Running away

As we lay on the carpeted floor of my mom’s office, I knew I was preparing to run.

Things had suddenly gone bad. The story starts with my father, Peter Kupeh. He loves his job at Knox, Inc, a metal company. He is a math guy responsible for producing the metals and keeping the inventory flowing. My mom, Zalia Kupeh, who is at the moment five months pregnant, is a publicist the company hires once in a while.

Something went wrong and they decided to destroy the production plans of a new metal product. They had my 7 year old brother, Yatii, take a look at it and changed up the numbers in the production system. Yatii has photographic memory. This happened last night and there was a huge fire at the factory. Both of us have been on my mom’s office floor since then. Security has been too vigilant to leave without causing suspicion.

It is my job to keep Yatii safe. The company doesn’t suspect my parents yet, but they need us out of the building. As we lie of the floor of my mother’s office while she pretends to make some calls. My dad comes in, lies down with us and talks to us.

“Marzia, take Yatii to your uncle’s house. He will keep you safe. Wait there till tomorrow and head out to camp. I will find you there. Here is some money. Do not use your cards. Fish in the lake and use the garden for food. Leave a note for me in our secret place and we will find you. I need to stay with your mom for now. Okay?

“Uncle. Camp. Keep it cheap. Got it.”

“Out. Now. Walk casually so no one notices. If someone follows you, run. We love you.”

I smiled at Yatii and reached out for his hand. I pulled him up and winked at mom, who mouthed “I love you.” at us. We walked out of the room.

Yatii whispered, “I’m scared.”

“Have I ever told you about the Grimlins?” He knows I make stuff up for him all the time.

“No.”

“If you pretend you can’t see them, they can’t see you.”

“Wow. Really?”

“Yup. Bravery keeps you safe.”

“Can we pretend there are Grimlins here right now?”

“On the count of 3. 1… 2… 3.”

His tiny figure started to look relaxed and he had a tiny smile on his face. We talked of school and things as we walked out of the building. I have to admit my heart was pounding and my eyes darted around looking for people following us. But Yatti sold it. He is a super hero.

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Salman Khan was on Koffee with Karan and I thought about it

Salman Khan was on the season premiere of ‘Koffee with Karan’ and it was amazing.

He was really real.

1-sallu

He made Karan Johar squirm. It was fulfilling.

photo

Salman Khan’s real-ness did not match the distanced frilly energy of Karan Johar. Here is a graph that measures shallowness through the show.

photo (3)

I like him.

photo (4)

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My earliest memory

To be honest, it’s either this or another one where my mom thought I had kicked my brother when I really hadn’t. But that’s another story. Let’s pretend my earliest memory is this one.

I am sitting in school, and the teacher says, “Try to do something different today.” In retrospect, I realize what a great teacher this was to teach this lesson to kids. Then she turns around, and waves her hand vigorously behind her back. “Hello?” She questioned, trying to shake someones hand like that. And the class giggles. Then she folds her hands behind her back and says formally, “Namaste.” Giggles again.

My three year old mind was deligh-ideas-matter-ted, and this stayed with me. I practiced in the loos of my life, waving and folding hands behind my back. Giggling and feeling clever. But I did not do this in front of people. To be in the center of so much attention was not something I could process yet. But I did care about my parents’ attention, and I wanted the moment of my performance to be perfect.

After a couple of weeks, my dad announced he was going out of town on work. I was thrilllled!! Here was my opportunity to show them what a funny delightful daughter I was.

Doubles practice. Mom questions why I am going to the loo so much. Makes excuse of playing with water.

The day arrives, and my mom invites me to walk Dad down to the auto. I refuse and rush to the balcony to back-wave at him. On tiptoe, I watch Dad get on the auto, then turn around, tiptoe and wave and wave. Then, it hit me. I was too damn short. Even if my dad did look up, he probably only saw the top of my head. So my earliest memory of being different, is also my earliest lesson in not to be a dumb ass.

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I am re-grieving the end of harry potter

I’ve never met another person who loved Harry Potter that I’ve hated. We are a type. For better or for worse, we are a type. We are potter-hippies who would hold hands and flash cell phones, swaying side to side, in a very weird potter reading concert. We always have common ground and we already love something about each other. We get along.

 

 

Potter fans are not afraid to hold their head high when non-lovers make fun of us. We will be 20-30-60 year olds, walking around with a HP book when we felt like it. We look at our books longingly and pretend to be back when we didn’t know those words by heart. We remember standing in line. We remember the blur of the days after, when nothing else mattered. A fire alarm could have gone off and we would run with our finger squished in the book marking where we had stopped reading. Out of the building, we would be walking and reading, following our family’s voices for direction. We vicariously live through our children, reading the books to them, trying to recapture the first time. We secretly pray our unborn children will love HP and wonder how we will deal if they didn’t.

Harry Potter fans feel pain and pangs over the loss. We read other books and love them but never love them quite enough. We touch our books fondly, remembering our favorite bits, how we felt and the people we shared that feeling with. We pick up a HP book, intending to flip through it casually for 5 minutes and lose our entire weekend to it. We devour pottermore to suck in every extra story Rowling lets out. You love her for writing it and forgive her for stopping.

Finishing a book you love is like moving to a new city and leaving all your friends behind. You know you can always visit but things are never going to be the same. You wonder if the years will change both of you and you hope a part of it never does.

Hey potter fan, I am re-grieving the end of Harry Potter and I knew you’d understand.

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Things I believe Adults should have figured out but I have failed

a.k.a Third world problems

1. Laundry
My laundry is like a growing baby. It puts on weight at a rapid pace and it is never coming down. I should have a game plan how to battle this monstrosity, but have been winging it. Needless to say, I have failed. As I type this, the bottom drawer of my dresser is filled with laundry and there is a pile near it. The rest of the room is clean, so mini-win. But no. I. must. not. squalor.

2. When to carry out trash
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not living in a hoarder-esque environment. I know very well when something is trash that I need to get rid of it. I just haven’t figured out how full is full enough in the trash-can before I take it out. This causes needless stress while I gauge.

3. Sleeping at a regular hour
My bed time varies between 10PM to 4AM. I’m still on college sleep clock. Some days are amazing. I wake up, get a cup of coffee, plan my day and am revving to go. Other days, I run out the door while frantically smoothing down my hair.

4. Planning my meals ahead
I wish I could come home and open my fridge and find a labeled container of healthy delicious food, complete with a mini-salad, fruits, nuts and a light main course. See how good my intentions are? I’ve made this happen a handful of times. The other times, my tummy rumbles, I get up and hunt down whatever I can find. Other days, I ignore my rumbles and let out the food monster, a crazed vengeful creature that will go out into the world and hunt down cheese.

5. Calling relatives on occasions
I really do mean to. I am fond of you. But I haven’t yet kept up with all the stuff we celebrate in our family. Sometimes my parents remind me to call and I think yes, I will be awesome and loving; and give you that call. But then I don’t because you know, the phone suddenly feels so heavy with the weight of the number of calls I have to make.

6. Gynecologist meetings
The idea of that duck like thing touching me makes me nervous. I will willingly sign anesthesia paperwork. If only that were legal.

7. Driving on a regular basis
“As bad-ass as I am on go-carts…”, she says, making an excuse for her incompetence. But I do love to drive. So this is should be easier to fix.

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An in-depth explanation on why talking about Rape Culture is important.

Rethink the Rant

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”

Rape culture is when a group…

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Amy Poehler, How I love thee

This post is about my unconditional, innate, will-hit-you-if-you-even-try-to-convince-me-otherwise, belief that Amy Poehler and I would be friends if we met. My situation humor would fit in perfectly with her creative comedy, my supportive audience would complement her theatrics and she will love me back.

Amy Poehler is one part to the comedy cupcake baked to perfection at SNL. There are more women but then this post would never end.

How hot is this picture?? image source

Her humor is a mixture of warmth and self deprecation that is hard to not relate to. She could be making fun of you and you would join in and crack up because you feel safe with Amy. Unless of course you’re Taylor Swift and your funny bone has been surgically removed.

She is unafraid to get down and dirty. This video of her as Andy’s little sister who is in love with Conan O’Brien will change your life. There are more of it. Find them.

Also, she played this mom character in Mean Girls. Hilarious.

I’m a cool mom. source

Amy’s a real person. I know I’m younger than her and not really in a position to judge, but when Amy Poehler talks, I can identify human thoughts making human sense caring about fellow humans.

In a world where this exists,

we need Amy Poehler who is part of Smart Girls, a youtube channel to inspire intelligence and thoughtfulness in women. She has a series called ‘Ask Amy‘ where she answers viewer’s questions on life. Her advice is practical, full of baby steps, understanding and encouragement. This video of her talking about moving to a new town is my favorite.

Did you see her son at the end there? Did we talk about how she’s also a mom?

Her laugh.

How the people around her talk about her. Watch the video on this page, to see Seth Meyers answer earnestly a viewer’s question on the phone about Amy Poehler only to find out its Amy Poehler herself on the other end.

Her show Parks and Recreation is a winner. I watch every second with relish.

What had to be said, had to be said. But what I love most about her is that she does not sit in any molds. She’s blonde and smart, weird looking and sexy, insane and honest, and independent while knowing when to hold somebody’s hand.

Amy Poehler for President. No. Not really. You know what I mean.

Also, this.

source

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Dating and me

P.S. This post was also published over on talkingcranes.com. Thank you to the wonderful ladies plugging away over there and my mom, for making it happen. The article is here if you want to check it out. Thanks 🙂

 

As a woman of better times, I am in uncharted territories of being educated, independent and supported by my family. I can do what I want which means I can marry who I want.

There’s just one problem. I feel unprepared to look for that someone. Sometimes it feels like this is my own failing, at other moments I feel the disconnect between my generation and the one that came before me. The hope is to go out, meet someone and decide they are the one, without any real know-how on identifying potential mates.

Yeesh…help… image source

Growing up in India, the odds are against my parents allowing me to date as a teenager. With obvious perils of teenage stupidity like pregnancy and STD s, social stigma, plans of future arranged marriages and news of attacks on women, I get why it is the way it is. But I do feel like there has been a lost opportunity to learn to navigate around the opposite sex under their protection and guidance.

Here is a list of things I wish I learnt young.

  1. Don’t put off love for when you are ‘grown up’. No matter how old you get you don’t really ever feel ready.
  2. Don’t make a habit of waiting for tomorrow to make a move on someone you like. When your insecurities creep in, count to 10 and do it.
  3. Rebel kindly. Talk to mom and dad about love life even if they get uneasy/mad. It gets easier with time to keep them in the loop.
  4. Don’t take your body too seriously. It’s changing constantly and waiting for it to be perfect to fall in love is fighting a losing battle.
  5. It’s OK to play it up a little for attention. Don’t venture into douche territories.
  6. When you like someone, don’t look at the floor and hope no one notices. Straighten up and flash that person a smile.
  7. Remember to check in. Ask them how they’re doing. When you have nothing to say, listening can be enough. 
  8. It gets easier with practice.

It’s only about ten years late.

But I like the feeling of having my life under control. Make my own mistakes and meet someone on my own terms. So I must try.

 
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@100 : It’s ok

 
@100 is a self inflicted goal to express an idea in 100 words or less. I stole borrowed this idea from the blog infinite awe, where Kate writes stories in 100 words or less. This story is inspired by my friendship with G, who writes Blueberry Nice. #foreverunclean
 
I get off the train. It has been a decade since I saw my best friend. Even though we have kept in touch over the years, the prospect of actual proximity is making me feel afraid and disconnected. “This is why we need regular eye contact”, I tell myself. With the crowd thinning, we spot each other and she moves in to give me a hug. My stomach is churning and I am acutely aware of how silly this feeling is. “This is weird”, I say into her shoulder. She giggles, grips me and makes humping moves. “Is this weirder?”

100/100

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Friendship

To my friends.

I don’t know the exact moment when we went from being friendly to being friends. When our friendship was new it felt the same day to day, but was a subtly dynamic time, adding new layers to our connection. Now your presence is more fluid to me. You are an extension of my thoughts. You are home.

Sometimes I wonder if we are close because we met when we were young and because being young comes with its dramatic struggles that make friendship seem friendlier and enmity seem worse. As I grow older, I find myself less able to connect with people this well. Maybe the reason is because I already have you and can afford to be as picky as I please. Maybe I’m just taking my time letting people in. Maybe everyone else sucks, or worse, maybe I’m an asshole and just got lucky with you.

I was narcissistic enough to think my struggles were special till I met you. The rough bits of life are worth walking through because we get to do it together.

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Being human

When someone hurts you they seem monsterly in their malice. 

Its hard to remember that they are human. It’d do us well to remember that all of us have our own sense of right and wrong, and do the best we can at different times. If someone cares that they hurt you and are sorry they did, that’s a battle half won. The other half is coming to a mutual agreement on what behavior is acceptable.

Humanize Your Monsters Today!!

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Ethics of Drinking with Friends

I’ve come up with simple rules that a person can follow to maintain code of decorum while drinking with friends. I give thanks to a friend who managed to piss me off enough by talking about unwanted-stress-causing things in the night, which inspired such an outburst.

Rule #1 : Before your first drink scan the room for a place where it is appropriate to puke and move closer with each drink.

Rule #2 : Switch off your phone. Everything can wait for tomorrow/voicemail when you go to pee.

Rule #3 : If the world is spinning, its time to stop the binge-ing.

Rule #4 : If you feel a tingle of horniness, its time to take a nap/cold shower.

Rule #5 : Thou shall not be nice to people you are mean to otherwise. It is not nice to confuse people’s emotions without warning.

Rule #6 : All public displays of affection will be kept slim. Only acts that you would be willing to bestow on everyone in the room are allowed. It’s best to keep it simple i.e. handshake, hug, slap on the back.

Rule #7 : Everything is shared. You don’t get to keep the bottle of vodka next to you. If you do, I might pee on it to taint your territory.

Rule #8 : Whiners and sympathy gainers are to be encouraged to sleep and not encouraged.

Rule #9 : God shrinks your balls every time you let your friend dance alone.

Rule #10 : Any person who treats men and women differently will be shot/given enough shots to make them pass out.

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My life is full of nuts

Old Story I found in an old mail. I wrote this to a friend to explain my evening.

I was swimming with Ma and my brother, P. It was peaceful, the whole huge pool to ourselves in the night with a breeze. I saw a frog swimming in the pool with a proper breast stroke and stopped to look at it. Ma comes over to see why I’m not swimming and she develops the crazy need to have the frog out when she finds out. Then she’s trying to throw entire areas of water out by pushing water. She instead, created a wave that the frog rode to get away from her. It was insane. The frog is paddling so hard to get away from her and I start giggling. P swims by to see what we are giggling about and I tell him there’s a frog. He stops mid stroke and leaves the pool, saying he’s not OK with swimming with frogs. He’s on the way home with mom in the pool yelling at him for not helping her get it out. Then she tried to push it to the suction cleaner thing. Murder attempt. Poor thing would get crushed. I was arguing with her saying that it’ll die and she’s fighting back saying “No no, he’ll come out on the other side.” Luckily she decided to follow P.

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To do or not to do it drunk

I wish someone would write a book and explain the ethics of being emotional when your drunk to me.

First of all, how is it that drinking brings out the real in all of us? You’d think when the brain cells are dying from the poison the brain would try to save the person by feigning normalcy instead of showing obvious signs of weakness. Or is that when the brain thinks its in danger, it wants you to have a chance at peace before you “die”.

The emotions that people show when they are drunk confuses me. I still haven’t figured out if they count. I’m no exception to this blame. I’ve taken many a swig of miracle juice to get courage to do what I want to and strip down all the fears. Knowingly surrendering my inhibitions in an attempt to figure out what I was willing to do and get into.

Does a person who acts like an asshole everyday but is perfectly tame and sweethearty when he’s drunk deserve our sympathies? If the “true” him is nice, does that make him a nice person who’s just too confused and scared to show it?

Being on the offending end, it seems alright. If I did have to do something that took courage and exposure of vulnerability, I’d rather do it drunk. Somehow its comforting knowing that you’d be too drunk to feel the pain fully. Or just knowing you wouldn’t be afraid to cry and there are only few things worse than pent up hurt.

On the defense, it seems all wrong. When someone is an asshole to me everyday and makes me angry/distant, but pulls me close and shows me vulnerability when drunk, it makes me angry. Holding back affections is so much harder than holding back anger. It feels like I’ve been subjected to cruelty. We’ve brought ourselves to a place where someone showing you they care feels cruel.

Maybe the answer is to eliminate booze and level out the playing field. Maybe our society deems drinking as bad just to level things out. Make it easier for everyone to tell good and bad. Maybe what will work is a healthy weighted average. Pick a threshold of what is acceptable overall and stick to it?

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The end of an era

I’m moving to a new city. I’m nervous and excited for all I have to find but hate saying good-bye to all I leave behind.

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