Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Importance Of Empowering Young Girls

Coming from a patriarchal country like India, one would expect that I was also raised with the ingrained belief that the female gender is worthless for everything except nurturing the family. 

But thankfully, I was raised in a progressive household, where women had an equal say in all the important decisions. 

My family, instead of moulding me into an ideal bhartiya naari, brought me up to be driven about whatever I do and stand up for my beliefs, no matter what the detractors said.

My role models weren’t the stereotypical bahus in the Indian soap operas, who would be perpetually wearing ten coatings of makeup, heavy clothes and jazzy jewellery and still managed to devote their entire day to the kitchen in a palatial house that ideally should have dozens of maids. 

Instead, they were strong women, who lead their lives successfully, regardless of the problems they had. Some were young mothers facing the challenges of raising many kids on their own in an unknown area, some were working mothers who were called ‘bad mothers’ for not being the moulded kitty-party-organizing airheads and some were single women, who didn’t need a man for achieving whatever they could. 

What augmented my ideals were books with strong female protagonists. Since my childhood, I always admired Hermione Granger for her drive to succeed, been in awe of Elizabeth Bennet for sticking to her guns no matter how many times the higher class tried to mortify her pride and cheered for Mia Thermopolis when she transformed from a gawky teen to a classy, kind-hearted monarch of a principality. 

But don’t think that because of these admirable women, I have become an iron-hearted hustler.

The truth is, even I have been a victim of my own insecurities and the horrible voices in my head, telling me that I’m a pathetic waste of space.

Oh dear reader, you wouldn’t even believe the number of times I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and picked at each and every single flaw on my face – be it a zit or my stubby nose. There have been so many times when I’ve cried myself to sleep in my teens just because someone told me something hurtful. Oh God, there have been many times when I kept beating myself up for not being worth it.

And you know what the worst bit is? 

I'm not the only one who gets clouded by this negativity. 

There are many, many, many young girls who go through this internal trauma every single freaking day. 


When I hear my friends’ experiences, it saddens me to say many of them have gone through some heart-wrenching anxieties and bullying.

There has been fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, too-much-acne-shaming, body-hair-shaming and in fact, some have been shamed for being dark-skinned!

You know what the result of this is?

The friends who have been called fat stopped eating altogether to look slim, friends with acne started covering up their faces and those who had a lot of body-hair compensated by wearing fully covered clothes. Those who were criticized for their skin colour started applying around ten coats of makeup and fifty codes of lightening filters on their photos. 


They want to be ‘presentable’ in the society. 

They want to fit in, mould into the norms set by the society through airbrushed fashion magazines, tailored-to-look-more-perfect-than-perfect public figures and nit-picky people around them. 

As a result of this, depression rates amongst young girls have arisen. Many go through disorders like anorexia and body dysmorphia. In fact, there has also been an increasing trend of self-harming because that pain apparently reduces their inner turmoil.

Some people might just dismiss the anguish of young girls as silliness. They will think, “Oh but the female gender is supposed to look presentable! How else will they get married and bear children?”

But what’s the point of looking presentable when girls don’t feel happy being themselves and are chasing perfection that is actually a sham?

So on this Women’s Day (which is practically over, but ah well), I would like to tell all the young girls that it’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be imperfect and not look like a Victoria Secret Model. It’s all right. Your looks keep changing over time and they are not the only parameters of your success as an individual. 

Moreover, what I’d like to add is, if you guys know any girl looking down and depressed, do pay keen attention to her. Don’t wait for her to do something that could lead to drastic, devastating consequences. 

This world needs more Hannah Montanas (aka Miley Cyrus) who keep hustling and stay positive no matter what happens, not Hannah Bakers, who have no choice but to embrace death when there’s no one around to lead away from the darkness they are drowning in. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Joys Of Life

For many, 
Joy is fame -
To be recognized,
To be considered worthy, not lame; 

For them,
Joy is to be surrounded,
By throngs of admirers,
And to be a living legend; 

But for some,
Joy is the family ,
 who loves unconditionally,
And supports wholeheartedly;

For many,
Joy is wealth,
A means to endlessly flaunt,
Their material laurels; 

For them,
Joy is to display,
How better are they,
Than the rest of the world;
But for some,
Joy is the emotion,
Attached to simple things, 
Gifted with loving intention;

For many,
Joy is influential connections,
A means to show,
How powerful they really are;

For them, 
Joy is the arrogance,
That they can get anywhere,
Without hard work, by simple means unfair;

But for some,
Joy is in old friendship,
Etched with loyalty and love,
Tinged with fuzzy, warm nostalgia;

Nowadays, for many,
Joy is a envy-worthy social media feed,
Filled with an intent to brag,
Not an intent to reminisce;

But for some,
Joy is in the delightful memories,
 Just important enough to be etched in one's own mind,
And not shouted aloud to the rest of the world;


And it's finally that time of the year again! 


In case you are familiar with me, you'd probably know how much I love Christmases! Not for the gifts and cakes I get, but the very fact that it's a celebration of joy and happiness!

Which is why, in this post, I wrote about joy and how many people define it. It's a (mostly) rhyme-less poem (if you could call it that, that is) and I thought what better day to write it than the day which literally asks for so much joy! 

What about you? 

What does joy mean to you?

Let me know in the comments below! 

(And completely ignore the fact that I sound like a kooky YouTuber in the last sentence!)

Merry Christmas, my dear reader!

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Joy Of Being A Reader

"You really want to buy another one of those? Again?" My mother asks, her normally serene voice laced with a tinge of irritation. 

I nod eagerly, my face lighting up like a Christmas tree. My hands are tightly clutching the new bundle of joy, ready to be explored and (later) smelled. My mind's already wandering, imagining the exciting adventures I'll embark on with this. 

"You have too many books already, Ammu!" She snaps irritably, breaking me out of my reverie. "Plus, your cupboard is full already! You still haven't read those classics! Are you really, really keen on buying this?!"

She expects me to take a deep breath and place the book back on the store's shelf. She expects me to say, "Oh Mamma, you're right. You're absolutely right. How could I be so fiscally irresponsible? I promise that from now on, I'll be a perfect child and donate the rest of my collection to my various cousins scattered over the country."

But unfortunately, I shall do no such thing. 

"But this is a masterpiece, Mamma!" I plead, not caring about the other disgruntled customers around. "I read all about it on Goodreads! It's a modern classic, Mamma! And I will not get it anywhere!"

"Oh goodness, all right!" She says exasperatedly. "Give me that book, I'll pay for it! But you'd better explain it to your grandmother why you need this!"


Luckily, my grandmother doesn't bug me much apart from the normal "Why do you want to spend so much on books?" and "You're a strange kid, there's something wrong with you!" 

But ah well, that's normal. 

Finally, I find myself lying on the couch, the new book in my hands.

How will you turn out, now? I think. Are you as amazing as your cover or are you just a fraud?

Then, I flip open the book and start. 

At first, it's a bit difficult to get into the funk. 

I'm still a bit aware of my surroundings - the sound of the T.V. blaring, my family pottering about and talking about all things in life. 

Moreover, the characters are new. I don't know them enough to judge if they're worth rooting for. 

But as I turn the pages, the outside world slowly recedes and I get lost in the magical ink world. 


It's late into the night. I'm lying on the couch and frantically turning the pages. My surroundings are completely blurred and all that matters to me is this book world.

I don't care about how late it is and I sure as hell don't care if anyone in my family is about to burst my bubble and order me to go back to sleep. 

I have to know what's going to happen in the end. 

I have to -


I jump up, let out a scream and find myself staring at a skinny old man, his grey hair disheveled and his eyes bleary. 



It looks like I won't be able to read any longer tonight.


Thankfully, by the next morning, I get to finish the entire book. 

Sure, my grandparents kept taunting me and speculating how I'll turn into a headcase with the lack of sleep. Sure, I have dark circles around my eyes. Sure, I  cannot concentrate on what's going on in class.

But none of that replace the immense satisfaction that I have, now that I read the book. 

In between classes, I've already ranted to a lot of people about how amazing the book is. Some listen to me in awe while the others roll their eyes, irritated by my maniacal passion for reading. 

Then, during my break, I go up to the library (because hey, the canteen is too mainstream!) - partly to meet up with friends and partly to search for interesting books. 

As I'm leafing through bookshelves, I see it. 

A new, shiny book - ready to lead me to my next adventure. 


Hi there!

This is a somewhat fictitious piece that pretty much summarizes my journey with each book I read.

In case you're a regular reader of my blog, you'd surely know how I really enjoy reading books! 

If you want to make me happy, just give me loads and loads of books! I'll sit there, happily reading and not giving a damn about the rest of the world. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and do share any experiences of yours in the comments' section! 

My Bookshelf - circa 2013 

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love, 

Archie <3 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Truth Is, We All (Mis)understand Each Other Very Well

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that misunderstandings are sure to make a grand mess out of things.”
- From the ultimate classic novel on misunderstandings, Pride and Prejudice
You know what’s the root cause of the most destructive wars and disputes?


You know, the time when you say X and the other person interprets it as Y and then they botch things up until everything is broken beyond repair.

The saddest part is, there is no way of knowing that misunderstandings are about to happen. There are no formulas, no reconciliation statements, nothing.

There’s no way you get an alert on your phone or mail, saying, “MISSION ABORT! MISSION ABORT! THIS PERSON THINKS YOU ARE CONVEYING EVERYTHING IN THE WRONG WAY!”

Misunderstandings, to put it simply, are like rising volcanoes. There’s no process, no system. Boom! They just happen.

And you know what the worst part is?

You really cannot control how the other person chooses to interpret your actions. You really have no way whatsoever to read their minds and then tell them, “Oh, no, no, no! I didn’t mean it that way, buddy. Hear me out!”

The harshest truth is, people will only interpret what they want to see. No matter how rational/objective they claim themselves to be, they will perceive things the way they want to perceive it as.

And this truth, my dear reader, I really learned it the hard way this year.


Generally, I go with the assumption that I’m affable as a person.

I won’t go ahead and boast that people are attracted to me because I exude an aura of extreme magnetism and I look so helpful and kind.

(No, if I say that, I’d cringe at myself)

But on a general basis, I don’t pick up people’s flaws and let my prior judgment influence the way I treat people.

Sure, there are people that I’ve had horrible skirmishes with people I just can’t get along. But even those bitter relationships are based on clear-cut incidents, no misunderstandings involved.

However, a couple of months back, I had some of my bitterest, harshest fights with some people because they misunderstood my actions and because I misunderstood theirs.

If not fights, I got to know from third party friends that a couple of individuals have a capital P problem with me.

And the worst part is, these people who have a bone to pick with me, didn’t even bother to tell me about it.

Previously, for every third person, I’d ask, “Please tell me if you have any issues with me or my conduct, we can resolve this and make everything go happily ever after!”

The stupidest part was?

I’d ask them about a 100 times if they’d have a problem with me.

And they’d constantly say, “Good God, no, we don’t have a problem with you!”

But after hearing about the views of these “dislikers”, something inside me completely snapped.

By snapped, I don’t mean I turned into Carrie from that Stephen King novel and went batshit crazy on all those people who wronged me.

By snapped, I mean, I felt a lot of things at once.

There was disbelief – hazy, grey shock that a person really deeply disliked me.

There was hurt – white hot pain that after investing so much positive energy into keeping every relationship alive, I was considered as not being worthy enough to be friends with.

There was disorientation – dark, stormy clouds of disillusionment decking all over me, lined with questions like, “Is it worth trusting anybody at all?”

A while later, as I brightly went on with my life in the day and darkly pondered over it in the night, a small voice in my head whispered, “Damn, no matter what happens, no matter how much you beseech for resolving issues, some people are bound to dislike you, darling.”

And the truth is?

This voice was a hundred and ten percent correct.

No matter if I revamped myself into the modern day Mother Teresa, some people would just choose to hate me. They wouldn’t give two cahoots if I chopped my hand off just to make them happy.

Because when people decide to hate somebody for good, they just hate them. There’s no love involved at all.


A close friend of mine keeps telling me lately, “Every bad incident that happens to you, you have to learn from it. You can’t be bitter about it.”

You know, from the story I told you about, I don’t mean to victimize myself and paint myself as the poor little good girl. I really don’t want to do that.

What I really want to do is: learn.

In these issues, there could be a high chance that I have faults of my own that I need to correct upon. 

So, from whatever I know as a result of what I’ve heard from these issues, I am trying to work on those flaws and be a better person.

And what I’ve also concluded from this is: ask the other person, at the most three times, if he/she has issues with me.

If they say it and are willing to resolve it, then it’s completely fine.

If they don’t say it and if I continue to get the vibes that they have issues with me, I am just going to stay quiet about it and do my thing.

There’s no point for me to constantly make myself sick with worry and think about how my actions will be perceived.

I extended the hand from my end. It’s now up to the other person to resolve the misunderstanding.

And I’ll strive to think that the other person is just another human being and not a Dark, Dark Villian in my life and I’ll not consciously try to make the other individual magically like me again.

It is easy to just go, “Oh, that person hates me!” and then hate them till the point that the relationship is broken beyond repair. Heck, even I’ve done this many times and I’m not proud of it.

But in order to combat these misunderstandings resolve them, it’s really imperative to see the person opposite you as a person and not an opponent.

Because it’s when you see their point of view, you’d understand where you went wrong and then, you grow.

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Gigantic Terror Called Public Speaking

Today's one of those days,
When you've forgotten everything,
That you'd memorized all night long,
You're worried that everything would go wrong; 

Today's one of those days,
When you'd rather stay in a cage,
With a poisonous, ominous snake, 
Than stand in front of dozens on a stage;

Around you, are people lounging about,
As cool as cucumbers,
And here you are -
Crippled with fear, struggling to remember; 

A shaky breath you take,
Pursue your lips, toss you hair,
Trying so hard to fake,
That you're an undaunted winner;

But all that false bravado falls,
When you see the first contender,
Enters the podium,
Clears his throat and stands tall; 

And then anxiety slithers in back,
Like a poisonous python,
Wrapping around you,
Making your insides go slack;

You see the first contender talk,
With flamboyant gestures, incredible voice modulation;
Seeing the audience,
It's sure he's won the adulation; 

And then, here you are,
Still trying to calm down,
Your thoughts running like a wild horse,
Taking you away from reality far;

Suddenly, a clear piercing voice,
Shouts aloud your name;
It's time - you have no choice,
But to win this game;

Shaking fingers, thudding heart,
You step onto the dais,
Blink at the owl-like eyes staring at you;
Oh, you don't know where to start!

Then you close your eyes,
Let the fear sink in;
Then let it go,
And, without any rancor, begin;

As you continue to speak,
All your paranoia,
Of turning into a freak,
Slowly ebb away;

You care anymore not,
About rotting tomatoes pelted your way,
All that matters is,
With your soul, you say what you want to say;

Then, once you're done,
You give out your toothiest smile,
And feel much more happier,
Than you've been in a while;
Trust me, more than anything else,
That heady rush of satisfaction is really worthwhile!


Aloha there, dear reader!

Ol' Archie is back in town after a three month long hiatus!

The thing was, a lot of stuff came my way. From exams to courses, from college clubs to the new academic year's excitement, I was totally busy.

And of course, how can we forget the momentary attack of writer's block that I got again! 

So, I'm back now, sitting in front of my laptop and talking about one of the things I really enjoy doing (and at times find completely terrifying!) - public speaking! 

Yep, public speaking. Standing in front of a dozens of people and talking as if you own the room public speaking! 

I don't know why, but I've always had a love-hate relationship with it!

Whenever any opportunity for speaking in public comes up (like a debate or speech or just mere promotions for events in college), I am both excited and terrified.  

I'm excited because, "Hey, I'm going to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something that scares the living daylights out of me!"

But I'm scared because, "Oh shit, what if I do something really bad? What if I botch up?" 

However, all in all, I enjoy the whole process because it literally involves putting yourself out there and going, "Hey there! Here I am, displaying my flaws and beauty in its entirety! Judge me for all I care, but I'm not going to be daunted! I will say what I want to say." 

Of course, the jitters before you put that attitude on are horrible.

Ah well, it's worth it though. 

I think I'd better leave now, dear reader! 

There's a lot I need to catch up on!

I hope to hear from you soon!

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Hypocrites That Are "Feminists"

When you take the effort to Google the word feminism, the definition, “Feminism is a movement to uplift women to same level as that of men” is sure to crop up.

And I’m very sure, the first question that’ll pop in your mind is, “Hey, isn’t feminism the same as equality, then? Then why is it called feminism? Why isn’t it called equality, instead?”

This is because, my dear reader, women haven’t reached the same level of equality as that of men. Which is why, it is called feminism.

When the movement kicked off in the 20th century, feminism seemed like the ultimate concept for female liberation — bra burning, not adhering to the standards mandated by the society… Ah, these rebellious ideas seemed so cool, so thrilling, eh?

But now-a-days, feminism isn’t about equality anymore.

It’s become this fashionable word that so many people wish to associate themselves with, just because they happen to be under the misguided notion that women are superior to men and also because they want to feel intelligent and oh-so-evolved from the rest of the masses.

Do these “feminists” actually care about equality?

Nah, trivial matters like equality aren’t of importance when it comes to these extraordinarily mature feminists.

You know what matters to them?

Creating a huge fuss over incessant issues under the giant umbrella that is called feminism.

Case in point: Emma Watson’s posing for a magazine’s cover shoot, dressed "inappropriately” 

When Emma Watson posed for Vanity Fair, little did she know that she would receive severe backlash just because of what she wore!

Emma Watson, who strongly campaigned for the core essence of feminism (#HeForShe, remember?), was slammed by many for not being modestly dressed and being a hypocrite!

Isn’t the core of feminism about having the freedom to present yourself the way you want to be presented? Is it always mandatory that feminism has to be about not wearing bras and being frumpy all the time?

If these are the standards dictated by the so-called evolved “feminists”, what is even the difference between them and the conventional societal norms?


Another aspect I’ve observed in these self-proclaimed “feminists” is the fact that they expect their men to do everything for them, treat them specially.

I have literally heard some of these feminists say, “Oh, I am a feminist. I expect my husband to treat me well and to listen to everything I say.”

Did these brilliant feminists say, “I’d like to treat my husband as well as he treats me and listen to him the way he listens to me.”?

That would be a big fat N-O.

Oh, dear reader, when I heard those misandristic sentences from those evolved feminists, I literally stormed out of the room to control myself from lashing out.

Now, there would be someone  who’d say, “Oh, but women have worked so much for so many years. Don’t they deserve to rest and let the men care for them?”

My answer to that is another big fat N-O.


If women work for their livelihood and let men do the housework, then it would just kick off the same cycle in reverse.

Hundred-two hundred years down the line, a movement called meninism will kick off.
And this meninism is not the current bullshit misogynistic movement, but a movement that’s a replica of feminism, only with the aim to uplift the men to the same level as that of women.

So tell me, what difference would it make, really?

Instead of one gender taking the load off the other, wouldn’t it be more prudent that both the genders divide their work and duties equally, based on what each gender is good at and maintain an equilibrium?

For example, in a married couple where both the genders are working, they can distribute their workload at home equally (and based on what each gender is good at). And instead of one person looking after the other, both can look out for each other and treat each other as special.

I know it sounds rather idealistic but isn’t this method better than whining to create the same age-old cycle-for-gender-equality-stuggle all over again?


And last (but the most burning one, lately): double standards.

Now-a-days, a lot of “feminists” think it’s hunky dory for them to make the same mistakes as their male counterparts. And if their male counterparts do it, they’ll not act hunky dory.

Instead, all hell will break loose.

Like, the other day, one of my friends showed me an article regarding “I Cheated On My Husband and I’m Not Sorry” or something like that.

Now tell me, why are you not sorry for cheating on your husband? Why are you not sorry for breaking a bond that you (hopefully, if you are a sane human being) thought through at length? Why are you not sorry for putting your husband through hell after he spent so much time loving you?

Infidelity is a big, big mistake.

It doesn’t matter what your gender is.

If you’re a man who cheated on your wife, you have to be accountable for it. Same goes for a woman: if you’re a woman who cheated on your husband, you’re accountable for it.

I know, the society is harsher towards cheating wives than cheating husbands. But if you made a mistake, you are accountable for it, there are no in-betweens.


Ultimately, feminism is about the power of choice.

It isn’t a movement where women are considered better than men and are ‘pressured to do things which men only can do.”

It is a movement where every human being, regardless of what gender he/she belongs to, gets to have the right to choose to lead the life they want to lead.

If only these hypocritical self-proclaimed feminists, would realise that, then it would do a great service to the rest of the world and it would stop tainting the image of the whole feminism movement.

With this, I say goodbye, with hopes of a better gender-equality-positive world.

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Balloon Theory


Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking

Now don't you dare to say - oh, Archie, but don't you always think

You should instead ask, "What exactly are you thinking, Archie?" 

Well, I've been brainstorming a lot over happiness. How our own happiness is often not dictated by us, but by a lot of other materialistic things and... people

I mean, think about it.

Like, some of us will only be happy if we do an internship/get a job at a big Fortune 500 company. Some of us will be only happy if we take up something that gives us prestige. Some of us will be only happy if we run away from our current environment to some place unknown and start anew. 

Oh, and the most glaring example of all: Some of us will be only happy if we have the person that we love the most. 

What's most common in these situations is the fact that we are latching our happiness not to us, but to something else - the loss of which, would make us unhappy. 

If our internship with that big company ends, we become sad. If we get fired from that Fortune 500 job, we become upset. If we end our leadership term that gives us prestige ends (or worse, is taken away), we become morose. If we run away to some place and are forced to come back, we become mopey and wistful. 

The worst of all: if we lose that person we love the most, we become devastated.

Why this sadness? 

It's because our reason to stay happy isn't to have that emotion of happiness for a continued period of time. Our reason for happiness is based on a myriad of other emotions - pride, love, arrogance. 

Image result for balloon tumblrIf you think about it, our happiness is like a balloon. It's a bright, shining balloon that often gets tied to different things, emotions and people.

At the beginning, these things/emotions/people only inflate your happiness by blowing more air into your balloon. 

And then...

Suddenly, before you even realize it, they release the air by untying the balloon's knot - or even worse, making the balloon burst suddenly and spectacularly. 

After that, my dear reader, you're left all alone and are dying in abject agony. 


So the whole point of my spiel is this: is it really worth it to make other factors a focal point of your happiness? Is it really worth getting all these laurels and all these people in your life if you're not truly happy?

Wouldn't it be much better if you tied your balloon of happiness to yourself and nurtured your happiness for simply being happy? Wouldn't this self-love make your life a much simpler and healthier space?

Think about it. 

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3 

Sunday, January 29, 2017


One, two, three,
The verdict's out,
And you are free,
From the anticipation of anxiety;

But it's not what you'd hoped,
And you're now left to cope -
With a loss,
Of the greatest magnitude;

At first, you see not the pitying stares,
You hear not the words of comfort;
You only feel,
Absolute emptiness; 

After a while,
The reality sinks in,
You - who had the most radiant of smiles -
Finally break down and cry;

You despair, 
Over how miserably you've fared; 
You blame the entire universe -
For conspiring against you; 

Then your mind begins to feed,
You with fierce, formidable fears,
Of not being able to succeed,
In the task you just miserably failed in; 

Then a while later,
You realize,
That time is a prize,
A treasure not intended to be wasted,
On wasted tears,
Or irrational fears;

Slowly, you rise,
Shakily at first,
Then growing firmer,
As you take the next steps;

Then, without looking back,
You give your all -
Hard work, passion and grit,
To see that you finally get what you've always wanted; 

And then in the end,
The verdict's finally out,
And you are free,
From the anticipation of anxiety;

But it's better than what you'd hoped,
And you're now left to cope -
With a victory,
Filled with greatest joy,
And a deepest sense,
Of utmost satisfaction; 


Well, it's already a month into the New Year and you (probably, if you follow my blog regularly) must be wondering, "Why hasn't Archie updated her blog with a '16 Things I Learned In 2016'?"

So, after a lot of contemplation and musings, I decided to write about the most important lesson I'd learnt last year - failure. 

Last year, a lot of my friends couldn't clear an important competitive exam after nine freaking months of slogging. And mind you, these people were some of the most brilliant classmates I've ever had.

To see their dejected faces and sense of disorientation made me really, really unhappy

And then, in November, when I was in Germany, I came to know that I'd flunked one of my extra course's exams and that's when the sense of failure really, really, really hit me. 

But somehow, instead of moping around, I got to know about the next exam dates and I started prepping up for it.

Deep down, I was terrified about the exam. There were times when I thought, "Oh why the hell am I doing this now? What if I fail? Again?" 

Yet, a bigger part of me was, "Wait, you've loved this language since a pretty long time, haven't you? You've spent hours and hours learning it, haven't you? Then what's stopping you NOW?" 

With these mixed emotions, I gave the exam and...


So, all in all, I'd like to say this:

Failure is horrible. It's scary and when it happens to you, you feel like you've been punched really badly in the stomach and you feel like the entire universe is conspiring against you.

But that doesn't mean you have to be DEFINED by it. 

After you've licked your wounds, you have to get up, work your ass off and know what you're made of. 

And believe me, a girl who's had to face endless rejections and bombed auditions, failure is only going to make you bounce back higher and higher. 

So do not let your failure dictate your entire being. Stand up, work a hundred times harder and finally, you'll get what you've always wanted.

So in conclusion, I'd like to wish y'all a very happy New Year! Have a fantastically fantastic year ahead! Don't get bogged down by failures and keep - well, what else can I say? - hustling! 

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On Finally Going To Deutschland

 Pehli baar ek hi baar aata hai! (The 'first time' experience comes only once in your life) - Amitabh Bachchan in English Vinglish 
The first thing that would come to your mind is: 

Why is Archie (who's been a very tardy blogger lately) beginning this blog post with a very oh-so-filmy quote? 

Well, it's because I (finally) got a chance to go to Germany for a radio project after endless days of dreaming, wishing, hoping and despairing.

Which is also why I haven't been a very regular updater of this blog. 

Also there's the fact that I've been very tardy and I feel like the content I'm coming up is shit.

Never mind that. 

The thing is, after I'd posted last, I got busy with the tickets, visa appointments and the entire packing frenzy. 

Every single day went from the constant messages with "Congratulations, dear! I'm so proud of you!" to the even more regular drilling of "It's going to be very cold in Germany, you have to wear really warm clothes - thermal innerwear, a shirt, a sweater, a scarf and a really warm jacket." 

On the eve of my departure, I was bombarded with a ton of instructions from my parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt.

"Always be in warm clothing!" My uncle, who often travels all over the word, instructed. "Always, always wear a scarf! You'll be really cold otherwise!"

"Always keep your passport safe!" My parents and grandfather hissed. "Always, always keep your passport safe! If you lose your money or your belongings, it's FINE! Your passport is your identity! If you don't have a passport, you'll be in deep trouble, young lady!"

"For once in your life, please eat the food that they give you." My grandmother said sternly. "You won't be able to have your way there, you brat!"

"Keep a spare set of clothes and toiletries in your hand luggage in case you don't get your baggage!" My aunt advised. "But most importantly, have fun."

With all these instructions weighing and the incredible amount of excitement building within me, I went to sleep that night. 

On 29th October, the day I left, I literally couldn't contain my excitement. 

The fact that it was Diwali barely registered my mind. My heart was beating, Deutschland, Deutschland, Deutschland. and I kept thinking, "This is it! This is it! I'M FINALLY GOOING!"

Plus, the fact that we were travelling to Munich via Helsinki, Finland was all the more exciting.

The beautiful yet cozy Helsinki airport
Because let's face it: Helsinki - as beautiful as it is - is a pretty rare destination for Indians - who only have the topic of foreign countries restricted to the main hubs in central Europe, the US, Australia and the trio of Singapore-Thailand-Malaysia.

Helsinki at its finest! <3
But when I arrived at Munich airport, a day later, I really wasn't feeling that... hunky dory.

Oh, no, no! It wasn't the traditional, "I'm halfway across the world and I'm going to miss my family!"

It was the fact that I was having this strong urge to...

Throw up.

Although I would love to endlessly describe the thoughts I had while I was nauseated, I really don't want to gross you out and tell you, clear and simple - Yes, I did throw up all over my garish sweater.

Did I feel better?

Not much, honestly.

Even afterwards, as we were on the way to the hostel in Possenhofen, I couldn't quite muster up the excitement that was evident on everyone's faces.

The only time I got a bit excited was when I saw this:

Yup, the famous Allianz Arena - all shaky thanks to my shivering fingers
Then, as we reached, we were immediately assigned with our roommates. After the initial rounds of Hi-Helloing with my roommates, I rushed to take a long, hot bath. Once I'd doused myself in the warm water, I finally felt like a human being, not the zombie I was since I'd retched.

Later, we had to go to the Seminar room downstairs for our 'Icebreaking Session'. This involved randomly chatting with one person, chatting about each others' lives and then introducing each other in front of everyone else.

Yes, it does sound a bit daunting.

But in all honesty, it was a lot of fun! We really got over the initial awkwardness, got to know all the general things about each other and by the end of the session, we were comfortable enough to start working with each other.

From the next morning, the main workshops began.

Every day, in the workshops, we were first given a background on what radio journalism is about. After which, we were assigned with tasks, that involved experimenting with radios. One day, it would be simply reading a transcript in front of the microphone or it would be conducting surveys with all the Germans in the vicinity of the hostel and in the village. On another day, it would be conducting interviews and then we were introduced to the basics of sound mixing.

Personally speaking, I really enjoyed the workshops. It helped me to be comfortable in speaking coolly in a language that wasn't my native one. Moreover, it also made me be more confident in interacting with people who I hardly knew before.

So by the time the last day - the Sightseeing Day - rolled in, I felt more self-assured than what I'd felt in years.

On this day, we went to visit the Radio Station Gong and got a first-hand experience of the dynamic, fast-paced working atmosphere there.

We were shown how they constructed radio programs, the importance of advertisements and how they run their entire program. In the end, we got a chance to ask questions and damn, that was an informative session!

Thought I'd better take this pic of Beyonce 'coz she's the Queen B, right?

After the Radio Station visit, we got a chance to move around Munich. We were split into groups based on our preference for places.

I was one of those who went to the Frauenkirche (literally: the church for women, reality: anybody can go in).

When I stepped inside, I realised that this church was one of the most beautiful places I'd been to.

It was a majestic room filled with delicate candelabras, intricately created statues and richly-made paintings. At one corner, there was a table (sort of) filled with candles in the honour of the dead. And at another corner, there was the tomb of a revered priest.

Can't you SEE how detailed it is?
The candles lit in the memory of the dead. Some people were actually insensitive enough to take photos of themselves lighting the candle. I mean, who even does that?
The tomb - which is often used as a photo opportunity by many tourists.
Once we stepped out of the Kirche, we were free to roam around wherever we liked in Marienplatz.


The Rathaus - The Main Government Building

The Spielzeug Museum

The Famous Galleria Kaufhof/Kaufhaus
Marienplatz <3
But you know what the best part about the whole trip was, dear reader?

I got to meet really amazing people, from starkly different cultures, out of which, I made some really close friends (just in a matter of the week).

At first, it was a bit awkward. Because hey, we're all so different and how would we manage to overcome the said differences so fast?

Yet, by the end of the week, (as cheesy as it sounds), we'd become this close-knit family.

It was because, everyday after the workshops, all of us used to gather together and decide what we'd do for the evening.

Sometimes, we would go to the breathtakingly beautiful lake nearby and click a crazy amount of photos there.
Can you see the Alps in the background?

Don't jump, or else the swan will bite you!

Aand here I am, channeling my Khatron Ke Khiladi spirit
And the other times, all of us would gather in the seminar room and play a lot of different German, Austrian and Indian games. Once, we were in a wicked mood, we decided to tell each other ghost stories.

It's another story that I barely could sleep that night and I had to read pages of Princess Diaries to get myself over the paranoia.

All in all, I would say that the whole trip was a wonderful experience. I loved every bit of it, especially the lessons I'd learnt to the friends I'd made and the feeling of responsibility I had over my things.

I guess the best lesson I'd learned was this:

Even you don't get the thing you desire, don't worry! If it's in your fate, it will definitely come to you.

As preachy as it may sound, dear reader, but never, ever lose hope. Sure, things might seem a bit hard at the moment, but don't feel dejected all the time. You will always get what you deeply, deeply want, as long as you work hard for it.

(If it's the end of the world, then shut up, you idiot. What you need is an appointment with a psychiatrist)

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3

P.S. Sorry for the long post! :/

Monday, October 17, 2016

Here's Who You'll Meet When You're A Part Of A Club In Your College

Dear reader, in a quest to dare to do something different, I decided to immerse myself in the college extracurricular activities. 

This involved volunteering for the college festivals, participating in oratory competitions (including a mentally scarring debate debacle) and of course, college clubs. 

My college, being the 76-year-old establishment that is, houses about 40-50 odd clubs (or forums, as we say here) and in these past two years, I've worked for around 3-5 of them. 

There are many reasons why clubs are really helpful.

For one, you really get to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do things that challenge you. Secondly, you get to work on your soft skills and learn how to manage your time/tasks efficiently. 

The third and the most important reason why clubs are really beneficial is because you meet people. Loads of them. 

And this post, dear reader, is exactly about those people. 

So without further ado, let's begin, shall we?

1. The Wise Owls 

If your club even has one wise owl, you're sorted. Seriously. 

The Wise Owls are members who have had an extremely enriching experience in handling club activities. They are the ones who know everything.

By everything, I mean EVERY SINGLE THING. 

Which authority are we supposed to approach? They'll take you to those authorities along with them. 

What are the ways to promote a new activity? They'll be the ones who'll come up with the smartest strategies. 

What if a crisis comes while you're conducting the said club activity? Don't worry at all! These wise owls will see to it that the crisis is smoothly averted! 

Like one person (actually me) wisely said, "Blessed are those who have a wise owl guiding them towards enlightenment." 

2. The Incredible Dependables 

The Incredible Dependables (pardon the new word coined) are those people who you can have sheer blind faith in. 

You know why? It's because they're THAT dependable and awesome. 

They are enthusiastic, supremely creative and you know, you just know - they are going to make it big with their sheer zest for life.

They'll be one of the first ones to finish a task and one of the people who'll wait back till the very end until everything is sorted. 

3. The Inspiring Demigods

This type of member is as rare and exclusive as its name. 

The Inspiring Demigods are those who literally work ten times harder than you and work for almost every single forum out there, with incredible amount of enthusiasm for each activity. 

The best part about these demigods is the fact that they are very down-to-earth and approachable. They aren't going to turn up their noses when they see you fumbling. They are actually empathetic and they really do help you out. 

In a way, you could say they're this fine hybrid of the Wise Owls and the Incredible Dependables. 

Which is why, they are pretty freaking terrific.

4. The Know-It-Alls-Who-Don't-Know-At-Alls

Now, at this point in my article, I'd like to divert your focus to the "not-so-happening" people, beginning with the know-it-alls-who-don't-know-at-alls. 

These people are the ones who attend the club meetings once in a blue moon and they come only for a very few events.

Instead of being wholly enthusiastic, they are the ones with the maximum amount of problems. 

They'll be quick to point out, "This isn't right! I'd said something but nobody gave a damn about me!" 

Now tell me, how are we supposed to give a damn about your opinion, if you're just sitting in one corner and being so negative, instead of, you know, ACTUALLY HELPING OUT?!

But then again, these people are still helpful because they make you work extra harder on the "flaws" and improve the way your club's run. 

5. The Mercurial Hotheads 

It is common knowledge that whenever you're participating in any activity, there is a high chance that you are going to come across people that are... 

Very mercurial

One minute, they are absolutely hunky dory. The next, they start sprouting fangs and yelling their heads off at you and leave you wondering, "Is there something wrong with them?" 

And then when you're contemplating to throw them into a mental asylum, they start behaving normally again.

Keeping their moodiness aside, the Mercurial Hotheads I've gotten to work with are some of the coolest people ever. Moreover, working with them has made me try to present my arguments in a much better manner. 

6. The Queens/Kings Of Paranoia 

To put it simply, they are the Meena Kumaris of the club. 

They are the ones who constantly keep worrying, fretting and desperately hoping that things would go well. Even the slightest disorder can be equal to a devastating natural disaster. 

So, a word of advice: tread a bit carefully around them. Otherwise, you'd end up getting a first-hand experience of the human personification of Niagara Falls. 

7. The Indignant Lazy Bums

You know the pinky-pinky hippopotamuses who loll around lazily until they get provoked all of a sudden and become batshit crazy? 

That's how the Indignant Lazy Bums are. 

You'd rather expect pigs to start flying rather than expecting a Lazy Bum to work. You'd rather expect Martians to land on earth and end up creating their colonies here than expect the Lazy Bum to work. Hell, you'd rather expect Kim Kardashian to end up becoming a nun than expect the Lazy Bums to work. 

But when you even do something as hint that the Lazy Bum hasn't been working, then - 

One. Two. Three. 


And so it goes on. The Lazy Bum, who's never as much as lifted a finger to help the rest of the slogging club members, talks about all the 'hard work' he/she has put in and how it is a gross injustice on your part to question that hardwork so 'callously. 

After which, you think, "Wow, it would have been soo much better to have kept my mouth shut." 


With this, I sum up my strange observations in the 'club culture'. I hope you could relate to any one of the types mentioned above and I really hope you liked it! 

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3