Z: Zero #AtoZChallenge

We all start off as zero, and that's a very good thing. As time passes, we accumulate people, memories, materialistic pleasures and a lot more things in our lives. But at times, life does take you back to the starting point. Yes, back to zero. How you come up from there shows your growth as a person and a human being. I have been through enough ups and downs in my life. I have had a face to face with zero enough number of times now, but I did not give up. I've left the zero behind in so many cases and I've worked really hard for it. Having said that, there are many other cases where I still am a zero. Take swimming for example. I've been wanting to learn it since the past five years and still haven't got to it. But the very fact that I still want to do it, makes me go from zero to one. At least I have the ambition or the interest.

There are a lot of other people I know who are a zero in almost every aspect of life. I agree that zero is the start for everything, but when people do not even make the effort to get from zero to one, then they remain a zero all their lives. Have you met people who have no ambitions and no zest to live life? Well, I have. Such people piggy bank on the shoulders of others to live their life. Be it monetarily or to get any other work of theirs done. I have no respect for such people. You do not have to do these things, but atleast you need to have the desire to do a few things by yourself right? No Sir! Some people just prefer to sit at home and expect others to do everything for them. Such people are a zero in life. Were and always will be.

It's not a bad thing to be a zero. But you need to realize it and try to come up in life. Staying there or expecting people to pull you up will not do any good for you. Like they say even if you are in the right lane but do not move, you will get run over. Hibernating at zero seems safe for some people as they have no expectations from themselves even. But you will just remain there till you die.

It is very important to start any new thing from zero. There are no short cuts. Plus, starting from zero will enable you to start with a clean slate without any back log.

Understand zero better. Make friends with it and slowly push it behind until you meet it again for another scenario. Walk ahead without expecting a push. The zero is the push.

Y: You #AtoZChallenge

We've been through a long journey now
And every moment has been best after best
It is you who I need to survive
When I have you, I don't need the rest

Months and years have passed so quick
And yet I fall in love with you everyday
I might not keep telling you this
Just read what my eyes have to say

People expected the spark to die down
Together we turned it into blazing fire
No matter how much time passes in between
It is you who I will always desire

Life seems so simple with you
Together we have got past it all
I can walk with my eyes closed for you
I know you'll be around to break my fall

You are the most important part of me
You are the color and I'm your hue
Without you, A to Z could never happen
All about me is also about you

X: Xerox Copy #AtoZChallenge

I have never been someone who would copy something from another person. No, I do not mean stuff like cheating in exams. We all have done that! I mean trying to copy the personality or choices of another person. Since childhood I have made my own choices and more often than not they have been out of the ordinary. While others were trying to be photocopies of one another, I was more than happy to stand out in a corner alone with my own choice.

I have seen people trying desperately to look like someone or be like someone. Their object of affection or admiration can either be a celebrity or some random person in their circle. I have seen more than ten girls in Bangalore who have got "Daddy's lil girl' tattooed on their arm with the exact same font and style as that of Priyanka Chopra. I wanted to laugh out loud. Can't they be a little original at least? I have seen friends trying to ape each other and end up looking really funny. Choices are meant to be personal. But if you are doing it just because someone else is then you are nothing but a poor xerox copy of them.

Life is too small to live like someone else. It is always better to be a version 1.0 of yourself than a poor copied version of someone else. Try to stay original in all possible ways. Have an individual style of fashion, writing sense, accent etc. When people fake their accent to talk like someone else, I feel like shoving my shoe in their month. I know a few people who try to buy the same clothes that I do. They try to style it the way I do too. I once saw one girl I know whose Facebook profile picture looked exactly like mine. She was wearing the same top that I was with the same pattern of jeans and almost the same shoes. I almost threw up! Most people might consider this flattering but for someone like me, I find it disturbing. Every person should have a personality of their own. If they want to copy it from someone else, they they clearly are living someone else's life.

You can idolize people, no harm in that. But trying desperately to be like them is really stupid. Everyone of us was created unique. We were all given the same resources to utilize. Let us do it in different ways. Why follow the herd and be one among the same dozen. How will you stand out then? Or are you just happy being a xerox copy of some random person?

Be original, be you. Make others want to be your copy instead.

W: Woman Vs Woman #AtoZChallenge

In today's world of crying out for feminism, women are failing to notice one big thing. While there is a group of women holding slogans and screaming out for equal rights, there also is another group that does not want women to have equal rights as that of men. This second group is more often than not led by a woman. In the almost three decades of my existence as a woman, I have tried my best to succeed in every step of my life. But the ones who wanted to hold me back and point a finger at me were always women. When a woman climbs up the corporate ladder, a lot of them think that she's sleeping her way to the top. In the group that thinks so, there at least will be one or two women. Maybe women cannot handle each other's success. If that's the case then this whole act of feminism is a facade. It should be called selfishism instead.

A mother-in-law will not spare a moment to find faults in her son's wife. The daughter-in-law would be a working lady and would not be able to do all the chores at home. Instead of helping her get a work-life balance, these MILs taunt their DILs time and again. Some of them are asked to quit their job and take care of the house instead, while the MIL would hibernate in front of the TV. If these MILs helped their DILs in managing the house, the DIL would excel at her job with all the support from home. But does anyone do that? No. Maybe the MIL thinks that since the DIL is successful at work, she would not respect her. Or she could be plain jealous of the fact that her son's wife is making money while she couldn't.

I have also seen cases where a mother cannot believe that her son is taking such good care of his wife. She did not get it from her husband, so how could some one else? Soon, the son is called henpecked and everyone around is subject to drama and stress. Most of the times, the one who is trying to bring down a woman is another woman herself. In my opinion, all women are born feminists. Obviously everyone wants to be treated equally. If a woman says that she is not a feminist, then she is saying that she is an enemy of women. I still know a lot of women who think that a woman's place is in the kitchen and her husband's feet. There are are a lot of women who think that if a woman is given equal rights, she would not be able to handle it.

This is happening in 2016, can you believe it? We women are supposed to think from the heart, but it looks like a lot of us are becoming heartless of late. Women trouble each other in every way possible. I have seen women troubling their maids and ill treating them. Can't a woman understand the plight of another? After all she is only trying to make a living for her family here. Slut shaming is very prevalent these days and there are loads of women who point a finger at another woman regarding their sense of dressing. A woman who raises her voice is consider "rude" by another woman. A woman who wears a skirt to work is considered a "whore" by another woman. If a man has an extra marital affair, the wife is quick to blame the other woman instead of her husband. Sad, isn't it?

More than men considering menstruation to be impure, women are the ones who think they are dirty while on their period. Such women makes the lives of their daughters, sisters, daughters-in-law and any other woman around them very difficult. If there is an argument between a man and a woman, another woman wants the woman to give up and compromise. Since she's a woman, she has to adjust they say. I say, why? Why are we women hell bent upon ruining the lives of other women? If you can't help out another woman, then please just let them be instead.

Don't trouble her when she has already enough troubles in this world. Don't point a finger at her when there are enough of that too. Consider her to be you for a second. What would you do then? Would you think that women are not allowed to do these things and walk away or would you admire her strength and courage and go ahead with what you want to do?

V: Vanity #AtoZChallenge

I'm not perfect and yet I'm very happy the way I am. I do not have the perfect body or fair, flawless skin. I've accepted myself the way I am and that is the same way I accept others too. Being a realist, vanity is not something that I'm particular about. I look for a person's personality first and only then go for the other things. I have dated both good looking and average looking men as looks were never a priority for me. It was important yes, but not at the cost of intelligence and a good sense of humor. Having said that, I know and accept the way I look. So I know what is within my reach and what is not. I am a decent looking girl and I wanted a decent looking guy. That's about it. I did not want to be vain and wait for Mr. Universe to come sweep me off my feet. After all, I'm no Miss. Universe here.

It is no hidden fact that we Indians are obsessed with fair skin. Even though more than 60% of our population is brown, white is the color always preferred. Mothers want a fair bride for their sons even if their sons are dark. Maybe they want to have Zebra grand children. People and their quirks, I tell you! These days when teens sprout a pimple, they straight go to a plastic surgeon. Parents are willing to swipe their credit cards as many times as they want to, in order to give their children the looks they deserve. Do not like your nose? No problem! A few thousands and your nose would be as sharp as a toothpick. Got love handles? Spend an hour at a famous clinic and let them suck that fat away. Look at the business these skin clinics are getting these days. The saddest part is that they are only catering to the huge demand.

Being vain to a certain extent is fine. After all every one wants to look good on the outside and not only have a very good looking pancreas inside. But vanity to dangerous extents is out right silly. I once read about a woman who went in for a surgery to alter the shape of her feet so that she could fit into a very beautiful shoe that she bought on an impulse that didn't fit her. She actually had the bones of her feet broken to get the shape she desired. When I moved to a size 'M' from a size 'XS' in a span of six months, I did not feel like looking in to the mirror at all. It took me some time to actually make peace with it and today I couldn't be more happier. One needs to accept themselves as they are. Only then can they appreciate someone else.

When one searches for a good looking partner, the whole concept of partnership/companionship dies a slow death. There is so much to a person apart from the way one looks. Is that something secondary? I have seen so many people struggling to get fair/clear skin and lose the weight around their hips. If the idea is to be healthy, then it is valid. If it is for the sake of vanity, then you couldn't be harming yourself more. I have quite a few scars on my face and back thanks to chicken pox and adult acne. I know that if I spend a few thousands I can get all of them cleared in a jiffy. But I chose not too. These scars are an extension of me. I do wear makeup to hide them yes, not because I want to look flawless. I just do not want people to be asking me questions and suggesting remedies for my skin. I would get tired of lifting my finger then.

Love yourself the way you are. Looks die down with years, but the person you are will live with you till you die. Sometimes, later too.

Leaving you with this beautiful video.

U: Unlearn #AtoZChallenge

Growing up, we learn a lot of things and before we know it we become pros at a few things. Be it reading, writing, drawing or anything else. Life also teaches us a lot of lessons via people, memories and situations. Lessons from life are some of the best ways to understand ourselves and the choices we make. Although our first lessons come from parents, they only teach us what they know or what they have learnt. Most of these lessons would be a part of a different era and might not always work out for us. What do we do then?

Before we learn new things, it is important to unlearn a few things. Not all choices are bad, but eventually you can only narrow down on one. It would not be easy, but new situations teach you new things. And it is very important to approach these things with a clean slate. Walking around with an outdated idea in mind will not let you accept the new ideas. At times the old idea can be modified to accommodate the new idea, but some letting go off is needed. Some process of unlearning is absolutely vital.

I've had a fair share of ups and downs in my life. And every down has taught me a new lesson. The human mind can hold a lot but it does not deserve to hold some junk. As I learnt new lessons, I unlearnt a few old ones. One, to make room for the new. Two, these lessons were of no use to me. No point in holding on to something that you would never use, right?

Unlearning, like learning is a gradual process. It cannot happen overnight. First of all, you need to prepare yourself to unlearn a few things. Then put in the effort to unlearn it. It's all in the mind and once you learn to master this technique of learning and unlearning, you're sorted for life.

Do you believe in the act of unlearning?

T: Trebuchet MS #AtoZChallenge

I don't know about you all, but I do have a favorite font that is always my default font on all documents. Yeah, call me silly if you want to but 'Trebuchet MS' is a font that I've been in love with since I was a child. This is the default font on my emails, word and excel documents as well as my notepad. There is something very clean about this font. Every letter gets the correct width and it is very easy to read. It looks professional and playful at the same time.

Since I'm an IT slave, I'm involved in creating and updating a lot of documents. No matter what the font used earlier is, I always changed it to Trebuchet before I start working on it. You might consider this an a OCD quirk, but this is something that is very important to me. The only thing that I hate about my iPhone is that I cannot change the font used in it. A single document with different fonts troubles my eye. I don't know what people were thinking when they prepare professional documents that have different fonts and in different sizes. If I could, I would print them out and tear them apart and set them on fire. Yes, it troubles me that much!

All my default blogger themes have always had the Trebuchet font. It is very easy to read this font. Or so I think. I also hate the fact that this font is not available on my Kindle. I do love the Caecilia font on it though, that makes reading a breeze. But given a chance to choose between these two, Trebuchet would win hands down. I also like Comic Sans a lot. But that is too playful to be used in a work place. Since my work laptop doubles up as the laptop I used for writing, I retain the default fonts. It has been ages since I did anything on my personal laptop and I don't even recall the fonts used in it. That laptop is only for torrenting stuff.

Since my recent blog themes are all not blogger ones, it is difficult to customize the fonts used. So I just let it be. I can always change the font of the post via blogger itself before publishing, but it gets too tedious. Since I do not like multiple fonts on the same page, I'd have to change the fonts of the side bar too. And that is a nightmare, so I just let it be.

So tell me, do you have a favorite font? And why?

S: Simplicity #AtoZChallenge

There is something very endearing about simplicity. Too much of complications will always lead to well, complications. I try to keep everything around me as simple as possible. I am a no nonsense person. I do not complicate anything nor do I like getting into something complicated. Right from my style, to my writing, to my cooking; I try to keep everything as simple as possible.

Nothing hurts my eye more than over complicated fashion sense. I have seen girls try to wear a jacket, with multiple neck pieces and hand accessories and heels and what not! Why not wear a single piece of everything and just keep it simple? I'm not the one who likes accessories much. A nice branded watch is the only accessory I need. My sense of style is simple too, jeans and a top. I do not like wearing scarves, jackets or any additional thing. It's not that I cannot carry it off, I just do not want to carry it off.

When it comes to writing, I have seen simplicity go for a toss. Nothing ruins reading like too many descriptions. I do like to picturise the scene in my mind and then play the story, but I do not want to be reminded of the scene again and again and again. And then comes the use of big, powerful words. I know you aced your GRE test but you don't have to show that in every single post. I would not like to read a blog post where I have to google the meaning of every word. It puts me off. Use simple but correct language while writing. It helps you as well as the reader.

I have also noticed the GRE and CAT toppers talk using the words that they have studied as part of their curriculum. I know that they clearly want to show off, but when almost everyone in the group doesn't understand what they're talking, it's like a slap on their face. I know you know all the BIG words. But do you have to use them always? Why not make use of simple, easy words and do everyone a favor. Also, not all words you have studied are meant to be used as part of a conversation. It's a pity you did not study that.

Next comes the most important thing. Over complicating situations in the head. So my best friend cancelled dinner plans. Why did she do that? Has she found another friend? Has she heard something about me? Did I piss her off sometime? Why think of all this? For all you know she might have indeed fallen sick. Nothing leads to complications more than assumptions. Thanks to the advent of social media, every person thinks every status or tweet is about them. Why over analyze and play it in your mind a million times? If it is indeed about you, I'm sure it would have been a phone call instead of a tweet.

Even relationships need to be kept simple. Some people lay down ground rules, make a list and set a time table. Why not just live and let live instead? You are in a relationship for a reason. Love, respect or concern. That's all you need to do. Over complicating relationships with expectations is a common mistake that most of us do. Expectations then lead to assumptions and then before you know it all goes down the drain.

Simplicity is beautiful and very underrated. To reach higher in life, you better start simplifying your life now.

R: Relationships #AtoZChallenge

If I'm talking about me then there is no way that I would not talk about relationships. And by relationships I do not mean only the one that is between a boy and a girl. In our day to day lives we develop so many relationships. Some last forever while some just drown even before it begins. Relationships have influenced me a lot till date. Thanks to the ups and downs in my life I now know what relationships have survived the test of time. Throughout the course of life, you become a part of many relationships. Some by choice and some by blood.

No matter what the relationship is, it needs to be nurtured from both the ends. Only then will it survive. People play around a lot when it comes to relationships and take advantage of each other. There should be no place for ego in a relationship. Once ego comes in, every thing else automatically goes out. When my first relationship ended, I learnt a lot from it. It took me more than three years to get over a relationship of three years. It was only later that I realized that I was more in love with the idea of being in love rather than the person. I was terribly hurt, but once I understood that the relationship has passed its date, it became easier for me to come out of it. Just like this, some of the relationships that we are a part of would be empty or dead long ago, and yet we would be holding on to it. When you realize that you are not getting anything out of this, it is time to let go.

When I found love again, it was more beautiful than the first time. But when it ended, it hurt less. I had learnt when to let go from the first time. When I found love that I knew would last forever, I nurtured it from the bottom of my heart. He did it too. We both worked on our relationship together putting in a lot of effort and giving it a lot of time. And it still stands tall beautifully. Every relationships needs tender love and care. Else, cracks start showing. As much as love is needed, there is a need for space too. In friendships you see that people try to invade each other's space. Each friend wants to have a say in the others life. It need not be like that always, right? When suggestions are needed, they would ask. Why barge in and ruin the relationship instead?

Blood relationships are the most tricky ones. You never know who is by your side and why. While most people carry an agenda on their fragile shoulders, some of them just hold on to love. Keeping in touch or not is again a choice, but it is very important to be vary of some people.

My favorite kind of relationships are the random ones. I share a simple relationship with the house keeping staff in my office. I smile and ask the lady in the washroom how she's doing and if she had lunch everyday. In return she smiles and nods her head happily. She compliments me on what I'm wearing or gushes over my hair style or lipstick color. I feel happy and smile back at her. I know this makes her feel nice, but she doesn't know how happy she's making me inside. Same goes with the auto drivers who drop me to work everyday. The say "No" to other customers once they see me walking towards them and drop me till the entrance of my office. If I do not have change, they let me pay the next day. Where do we find such auto drivers these days? There is nothing permanent and important in these relationships and yet it is so wonderful.

Relationships take a lot of effort. Not all relationships are worth it, to be honest. At times you need to let go off a few relationships if it is only taking you down. No matter how close they are. It is a difficult choice to make but if it is not working out and only adding to the baggage I don't see why you should carry it on. There are also relationships which follow the master-slave flip flop rule. One likes to rule while the other is expected to serve. Sadly, such relationships go on very well as long as each one is aware of the role they've been assigned to. The master continues to rule and the slave continues to serve. But when it is time for role reversal, it all goes kaput! It is entirely up to us to decide what relationships to hold on to and when to let go of other relationships.

Once you understand the difference, life becomes easy.

Q: Quirky #AtoZChallenge

I like people who stand out from the ordinary. There is something so attractive about such people. I'm not talking only with regards to fashion here, but also in terms of personality and thoughts. Growing up I've seen people following the crowd desperately and yet expecting to get noticed. How is that ever going to happen? When your aim is to blend in the back ground how do you expect to stand out?

I recently read an article in a magazine about women who were termed "Quirky". One was Sapna Bhavnani, the hairstylist with colored hair, tattoos and piercings. Next there was Aditi Mittal, the stand up comedian who likes to wear large glasses and make people laugh. There also was Kalki Koechlin, the unconventional looking buck-toothed actress who talks her mind when it comes to social issues. All these women were called quirky just because they decided to do something out of the ordinary. Some people think that quirk means weird. They cannot be more wrong.

Quirk is a peculiar aspect of one's character or behavior. It is very personal and I think it is very natural as well. We all have the right to choose the way we want to be. And if some of our habits or decisions are called quirky then so be it. Two people who instantly come to my mind when I hear the word, are Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut. These two have their own sense of style and personality that I have never seen before. I love their attitude and I find both of them very attractive. If you think that being quirky got them noticed, then what are you waiting for?

I've been called quirky time and again for the choices that I've made. I have four piercings on each ear, and it was only because at one point of time I thought it looked nice. I still do as I'm not the one to regret something that I did years ago. When people look at them they say that I have a quirky style. Same with my ripped jeans. If people are updated on fashion, they would know that ripped jeans is so in fashion these days and I think they look very good if styled well. My choice of not wanting to be a mother was called quirky as well. Really, huh?

I live in my own world with my choice of things and people and I have no problems with it. I love my life the way it is and I accept my quirks as an important part of me. If not wanting to follow norms makes me quirky, then so be it. If doing what I believe in makes me quirky then so be it. If living my own life makes me quirky then so be it.

So, let's do this. Let's unlike boring and trash convention and be quirky instead. We could infuse a lot of colors in this otherwise grey world then.

P: Poetry #AtoZChallenge

I haven't written her in so long
There seems to be a void in my heart
No matter what I choose to write about
She and I can never be long apart

Words do come to me everyday
They sing to me as I go to bed
I have no time to string them together
They just make a home on my head

Some of them are light as feathers
While most of them just weigh me down
I'm trying my best to give life to them
Yet they stay on like a permanent crown

Image Source

They need an outlet I understand
But then, so do I
With all the "about me" talks going on
How could I just let her die

She and I are bound together
Making a tune out of a random word
We choose our emotions carefully
Eliminating negatives from the herd

She gave me the strength to write
Showed me feelings in myriad hues
Now I have to celebrate her
It is time I paid her my dues

Without her I wouldn't exist
I miss her and her perfect rhyme
I tried to stay away from her for a while
But slowly it began to feel like a crime

About me is as much about her
I am her in every possible way
She makes my words sound like a symphony
She's my favorite any time of the day

She helps me get past life easily
Making every word seem more than fine
When I'm suffering from a writer's block
She does come in as a life line

O: OCD #AtoZChallenge

I did not realize that I had OCD until someone pointed it out to me years ago. I liked doing things in a particular way and I thought everyone was like that too. Turns out, I was wrong. Some people are okay with the way things around them are placed and they don't care two hoots about it. But I am different. I like things arranged in a particular fashion and when that changes it troubles me. Some times so much that I leave all the other work and sit down to set the arrangement right. Hey, it is important to me. As far as I know I keep my OCD to myself and do not try to impose it on others. I do all the OCDish tasks myself as I know only I can do it the way I want it to be done. My husband was aware of this streak in me while we were dating, but he found out the extent of it only after we were married!

I'm listing a few things here that I'm very particular about.

~ Monday's are very important to me. I wear only white to work on Mondays as I need a clean start to the week. Also, I change the wallpaper on my laptop and on my phone every Monday.

~ I spend the first five minutes of my work day cleaning my laptop with a fresh tissue. Only when I'm satisfied that it is neat enough I begin work. I have seen some of my colleagues laptops where the screen is hardly visible thanks to the layer of dust and grime on them. No matter what happens I'd never touch their systems.

~ The desktop of my laptop should be clean and have no more than three columns of icons. Yes, I have a folder called 'Desktop' on my desktop that holds a lot of hardly used icons and files.

~ The folders and files on my laptop have to be neatly arranged. I do not like too long file names or folder names. I do not like to use abbreviations on file/folder names as well. I name them in a particular format starting with a capital letter. If anybody tried to change this then they'd lose their fingers.

~ Since we subscribe to two newspapers at home, I have a particular order of reading them. A hot cup of green tea is my only company as I sit at my spot on the couch to read. This spot is very important to me as it is the perfect distance from the table at which my cup is placed and right in front of the balcony that gives me natural light to read. Plus, the rest of the couch is free to hold the other news papers that I would read later, in an order.

~ The clothes in my cupboard have to be arranged in a particular way. First based on formal and casual, then based on the color and then based on the frequency at which I would wear them. After that they are arranged based on sleeve length and pattern. I know it sounds very tedious, but I have a perfect algorithm in my head for this and I can get it done under twenty minutes.

~ The hangers have to be arranged according to color and they all need to be pointed in the same direction. Mis-matched hangers are an eye sore.

~ My shoes have to be arranged neatly according to color and all need to be pointed in the same direction. This helps me take one look and pick the one I want to wear. I always match my shoes with my top. Or my shoes with my bag. No over matching for me.

~ My watch box is over flowing but I'm not complaining as I need to have at least one watch to match my clothes or at least go with it without clashing. Since they are really expensive I repeat my watches often and buy clothes that I know will go with them.

~ I do not like giving my clothes to the istriwaala for ironing. Piled up ironed clothes give me a head ache. I need to wear freshly ironed clothes that are still warm. I iron my clothes everyday just before a shower and re-do the entire process in case I find a tiny wrinkle.

~ Doing my make up is a ritual to me. It is done in a particular order and I never mess with the steps. Especially with my eye make up. It is always brows first, followed by kajal, kohl, mascara and eye liner.

~ Clothes drying on the clothes line should have the clips according to their color. First the set of green and then the set of pink and so on. Just like hangers, mis-matched clips hurt my eye.

~ I'm very particular about nail paint. The nail paint has to be the same on the toes as well as my fingers. When I see people with different color nail paint on their toes and fingers, I'm so tempted to send them to the nearest parlor. I also redo my nails every time it gets chipped. Even if the chip is only on one finger, I redo all of them. Redoing just one leaves a totally different color on one nail when compared to the others.

~ I change my wallet at the start of every month. Money from the new salary always goes into a fresh wallet.

~ I always pack the luggage while we're travelling. I have a particular order and format of doing it. I have my own tips and tricks while it comes to packing and I know exactly which side of the bag to open when I need a particular thing.

~ Fridge magnets. They need to be arranged in a way that the same color is not concentrated in one area.

~ Books. I arrange them according to genre first, then according to author and then according to size. Mess this up and you're dead to me. Thankfully the kindle sorts the books on its own.

~ The charge on my phone should never go below 60%. I have incessant phone charging syndrome.

~ I absolutely loathe unread notifications. Every part of my body itches when I see unread mails or notifications. No matter how long it takes I sit down to mark them as read. I read them if I have the time else I just mark them as read and come back to read them later.

These are a few of my quirks when it comes to OCD. I know you all might have at least some of them, so please do share it with me.

Also, don't you think OCD should be called CDO to have all the letters in the right order?

N: No #AtoZChallenge

Since I'm an emotional fool, I can never say "No" to most of the people I know. At least I was like that until some time ago. Everybody loved me back then when I was the person who was always there for people and saying a "Yes" to every plan. Now that I think of it, I had a lot more friends then too. Maybe it was because I was a good person or maybe it was only because I was always accessible. It took me quite a while to realize that people are actually taking advantage of me. I was never a high maintenance person, I'd be okay with anything. But when people started cashing in on this, I realized that I was actually being a pushover. Yeah, me. Shocking, isn't it?

That is when I realized that it is not really a bad thing to say "No" once in a while. I found out the true colors of most of friends once I started doing that and it is now safe to say that they no longer are a part of my life. It is always good to adjust a bit and be accommodating. But when you see that you are the only one doing this and every single time, it is time to do some thinking. And so I did. It was not easy to change myself overnight. I knew that it had to be done to save myself from a lot of heart break later in the future.

I started my asking myself three questions. Do I want to do it? Will I be happy doing it? Is the person who is asking the favor worth it? If I answered a yes to either one of these questions, only then did I go ahead with it. It reduced my friend list drastically, but I no longer care. I'm very happy today with the bunch of people I have around me. Nobody likes being taken for granted, but when you have people pushing you around for what they want to do, it is time to look back and give them a smack on their face.

Having said that, even today there are a few people who never hear a "No" from me. My husband, my parents and a few close, really close friends. That is only because they mark a yes on all the three questions that I ask myself. I have met a number of people who find it very difficult to say "No". They end up doing things for people and eventually get hurt in the bargain. They get dragged in to all sorts of situations because of this and later their friends blame them for it too. Some times saying a "Yes" can make you feel really good, but more often than not, that's not the case.

Wake up, look around you. Ask yourself the three questions and only then decide what to do. It is extremely hard I agree, but it is absolutely important for your self worth.

Are you a never say "No" person? How's the world treating you?

M: Motherhood #AtoZChallenge

I turn thirty in August and apparently most of the people around me have magical powers to hear my biological clock ticking. I'm in my fourth year of marriage now and child free. At times I'm not even sure if people actually sympathize with me or are envious of me. As a child when we used to play house-house, I always chose to be the lady with no baby. Most of my friends would bring their dolls and treat it like their baby, but I always wanted to be a non-mother. The only way these "babies" could make their way in to my "house" was only if I invited their "moms" over. Long story short, I did not want to have a baby even back then. Even if it was only a game.

Before people jump into conclusions, let me tell you this; I actually do like kids. I am a very good aunt to my nephews and nieces and recently my tiniest friend gave birth to the tiniest niece and I'm so in love with her already. I love kids who are naughty and bratty. Silent and weepy kids are not for me. So yeah, I do like kids. I also like Lions, doesn't mean I get one of my own right? I have thought about being a mother and the only thing that came to my mind was how I did not want to be one. I'm not too sure if I have a maternal instinct within me, but I know for sure that I do not want to have a baby of my own. This is how I have felt since I was child till until now. Will I change my mind later? Maybe. Maybe not.

So why don't I want to be a mother? Because I just don't want to. I have never felt the need for a child in my life. When people say that you only know happiness when you've had a child, I respectfully disagree to it. I find happiness in the smile of my parents and in the eyes of my husband. I find happiness when a new recipe turns into a delicious dish. I found unadulterated happiness when I married the man I love. Also, through the course of life I have learnt to find happiness within myself. I do not need to look for it in someone else. And I definitely do not want to create a person and look for happiness in them. My life is already complete and I do not want to bring another person to this world to feel complete.

My husband also shares the exact same views. Both of us are very busy and are very happy with the life that we lead together. As selfish as it sounds, we do think that a child might not let us spend as much time together as we normally do. I have seen and heard of cases where parents have an unplanned baby and blame the baby for the rest of their lives. I also have heard of parents ill treating the child when they do not know what to do with them. I'd rather not be a parent than be such a parent. I am an ambitious woman and for now the only priorities I have in life are my work, my home, my writing, my husband, a handful of friends and my parents. I do not want someone in between all of this. Be it another person or a child.

Having said that, if I were to have a baby, I know that I do not have a strong support system. My mother is a working lady and I do not want the burden of taking care of my baby to fall on her. I want her to do what she loves and she is very good at her job. I do not want her to let go of it for me or my baby. I hate this concept of the girl's parents taking care of their pregnant daughter, her delivery and then their grandchild. Makes no sense to me at all. I love my work too much to just quit and take care of the baby. If a day comes when I feel that I'm ready to quit my job and take care of a baby, maybe I'll do it. Even if it means that I'm going to be a late parent, I do not care.

A child should be welcomed into the world by his/her parents. It needs to be wanted. They should not just come into the world because his father forgot to wear a condom or her mother forgot to pop the pill. If I think that I'm not ready to be a mother, then I would not be one. I'd rather not be a mother than be a lousy one. For now, I have a million things on my bucket list and a baby is not even the last of it. It doesn't feature anywhere in my life and I'm very happy about it. If people think that I'm being selfish and stupid, then so be it. It's my life and my body. I have the right to choose what I want to do with it. I do not need to have a baby to feel worthy of myself. I'm awesome and I know that. And that's all that matters to me.

L: Live And Let Live #AtoZChallenge

If you have known me even for a brief time you would know that I need my space no matter what. I'm not the one to interfere in anybody else's matters and I except the same from others too. 'Live and let live', is a really simple concept but none of us follow it. We live in a world where everyone has to judge everyone and encroach one an other's space as often as possible. I absolutely hate it when someone tries to make decisions for me or tries to give me unnecessary advice. I love my life and the way I live it. I do not bother anyone with anything. I am a financially independent woman and I choose to live my life the way I want without having to ask anyone for anything. But that's not the only thing live and let live is about.

Nothing drives a rift among friends like interference. Yes, friends do have a say in a few aspects of life but not all. They should not make decisions for you or try to impose something on you. Space is the most important thing in any kind of relationship. My choices are clearly different from the norm, but my friends accept that and do not judge me for it. My best friend and I are completely opposite in everything and yet we love and respect each other for the way we are. Judging a person for the choices they make is really stupid. Such a person does not deserve to be a friend.

Most families split mainly because of this. There always is one person in a family who wants to control the rest and get things done only their way. They want to be the central connect for everyone and want everything to go through them. They want to decide for everyone else and feel powerful. I feel sad for such people. They have nothing else in their lives to make them feel important. Such people should clearly be ignored. Everyone has a right to choose the way they want to live. If I'm not telling you what to do with your life, the least you can do is return the favor.

I've seen marriages breaking apart for the very same reason. A marriage is always between two people only and that is how it should remain till the end. The minute you have a third party (no matter how close they are) interfere, it goes downhill from there. Even the couple should share a healthy relationship and not smother each other. I love my husband like crazy, but I do have another life apart from what I share with him. I have my own set of friends whom I love and I go out to meet them as often as I can. It is not necessary that a husband and wife should always be together and do every activity together. My husband is totally fine with my guy friends and I have no qualms about him having friends who are girls. I do not question him about anything and he lets me be as well.

When you are in any sort of relationship, you need to accept the person as they are first. Then only take it to the next level. Constant interference and uncalled for advice is like suicide for any relationship. Enjoy your life the way you want to. Let others do the same too.

Live and let live! Is it too much to ask for?

K: Keeping In Touch #AtoZChallenge

Personally, I'm not someone who likes to have a lot of friends. I believe that more the number of people around you, more the chaos. I choose to have a small number of friends and I absolutely love it that way. I do not talk to all of them everyday, but I know that they will be there for me no matter what. A normal day for me starts by 7 in the morning with cooking and cleaning, followed by office, then back home, a few hours of reading/writing and then back to cooking and cleaning. I already am struggling to manage my several hobbies with the limited time I'm blessed with, and a few people I know complain that I do not stay in touch with them. And by people I mean random people, not even friends!

Social media has bridged the communication gap for most of us, but I wouldn't call liking someone's post as staying in touch with them. Someone actually told me this once that they like all my stuff on Facebook but I don't return the favor as I do not want to stay in touch with them. Well, they got the hint but they just did not act on it! People who I want to stay in touch with, I already am. My best friend and I don't talk everyday but we make sure we meet up as often as we can and we talk on the phone as often as we can too. For me, staying in touch with a person means physically being around them once in a while and not only via phone or any other means of social media. And for those who matter to me, I'm always in touch with them.

I have also noticed that the most people who complain about me not staying in touch with them are the ones who have never made an effort to plan a meeting or even call for that matter. Friendship or any other relationship that is important is always a two way street and efforts need to be made from both sides. But no! Some people just randomly message you on Facebook and out rightly blame you for not staying in touch with them, just because I now am a blogger. Someone even told me that the success has gone to my head, hence I'm avoiding people. Believe me, even if I became as famous as J. K. Rowling and had a castle of my own, I'd still be the person that I am. And if you are important to me, you'll still be a part of my life then too.

Social media lets us keep a tab on almost every one's life. We know who is dating whom, who went where for a vacation, how many babies one has etc etc. But do you bother to pick up the phone and talk to atleast 5% of them? I doubt it. As much as I'm an extrovert, I only like to have a handful of people close to me. I take out time as often as I can to meet them or at least talk to them on a regular basis. I know what is going on in the lives of people who matter to me. I'm not the one to pretend to like people and make random phone calls just for the sake of it. It is as simple as it can get. If you are an important part of my life, I'll stay in touch with you. Else, no.

When I don't hear from these people once in a while, I make the effort to talk or meet them. It's not an ego battle here. Maybe some of them are actually busy. But if I find out that some people are just not bothered and I am the only one making the effort all the time, I'll stop immediately. Sadly, patience has never been a virtue of mine.

You tell me, how often do you stay in touch with the people who matter to you? And if they do not reciprocate what do you do?

P.S: This is my 1111th post! :)

J: Justification #AtoZChallenge

As much as I love talking, one thing I hate the most is justifying. When you are an honest person with off beat choices, people expect you to explain every move of yours. I have hated explaining myself since I was a child. I'm a realist and being very practical, I tend to do things in a different way. Most people consider me foolish for doing this but my heart and mind have enough reason to do so. If it works, they ask me to justify the path I chose. If it doesn't work, they ask the same thing. Why? I am a normal human being with a sensible head on my shoulders. I have the capacity to make decisions and stand by it. If others doubt it, then I think they need to question themselves as to why they doubt it instead of asking me to justify it.

My parents don't ask me anything. They never demanded any explanations when I got home late after college or work. They trusted me and let me be. But I have seen ample cases where in one is expected to justify every move of theirs. Some of my friends are like this as well. If I tell them I can't meet them, they expect me to give them the whole story and prove it to them that I actually cannot meet them. How hard is it to understand that I might have other plans. Some people expect me to explain my dressing sense to them. Yeah, I'm not kidding. Some wanted to know why I'm dressed in skinny jeans most of the time and demanded a justification for choosing to wear them!

Even while I was dating, a few men have asked me to justify everything I do. Why I meet certain people, why don't I meet certain people, why did I not call them at the specified time and all that jazz. Needless to say those relationships were very short lived. I absolutely hate it when people constantly ask me about my writing. At one point of time, almost everything that I wrote on my blog demanded a justification and for no reason. If I wrote a melancholic poem, people used to ask me what's going on. If I wrote a post about somebody, every body else apart from the concerned person would call me up asking me why I wrote that and if it is about them. Talk about taking guilty consciousness to a whole new level!

I hate being questioned for my choices. Be it in fashion, books, writing, food or men. It's my life and I have the right to make my own choices. I don't ask you for justification, so please do return the favor.

I: Indian Mentality #AtoZChallenge

We Indians are a crazy lot. And our mentality is something else altogether. Although I haven't met people from many nationalities, I've traveled enough to know some of them. When I compare their mentality and behavior with us Indians, we clearly rank really low. Of course I'm not speaking for everyone and about everyone in India here. I'm just talking about a few obvious examples which made me feel like we Indians still have a lot to learn and behave cultured.

Once I was travelling back to India from Ghana, where I was working for a month and I had a stop over at Dubai for four hours. Dubai airport is like a magical palace and I just love roaming around it. After picking up a few items from duty free, I headed towards the lounge for getting some rest. The lounge was almost full and I managed to find a chair for myself and tried to get some sleep. I had barely shut my eye when I heard someone shouting. I then saw an Indian woman shouting at a foreigner lady for sitting near the foot of her chair while she was sleeping. The chairs in the lounge are like half beds. You can sleep comfortably, but there would be enough room for a person to sit at the foot of the bed. Almost all the beds were populated this way, but this one lady was not willing to share her seat. She started shouting expletives in Hindi at the poor shocked woman who was constantly chanting "sorry, sorry". Only after the airport staff intervened, did the lady finally shut up.

The flight from Ghana to Dubai is a nine hour one and since most of it is always filled by non-Indians it usually is a pleasant trip. I had slept throughout the journey and hence decided to read something on the journey from Dubai to Bangalore. There was an Indian man sitting in the seat ahead of me. As soon as everyone boarded, he called for the air hostess asking for something to eat. She provided him some juice and chocolates. He refused to take them and insisted on having his lunch instead. The poor lady politely informed him that they only serve meals after take-off, but he wouldn't listen. The chief purser was called and he created a huge scene by screaming at them. Finally, he was served first as soon as we were air borne. And yet he complained about the quality of food and the way it was served. If I was the air hostess, he'd have his rice and curry thrown right into his face.

Also, we Indians clearly do not understand the concept of sitting down until the plane has come to a complete halt and exit row by row. Even in domestic travels I have noticed that people get up and pull their luggage from the top compartment as soon as the plane lands. They then push to get to the front of the exit line. Every passenger on board will get off, but no, some people just have to be the first!

We recently traveled to Sri Lanka for a vacation and we had a peaceful and easy time with immigration at the Sri Lankan airport. There were five counters and the people behind the desk were so agile and quick! After a week of rest and relaxation, when we returned we were jolted back to reality in the best way possible. The immigration center in Bangalore airport has three counters for foreign passport holders and about twelve counters for Indian passport holders. Needless to say the queue for the Indian passport holders were the longest, but out of the twelve counters only two had officers at the desk. It was only 8.30 pm and all the others had left. Finally after standing in the line for a good thirty minutes I managed to make it to the counter and the man behind the desk just took his bag and walked away! Welcome back to India, was an unsaid message.

We Indians also love anything that comes free of cost. If it is of use to us or not, doesn't matter. In the world of blogging I have seen enough of this. People sign up for books they have no intention of reading and ask for samples of almost every product under the sun. Blogging has become a source for accumulating free stuff and I know quite a lot of people who have turned to blogging only for this.

If I continue on this topic I'd go on and on for about twenty pages at least. So I better stop now. But do let me know of your experiences with the typical Indian mentality.

H: Home Alone #AtoZChallenge

I am a Jill of all trades and the only thing that is stopping me from becoming a master of them all is the golden excuse: Time. I normally am a very hyper person who just cannot sit quiet and has to do something all the time. When my husband is around that something is mostly talking. Both of us are great conversationalists and we end up sitting and talking non-stop most of the time. But since he moved to a new job a few months back, I'm home alone for a couple of hours every evening once I return from work. This is the time when I'm at my busiest. Even as a child, I loved to be left alone at home every now and then. I absolutely cherish the lone time that I get for myself and it can only happen when I'm home alone. If there is someone at home then I inevitably end up talking to them.

When I was young I would finish school/college and come back home by early evening. Both my parents and my sister were working so I had the entire house for myself. It was such a fun time. I used to freshen up and make myself something to eat. The I used to sit and read endlessly. Most of the reading in my life was during this time. I'd just make a cup of coffee for myself and sit with a book uninterrupted. Rarely, I used to watch TV and at times I just used to put on some random music and dance endlessly. Ah, those years of being tension free! When I started working and spent the first five months in Chennai, I used to come back to an empty hostel. Although I did miss my family back home, I loved the peace that I came back to everyday. After a tiring day at work, I just used to snuggle up with a book and read until I fell asleep.

Once I moved back to the city, being home alone was a rarity. By the time I got back from work, my parents would be back too. I hardly found any time to be alone and do any thing that I wanted to. Being home alone makes me feel at peace. It's almost like a blank canvas has been handed to me and I could do anything with it. I do enjoy solitude, but not for long. I love being home alone for a couple of hours and it makes me very happy. But only for a while. After a point I'll start missing people and would want to talk to them. Having said that, not being able to be home alone for a while makes me miss my "me" time and all that I have in my mind to do.

Now that Cal takes time to get back home, I have some good alone time with me. My first priority has always been reading when I'm blessed with some free time. I make a cup of hot green tea and sit with my book for a couple of hours. Once the clock strikes 8, I head to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Normally by the time I'm done with dinner, he's back and we sit and spend some time together. If he's not, then I get back to my reading. At times, I sit and draw instead of reading, or just browse the channels on TV, or listen to music and clean, or retrospect, or I write. As much as possible I try not to use the laptop once I'm back from work. But thanks to A to Z, most of my home alone time is spent by writing and reading other blogs. No, I'm not complaining. In fact I'm absolutely loving it!

Being home alone at times is absolutely necessary for me just as much as being with some delightful company. It is like a detox that keeps me going strong. But then again, a detox diet is not for everyone and is not something that should last long. Or forever.

G: Generation Gap #AtoZChallenge

Since my parents are pretty broad minded, I did not feel the generation gap much while growing up. Although they had their own set of assumptions and beliefs, nothing was imposed on us. They understood that times are no longer the same and they grew up with us as parents. They did not stay in the 80s while we were in the 2000s. But I did have quite a few friends whose parents were clearly from another era. They expected their kids to wake up in the morning before six, take a bath, pray to God and only then continue with the day. Six pm was the maximum time till when they could stay out. They were expected to wear certain clothes and not do anything fancy like roam around or spend time in coffee shops. I'm not talking about girls alone here. Some boys too were victims of the generation gap.

Why am I talking about this suddenly? Well, today I wore my favorite pair of ripped jeans and was headed out when quite a lot of people in my apartment gave me dirty looks. I smiled at them, but they looked at me top to bottom thinking "Poor girl, doesn't have enough money to buy new clothes?". As usual, I just ignored them and walked away. I'm very proud of my sense of fashion and I've someone who has evolved with the times. In terms of fashion and well as thinking mentality. The term generation gap doesn't only refer to people who are born in a different time frame or decades ago. There are also a certain set of people who are born as part of our generation, but their thinking is stuck back years ago. Such people are like the frog in a well and they have problems with everything that is not a part of their well. These kind of people are the ones who drive me up the wall.

I have always believed in one thing. As times change, we should do. We should adapt to the new situations and resources around us. I know it is difficult to get out of our comfort zone and adapt to something new, but we should. How else do we grow? Recently, I saw a few kids clearly in their teens driving around in a Hummer and smoking their lungs out. The first thing on my mind was WTF! Once when I shopping for lingerie, a few girls who looked no more than twenty were asking for bras that would enhance their cleavage. It would have been very easy to judge them and make a face, but I just let it be. Kids these days are so used to social media that they use that as a bible. The times are like that now, we can't do anything. Even when kids are super fashion conscious, they are very smart and hardworking. What matters is that they grow up to be good human beings, nothing else.

Generation Gap is often looked at like a bad word, but if you understand the actual meaning of it and adapt to the situations around you, it is a breeze. You do not have to act like your child's best friend and smother them. Just understand that they are born in different times and have a different thought process. It is important that you grow as parents along with your child and learn new things from them while unlearning a few old things.

The generation gap has to bridged from both ends, else it becomes a gaping hole.

F: F.R.I.E.N.D.S #AtoZChallenge

This show first aired in 1994 and I only started watching it in the early 2000s. While growing up, there were only two channels on TV and that itself was considered a luxury then. When cable TV became affordable, I learnt the concept of English sitcoms. I do not recall the first ever episode of FRIENDS that I saw, but I remember falling head over heels in love with it. Earlier they showed just one episode a week and I had to wait for a whole week after that. Most importantly, due to the western concept and kissing being shown on screen I couldn't watch this in front of my parents. Soon, dad got us another TV for our room and I was thrilled. But still I had to wait for a whole week to watch a new episode.

Internet was considered a luxury too back then. I used to save money and go to cyber cafes to read about the show. I read almost everything about all the cast members and I continued to watch the re-runs of the show. Soon CDs became popular and we bought a computer at home just about the same time. Yeah, this is what is called being middle class. I learnt of a store near home that gave CDs on rent and I saw that he had the FRIENDS show too, season by season. I remember my sister and I sitting and watching an entire season throughout the night. Years passed and we loved watching them. Sometimes we rented the same season again to watch it all over again. I never felt bored of it. Soon, it was time for the last season. I remember watching it with a heavy heart and tears in my eye. I bawled my eyes out after the last episode and could not believe that it was all over. It was the "end of an era" like what they would say.

This is probably the only show that I have followed from the start to the end and I can still watch it anytime, any day. I remember all the dialogues by heart and yet there is a thrill whenever I watch it. This show is something I grew up with. I have loved each and every character and each and every situation of the show. I know it is a western concept, but I could totally relate to it. Till date, almost every situation that I've been in, in my life I can relate it to some episode of FRIENDS. Be it Joey's relationship with Huggsy, Monica's OCD, Phoebe's weirdness, Rachel's sense of fashion, Chandler's sarcasm or Ross's geekiness; it all does strike a chord somewhere. And this is the only show where I love all the main characters equally.

As much as this show was about the six main characters, they had a wonderful supporting cast as well. Especially Gunther, Jack and Judy Geller! The cameos by famous stars were an added bonus too. George Clooney, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen, Elle Macpherson, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon were just some of the few hugely popular stars who appeared in small roles on the show. Till date I watch the re-runs on TV and laugh like I've been watching it for the first time. I might be mouthing the dialogues myself, but I will still watch and enjoy the show immensely. It is an instant mood lifter.

As much as I love this show, I love people who are crazy about this show as well. Like I said before that you can relate any situation of your life to an episode of this show, it feels so nice to talk about this to somebody. Most of my close friends are fans of this show too and at times we only talk in FRIENDS reference and all of us totally get it! I hate people who do not get a reference to the show and look at me blankly. "Could you be anymore stupid?" is what I want to ask them.

No matter how old I get I would still watch this show. I have the entire collection of the show and I would save them for my children if I decide to have any. Else, I would happily gift it to my God-children.

E: Engineering #AtoZChallenge

If you are an eightees kid, then the only dream that your parents would have had is to watch you grow up to be a doctor or an engineer. And if you come from a lower middle class family, the only option you have is to pursue engineering as medical fees are not for the faint hearted. Back then in the early 2000s, engineering was considered so big thanks to recent IT boom. Other fields like arts and commerce were for those who barely managed to scored. Engineering was meant only for the creme de la creme, as it was considered to be very tough to even get a seat, let alone study it. Today, social media is the new rage and we have digital marketeers, designers, influencers etc. Back then, these were alien terms. And unless and until you were an engineer or studying to be one, you were looked down upon.

2004 was the year for me to start graduation. Since 2002 I was preparing to get a free engineering seat. I was a pretty good student so I was not the one to sit and study morning, noon and night. My parents knew that so they never pressurized me to study all the time. I know of a few parents who used to lock their kids up in their rooms so that they could only study and be free of distractions. I went out and met my friends and enjoyed life along with studying. Finally after two whole years, the results were out and I had managed to score a pretty good score. This even got me a free engineering seat in one of the best colleges of Bangalore. This college was a stone throw away from where I stayed, so I thought it was a win win in every possible way.

It wasn't! Four years of studying a hundred subjects is nothing less than torture. I was in the telecom branch, so I thought it would be really interesting. The first year is common for all the branches and you learn stuff that you clearly will not be using anywhere in your life. I remember learning mechanical workshop stuff and soldering and filing metal. I learnt how to measure the exact height of a building from a distance as part of civil engineering. I learnt to draw a million weird shapes from all angles as part of graphics and learnt to add and multiple two or more numbers using micro chips. These were not the only things that I learnt. There was theory classes and hours of practical classes where you write ten pages of code to see a tiny curve on the CRT monitor.

And yet I did it all. At that point of time I did not know that I would never be using any of these learnings ever in my life. The only subject that I enjoyed was my main subject, telecommunications. I learnt about the origin of the telephone and the signals, various call flows and how routing works etc etc. It was realistic and for a realist like me, this held my attention the most. Soon, four years were done and I had a job in hand even before I passed out. Campus placements were another added tension during engineering. You carry the burden of hope on your shoulders until a company decides to offer you a job. And then you finally see your parents smile.

When I joined my company, I was put in to a telecom project. So all that I learnt as part of engineering, could I apply it here? NO! What you are taught for four whole years have nothing to do with what you will end up working on. Those bloody graphs and images would mean nothing to you once you pass out. You are taught new things and soon all that your studied will cease to exist in your mind. All those examinations and practical classes and the sweat and the tensions will suddenly not make any sense at all. After a few years, I moved into a core telecom project where I could relate to about 0.1% of what I had studied as part of my telecom subject. Everything else were just steps to help me get a degree and a job in return.

I know the world is filled with more engineers than humans. So if you are one too, please do share your experience.

D: Diaper Talks #AtoZChallenge

I turn thirty this August and it is more than safe to say that most of the people I know this age, are parents by now. We all have heard of the societal rule book where one should get married by twenty four and have any number of babies by the time you turn thirty. Almost all the people I know have followed this rule to the tee. But for me, a baby has never featured on my priority list. Do not get me wrong, I do not hate babies. I like them a lot, in fact. But I have never really wanted to have one of my own someday. And this is what I think until now. Will I change my mind later? You never know.

Since I know a lot of parents, old and new, most of their conversations revolve around their children. You might be in a large group of ten people with three parents among them and yet most of the conversations would revolve around babies and everything else associated with them. I was once out for lunch with a group of my lady friends and all they spoke about was their children. They discussed which brand of diapers was the best, how to use the diaper right, how to get the most out of a diaper and how to dispose it off easily. I just sat there sipping drink after drink, while they discussed the certain expectations from diapers.

I do not mind meeting new parents but they need to understand that I'm not one yet. And probably will never be. So most of the things that they say goes right above my head and I end up feeling terribly bored. I know creating a life is magical and you cannot believe you made another person. Believe me, I'm extremely proud of you but that cannot be the only thing in your life right? Once I accompanied a friend who is also a mother for shopping as I had a huge list to buy too. Sadly I did not tick off even one item from my list because the only stores we went to were baby stores. I was not only pissed but disturbed too. A pregnant mannequin troubles me a lot. I don't know why, but it does.

Having a child doesn't mean that it is the only thing in your life. If you want to discuss a lot of things about children then please do it with other parents. Not with the ones who have never held a baby properly yet. There have been times when I just call a random person who is not a parent yet and talk to them for a long time while meeting friends who not stop talking about their babies. It is annoying and disrespectful at the same time. And while they decide to talk to me about something, it more often than not is about why I do not want to have a baby or the pleasures that I'm missing out on by not having one. If only killing was legal!

It is not only about in-person conversations. Even telephonic conversations are all about the child. If you call me to ask about how I'm doing, then listen to what I say. But first I hear screams in the back ground, then I hear the phone drop, then I hear random squeals and noises and if I manage to hold on to my patience and the call, the conversation soon veers towards what the child is doing, or had done or will do. I absolutely hate it! When you meet as friends you let go off the other roles in your lives and meet as friends at least for that some time. But some people just don't understand that. Discussing the price of diapers in every store of the city is not my idea of a conversation.

So until I tell you that I'm planning to have a baby or have had a baby, spare me from such conversations.

C: Chick Flicks #AtoZChallenge

For someone whose list of favorite movies include 'The Godfather' and 'The Shawshank Redemption', chick flicks are an eye sore. Yeah, that's me. I am a big movie buff and I have to watch at least a couple of movies in the theater every month. I also like to go back to my hard disk and pick some from my movie collection during weekends and watch it over a glass of wine. But no matter what the situation is, I would never "want" to watch a chick flick. Being a girl some people are shocked when I tell them I do not like to watch movies like 'Miss Congeniality' and '27 Dresses'. But that's the truth. I find these movies to be really stupid and hard to digest at times.

To start with, I hate the term 'chicks'. I think it is offensive to women. And to chicks. Likewise, I hate being called 'babe' too. When someone used this word I have an image of a cute little pink pig on my mind and not a curvaceous woman. I know of a lot of women who watch chick flicks to get advice on their life and love life. My advice to them would be to get a life. Having said that, I have watched quite a few chick flicks. Only because they were on TV! I have not watched 'Sex and the city', 'The princess diaries' or more movies like this. The idea of romance in such movies are flawed. Or maybe there is too much of romance in them that ruins it.

I have always been a realist and even though I did read a few Mills and Boons while growing up, I have always had a practical approach to love and relationships. I do not like fantasy stuff or the happily ever afters. Most of them are too good to be true. Most chick flicks are really silly and at times I end up feeling so stupid after watching them. 'The devil wears Prada' is a movie I liked because it showed fashion and the concept of following your dreams at the same time. Plus, Meryl Streep! Today I read the IMDB list of the top 100 chick flicks of all time. I barely had heard about twenty and had hardly watched five of them.

I like movies that tell a story. A nice strong story. Movies like 'Rainman', 'The blind side', 'The pursuit of happyness', 'Dead poet's society' strike a chord within me and I can watch them as many times as possible. These may not be my ultimate favorite movies, but they surely are on the list. Chick flicks are something I watch to pass time. A no brainer and they clearly do not stay with me after I've finished watching the movie. But I know a few girls who go crazy about chick flicks. I do agree that some movies have drool worthy men, but some girls look at such movies as their own life! I've heard of couples fighting because the man did not want to watch a chick flick but the girl insisted on one. I find such things super silly.

I do agree that it is a matter of choice. But for me, chick flicks will always be the last choice. Too much mush, too much candy floss is definitely not my cup of tea.