The One With Owls and Potions

Well, well, well. A month of inactivity and all that it has led to is the whole Maggi fiasco! What is it with all you Maggi haters?! Let me tell you guys this, I’ll never stop having my favourite 2-minute noodles until I’m 80 and maybe beyond that!

Right, so having registered the most important part of this post, let’s move on to other things. I left off saying that my results were due in a few days’ time, and so they were. They came out on 18th and guess what?! I got EIGHT OUTSTANDING O.W.L.s!!!!!!!! (Yaay!) 😀  And two Exceeded Expectations… Potions, you see! I was never good at Chemistry… 😦 But I guess I can still be an Auror! 😀

#Potter references; Muggles won’t understand

Non-wizardly speaking, I got a fairly nice percentage of around 95% with socially acceptable marks in almost all subjects. (except Chemistry! Agh!) So yeah, everyone was happy-happy at the moment and materialistically speaking such occasions are the perfect times for quietly adding a few extra items to your gift list. 😉

Karim's! Party party! :D
Karim’s! Party party! 😀

What followed was a boring 6 hour ceremony at my school and a month full of travelling! Yeah, I’ve been travelling ever since my result came out, and landed in Lucknow only on Saturday. And boy was this last month not the most legen-wait for it-dary month of my life! B)

Connaught Place
Connaught Place

The first ten days were spent in Delhi, meeting relatives and all the party you see, and then for the rest fifteen days, KASHMIR and LADHAK! ❤ Ladhak, I feel that I’ve left my heart there… That place is honestly the epitome of all beauty that nature and God together could have managed… Just heartwarmingly beautiful. I don’t understand how He could have stuffed so much love in such a small place. Truthfully speaking, neither words, nor pictures can capture the magnificence of Ladhak, you just got to visit and see for yourself…

<3

That’s it for now but don’t be gone already! I’ll pester you soon enough with my day-wise posts/travelogue-ish entries on my travels to Kashmir and Leh-ladhak! 😀

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Bipolar Traumatic Reversal Theory

WARNING: There is a possibility, rather, its probable that you have not seen a singular post like this before, for the author of this piece of writing is suffering from an immensely severe illness, known as the post-exam hangover. Therefore, proceed at your own risk.

* * *

Hey there!

I have missed you all so much! And now, the wait is finally over. The Judgement Day has passed, the Apocalypse is over, and the country has been led forward by Thee into the heaven of freedom. To sum it all up, my Board Exams are over!

frodo

Now, the only time I felt this excited and sad was when my Board Exams got over! Um… sorry, bad joke. Well, moving on, MY BOARD EXAMS ARE OVER (as if like shouting MY DOG DAYS ARE OVER)!! 😀 To be honest, I had thought that after the exams I would go complete crazy and party all night long. But reality still continues to ruin my life. After giving the last exam, I felt so sad and lost that I headed straight for my home. You see, the months that precede the Board exams, kill your creativity. You become programmed to just eat, sleep, eat, study and eat. Your schedule becomes too messed up to do something productive. Therefore, when I finished my last paper, a sense of satisfaction, happiness, grief and fear gripped me. And even though, I had planned n number of things, all I wanted to do then was sleep…and eat, of course.

* * *

But now, I feel that I’m ready to embrace all the stupidity and craziness of the world. Therefore, I’m going to torture you with my weirdness and unleash my train of worthless thoughts upon you. Below you are going to find random and spontaneously thought-of topics which, as you will observe, make no sense.

* * *

  • Imagine a room filled with the smoke of weed. Dark and suffocating. The windows have been closed shut and the sun has been barred. Now imagine yourself in the room, but the only difference here is that smoke of weed has been replaced by the music of Coldplay. Suddenly, the door creaks open, and you hear someone’s footsteps. You can hear the echo, even though the distance from the source of the voice and the farthest reflecting surface is not 17 meters. (Magic, right?!) The person comes closer to you, and you start feeling scared. The echo is terrifying but the darkness, soothing. Suddenly, in a fraction of a jiffy, the sun is given entry! Boom, the beacons have been lit. The sunshine envelops the darkness all around it and you start to to feel sane. Ah! Insanity was so much wiser. This is exactly what has happened with me right now. Since my Ma has let the light in, I will write this post. But if you feel the contents weird and the thoughts eerie, then you know who’s to blame. The sunlight.

* * *

  • You see, exams wear you out. For example, before opening this up, I checked my brain report;

brain-explode

Oh no! Nothing serious, I’m fine. But then my Ma pointed out to the blood dripping from my eyes;

fine

And just then my friend remarked, “Dude, just look at your arm! IT FELL OFF!”

Me: “It is fine bro, it happened every other day during the exams. I have a few spare ones in my    wardrobe…”

* * *

  • But, you see, exams are not all that bad. In fact, I would anytime choose exams over monthly tests, for even though exams cover a vast syllabus, they push you far enough to actually study. Moreover exams can be pretty fun, sometimes. For example, when you finish your Biology paper a half-hour beforehand, you get bragging rights. When you attempt all the programs in your Computer paper, you get bragging rights. When you get everything correct in the topography section of your Geography exam, you get bragging rights. And when you are able to complete your Maths paper on time, you get bragging rights… See, exams can be so much fun! 😀

* * *

  • One of the best things about Boards is that nobody, not even a single person, disturbs you, for anything. Nobody asks you to water the plants, take the dog for a walk, buy the grocery or just do anything! You are just free (well, of course, free to study any subject that you want to, but free is free!!). And now that my exams have ended, I’m back to dusting the house, throwing out the garbage, killing the neighbours, getting rid of the body, managing the gang…um, well, I guess you get the picture. Normal household chores, nothing extraordinary..

* * *

  • For some change from all the text, here are exams in the form of memes:

Everyone Before The Board Exams

board

Me, Before The First Exam

students

Me, Before Every Exam

exam

Friends, During The Exams

boards

Me, Before The Maths Exam

300

 During The Maths Exam

steam

 After The Maths Exam

images

During The Exams

rambo

It All Ends…

hp

* * *

  • Well, in particular, there is no subject that I hate or dislike, except Chemistry. You see its not the subject but the questions they ask in the paper that I hate. For instance:

Find the missing word:

Copper sulphate crystals are dehydrated by sulphuric acid.

Ans: concentrated sulphuric acid!!!

I mean, come on, no shit! But you know what’s even worse?! The answer to such questions are given in such deep and dark corners of the book that you would need a simple microscope a complex microscope an electron microscope to see it!!  *sigh*

* * *

  •  Now, I don’t want you to deem me as a whiny teenager who complaints about his exams. No. But sometimes, sometimes you feel like a quadratic equation with imaginary roots. *out of syllabus*

Sometimes, it feels better to roam in the English countryside with Sherlock Holmes, dive into the chocolate river with Willy Wonka, be lost in the hills with Ruskin Bond and run across the streets of Rome with Robert Langdon than be snapped back to reality and study for your exam!

* * *

Happiness During The Exams

  • Happiness is a monkey making faces outside the window of your examination hall. (Mind you, this actually happened!! 😛 )
  • Happiness is when your senior leaves a best of luck message on your exam table for you.
  • Happiness is when your cousins send you cards before the exams.
  • Happiness is hugging your friends after the exams are over.
  • And happiness is knowing that you have a three month vacation till your school reopens.

* * *

I am sorry for having subjected you to this silent soliloquy. Well, I could not help it, I had to get it out. And I assume that my chain of thoughts must have left you weary and bored. Therefore, I will conclude this post.

But, tut tut, not so soon, genius. Here you thought of closing this page and moving on to read something more productive and interesting, but I guess, its not your lucky day. So anyways all this while, reading this post, you must have been wondering, “Why is this person ranting about his exams?! How does it help me anyway?!”. Right?! Don’t worry; be happy. I have an answer for that too:

Here is some stuff that I missed during my exams/stuff that you missed me writing about:

  • Diwali
  • My Birthday
  • Christmas
  • New Year
  • Holi
  • International Badminton League in my city
  • Ed Sheeran and Switchfoot in India (Now God truly hates me.. 😥 )
  • um…well, I guess…that is it…
  • not much though, still important stuff, right?!
  • I need to stop putting these bullet signs in order to make me feel important…….

Oh God, I guess I want need some sleep…!

Rakshabandhan: The Festival Of Brothers And Sisters

Rakshabandhan… This word in itself says a lot many things. It’s the tender love of a sister for her brother along with the mischievous teases given in return. It’s the belief in a single strand of thread mixed with the power of a lifelong promise. It’s the joy of arrival of gifts blended with the duties of being a brother. In simpler words, it is the sweetest part of the year…

rakhi

The history of this festival dates back to ancient times. Around 14th century, when the Indian society was divided into four different sects, namely Kshatriyas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras, the concept of Rakshabandhan bubbled up. It was mainly regarded as the festival of Brahmins. Initially, the Brahmins (whose job was to teach children, and also to perform religious activities) used to tie a strand of thread on the hands of Kshatriyas (the warriors) and in return they would vow to protect the Brahmins for the rest of their lives. But as time fossilised and old customs waned, this practice was adopted by sisters and the festival was renamed as Rakshabandhan (or Rakhi).

Rakhi (2)

Rakhi is celebrated every year on a full moon night (generally in the month of August). But what made this year special was that all of my sisters (except one) were present to celebrate Rakhi with and to extract gifts from me! 😛 And oh boy, what an entertaining mess it was! Not only my brother and sisters were present but also my aunts. So it was a typical family get-together. And seeing the whole family together was nothing but euphoric! 😉

 

The Family Get-Together
The Family Get-Together

One of the best moments of having a family get-together is the weird and exciting feeling you get when someone is about to reach your house (and seize your bed for a few days) 😛 and you are waiting for their arrival, ready to hop on them the minute they turn up! I experienced that capricious behaviour thrice (one of my sisters gave me a surprise by reaching a day before her scheduled arrival!) 😀

 

My Sisters! :)
My Sisters! 🙂

When everyone was together, during the day, most of the time was spent shopping, visiting other relatives, eating, ‘sight-seeing’, taking selfies, shopping and eating again. But the nights were reserved for talking. The whole panchayat used to gather around ten o’clock and talk till one…half past one…and two. We used to just talk and talk and talk. Once in a while, in between, there happened to be a match of UNO, or two. But most of the time the panchayat was busy doing panchayat.

 

My Cousins! :)
My Cousins! 🙂

Enough of all this! 😛 Let’s get back to the main topic… Rakhi!! OK, I’ve told you what Rakhi is, so now let’s get on to how we celebrated it.

There were six of us; two (including me!) brothers (in Hindi: Bhai) one sister-in-law (Bhabhi) and three sisters (Didi). So I, Bhai and Bhabhi sat down facing our small ‘in-house’ temple and then, one by one, our sisters tied us rakhis. Tying the rakhi isn’t the only thing. First you have to put tilak on your brother’s forehead, followed by tying the rakhi on the wrist, and finally ending the ritual by exchanging sweets and gifts!! 🙂

Rakhi (7)

Rakhi (9)

I have four cousin sisters and four cousin brother. Out of which only three sisters and one brother were present. So in total, I had four rakhis tied round my wrist (I received one from the post) and had got four gifts!!! 😀

After the ‘tying rakhi session’, we had the ‘gift opening session’! 😛 You should have seen the ecstatic faces and expressions of my cousins when they opened their gifts, one after the other. It was chaotic to be frank. Everyone opening their presents all at once! You really had to move your head continuously, so that you don’t miss all the drama. In the end, all that was left was a huge pile of enthusiasm and oodles of gift-wrappers! 😉

Rakhi (8)

These few days were both bliss and a brisk (I don’t even know if that fits!). And biding my amusingly whimsical family adieu was sad, but the promise of another reunion, soon, did the job of uplifting our moods… 🙂

 

My First MUNning Experience

The reason for my being so ‘inactive‘ for the past few days was the IIMUN. A Model United Nations was something very new and intriguing to me, therefore I thought of grabbing the first opportunity I got of participating in one. Moreover this MUN was being conducted in my city, thus my dream of being a delegate and walking into a UN conference came somewhat true…

A Model United Nations is basically a replica or a small-scale real-life working copy of the actual committees held in the United Nations. In here, students represent various countries by becoming the delegate of a country. The MUNs function just as any other UN conference. There are debates upon the agendas currently affecting the world, resolutions are passed and various steps are taken. But all of this is just for ‘fun’. At the end of the day, a MUN is an education simulation which is genuinely better than any history or political lecture in the world.

Since I have quite a few MUNner friends, I had heard a lot about MUNs. But experiencing one is way different than listening about one. The kind of atmosphere in a conference hall, the look of gravity on the Chairperson’s face and the manner in which the delegates carry themselves is truly something that has to be experienced in order to be felt. And one thing is for sure, once you attend your first conference, you would never want to miss any other MUN for the rest of your life.

La Martinier School
La Martiniere School

The venue of the IIMUN (Indian International Model United Nations) was the La Martiniere School (If I put it decently, it is one of the grandest schools in the whole of India). And to be honest, I was scared as a cat to attend this conference. I thought that maybe my research was not up to the mark, or that I would not be accepted by my fellow MUNners there, or that I would not be able to follow the procedure, or worse that I would not be able to speak in front of others.

With all these fears in my mind I attended the opening ceremony of the MUN. But I don’t know which sorcerer’s wand worked its magic, the first day was incredibly great. I made so many new friends, did a lot of (what the MUNners call) socialising and met a ton of fun people. I actually started to open up and tried to come over my characteristic shyness. It felt truly amazing surrounded by so many people sharing the same thinking and likeliness.

Okay. So I ain't being narcissistic, but I was running short of photos... :P
Okay. So I ain’t being narcissistic, but I was running short of photos… 😛

Gradually the first day waned away with much enthusiasm and ‘secret pacts’ for the days to come.

The next day started with me being late for the first debating session of the committee (as I was just too engrossed in doing my research). But the Chair was kind enough to start the committee some five minutes late. As soon as the committee started, my enthusiasm (and nervousness) reached its water mark. My committee was the (Futuristic) Security Council, with me being the delegate of Luxembourg, and the agenda at hand was the Ukrainian Crisis.

The UNSC Chair and Vice-Chair
The UNSC Chair and Vice-Chair

I knew Luxembourg played a very small part in this crisis, and that was one of the reasons that made me even more nervous. The main fight was between the USA and the Russian Federation and Ukraine was caught between it. So what part exactly did Luxembourg had to play? I was myself quite skeptical of that but still I spoke whenever I got the opportunity.

Making allies (and frequently changing them) was what everyone wanted to do. Since Luxembourg supported the USA, I mainly stuck with them (though at times I went to support Russia). But all in all the day was jam-packed with fights, challenges and crises. The second debating session ended with the same intensity as the first has started.

But after that came the best part of the day, for me…the delegate dance! 😀 For it was the most action-packed, grooving, energetic, enthusiastic and fun part of the whole MUN. The dance floor was the stage where every delegate could let loose and enjoy himself. This is exactly how a tiring ‘work day’ should end. Everyone danced for around two hours and then the authorities had to push us out of the dance floor. 😛

The Delegate Dance
The Delegate Dance
Loose Yourself to the Music... ;)
Lose Yourself to the Music… 😉

After the ‘better than expected’ second day, I stepped into my committee a lot more optimistic and confident on the third day. In totality I had given four speeches on the second day, along with having questioned a few other delegates (in the Question-Answer Session) and had even made some plans for our next move. On the second day, my confidence had seen a huge boost, therefore I had planned a few ‘secret’ steps to be taken further. Though in the end I failed to execute them, I still had given four more speeches and had taken a more active part in the proceedings and the making of the resolutions.

The third day was all about reflecting the crises and making resolutions in order to tackle the problems. But making the resolutions was one of the most difficult tasks in the world, as we had to keep in mind the interest of both Russia and the USA (which were never the same). So we would end up taking an hour and a half to complete one resolution. At the end if the day, we had passed two resolutions and rejected one (Russia vetoed it). x(

But on a serious note, my heart goes out to all the people caught in this fight between the superpowers in Ukraine and also to all the passengers of the Malaysian flight MH17.

The third day marked the end of three of the best and unforgettable days of my life. The day ended with much laughter, disappointment (for not having won) and hope for more such MUNs.

My Committee... :)
My Committee… 🙂

And I confess that after three such amazing days, I don’t find school that interesting. 😛

So in the end, what did I learn from these three hectic days? My answer, a lot! I learnt how to open up in front of others, the MUN boosted my courage and morale, it made me a bit more confident, but moreover it made me aware… Aware of all that is going around the world, aware of how difficult it is to sit down and solve worldly problems in a conference room, aware of how history is made, and aware of how future is secured.

Therefore I believe that everyone should do themselves a favour and participate in a MUN… 🙂

Memories... :')
Memories… :’)