Saturday, January 24, 2015

Diary of a pimply vampire

Not so long ago in a land that was hot and humid there lived a teenage girl, Ranjana.
Like every child in her early teens, she wanted to "belong" and the best way to belong was to
align with her friends. Most of her friends had started getting pimples and some of them were wearing glasses as well. Ranjana used to adore the pimples and glasses because in her eyes pimples and glasses made you look very intellectual. Unfortunately for her, she did not require glasses and pimples were not ready to sprout on her, not yet anyway. She would dream of a day when she would start getting pimples and probably need glasses as well.

Alas, that did not happen for a long time. In the meantime, there was something else that troubled her a lot, and those were her pointy and sharp canines. A slight smile would bring those out much to her embarrassment!

So instead of glasses and pimples, she had to wear braces during her teenage!
However, in spite of the braces, the sharp and pointy canines still remain, perhaps a little less obvious, but very much noticeable:(

Then, all of a sudden in her early twenties, the pimples came, and they attacked her with vengeance!
She did not really need those pimples then. That was the time to have flawless and beautiful skin!
Far from looking nice, her face always had those red and angry pimples. More so, especially when she had to attend a special occasion...almost without fail, one of those scary, red pimples would sprout up right on top of her nose! Ahh.... poor thing...

As a survival tactics, she decided to make fun of herself. She would tell everyone that pimples were her best friend and no one would mess with her because of her pimples and sharp canines made her look aggressive and intimidating! One day she jokingly told her brother not to pull her leg too much; after all she had canines and could bite if needed! It became a standard joke among her friends, they would say something and always follow it by "don't bite" please!

Then came Retino-A, while it did take away those irritating and depressing pimples but the after effect made her skin very dry. Life was tough, in order to get rid of pimples, the pimples had to be treated but the treatment made her skin look uneven, reddish, and blotchy! However, Retino- A was a God sent; it did get rid of the pimples by and large and did remove the scars. Garnier's neem face wash, coupled with Retino A, finally managed to keep the pimples at bay!

It was her brother who nick-named her the pimply vampire!
He said "No one can be intimidated by you, in fact, far from it; you are just a pimply-vampire! And on top of that you are a vegetarian!

Meanness personified!!!

She is still called the pimply vampire, a nick-name that will remind her of pimples forever, the faithful friend she loves to hate!

This post has been written for the “Garnier Pure Active Neem” contest on

Check out the following links for more details:-

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Baul Mela 2015 at Jadavpur, Kolkata,India

Baul mela 2015
Last weekend was Baul weekend at Jadvapur, Kolkata. Like every year Baul mela was organized at Shaktigarh, Jadavpur. And like every year it was indeed a treat listening to bauls sing till the wee hours of morning.

Not only was it a musical treat, the mela had a lot of interesting stalls; musical instruments, paintings, fabrics, and delicious food as well!

Among other things, my favourite sweets, pattishapta and hot jalebis were indeed the hot favourites. Definitely the best way to begin the year. Absolutely out of the world!

I am including a Baul song video at the end of this post.

Baul singing at Baul mela
Bauls at the Jadavpur mela

musical instruments

Pattishapta- A bengali sweet
Jalebis- fried and crispy sweets

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Unconditional love

Happy New Year!

I would like to start this year by sharing an experience that left me feeling very loved and happy.

I wish to dedicate this post to our dog Jojo. We lost Jojo last October. My husband had got him home when he was a few months old. Jojo lived for 11 years, and my husband and he were the best of friends. In fact, I came into my husband’s life much later than Jojo.To Jojo, I was always someone younger and not to be taken as seriously as his master. We did have a tough time adjusting to each other in the beginning. I think it was more difficult for him, not only did Jojo have to get used to having a permanent member in the house, but he also had to get used to getting less time from his master because of me!

Whenever my husband and I sat next to each other, he would immediately make room for himself between us and park himself there. So sweet... I still can’t forget those days. He did manage to start liking me after a few months, Jojo changed from being indifferent /intolerant (he would pee in our bedroom and do all kinds of things to irritate me) to becoming loving and sweet towards me.

My experience last week reminded me so much about Jojo. 

Last week I had such as sweet encounter that I simply can’t get it out of my mind. I was returning from work, it was a bit late (around 9 pm), so I decided to give my parents a surprise visit; they are just 25 minutes walking distance from my office. With winter setting in, the weather was just perfect for a nice brisk walk.

After walking for a while I noticed a dog trailing me, I am fond of dogs and usually stray dogs follow around for a while in the hope of some food I guess. They usually follow you for a while and move on.
 By now the roads were getting a bit deserted, with the pavements all dug up for repairs, I had little option but to walk on the road. A little distance away I noticed the same dog, this time he was ahead of me. And he was using the pavement :( more sensible than me. He seemed to have stopped, the moment I crossed him he started walking again, and after a while I saw him again, he was a little ahead of me and peering from between the railings of the pavement. I thought he was waiting for something but the moment I reached that point he started walking again. Typically dogs do not leave their territory (maybe his territory was this, who knows). I was worried that other dogs will start chasing him away. He kept doing this for the entire journey, he kept walking ahead of me and then waited for me, his expression was "I am right here, don't worry, you are not alone"
We reached a nice camaraderie by then; I had a walking companion, a silent one, but so expressive. After every few minutes, I thought he would go back since it was quite a long distance away. But he kept on walking a little further ahead and continued to give me company. Upon reaching my destination, I saw a tea shop that was still open and I quickly went into the shop to buy some biscuits for him. I turned around to look for him, but he had disappeared. I kept looking for him because I really wanted to give him something to eat. Like almost all stray dogs, he looked starved.
I don't know why he kept me company for the entire walk, it could be food, but he did not hang around long enough for that!

Hopefully I will meet him again.

This lovely experience has left me feeling so good but puzzled as well. I wish I could have given him something in return for his quiet and loving companionship. Dogs are unconditional in their love and this truly is one such instance.

I wish you a new year full of such wonderful instances of unconditional love, happiness, and most of all kindness. Have a terrific new year ahead.