True Self- Letter to the past

When I showed this blog to my friend, this is what she said,

“You sound so pompous! Like a rich snob!”

For the first few seconds I stood there gaping, probably looking more than stupid, because I expected her to applaud my move to publicly expose my writing. I was completely sure that she would have seen the courage I had to gather to put things into words and instead she called me a snob, something I really don’t want myself to be called.

And…I realized she was right.

It was written out of honesty but it didn’t show the real me well enough.

I am and always was conscious of writing the right way. But it turns out that when you pour yourself into it, it shows.

So, I’m gonna write.

I can’t imagine a world where words are not there. Language is such a beautiful thing. So many ways, so many for words for one feeling.

So for today, I’m writing something that I wished someone had told me when I was young.

It’s kind of like a letter to my past self. Maybe 10 years past.


I’m writing this so that I can say “I understand”. They’re not just words to placate you. I’m saying it because I know what it’s like.

Yes, I know it hurts. Yes, friends do hate. Yes, life’s going to change.

It may not be something that you would ever imagining happening to you, but yes, you’ll meet your true friends. They’re going to make you laugh, from your belly. They’re gonna fight with you because you weren’t brave enough. They will make you cry, from joy. And they’re gonna be there when you’re sad. So hold on. Just for a while longer…

I know you dream of becoming a writer. So even if you don’t show them to anyone, just don’t stop. Keep reading those books. It’s going to be your biggest asset. Study…learn, understand.

I know you’re shy, but go ahead and speak out. Show them you’re good at it.

I know it hurts, but hold on, things are going to get better.

Yes, becoming an adult is what you want to be, but go the slow way. Keep the vibrancy in you.

Don’t let other people say you just got it by chance. You know more than anyone how you worked for it.

Yes, life’s funny. And ironic.

Keep riding the bike. Keep looking at the sky for clouds. Keep smiling.

Yes, you’re going to get a kitten. And no, there are no flying cars…yet.

You’re never going to believe which subject you’re going to take in college.

And no, you’re not going to hate it. In fact, you’ll love it.

Oh and you’ll finally be able to eat an entire burger…all by yourself. And yes, you’ll see the world, slowly slowly.

So guess what…life’s beautiful.





Packing for a trip – Kenya

I started thinking about packing one month before the trip. I know it sounds…well…unusual…to put it delicately, but I realized I’m not the only one who does this.

There are a lot of people who think about which dresses to take, what climate would it be, what sort of boots you’re going to need…the list is endless!

It may be for two weeks or two months, but the anxiousness you feel when packing is real and unavoidable…

I totally admire those people who pack the day before the trip and enjoy whatever weather, eat all the local cuisine and not have upset stomachs! But I’m the sort who picks at everything, making sure we pack all the necessities and even carry some emergency medicines…

I thought that if people could put up a list of things to be packed, all I have to do is make sure I cross the items one by one…

Assuming that the place youย stay at will have laundry and ironing, here’s a rough sketch of what will go into my bag. Since the trip is in June, I’m packing for cold weather and only for 2 weeks.

The List:

Toiletries bag

    1. Brush
    2. Paste
    3. Mouthwash (Small)
    4. Tongue cleaner
    5. Small soap
    6. Face wash (Small)
    7. Body wash (or you can use a single soap for everything) (Small)
    8. Lotion (Small)
    9. Shampoo sachets
    10. Conditioner (if really necessary)
    11. Deodorant (if you use it)
    12. Disposable razor
    13. Small powder tin/compact powder
    14. Sunscreen (not needed if your lotion has SPF)
    15. Sunglasses
    16. Lip balm
    17. Tissue pack (Wet or dry)
    18. Comb
    19. Hair clips/bands


If you really need make-up, then you will have to take the bare minimum. Carry a small bag in which you can put the brushes, powders, liners and others.


Make sure each liquid item is put in a small plastic cover. Most airlines do not allow liquid items to be carried in the cabin luggage and so if you are planning to carry the toiletry kit with you, you can put the face wash, body wash, shampoo, deo, lotions in the luggage and carry only small soaps with you. That way, you can dispose it any time.

Cabin luggage

My policy is to keep it light. I really do not wish to haul around a seven kilo duffel with me during transit. Put your essential documents, tickets, cheques/money/DDs, cards in a secure pouch meant for it. Keep the things you would immediately need for travel in a handy place. Put your mobiles, tabs, cameras, laptops in this without their cords. Then put a t-shirt in here just in case your luggage arrives late or gets lost. Keep some tissues and wet wipes and you are done.

Main luggage

Put your extra stuff here. I’ll give a detailed list of things to be put here. (Keep in mind that I’m always thinking of travelling light and preferably with a single suitcase/trolley)

    1. Sweater – 3
    2. Shirts/Tops/T-shirts- Half the number of days of your stay, if you feel like scrimping. Otherwise one for each day will be fine. You can wash one shirt daily and put it to dry. If you’re planning to go somewhere fancy, take some good tops that would go with your pants.
    3. Pants/Cargo/Jeans- Wear the jeans and put the pants in the bag. 3 pants should do the trick. Alternate the pants each day and if it gets really dirty, wash it. Take ones that you can wear anywhere, anytime, hotel or safari….whatever the occasion.
    4. Jumpers/Hoods – 1
    5. Sneakers/ Shoes โ€“ 1
    6. Sandals โ€“ 1
    7. Slippers โ€“ 1 (for wearing inside)
    8. All your chargers, cords, batteries
    9. Cap/Hat
    10. Emergency medicines like aspirin, vicks, pain spray, antibiotics etc. Keep it in an outer compartment for easy access
    11. Pajamas – 3

I know this is not exhaustive but it will be a beginning. If there is anything else, then please add.

And more than that, enjoy the trip!

You can always buy stuff wherever you go, so seeing is more important than anything.




Relentless Thirst

Relentless thirst

It was a very hot afternoon. We were exploring the cave temples and we’d finished bottles of water. But then I saw this primate drinking from a puddle with absolute concentration. He ignored all the humans around him and when he finished he just walked away.
His actions seemed so sober.