making squeaky noises for minutes together every time the bus ran over a speed-breaker) to reach our hotel. The first place on the list was Bhagsu falls, which was more of a running water tap than a waterfall, though the pool at the end of it had balls-numbingly cold water, although we didn’t decide to verify that particular adjective as me and my friends still have hopes of getting married and having kids, so we went only knees-deep into that. There was also a free common over-crowded swimming pool in the Bhagsu temple premises, and we had a gala time playing in the water, only to come out at regular intervals to wipe off the pubes and insects from our oral cavities.


The evening was reserved for the real purpose of the trip: getting wasted with moderately-priced whiskey with the feeling of ‘being on a vacation’. Of course the conversations took amazing twists and turns with increasing blood ethanol levels, and I won’t be able to recollect and write most of the things we talked about, let’s just say that it was a 7-hour long session involving cuss words, women, more cuss words, confessions, and random moments of clinking glasses with either “ispe to cheers banta hai!” or “abey ab har baat pe cheers karoge?“.


The final morning of a two-mornings-long trip, we went to Bir-Billing, the highest paragliding destination in Asia. There is a vertical descent of around 1100 metres with a parachute, and obviously excited, we discussed what we would say before the jump so that the selfie camera would record it as we had paid 500 rupees extra for that. I decided on ‘Volar Morghulis‘, although something sounding similar to “Aeeeggghhh Mummmmyyyyyy” came out, because darr ke aage jeet and obvious wetting of pants hai. Nevertheless, it was a breath-taking sight from the top, and I had a perfect walking-on-the-ground landing too.


So, paragliding was obviously the best part of my weekend getaway, but I can’t help but wonder, what did the first person smoke up before having the thought “hmmm, nothing could possibly go wrong if I jump off this hill and descend down a kilometre with a parachute. After all, Volar Morghulis!“.

That, and also, did his selfie camera have audio recording feature?

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The Women In My Life

Women are special and important to this world. They were created by God right after Adam first set foot on earth because God is intelligent and he didn’t create an anti-virus before he saw what the virus looked like and was doing to himself and the earth. Not everyday is International Women’s Day, but I would like to take a moment to thank, cherish and attempt jokes at the women in my life.


My Mother

Expectedly enough, she is a stereotypical Punjabi mother, who is proud that I am a doctor, but also pissed that I don’t fill the water bottles and keep in the fridge after drinking. She is happy to feed me Gobhi parathe with butter even if she’s not feeling well, but also angry that I am a lazy fool who is doing ‘tiktik‘ on his phone all day. She fondly remembers all those small things about me, like the first time I said Ma, the first time she ran after me in the street with a slipper in her hand and the first time she went to my Parents-Teacher meeting. The last moment is supposedly her most embarrassing moment till date. I’ll wait and see if that changes when she reads my blogs.


My partner

I prefer to call my girlfriend as my partner because it makes me sound intellectual and classy (to myself), and also the fact that she knows a lot of secrets about me, hence I must make this paragraph sound nice about her.  Before meeting her, I was a skinny, stupid boy with self-esteem issues and now, after 7 years, all thanks to her, I am skinny, stupid boy with self-esteem issues and a girlfriend. To think that there is someone who wants to hear my voice daily, without wanting to throw a brick at my face because of all the lame jokes I crack at a rate of 3 per minute, is a blissful feeling.


Ex-flames and crushes

From unrequited love and getting friendzoned, to restraining-order-level outright rejection, I’ve had a lot of stories in my life. My favourite reply was “it’s not you, it’s me” which roughly translated to “shakal se hi chutiya lagta hai tu” in Hindi. Some other gems were “you’ll find someone better than me” which meant “arranged marriage me hi koi phas Sakti hai tujhse” and “you’re one of my best friends, and I can never feel for you this way”, which was a slightly more polite version of “Bwahahahahaha kaise soch kaise liya be tune?”. About the present, I clam lucky that I can have a crush on multiple women without my girlfriend feeling insecure because more than her trust in my faithfulness, she has a lot of confidence in my face.


Sister-in-law

They say that your bhabhi is like your mother, and I would say she can even be better than a mother because my bhabhi has never tried to force-feed me green vegetables, nor has she criticised my hairstyle or an attempt at keeping a beard by calling me an ogre. She is the sweetest person in my life, a great partner to my brother, a great daughter to my parents and the person who will always like my Facebook posts because no one else does and she knows that it hurts my feelings.


Cousins and Friends

There are women who have to tolerate me because they are related to me by blood, and there are women who do so by choice. My friends feel bad for my cousins’ luck while my cousins (when I show them photographs as a proof that I have friends), question the choices in life made by my friends. Just kidding. I’m very lucky that many of my female friends became my rakhi sisters to feel safe.


Now all of them take a backseat, because the angel has arrived. And she’ll call me Chachu. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cutest thing in the world, isn’t she?

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โ€‹The Honest Thesis Acknowledgement Page

The month of April was a very important month in my life. It was the last month of the financial year, featuring the biggest income tax cut from my salary, hence I lived through all the 30 days of April the way I live the last 5 days of every other month: not watching a movie, not drinking beer, and using my imagination rather than thinking of a getting a WiFi recharge for necessary pre-sleep routine. Also, April was thesis submission month, and I am happy to announce that I successfully completed my first ever fiction novel and gave away the first 7 copies for free.


Of course my thesis, in addition to allegedly being a comic book, is also a very formal document, hence I had to be politically (and ass-kissingly) correct in the acknowledgement pageof my thesis. Here I would like to take a moment and a blog post to thank people who actually made it possible, just without all the possible synonyms for gratitude.


My supervisor and co-supervisor come first on the list, not only because they were my guides, but also for the patience they showed in not connecting my face with their footwear because my laptop would start updating itself whenever I would open it to show them progress in my thesis. I was a difficult student to guide because I am not good at typing on laptop even though I belong to the ‘Yahoo chat rooms’ generation, and I made awfully stupid grammar mistakes because I think, Sir, myself coming from village area.


Next up on the list are my parents, who motivated me with their own special parental techniques. My father advised me to close my eyes, focus my thoughts towards the almighty and ask myself, “thesis time pe kar ke bhi kya ukhaad lega?“, while my mother kept herself and me worried about paying late fees in case I took an extension, and then she would make me realise that I don’t value money, for weeks to come. I am sure she cares about my career, just may be a little less when compared to the new pink-colored currency note.


I would also like to thank my special someone, who, in all innocence, thought that coming to meet me from Mumbai the day before my thesis submission deadline was a good idea. Her visit was a stress buster though, as she managed to decrease my tension by simply saying the three magical words, “Beer Peeyega Kya?”. She saw that I finally realised what it means to be stuck in a situation that you don’t want to be in, and want to desperately get out of it as soon as possible. She’s been in such a situation for the last seven years, and she has a nickname for this situation of hers… ‘Relationship’. More power to you, girl.


If any person has a bigger contribution in my thesis than the senior I copied my thesis from me, it is Rahul… naam to suna hi hoga, because he makes almost everyone’s thesis dreams come to life. He is a freak of nature who somehow, although fortunately, had more knowledge about my subject than me. He is amazing with his fingers (while typing on the keyboard) and he can definitely be the guy your girlfriend told you not to worry about. I have already thanked him personally with all my heart and almost all my salary for the month of April.


The first line of my actual acknowledgement page was “I humbly endeavour to thank the innumerable people without whom this work would have not reached its culmination”, and in this honest version of it, I can proudly say that I don’t know the meanings of three words in that sentence. If anyone of you can help me out with that, then I shall humbly endeavour to thank…

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