14

What to do when you spot your crush…

… A La Princess Butter.

  1. Stare at him from crowds, hiding behind people, or between the machines at the gym.
  2. Consider talking to him, and keep considering that till the allotted 30 days time period for ‘over-thinking’ is over.
  3. Forget how he looks like, and mistake someone else for him and get yelled at by your buddy for being a ‘floozy’.
  4. Try not to stare like the said shameless ‘floozy’ at his lean, tan, physique…………
  5. Try not looking like you and your buddy are a thing, specially when you both enjoy silly antics in public.
  6. Make your buddy catch signs, like engagement/wedding rings, the slogan on his university tshirt, the year on his school jersey, etc.
  7. Finally make a decision to smile at him.
  8. Attempt to smile, and then stop midway, and look like you are trying to cough up something nasty and watch him return an undecided half-smile.
  9. Cringe in embarrassment for being a chickensh*t and continue staring at TV at the oddest angle from your machine while doing chin-dips.
  10. Go crazy on the internet looking for the guy and get other friends involved in your utter stupidity.
  11. Disregard any advice about the sane method of ‘smiling , saying hi and a normal introduction’.
  12. Continue being a weirdo and make #foreveralone your motto.
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28

This cringe-worthy life

You know, I used to look at other kids in my school or college and think of them as total weirdos, while thanking God about how I so was not like that. I used to think of the shitty phase the kids had and being glad that I never did. I had even claimed to my mom that how classy AF I was and not like others. All the while, I was in the top league of weirdos. Hello, cringey life. I have been in splits since I started remembering how awful I was(or I am :-/) and how phase-y I can be. I am sitting here with tears pouring down my face from embarrassment and utter laughter.

 

Cringe life

If we start talking about fashion, I have realized that I flow with trends, but after they have been around for atleast 2 years and are almost passing by, I will join the bandwagon. I am not the totally trendy person you see and neither the ‘shun trend and make my own style’ girl. I am somewhere weirdly in between, very unmemorable. Why am I saying all this? I have so many pictures of wearing stuff after the trend has passed and looking ridiculous in the said clothes. Imagine Henna color checked parallel pants with a matching short jacket. My brain hurts thinking about it. When I was 6-7, we went on a Shimla trip and there is a picture of me wearing a black n white pinstriped blazer style fitted pencil dress with a big black belt and a matching hat. I felt that I was looking mad cool. I want to tear that picture. Imagine a specy, spindly 7 year old with front teeth knocked out posing like she is convinced she is Princess Diana. I am usually on top of fashion theoretically through magazines, articles and blogs but I do not end up buying stuff for a long time. I have a tendency to go ‘Ewww no’ for a lot of things that I see for the first time before it turns into ‘Awesome Unicorn Gorgeousness’. The other day I was out in the mall and realized how everyone was suddenly in bomber jackets in military green color, just like puffer jackets last year. I know that I will not like them now but will crave for them in a couple of months. By the time I own something, it’s on its way out. Thank God for cyclical fashion though. Who is looking cool in those palazzos, aka the old parallels from those days? Haah! Clarification : I don’t have the same parallels now, its physically impossible to fit in those, even if I had those. They were ugly as hell too. But I do fit into a super cute plaid, kilt style skirt that I got for my 10th birthday.

I remember the fun junior college days that people call high school in other parts of the world. I thought I was the coolest cat around and wore red t-shirts pretty much every day with embroidered flared jeans. I had a thing for silver rings and 8 of my fingers had rings on them sourced from Hong Kong lane in Pune. Yep that’s the street of choice for all silver jewelry based needs. I recall having purple flared pants also that had slits going up on my shins. Fergusson college road had the coolest stuff and Kareena Kapoor’s 2000’s colorful fashion was inspirational. Those were also the days when I would trip 800 times a day in my sky high platform shoes. I stopped wearing those once I had a boyfriend who was just a few inches taller at that age(16-ish) and had the realization dawn upon me that walking like a newborn giraffe on stilts was not cool. It’s been flats since that day. I had gone to Goa on a trip with my friends in the last year of undergrad and there is this weird thing that stands out for me. I had gotten a thick, black, beaded bracelet for N, Ani and me and for some reason, I started wearing it on my upper arm. Only after I saw a picture of me with that thing, I realized, a week later, how dumb that looked.

When I got into college, I had a crush on two guys during the first couple of months. Those guys were and will always be way out of my league. But I had a close friend though who was in that group and was absolutely the kind of girl they would hang out with. You get my drift? Like if it was high school(which life always is), she would be on the cool table with those guys and rest of the gang planning a next party, and I would sit with the Harry Potter obsessed kids who sometimes forget to brush their hair and discuss Govinda movies. She is an amazing person and would just somehow fit everywhere actually! So, to sound yo, I started learning about rock music from her. Seriously, this happened and we always laugh about that whenever talk now. This was followed by a phase trying to like Eminem’s rap, thanks to that idiot I was with. I was even writing gothic poetry because loneliness and sadness and depression was just soooooo romantic. It was cool to be sad?! This calmed down only to re-surface a couple of years back when a friend told me that chart topper music is yuck and how Beatles and Pink Floyd are the best. Thankfully, I got over that really quickly and now unabashedly listen to the radio top 40, Taylor Swift, and all Hindi music. The weird pretentious music loving phase did yield to me some sappy loving for some artists including Bryan Adams, whose concert I am going to in July. To be honest, most loving is fueled by nostalgia because I am not majorly into music. I like Pop, and I can’t help it. Actually, I don’t want to help it. Hmmmpphh.

The cringey things I say, will take up reams of paper if I start writing them down. I have a tendency to say ‘Wish you the same’ after someone wishes me ‘Happy Birthday!’ How? Why? I don’t know. Even if I have fought off a Cassowary, swam with sharks and then had a dinner party with gnomes in the garden, if someone asks me how my weekend was, I will blank out and say ‘Eh, alright, relaxed.’ It would be still fine if I left it at that. But the long pause and that look of trying to remember, takes me down. Once a guy was flirting with me and told me that my shoes were cute. I proceeded to say ‘I have flat feet.’ That was the most appropriate response I could come up with?! There was this one month that I was saying ‘Honestly’ all the time as punctuation or response. There was also a phase of ’50 shades of embarrassment/crazy or whatever the heck the feeling was’.

So even if I thought of myself as someone who sailed through without a phase, I know I had more than my fair share to laugh about. I spell out P-H-O-N-Y, and don’t miss the capital letters.I will not even deny that I am going to laugh about what I am right now, a few years down the line.

I can imagine a 40 year old me cringing :

Uggh PB? Seriously you wrote these kind of posts? I can’t believe you were being so sappy! THIS felt funny?? You wore that?!  You sang Taylor Swift all the time?? Well, homegirl is cool, so that’s okay.

22

The ‘Fancy Dress’ faux pas

This incident needs to be documented for posterity’s sake.

I was in class 4th. That time I was living in Ahmedabad and I had just joined school a few months back. I was having trouble making friends due to the language barrier and I was already in a sad state of mind due to my terrible bullying experience in another school in A’bad , where I finished class 3rd. But somehow, here it was easier to talk to people because I had a couple of non-gujaratis in my class.

I was always interested in extra-curricular activities. After a couple of months of joining school, our teacher announced the annual fancy dress competition to be held in about two weeks and I was immediately interested. I went home and told my parents about it and they were equally excited. We zeroed on making me dress up as Rani Lakshmibai, since she was someone I knew enough about, courtesy my dad’s nightly stories and already developing habit of voracious reading. By voracious, I do mean voracious, because my mom had to hide my Tinkle subscriptions around exams time and I would look for it like a bloodhound.

Anyhoo, I digress. So, we started preparing for my role as the great Indian freedom fighter. My dad wrote down some lines in hindi for me to learn, something along the lines of ‘Main apni Jhansi nahi doongi, nahi doongi, nahi doongi!’(I will not give away my Jhansi, ever!) My mom got a very pretty white and purple saree roll-pressed and sized up a blouse and was getting it ready for me to wear as a 9 yard saree. I used to practice my dialogues daily brandishing a comb as the sword.

Meanwhile, our teacher at school also used to take a rehearsal of the students representing class 4 B in the competition. Every day I would recite those lines as a teeny tiny soda glasses wali Rani Lakshmibai threatening the British/classmates with a pencil. My teacher was happy with the way I was doing.

On the eve of the competition, my parents got my saree, jewelry, chandrabindi ready. They went out to buy me a gajra for my bun and a sword from balloon wala. They had to spend around 3 hours looking for a golden sword fit for a queen. Every balloon wala had a silver sword. I had to have a golden one. Finally they found one and came home. I was supremely happy and was so ready to rock the stage.

The next day, I got up early thoroughly excited. My mom made me wear the 9 yard saree, did my hair, put the pretty gajra. She put some compact on my face, the Chandra bindi typical of Mahrashtrians, fake nath, and lastly my soda glasses. Ah well. I went downstairs in full navvaari(9 yard) glory to wait for my school van with my bag and a little plastic bag of uniform to change into later.

My school van arrived and I sat inside. The 2-3 boys in the van who used to board before me were major bullies. They had made my time hell and made sure to torment me daily about any damn thing. They were surprised to see me dressed and asked me why. I told them I was participating in the Fancy Dress competition. They sniggered and told me that there was no competition and kept making fun of me. I got a little teary eyed but kept quiet. As we were reaching school, the other kids boarded and looked at me like I was an alien or something. As we reached, one girl asked me again what was I dressed for, and I repeated the same answer. I went to the assembly area and stood in the line for my class. We had to go inside the school building class by class monitored by high school captains, and that was our daily rule.

To my horror, I did not see anyone dressed up! Every single kid was in their uniform! Finally a friend told me that the competition was not that day, but 3 days later! I had totally messed up the dates. I had a very bad habit of leaving things to my memory and not writing instructions down in the school diary. URRGGHHHHH! The horror! I can’t remember now, if I had written the wrong date down or written nothing at all! But it was so embarrassing to say the least.

This part takes the cake. As we were let in inside the building, I was the ONLY kid not in a uniform. As I passed one captain while going up the stairs in the line, he looked at me all bewildered and said ‘ Happy Birthday!’ He thought I was in birthday dress! OMG! Worst. Thing. Ever! I just went to class and started crying till my teacher came and understood the situation. She calmed me down and took me to the girls’ restroom. Thank God that I had my change of uniform with me, otherwise I would have been so miserable and embarrassed.

After I reached home, I told my parents what happened, and my parents had the laugh of their lives after consoling the crying me. Till now, my mom tells how they roamed so much for the golden sword and what I did later. She has that taunt ready whenever I act cocky about the power of my memory and when I claim I can do no wrong. Aaaaah, the shame!

I did not participate in the competition that was held 3 days later.