Diary of a 100 day old baby...



Day 51: Dear diary, what great 50 days it has been. I have got amma lady lunchbox attending me all 160 hours of the day, I don’t really know how many hours there are in a day, I fall asleep a lot, to keep any track of time, you see…

Day 52: Dear Diary, I had my first heartbreak today. I am no more in love with my boyfriend - the fan. We broke up. I asked him where our relationship was heading. He just went on and on in circles. Now that my heart is broken, I don’t think I will find my love again. I am going to cry myself to sleep tonight. (which is something I do every night actually)

Day 53: Diary! I have found the love of my life. He is my new boyfriend - the curtain. He talks to me and tries to reach out to me. I have learnt to coo and all my coos, oohs and aahs will be reserved for my boyfriend – the curtain. XOXO!

Day 54: Daddy Strange guy has been in and out of my life and what he lacks in skill he compensates in his eagerness to please me. All the other people in the house also do their bit. It pleases me to see such a unskilled but willing workforce work for me. 

Day 55: Daddy strange man came today and spent first 42 mins kissing me. Okay, it might be lesser, I have no idea how long a minute is. Who wants to be kissed? I want him to clean my potty. It is not going to clean itself now, is it!

Day 57: My nails are so dirty. I need a manicure. I wanted to put my fingers in my mouth the other day and almost stopped - looking at my dirty nails - But of course, I put it in my mouth anyway coz #YOLO

Day 58: Daddy guy eats my fingers every chance he gets. But he doesn’t allow me to do it. I think he’s being selfish. He wants to eat my fingers all by himself.

Day 60: Something annoying happened last night. My tummy was acting up, you know how it is, with a liquid diet… So I summoned daddy guy’s services and after 1 hour of walking me around the house, he sat down – LIKE ON A CHAIR! In the middle of taking me on the walk! I mean how dare he! I created a ruckus and he got up and started to walk again tiredly. But tell you what he is going to think 10 times the next time he wants to sit even in his office chair. #Likeaboss

Day 62: Went to a new house. Apparently daddy strange guy also had a daddy...and a mommy and a house! I am gonna call them aaji-baba, coz they asked me to. Nice chaps. Welcomed me with garlands and balloons. Why u no do this everyday?

Day 63: Amma lady gave me a manicure today. Good. I am pleased. I am having "fingers" for dessert tonight...

Day 66: Dear diary, you wouldn’t believe what I saw today! These adult humans have a window screen on which you can see people dancing and singing. Then there are car chases and fights and so much fun things. 

Day 69: Do you have those afternoon naps when you wake up and wonder what year it is? That is every nap of my life.

Day 70: Now that I have found the window, I am wondering why do we need daddy guy. I get much needed entertainment from the window screen. The feeding department is taken care by amma lady lunchbox. The caretaking by other ladies in the house. What is really Daddy guy's function in all of this I wonder!

Day 71: Travelled in a car through lots of dark holes in mountains to arrive at Daddy guy's house in Pune. These guys seem pretty well to do yaar, I wouldnt have thought he was much good for anything...

Day 72: Took a huge dump today. Like a nuclear U298 enriched dump. My room now smells like a mix of baby powder, baby lotion and rotten cabbage. #instapotty

Day 73: Diary, these humans have a day and a night! Who knew! I think night is the time to wake up and day is the time to sleep. I might be wrong… Ha! Who am I kidding, I am never wrong! #SWAG.

Day 74: Attended a wedding today, someone Amma lunchbox knows. Totally stole the bride’s thunder. #babymaid

Day 75: Was talking to my boyfriend the curtain and smiling at his flying stories when daddy guy came in the room. By mistake smiled at him. He was very happy. Next time I smile at Daddy will be when I am 13 years old and need a new dress.

Day 78: Something incredible happened today, diary. Some friends of the adult humans had come and they brought with them a BABY! WHAT?  Can you believe it? There are more than one of me? He was very wise and we talked a little and shared notes. He said I should be on my best behavior when adult humans have their friends over and once they are gone we can order them around. I was like – puhleaseee, tell me something I don’t know!

Day 81: Laughed looking at my hand for 15 minutes today. My fingers are so damn funnnnyyyy…

Day 82: Went to the children doctor today. I found more babies there. You know diary, I feel silly now to think tht I was the only baby in the world. Of course, one baby alone cant rule the world like this. We need at least 5-6 babies.

Day 83: Got my first frock today. Aghhh.. About time!! God knows I am tired of those onezies! #fashionista

Day 84: The first few days of my life are a blur. No literally, I couldn’t focus my eyes well. I can focus much better now. Daddy strange guy has a lot more body hair than amma lunchbox. Daddy could never make a chef, they would invariably find at least one hair in every dish. #masterchefbaby

Day 87: Amma lady gives a lot of importance to daddy guy, undeserved of course! They talk to each other for minutes together! Even when my pretty self is right next to them! What is there to talk so much! (Dad: Wait till you reach teenage and I ask you the same thing.)

Day 88: These adult human don’t drink food like I do. They put food in their mouth and gulp it. If I have to point out one reason for babies ruling adults around the world, it has to be their uncouth eating habits!

Day 90: Celeberated my first Vishu at amma lady's place. They call it the new year. What it has been a year already? Seems much less for some reason.

Day 92: Got a injection today. Didn’t cry at all. #fearlessbaby (actually got distracted by the rattle amma lady was rattling)

Day 93: Moushi lady polished me with olive oil. Cried my lungs out. Now I smell like pasta and daddy guy is eating my hand. Go eat some of your uncouth food and gulp it down, DADDY GUY!

Day 95: Daddy guy was making Amma lady laugh. I farted and both of them looked at me and laughed their lungs out. #Lastcomicfarting

Day 97: Diary, it is so hot nowadays. But I don’t like baths. I am in a tough situation here.

Day 98: Slept like a baby last night, which is good coz that’s what I am #funpun

Day 99: I throw a smile or two every now and then at amma lady lunchbox, but not too much lest she get complacent. Very pleased with her work so far. Her life finds meaning  because of my smile. #Oshobaby

Day 100: Dear diary, I completed 100 days. I feel like a successful movie. My life really is a disney movie. I am a princess surrounded by simple folk and the curtain prince. Everybody loves me and I of course take advantage of it. Life is beautiful... Now if you excuse me, I have to watch some window screen.
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Diary of a 50 day old baby


Day 1:
Dear diary, I was so happy when I was inside, now I am out and it is kinda cold and bright outside. Met many strange people today. So tired. Need to sleep.

Day 5:
Have moved to a new enclosure. The bed is much larger and there is this lady who is at my beck and call 24 hours of the day. I am going to call her lunchbox. I like her obedience towards me. I am mighty pleased. But that doesn’t mean I wont cry my lungs out tonight. Will keep you posted

Day 7:
Dear diary, this is kinda embarrassing, I farted today. I think all the strange people in this house heard me and clapped and laughed like it’s some kinda miracle. I am beginning to like these guys

Day 8:
Today a strange man came. He looks eager to please. I like his service. He walks around the house at night to calm me down. Yes, I get very cranky. As eager to please as this workforce is, its not at all skilled. Communication skills need to be improved. They need to understand what I want and when I want it.



Day 10:
I like lunchbox lady. Every time I start crying I get fed. It is a lot of work for me but good to see that at least she gets me. The strange man has left today. I need to avail the services of another old human.

Day 11:
I think I got named today. They kept saying a name in my ear. It hasn’t even registered.

Day 12:
Dear Diary, I need to learn how to fart like a lady. Awkward!

Day 13:
Had a lot of gas last night. I think it might be my sedentary lifestyle. I don’t like that crying is not included as exercise in this part of the world.

Day 15:
Strange man has returned. I am beginning to see a pattern here. I think he’s here every 7 days or so. I heard someone call him daddy. I don’t know whose daddy he is, but he surely is a good ride. I am going to summon his services at 3 in the night today.

Day 16:
Such a busy day today was. I cried for 2 hours, then slept, then fed on the lunchbox lady for 1 hour, then slept, summoned the services of that daddy guy in the night and walked for 1 hour. So much calories have been burnt today I cant tell you.

Day 17:
Farted and burped at the same time today coz #YOLO

Day 18:
I did potty on the lunchbox lady today. Good fun happened. ROFLzzz!

Day 20:
I think that lunchbox lady has a name. Amma I think she wants to be called. Anyway, had a little game with her. Had potty in the diaper and started crying, she cleaned me and as she walked to the cupboard to get a clean diaper, I did Potty #2. Trust me diary, when you are just 20 days old it is not easy to potty on demand. The lunchbox used to smile when I used to do potty in the first week, now she doesn’t seem amused. Maybe I should increase my output. LOLzzz!

Day 22:
Saw the so called daddy make so called amma laugh. They were completely ignoring me and talking amongst themselves like normal people! I have a feeling that these two might have known each other for quite some time. But diary, I don’t like this union-baazi in my empire. I cried just in time and made them break their jolly gathering.

Day 23:
Dear Diary, I am in love. My boyfriend is the fan. He is there for me whenever I need him. Lunchbox amma has been working fine but recently that daddy guy has been corrupting her work ethic I feel. I should make him walk 2 hours tonight. But yes, the fan. He follows me to every room. Also he’s so cool. I have learnt to smile and all my smiles will be reserved for my sweetheart – the fan.

Day 24:
I did potty on daddy guy. After he changed his shirt, I did susu on him. This has been a productive day

Day 26:
Have realized there are many more people in this house. Amma lunchbox and daddy guy must be 100 years old. There are also their father and mother and one more lady (her greatgrandmother) who seems the most experienced. I don’t think she has been floored by my charm yet. She is on the radar though.

Day 28:
Got my ears pierced. I think I look awesome. There some friends of the adult humans coming tonight and I have nothing to wear! God! All they have been dressing me in is onezies! What is this? 1997? #fashionista

Day 29:
I hate massages. No diary, its not like the Swedish massage they show on TV. Theres this moushi lady who comes and just polishes me with oil. And so much exercise! I hate taking baths also. When I don’t get dirty at all apart from the occasional potty and susu (occasional meaning once every 3 hours), why do I need to take a bath? My boyfriend, the fan seems helpless in front of these people. He would have saved me from them if he could.

Day 30
Just realized potty and party sound the same. Giggled for 15 minutes straight.  Amma lady kissed me and laughed too. Would like to abolish this kissing routine and have a more formal way of appreciating me, like a salute or something.

Day 33:
Met the children doctor today. He’s actually old too. Like as old as Daddy guy – 100 years, give or take a few. By children doctor I thought he must be a child with a stethoscope or something. Haha. I giggled another 15 minutes today. So funny I am. Don’t like the doctor one bit. He’s uncouth. Makes me touch my head to my knees and looks at amma and says - See, such a good baby! - like I was some kinda of paneer tikka. Cant wait to have Paneer Tikka.

Day 38:
Will people stop smelling my head already?

Day 40:
Talked to the fan for 1 hours before sleeping. I think I am in love. Daddy guy also said he loves me. I must be doing everything right else why would everybody fall for me like this. XOXO!

Day 42:
I have now done susu on everybody who stays under this roof. I feel 2 feet tall tonight.

Day 43:
I don’t like this mid-meal burping business this amma lady does. It’s like being at an all you can eat buffet and then being taken mid way into a sales meeting. I cry loudly and let my disagreement known, but for all the obedience, amma lady seems to take a lot of decisions on her own. I don’t like this defiance one bit.

Day 44:
Stop kissing my forehead in my sleep yougaiyzzz…

Day 45:
God, gained 600 gms since birth! I should ask the lunchbox lady if she has a low fat option for me.

Day 46:
Daddy fellow is eating my fingers and toes. I would have stopped him if it wasn’t SO MUCH fun.

Day 49:
This daddy guy and amma lady seem to be good friends. Chatterboxes ruining my beauty sleep. Shutuppp and give your attention to me!

Day 50:
Dear diary, it’s been 50 days. I can positively say that I have been pleased by the service rendered by these guys, esp amma lady lunchbox. I have many more kingdoms to annex. But right now, its 3 am and I have to wake up every person in the house coz that’s how I roll! XOXO
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Letter to my unborn child...

Dear child,

You will be here in a few days and I feel completely unprepared. I was, what I like to call "baby ready" right out of engineering college. I had begun liking kids and couldnt wait to have my own. I waited 8 years for you to come in my life. And now that you are almost here, I feel completely unprepared.

I have no idea if I would make a good father. I was lucky to have a really great set of parents. They let me take my own decisions, let me make mistakes occasionally, form my own opinions, in short, they let me be, well, me. What else are good parents supposed to do if not this? There is no set Key Result Areas for parents. There are no finishing schools, no second chances (per kid). My parents I think did a good job. And still, there were times when I was really mad at them. Maybe it is a sign of growing up or something. Maybe there comes a time when you realise that for the halo our society creates around one's parents, they are after all human and they are susceptible to mistakes too.

I guess, this is the reason why I am writing to you even before you are born. I hope that when you read this at 13, this letter will be still written by your 29 year old father. And maybe he might be more understanding than your 42 year old father who has salt and pepper hair and who your girlfriends think looks like George Clooney.

I am also writing to apologise in advance. I am going to push my dreams onto your shoulder. No matter how good a father I try to be, I might sneak in a few words about IIT and how you should try and get into engineering and how MIT has the best labs and you should work there etc. I am telling you now - I will love you no matter what college you go to or what you decide to be in life.

Interesting people, I have found, do only two things - They either create something or solve problems. The really interesting ones do both. If you are doing this, you are doing life right. Your looks wont matter, what car you drive or where you live wont matter. It doesnt matter what your friends say, or your relatives or even what I say. Being happy matters. Being happy is an art and like every art form, it get better with practice.

Your mother and I love you very much. We already love you, even before you are born. We loved you even before you were conceived. You know what? I was 14 when I first met your mother. And she was just 13. It must be funny imagining you parents to be little, no? I remember saying to myself that she had the prettiest brown eyes I had ever seen. I also remember thinking that she would make a good mother. Amazing no? That the 14 year old me would feel that a 13 year old girl will make a good mother? But tell you what, in all the years that I have known her, my belief in her has only strengthened.

I wish I could insulate you from all that is wrong in this world. But I wont be able to do that. Come to think of it, maybe that is not a father's job. A father's job is to guide, I think, not cajole. If you find this to be incorrect, please let me know. There are going to be times in your life when you wouldnt know what you are doing with your life and where is your life going. Everybody will tell you to do what you love. But no one will tell you how to find what you love. I am sorry I cant tell you that either. Only you can find love, in work and otherwise. One trick that I have found is to listen to your heart more than your mind. Your mind is plagued with what they show on TV and what they write in the papers. Listen to what your elders say, including myself. But dont buy everything we say. Most 30 year olds I know dont know what the hell are they talking about. Extrapolate that to all other age groups. But do listen to elders and ask them questions. This is the only way to gain experience without experience.

We are people pleasers, your mom and I. There are very few who dont like me and I dont think any person in their right frame of mind would dislike your mom. Being likeable is not the same as people pleasing. Refrain from picking up that habit from your parents.

Make mistakes. It's very important.It's okay to fail at things. It is not okay however to not give your best. Think about it, if everyone halfassed everything what would the world be like?

Those who say luck doesnt matter are lying. But over time, I have found, luck evens out. Once luck evens out, only hard work stands tall. There is no substitute to hard work. At the same time, not everyone, no matter how hard working succeeds at everything. Faraday, found out the relationship between Electricity, Magnetism and light. One has to have some divine intervention to find that, I feel. But when Faraday was made to work in a glass manufacturing lab by his jealous boss, he failed miserably for 4 years! You might not succeed at everything. But succeeding at everything is not the aim of life.

Some of your friends are going to have better parents, maybe more educated or who earn more than us or they have better toys or have a good looking boyfriend/girlfriend. You dont know their story. You havent walked in their shoes. Dont be jealous. If you learn to do that, teach me how.

In closing, all I want for you if good health and a good life. Happiness and joy. Experiences and lots of trials and errors. Lots of love and an honest heart, my child, will lead you a long way.

Lovingly,
Daddy.



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Sri Lanka, amaze me!

If the aim of travel is enriching oneself, I had the most enriching trip in my life very recently. This was to Sri Lanka. And I say this after travelling to 14 countries round the world. Travellers always want to see places different from their home, and I dont blame them. It does seem like the best value for money.



So, please note that I say, SL was the most enriching of my trips, it wasnt the biggest bang for my buck. That, probably would be Hungary.

Anywho, when I got married, I, in all my naivety made a promise of at least one-vacation-a-year to the wife. She very subtly reminded me in August that we  hadnt made any plans and it was already past the half year mark. So we decided to go some place most Indians never visit (we were wrong about that) - Sri Lanka.

In my head SL would just be a poorer copy of Kerala. I was partly correct about that. As our plane swooped in to land, as far as our eyes could see on either sides, were coconut trees. Vast, literally forests of Coconut trees. So much like Kerala, but definitely not a poor copy.

Private transport across SL is super expensive. This in spite of fuel and vehicles costing exactly the same as in India. Heck, even their oil provider is Indian Oil (which is renamed IOL Sri Lanka, yeah, smart). On our way from the airport, as we entered the city, we did get caught up in traffic. Ah, good old third world country, I thought. Only, there was no honking, no rash driving and almost no motorbikes on the road (Could a SLankan answer why this is?)

Now the enriching part - The roads, barely felt a bump on the roads. The traffic! I have never had cars stop for me while crossing the road in India. There are just too many cars and too many people in India, I thought as I crossed that road in Colombo. I am like the mother of that naughty kid in school. Everyone says he a menace, but the soft hearted mother I am, I cant find faults with the kid. My attitude towards India is the same.

The beaches, they are beautiful! The heritage buildings, the monuments are all well kept. They all seemed Indian or British, which is obvious considering it was Tamil kings who ruled SL for most of its history apart from the British who came in during the 19th century.

My point being, this country, a small island, war ravaged for 25 years, a part of the Indian subcontient, was more European than Indian. Again, I love India. But Sri Lanka probably has all the beauty of India and its people minus the filth, the honking, the dirty and encroached footpaths and the deafening noise of loud speakers.

So, what are the Sri Lankans doing right?

1. They controlled their population.The population of SL, the entire island is less than one such island in India that is hundred times smaller than SL - Mumbai. The population density of Colombo and Berlin (one of the lesser populated cities of the west) is almost the same!

2. They made education compulsory. SL has amongst highest in 3rd world countries (98%!)

3. They made cheap medical care available for its rural folk.

4. Resulting higher value of human life and better pay for even menial jobs. In a country full of Coconut trees, coconut is still costlier than in Mumbai. The reason - the wage of the person who climbs up the tree in SL is much higher than in India.

On our way back to India, we stopped at Chennai. We went around a little bit. Chennai looks a lot like Colombo. Only it's not. It took us a few hours adjusting to that fact. Less than 1000 kms away is a city that is so much cleaner. How? While sitting on the beach, looking far out in the Indian Ocean, the same ocean that is shared by both cities, we thought what should be done to make our cities that pretty.

1. We cant reverse our population. But we can try to diffuse the population to other cities. We have to come up with newer better planned cities. We need at least 100 cities of the same tier as Ahmedabad and Mysore. At least 100.

2. We have to make 2 types of education available. We dont want everybody to become an engineer. But we want everyone to read and write and think for themselves. Most engineers from India cant.

3. Improve the quality of cheap medical care in India. Govt hospitals have to be run better.

4. Improve quality of 3 things in the public domain - Potholes free Roads. 24/7 Electricity. Potable water supply. That is it. It is not that difficult.

Or maybe it is. Either way, we cant stop trying. It makes no sense to be a superpower if we cant even have 24/7 electricty. in 2015!

We had to catch a flight back to Mumbai from Chennai. We were crossing the road at the slow lazy pace only a tourist can manage when a Tata Indica, honked at us and woke us from our slumber-like state. We were truly home.

Note: Every morning I wake up and open my window I feel great. I am proud of my country. It took me 3 months of contemplation to write this post, call my naughty kid, well, naughty.

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Daal Fry, bitch!

There’s a holiday in Germany when people eat goose, you know the bird we used to shoot at while playing Duck hunt? What is duck hunt you ask? Don’t you remember that awesome game on 8 bit Sega? What is 8 bit Sega you ask? When were you born I ask! And pity you.

 Anyway, that is not a good day to be a goose, I bet you. So we were at a party and everybody was served goose except yours truly of course.

You are a vegetarian? So where do you get your protein from? Asked a British friend of mine.

Daal fry. Bitch.

Daal fry. The most underrated dish on the menu card, bought only in conjunction with Jeera rice. I am a daal fan. I think to really rate a restaurant you have to taste the daal fry there. It is so simple, it doesn’t have the taste or texture of Paneer or mushroom, which I think is vegetarians’ way of understanding why the world goes crazy after meat. Daal fry, and not daal Tadka (yes there is a difference) is what I am talking about here. Daal Tadka has too much oil in it and is sometimes used to hide shoddy workmanship in the kitchen.

I have been trying since ages to perfect the Daal fry. There are no authentic recipes online which give the same dhaba/restaurant taste. I, with the audacity of a researcher, kept trying to perfect the Daal fry and this time, I think I tasted the daal closest to dhaba/restaurant daal.

So for the benefit for all you readers, and humanity, I present to you the most authentic dhaba style daal fry


Daal prep
Take 3 parts of tur daal (arhad) & 1 part of masoor without the skin. The reason we use masoor is that is offers a good balance against the extra starchy tur daal. Soak in water for some time, then put it in a cooker. Note that I am a guy and this is an art, so we are not going to go by grammage and such. Use any amount.

Cut a tomato in fours and put in the cooker. Put in some turmeric powder. Cook for 3-4 whistles. 

Open the lid. Use a whisker to whisk the daal into a smooth constant consistency soup.
Now starts the kickass part of the daal. The tempering.


Tempering prep.
Mince a handful of ginger and garlic.

Heat a pan. Put in a dollop of ghee in. Let it get hot. Unlike oil, ghee has a high oxidation point. So let it get really hot. Throw in some mustard seeds and cumin. Let it splutter. 

Now this is IMPORTANT. 

Put in ginger and cook it. Yes. Cook the bloody ginger. This is make or break.

Now put in some hing (Asofedita something). Smell the awesome smell. Now put in some curry leaves if you have been brought up south of the Tropic of Cancer. Let them splutter with a vengeance. Some green chillies to taste.

Now put in Garlic. This is practically the last step and the shortest one. Don’t burn the garlic. Once you smell garlic, you know its done.

Stand back and pour the daal from the cooker into the mix. Be careful. Let the mixture simmer for 5 mintues.

You are done. Get ready to enjoy the best daal fry you have ever had.



Chaudhary out.
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If there was a way I could go back to the July of 2004 when I had just turned 19, in my second year of engineering, which till date remains my toughest year, what would I tell him? He’s at a tough time in his life already with over 4 hours of travelling to and fro to college and for the first time he’s not in the top 10% of his very intelligent class. And things are about to get worse from here on. I wish somehow I could go back and just, you know, tell him stuff that would make him believe that all of this will be alright.


1. The older you get, the wiser you will get. I know you think you know everything, and yes you do know quite a lot, but you will know more things when you are 25 and even more by you are 29. 

2. Money can buy most things in life. But there are 3 things money cant buy. Good food, Good weather and Good women

3. Good food is fresh fruits, vegetables, there are very few countries in the world that have access to such food, yours is one of them. Good weather is rarer than good food. Good women are the rarest of the three.

4. I know how much you have heard about Germany and how much you want to visit. You will work for a German firm right out of Engineering college. And yes, you will end up living in Berlin. It is an amazing city.

5. You know that girl you liked in the 11th Standard but didn’t have the stomach to approach? She got fat. Not that weight is the right way to judge a girl, but it wasn’t exactly her personality you were after.

6. I know you don’t drink and you shouldn’t, not such a good habit. But you will learn to love and respect good Beer and Wine as a form of art that it is.

7. For as much as you hate Mumbai right now, the more you go around the world, the more you will come to love the place. 

8. You will fall in love with Sour bread and Gouda cheese.

9. This year will be your life’s toughest year yet. I am 29 and I haven’t had a worse year that what the 19th would be.

10. But that’s alright. You know, easy years make for good memories, tough years make for good character

11. The older you get, fewer people will impress you, which is great, ‘cause that means you must be getting better

12. Remember how you wanted to buy a Skoda by the time you hit 28? Well, you didn’t buy a Skoda, but an even better car last year. And yes, it’s a German car.

13. You should exercise more, not to build biceps or anything, just to, generally keep fit. And anyway, I have found only 19 year old girls dig biceps. The rest you can charm with your stories.

14. Yeah, we write stories now. You will publish a novel, actually two. (Buy the second novel here)

15. You remember the World Cup last year? 2003? How sad that made you. Well, let me tell you this – We win the World Cup soon and that last ball six, I cant even… You have to watch it dude. It gave me Goosebumps

16. You are not going to have a girlfriend. Not till you are out of Engineering.  Don’t feel bad, it’s mechanical Engineering dude! What did you think? Think of this time as batting on a crumbling pitch, if you can play this out, you will score on your day.

17. You will buy a lake-facing house. It’s beautiful.

18. You will lose some hair and some of the others will grow grey but with each passing year they would bother you less than they did the previous year.

19. The older you get the better you are going to get at charming women. You know that pretty girl in Computer Science you think is out of your league? You will manage to woo women way hotter than her, like wayyyy hotter.

20. You will fall in love with your parents with every passing year. You will come to see them more as human beings susceptible to making mistakes. You will realize they did the best job they could do.

21. You remember that girl from school you used to find cute? Well, she’s still out of your league.

22. And btw, you married her. It is awesome. But still, out of your league

23. Petrol will become three times as expensive in the next decade

24. I know how much you love the Reebok brand. You have so many Tshirts and shoes. The 29 year old you doesn’t own a single Reebok product. Sorry, I just grew out of it.

25. Enjoy your jeans and Tshirts. Casual Friday is a big deal when you start working.

26. You know how you wish you weren’t so shy? Well, you have made some amazing friends. Some of them would give their lives for you. The amazing part is, for all your selfishness, you would too.

27. If I told you my salary, you are gonna freak out. But don’t, remember what I told you about petrol? Everything’s more expensive in 2014.

28. You will visit more than 13 countries. 

29. No matter what you think about life right now, if you keep at it, earnestly, it would get better. Much better than you ever imagined. Life is tough, 19 is a good age to realize it. 

So thank you for everything you have done till now. Right now, I wouldn’t wanna be you but I wouldn’t be me, if at some point in my life I hadn’t been you. So, thank you.

29 things the 29 year old I want to tell the 19 year old meSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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Of Orkut, confidence and my girlfriend...



"Tu orkut pe hai?" asked Rahul Bhat or Bhatti as he was known. Puberty had hit him late and in his 2nd year of engineering this genius of the class was asking me if I was on Orkut.

I kid you not, I thought it was some sort of software, something related to mechanical design or analysis or something. The year was 2005 and I wasnt too much into anything those years so you could forgive me for not knowing what had already started to become a phenomena in India back then. I called it the #1 thing that changed India in the last 10 years. You can read that blog post here.

But this is not a nostalgic post highlighting the good old days of Orkut and superior privacy and how they didnt conduct experiments on its users. This is a post about how Orkut empowered guys like me. How it made us more confident among other things.

I was a shy guy. I would never be able to walk up to anyone and say hi. It always had to be the other guy. If it was a girl I had a crush on, she would never know till many years later by which she would have already changed two boyfriend and the newest one would have a CBZ (its a bike, kinda big deal back then)

There's this song by Boyzone, dont remember all the lyrics, but it goes - It's only words, and words is all I have to take your heart away. -- Those words could be spoken words, or thanks to Orkut, these words could now be written. Much simpler for guys like me, we could write things down, without having the fear of shot down or laughed at. You like a girl in your class? Or Computer Science class? (if you are an Mech Engineering student) Send her a friend request. If she accepts it could mean only 3 things -

1. She likes you back
2. She has no idea who the hell you are but shes nice so doesnt want to seem smug
3. She just wants to increase the number of friends.

It was usually the 3rd one. But that was okay. Boys like us were one inch closer to girls. Maybe the girls will say hi the next time they meet in the hallway. How could they not, we were "Orkut friends" after all. Even if they didnt, it was okay. We could always send them a scrap - You looked very nice at the freshers' party. 3 other boys would paste the exact same thing below. Demand supply mein problem hai actually...

I found myself on Orkut. Though a late adopter, I was hooked immediately. It was so much fun. You could form communities, troll your friends, scrap each other and the best part - Write testimonials. There were 3 types of testimonial writers -

1. Who write testis only for friends out of genuine respect for friendship
2.Who write testis expecting a testi in return
3. Who write testis only for girls, praising them, hoping they would notice them and talk to them, heck even go out with them.

Mostly 3rd type.

I am thankful to Orkut. It made me the cool guy that you see today and wonder how he can be so awesome. But seriously, I got my long time girlfriend and now wife on Orkut. No, no, I didnt send her a frandship request or anything. We were friends in school and then she moved to the United States. Somehow she found me on orkut and added me.

She was always out of my league. Today, for as awesome as I am, I still think I am striving to be better everyday so that I can deserve her. If I feel that when I am so full of myself today, had I met her in person back then, it would have been impossible for me to woo her. Orkut and the distance between us made sure we didnt meet face to face too much and I got my written words to do the talking for me.

Orkut gave me the confidence guys like me deserve. There are so many of us out there, ladies, its sad most of you would never manage to meet us, had it not been for Orkut. I feel the we live in a much better world now where most of us have a level playing field. And this is not just for romantic relationships.

Now that they are shutting it down, I feel sad. It seems like yesterday Bhatti had animatedly asked me to come on Orkut. I want to thank him for the idea. I havent logged on to the site in ages. But I didnt think they would turn it off. For me, it was something I would show my kids to -- this is where it all started. Maybe they would read this post one day and marvel at the times gone by.

But for this moment, all I wanna do is, save and read my testimonials again and again and again...

-Arshat Chaudhary
Of Orkut, confidence and my girlfriend...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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