I see myself surrounded by beautiful red roses, big heart shaped stuffed toys and exquisitely packed chocolates. There are tonnes of them! This scenario is not my dream nor my reality. I am simply stating the look of the local markets and the malls beginning kiss day or hug day or whichever day comes first in the ‘Love Chrononlogy’ starting February. Valentines day enthusiasts spend a minimum of two weeks extensively planning how to make their partner feel special and that too in the ‘Minimum budget possible’. Like...minimum to minimum! All under the added pressure of scoring higher than the previous year. Come 14th Feb, the results get declared. Do I sound like any other Valentine day skeptic to you? Believe me when I say I am not. 

Since, I was in seventh grade and was gifted an expensive Parker pen on Valentines by a newly puberty hit boy, my heart told me ‘Bakk this day is going to be heavy for you for a lifetime (Indicating gift ideas, their prices and expectations). Ofcourse, my heart also told me that the boy who gifted me the black and gold pen, standing behind the school bus in a proper show with an audience, was more of a stalker than a lover boy (it’s another episode all together, though true). That was years ago.

I have had very sweet gestures from my female friends (FYI: who are straight) all my life on Valentines. I have been presented with heart shaped cards made using recycled paper and outlined with different gluey sparkles. The best part about it: I was never expected to do it in return as a V-day norm. Infact, I had never been with a guy who viewed 14th feb with much importance. But, this time was different. Mr. Bling is a Valentine romantic. All my female friends were ‘awww’ing about that. The only catch being, I have never officially celebrated V-Day. But, I knew better and decided to surprise him. 

It’s me we are talking about here. So there had to be a surprise within the surprise. I was a V-day first timer after all. Mr Bling and I were going on a two day jaunt to Malshej Ghat, a quiet mountain pass in the Western Ghats. Bling was super ecstatic about it! But that soon changed to bewilderment as I asked him to pack his bags immediately. I don’t blame him. I was taking him to a Valentine special trip a week before 14th Feb. And this time he knew better not to miss out on the gift even if it arrived early :) (14th feb is too over-crowded everywhere).

At the boutique hotel named Saj on the lake, our room overlooked a farm inhabited by hard working cows, chickens and humans. Beyond that was a lake and the mountains. The bathroom that you see in the picture was open from one end. The high open wall and the plants looked pretty amazing to stare at, but so much is the fear of technology that I was hallucinating drones capturing me doing my pot business. Thank goodness, tech invasion hadn’t occured here. Infact, nothing had adulterated the beauty of the nature here. During those two days, I had a family of sparrows trying to strike a conversation with me. Even to their pick up lines I’d respond :) The only adulteration I suspected in the nature was the all day long cuckooing of the rooster as if it’s been fed Red bull instead of worms. Fresh food, fresh milk, fresh air and a fresh start to me being a Valentines day bae !

I told Mr. Bling, “I am so not succumbing to the load of outperforming my Valentines day surprise next year”. “Yeah, no pressure, but how about a more timely gift to begin with the next Valentines“, replied the post vacation glowing smarty pants.

3.2# THE CLOCK TO 2017

The list of good things that happened to me in 2016 isn't very long. On the fourth number (which is pretty high as per me) is Netflix. Netflix came to Indiaaaaa!!!!!Seriously. It is a big deal! I feel so much more independent not having to strike conversations with a certain mister to get seasons off him of all the shows I like. Plus I have the amazing luck of the last two episodes (of the borrowed series) being corrupt almost everytime (such a horror!). And No folks, I ain't good at downloading from pirated websites. Yeah, this is how my cookie crumbles. This poor soul feels so much more updated on the latest TV series chit chat with the peeps now. How can I forget that time! Imagine this: Each time I would log into Facebook, I'd read a new over emotional post from my 'Facebook friends list's - acquaintance' on some TV series- either Suits or Breaking Bad... and...

3.1# HO HO..OH!

When I was a teenager, it was Archies comics that gave me my first 'White Christmas' dream. The way the entire gang- Archie, Betty, Veronica, Moose, Jughead, Reggie used to play in the snow and build a snowman together; the way Betty and Veronica queued up for hours at 5am in a soldier mode for the unbelievable christmas discounts; the way everyone would wear Santa caps and sing carols in big groups out in the snow; the way Jughead swallowed not one but several christmas special coffees and meals at Pop Tate looking out at a pristine white view. Infact, the entire christmasy feel where 'Jingle bells' plays in the background and beautiful decorations are in sight no matter where you are or what you're doing the entire holiday season. I still haven't lived my childhood X-mas dream. But my heart tells me, the day I'll live it



he sunrays worked as a silent wake up alarm. "Oho, Why didn't I draw the curtains before sleeping!" I could hear some chirpy birds and humans outside engaged in loud morning twittering. I squinted at the bathroom door with romantic longing, wishing for my favourite morning space to walk up to me in my bed. But, with no chance for that to happen, I forced myself to sleep-crawl till there. Only to be shaken fully awake by unending loud choking noises from the adjacent window. A few seconds later it seemed the man was trying to vomit and was probably sick in the stomach. The next minute the noise changed to blowing cyclones through the nose. Any normal person would be in a state of horrifying shock. So was I, the first time it went through my ears. The next ten times you might just puke (No comments on what


I recently turned a two digit something; the run up to "Yayyy! its my birthday'' moment was pretty eventful I'd say. One of the prime characters of my life 'Mr Bling' decided to surprise me. Hats off to his news anchor like grit that fed ideas and warnings in my head, he managed to keep me off the 'Birthday Round Table Conference' between him and my other peeps for weeks. Seriously not days, but weeks! Even though highly trying for me, he gained some success; 99percent victorious. The guy got ways, I say! On the pot, in the kitchen, in a meeting and even during my life changing threading session at the salon; he ambushed me using different techniques. Each time sounding the same bugle, "Hey Bakk, your birthday is XY days away and I'm planning it!Remember 'I' AM planning it!".The expert in me speculated it was to claim 100 percent



weekday Goa scene versus Weekend Goa scene was as different an experience as an ATM queue on a Monday versus a Saturday (Our PM made the latter happen and the Goa over-hype resulted the former). Made me do the cruel math of how many years I've added since I last visited Goa. It just felt lacking it's usual warmth to me. The trucks, the buses and the cars on the weekend seemed to be targeting me. As if they've ganged up and cloned my annoying siblings who would cough deliberately on my face. One of those tricks to disgust each other as kids...Yuck! And that too right into my lungs. But, my main reason to extend the trip for the weekend was the Saturday night market which I still have pictures of from my girls trip of four years ago; the Photo Booth, the avant garde gypsy jewellery, the drool-pool worthy



woke up with a mission, since it was the last full day of our vacation. My mind often becomes a House of parliament as holiday end approaches. Passing bills and debating on where to go before we return? which places should we eat at (even if it means eating 5 meals), when to chill, where to chill etc etc. I needed to stop and thankfully I did. Good! We started off on an easy pace as I washed down the paranoia with a pre-brekky green tea. Then we went to eat breakfast at Cafe Chocolatti (one of my favourite) in Calangute. The ambience of this place always makes me even more hungry (read: wolfish). We ordered for a carrot cake, a sandwich, a chocolate shake, an orange juice and another cheesy toasty sort of thing. Good food, though it was too heavy for an early day meal. Their desserts are always the biggest pull!

1.3# THE B'DAY 360


become a split personality as birthday nears. All it takes to flip from ''It's nothing's just another day with about a hundred extra calls and messages" to ''I'm so happy and feeling joy joy'' is your monkeys celebrating your day as if it's a festival. So much love that my jokes drown in mush! That's what makes it soo good, ain't it. Anddddd...also the fact that I felt no hangover in the morning made it a perfect birthday start :D To top that, a hammock outside the cottage was just like a super sexy cover for my new IPhone 7 plus! ;) (giving the 'cherry on the cake' proverb a little break). Soaking in the sunlight on a hammock overlooking the sea makes for a perfect holiday picture, right? That's what I thought. And now, wide awake after a good sleep, I stepped out to recreate that cliched holiday postcard.


Well-structured houses and huts as if painted in Camlin's brightest poster colours make for our welcome view, en route to the hotel. It reminded the groggy us that we indeed made it to Goa after all the dramatics. My eyelids weighed a 'Great Khali' each and were struggling to stay open after a no sleep day. So, I widened my eyes using the tiny fingers on my hands (my miniature sized fingers amuse my friends, though I think they are normal... till not compared with anyone else's). And soak in more Goa flavour. I spot trees! coconut water! sea! Yay! I spot Vodafone and Airtel branding on almost ALL the huts lining the road. NO Yay! If these painted adverts had elbows, they'd be pushing each other's red ass off the wall. Talking of red, Mr Bling's eyes were poppingly so. I dared not look at mine. 'Good to be oblivious'

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