Saturday, 28 September 2013

Happy birthday

Idea of fun is strange. It can mean very different things to two different people. Though it is often generalized and stereotyped into a popular activity which is considered cool thing to do in the present culture. This popular culture dictates you how you are supposed to live your life. One of the examples of it is our birthdays. If you look closely, birthday celebrations are nothing but a celebration of the fact that you didn't die in the last year since you last celebrated it. It is the only feat that you have achieved that people are congratulating you for on that day. The feat of being alive. But in the kind of world we live in, it is not completely ridiculous. Apparently, the danger of dying too soon is pretty real. Especially with the kind of lifestyles we have. We have been collecting too much tar in our lungs and toilet cleaners in our livers. But not to digress, birthdays are supposed to be a celebration and it is way beyond debate at this point of time. But the idea of that celebration is also pre-defined. People will see your birthday notification on Facebook, call you up at 12 midnight (because apparently everyone was born at exactly start of the day) and wish you a happy birthday followed by instructions of partying hard that day.

One of my college friends celebrated his birthday a few days back. 4 people out of our group have ended up in Mumbai so we were discussing how to celebrate the birthday. One friend suggested that only option in front of us is to party hard in one of the pubs. A good traditional option I would say. Considering that we were in Mumbai, a city immensely popular for its night life. That too after 2 years in Calcutta where night life mostly meant arguing with the taxi guy to not overcharge you when plying you back to campus after a late night movie. So he suggested Blue Frog. The birthday guy was not too thrilled about it because neither is he a fan of drinking nor of the digits featuring on the right hand side of the Blue Frog’s menu. Sensing his apprehensions and knowing his love for hogging on good food, I suggested the good old Barbeque Nation. He was pretty thrilled about it which is actually the idea of having a good birthday. But my other friend was not going to give up so easily. He tried to convince us that since it was his 25th birthday, there is no way we could be thinking of anything less than a posh club. Suggestions of us having turned too old were made which we graciously accepted. Thankfully the birthday guy got to spend it the way he wanted.

So obviously there is a fixed notion of how the birthdays have to be celebrated and that involves partying hard. But what if I don’t want to party hard on my birthday? What if I party hard every other day and I just want to sit back at home and reflect upon the year that went by. Make it as a personal year-end review of myself. What if I don’t want to go out? What if I don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for my drinks in poorly lighted ad crowded place that day? What if I don’t want to yell in order to talk to my friends sitting right across the table because the music is so obnoxiously loud? So next time when you wish someone a Happy Birthday, don’t plan their itinerary of the day by asking to party hard. Just let them do what they want.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Nothing was ruined

Read someone on my Twitter TL asking why guys who are good friends have to go on and ruin friendships by asking the girl out or as we more popularly refer in India as ‘Proposing’. Now, I have two theories on this which I thought I will write a short note about.

First theory is that most guys, who become your friends, are never really looking for just friendship. From the very beginning they want it to be a romantic relationship. For a generation that not only tolerated Kuch Kuch Hota Hai but also took several life lessons from it, friendship to love seems to be the best route for them. Obviously they have never read our friendzone jokes. Or maybe they think they are too charming to be caught in it. But my point is that girls tend to either intentionally or unintentionally ignore the reason why a guy is friends with them in the first place. I think it is way too obvious and I, with a high level of success rate, have always been able to predict why a guy is friends with a girl in the first place. But maybe girls have a blind spot there. Similarly girls claim to have similar knowledge about other girls and their intentions. Maybe it is just easier to predict behaviour of your own gender more accurately. But you know what would be helpful? Be aware about it a little. People give away enough hints unintentionally. You don’t have to be Sherlock to know what's on their mind when they act all cheesy and ping you 24*7. So if you don’t want to act all surprised when they suddenly become weird, pre-empt it. Also, remember they were never really your friend and there was never really a friendship. There was only an attempt to be something more. So effectively, nothing was ruined.

Second theory is completely different. I think a relationship is much more likely to work if it started after both individuals know about each other well.  Isn't it better than asking a relatively stranger person out having been infatuated just by their looks or some other single attribute? Only to be disappointed later by finding out other despicable things about them. If a person has been your friend, he probably knows a lot about you, and the fact that he developed feelings for you for qualities other than just physical attributes is pretty much what I hear girls wishing for all the time. And even if the other person doesn't reciprocate, I think it is a risk worth taking. And remember since one person is already thinking in terms of more than just friendship, only the illusion of a good friendship was ruined. Cause it stopped being one. So effectively, nothing was ruined. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

What's a foodie?

A lot of one word descriptors make way into our bios on twitter to give it a crisp and interesting look. A lot of times these words are generally copy pasted without any second thoughts given to them. They get popular and then as happens with any popular thing, get scrutinized and then mocked. Similar thing happened with the word foodie(Which should never be used to describe oneself in front of a Punjabi). Since I also wrote it in my twitter bio, I thought I’ll give my understanding of the word foodie. I don’t know how it is defined in the dictionary or what the more popular understanding of it is. The following is just what I think it means.

Let me first clear out what the term foodie definitely doesn't mean
1.       Foodie doesn't mean people who eat because everyone does.
2.       Foodie doesn't mean people who like eating because again everyone does.
3.       Foodie doesn't mean people who like eating a lot. They can be mostly called fat (Except the ones with extraordinary metabolism).
4.       Foodie doesn't mean people who blog, review or post articles about restaurants and food items. They would be called food bloggers, reviewers or journalists.

Obviously a lot of people who fall into above groups could also be foodies but none of the above points would be the reason for it. Foodie for me simply is a person who is excited at the prospect of having different kinds of food. Who goes out of his way to experience the variety in food and enjoys it too. A foodie is someone who doesn't go on holidays to crib about how he is not getting his regular dose of food. He is a person who doesn't go to Chennai to look for makhan wale aloo paranthes for breakfast cause that's what he always eats. He is a person who doesn't go to Kolkata and looks for vada pao because that is his comfort food. There is no comfort food for a foodie. Experimenting with his meals is what he loves. You’ll often hear him asking ‘What is the famous food here?’ or ‘What is the indigenous/local food here?’ And he will savour that taste because it will be different than what he has had at other places. Travelling is such an important part of being a foodie. And the food is as important part of travelling than anything else. If you go to a place and do not experience the local food and culture, did you really go to that place? You should be bringing back some of the memories and not just pictures for Facebook from a trip. And often it is not just about enjoying the new food but also being curious about them. It is about the origin and history of each dish. It is about the subtle varieties of those dishes. Why the sambhar of Bengaluru would be different from Chennai? Why the galouti kebabs in Lucknow are called Tundey Kebabs? Why Bengali people are crazy about their fish? Obviously there are a lot of posers who join a certain activity bandwagon cause it is hipster initially and then ironically contribute towards making it mainstream and thus ridiculed in the end. Foodie, in my opinion, is not a hobby or an activity that can be taken up. It is pretty much in nature of the person. Either he's like that or not.