10 Thoughts on Winter

Up until this month, I was pretty content with 2014-2015 winter season. Obviously, it was colder than I’d like (I’m a 70s and sunny girl…but who isn’t?), but I was managing.

And then, February hit.

I partake in the semi-frequent social media “it’s so cold” conversation (posting Snapchat stories with the weather filter, uploading photos of the frozen lake onto Instagram, and tweeting multiple hateful tweets a day while still maintaining a semi-professional voice on Twitter), but it just doesn’t seem to cut it. I need to complain. I need to vent.

So, I have decided to share with all of you, some of my most recent and frequent thoughts on winter and, more specifically, winter in Chicago.

1. The layers

You cannot even imagine how sick I am of piling on layer after layer, adding probably a good 15 pounds to my body weight. It’s the same story every day. Two pairs of socks under my Uggs (with work appropriate shoes in my bag or stored in my office filing cabinet), leggings under my jeans (as if women’s jeans weren’t tight enough, let me just throw another layer beneath them), a tank top, a sweater, a puffy or fur vest, a 600 level NorthFace jacket. And then…no, I’m not done, a hat, a scarf, and gloves.

So as you can imagine, throughout the day I’m peeling layer by layer off, only to pile them all back on around 5PM and waddle back to my apartment,

2. Uber

There is always surge pricing on Uber these days because everyone is too cold to take public transport.

3. CTA

But, everyone isn’t too cold for public transport. Which means that we must go from the freezing cold, onto an overly packed train or bus, with our ten layers and ten bags (including our change of clothes, change of shoes, and gym clothes) and try to stay balanced while the bus goes over those infamous Chicago potholes.

4. My social life

Any commute that isn’t to work or back home falls off the priority list (sometimes those do too – can I just sleep at the office?) I’d love to see ya, but I’d also love to keep my limbs. See ya in April – maybe May or June because, well, you know Chicago.

5. Adulthood lacks snow days

Just because I’m over the age of fifteen, does not mean I can handle below 0 temperatures any better than a high schooler. Science is not my forte, but I’m pretty sure our DNA doesn’t alter after twenty, increasing our chances of surviving freezing temperatures. Adults deserve snow days/cold days too.

6. Iced Coffee

I miss iced coffee. I dream about it. I really do. But I cannot handle drinking it when I’m already frozen to the core.

7. I might as well be naked

The other day I was talking to my mom and listing my layers off to her and she said, “Oh, you must be warm then!” My response? “No, no I’m not. I might as well be naked.” Obviously, I know that that’s probably not the case. But when it’s this cold you’re just like, I can’t imagine any amount of clothing really helping me. I’m helpless.

8. I shouldn’t even go to the gym

Fat keeps you warm. Why get rid of it? This is my survival technique.

9. It just hurts

It really hurts. It hurts physically. It hurts mentally. It hurts emotionally.

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10. I’m moving

It’s been real Chicago. It really has. But I have every intention of this being my last winter here.

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Bollywood vs. Reality

So, as most of you know (or should know by this point), I am a little bit of a Bollywood* junkie. So much so that a few days ago one of my friends informed me that one of India’s largest film production company’s was searching for a fresh new face and my stomach doubled over with excitement. This is my break. Naturally, my dad shot the idea down so fast and went on that whole “have you seen the filth in those movies”. I’m assuming by “filth” he means that on-screen kisses are now common in Hindi films.

Regardless, in effort to make myself feel a tad bit better about my now dead dreams, I have decided to write this post.

The differences between Bollywood and real life.

Time

The concept of time is highly skewed in all Hindi films. You’re probably thinking, yeah K, obviously, it’s a story condensed into a measly three hours (joke because three hours is NOT measly. Honestly, try telling that to the six year old being forced to sit through Jodhaa Akbar). Yeah, I get that but that’s not what I mean. In Hindi movies characters fall in love at first sight. No not like a general intrigue or a damn, that girl is on fire…actual “Hello madam, I love you” love. And this “love” usually ends up lasting a lifetime. HA. Okay. School days last for the duration of one four minute song, and going from post-shower, wet hair, to hair extensions in and perfectly blowing in the “natural wind” takes a solid one and a half minutes. So it’s no wonder why the typical nine to five seems like a total drag and that my bicep hurts after twenty minutes with a blow dryer.

Song and dance

One of the most disappointing things about growing up on Bollywood is realizing that real people don’t sing and dance. Like excuse me, but I was brought up to believe that when I had my first crush we would spend days and days together running through fields in different outfits expressing our inability to sleep (oh because it is common in Bollywood for characters to become insomniacs when they’re in love) to one another. Instead? Instead I had to sit at the dining room table doing my Kumon (by doing I mean opening the answer booklet and copying down the answers…I mean really…why would you ever trust a kid with an answer booklet?) and wondering if my crush would still be on AIM when I was done. Most days he wasn’t.

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No two guys have done this for me. Ever.

Boys and Love

There is just too much to say, I may have to break this down even further.

1. Daydreams

In Hindi movies both guys and girls only have one category of idle thinking…love. In reality, while I am over here daydreaming about   love, the guy I’m thinking about is daydreaming about motorcycles, brewing beer, and awesome facial hair. AREYOUSERIOUS?

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Day dreamin’ like whattt

2. The romantic late night scene

You know that scene that Shakespeare invented? The classic girl on the balcony, guy in the garden scene? Yeah, Bollywood stole that shit and reinvented it at least 200 times. So naturally here I am expecting that…or at least a nice goodnight phone call (talk about low maintenance right?). Instead? On a good day maybe us ladies will receive a “Goin to bed, night”. Oh really? Because Ram snuck into Leela’s bedroom to share forbidden pillow talk and you say “goin to bed”? You don’t even care enough to add the last G? What the…

3. In reality boys are a lot shorter, probably because they can’t get away with wearing man high-heels.

4. Courting

In Bollywood the male lead will pretty much harass and stalk the girl until she’s like “okay, yay, I love you too!”. So imagine the surprise of Indian girls all over when their first crush confesses his love for her, she plays hard to get, and then the next day he’s dating some other sixth grader who’s already had braces. Yo, you’re supposed to court me for at least 2 months. And by court I mean get a group of guys and trail behind me singing songs until I give in.

5. Protectiveness

Raj from DDLJ got his ass handed to him by a bunch of random Punjabi men at a train station when he refused to leave town without the love of his life, Simran. And you are just going to let that random drunk guy hit on me? Not only are you going to let it happen, you’re just going to laugh and walk to the bar and get a drink? YES I can take care of myself but chivalry was never meant to die.

Trains

As you can tell from the above story in #5, trains are sort of a big deal in Bollywood. Raj and Simran. Aditya and Geet. Kabir and Naina. As a Chicagoan, I take the L like…multiple times a day. And I have been doing so for the past four years. And the only remotely romantic thing that has happened to me on the train is when R and I caught a glimpse of each other as the doors were closing. R ended up on a different car than I did, so at the next stop with both ran to one another and met on the car in between and hugged in victory. R is one of my best friends…and a girl. Other than that it’s very much just creepy people saying creepy things to you or to themselves which is even creepier.

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The favorite Bollywood couple, Raj and Simran

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2013’s modern day train scene

In a strange twist of fate, this post has not made me feel any better about my dead Bollywood dreams. In fact, it has somehow made me love Bollywood even more. I guess I am that brainwashed by Indian cinema. Sigh.

Lamely yours,

K

* Bollywood is India’s film industry. It happens to be the largest film industry in the world, bringing in about…well I don’t know because my Internet is being really slow. But it brings in a lot of money and Bollywood actors and actresses are essentially royalty. Each film is roughly between 2.5-4 hours long and almost every movie has a few songs sprinkled into the storyline. It is easily the best past time ever.

The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl

Hey there!

Hope you guys are having an amazing start to the week! I’m feeling rather chipper despite my lack of sleep, my scattered mind (let’s not talk about how many assignments I almost didn’t have completed today), and my body aches from sleeping with too many pillows.

So I thought I’d do a little something fun for you guys today. If you follow my personal blog, you may remember me sharing a tid bit of my life in a post titled, The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl  (I’ve linked to it here in case you missed out). But, let me tell ya. As an Indian girl, the struggles are too real and endless. So, I’ve decided to create a Part II, to allow you guys to better understand A and I and the struggle bus that we often ride as being Indian girls.

So, here we go.

1. The creepy Facebook messages

As an Indian girl, you have to expect and know how to deal with strangely worded and “flirtatious” Facebook messages from Indian men. My personal favorites have included, “Hi, I like your friendship” and another one where Rajanth told me I’m beautiful enough to be a Bollywood actress. Well, thanks Rajanth, how did you know that was my life long dream (but really though).

2. Raisins

Okay, I don’t like raisins. Like what are these weird, tiny, shriveled up things? And for some reason, Indian people love to put raisins in everything. I don’t want raisins in my halwa and kheer (Indian desserts that you should definitely try if you haven’t), it ruins it! And most of all…I don’t want raisins in my rice! What ever possessed someone to try to put raisins in rice…I don’t know. But raisins are only edible when they are coated in chocolate.

3. The many cultures and languages of India

One would think that being a part of a country means a sense of unity and community among states. Well, not in India. In fact, we all make fun of people from other states. Don’t even get me started of the Punjabi and Gujarati feud. And the languages. According to The Hindustan Times (yes, I researched for you), there are 780 different languages spoken in India. Seven hundred and eighty. Like…why? This takes away some of the fun of being from a foreign country because half the time when my friends and I are trying to talk about the girl getting down in the club, we can’t even communicate. I say something in Hindi, I get a response in Gujrati. Like…girl…what. Are. You. Saying.

4. The stare down

If you’re Indian, you know all too well that every single brown person you see will stare you down. This isn’t even a friendly, oh, we’re all brothers and sisters stare. This is a do I know you stare. And if the answer is no, then it becomes a who the eff are you and why don’t I know you? stare. Because Indians just assume that they know every other Indian and if they don’t then something is wrong with you (the person they don’t know). Or…hmm…maybe guys, you just don’t know them because there are over 2 million of us in this country. Stop staring at me.

5. All up in your love life

My god, where do I even begin? As an Indian, your love life is everyone’s business. Your friends, everyone at your school, everyone that anyone at your school knows, and, of course, your family. I think people know the updates on my love life before I even do. My absolute favorite instance of this is my Dadi (who I love very much but our conversations always make the best stories). Every time I see my dadi, she “whispers” to me, “Acha, koi boyfriend hai?” (translation: “So, is there any boyfriend?”) Whisper is in quotation marks because she does not whisper. So unless I want the entire party to know about my love life…no Dadi, koi boyfriend nahi hai (translation: no Dadi, there is no boyfriend). I then see a little flicker of panic in her eyes, but then she kindly reassures me that it’s okay to focus on my studies. She then proceeds to hold me hostage and ask me questions about my cousin’s love lives. Whoops, sorry S & M.

Speaking of Dadis, let me share another great story with you. Dadi’s oldest sister (who is the cutest old lady ever) didn’t even bother asking me “koi boyfriend hai”, when I was in India this past December. Instead, during our family photo shoot, she sneakily tried to get everyone to take solo photos of just me to send to the handsome Punjabi man from Amritsar who is now a doctor in London. Wait. Let me fix my hair and reapply my eyeliner because…YES! Please send the good-looking doctor in London my photographs. S Daddy was NOT pleased and did not let this happen. But hey, I’m open to all possibilities.

6. Indian clothes for women

Okay, last time I focused my frustrations on just saris (the 9 yards of fabric we, as Indian women, are supposed to be born knowing how to tie around ourselves). But really, the picture is much bigger than this. With A’s wedding right around the corner, I’m starting to panic about the tiny blouses I’ll be having to wear. Honestly WHO can look good in those aside from actresses who make a CAREER out of looking good. I simply cannot axe wine, Chipotle, or Firecakes out of my diet. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. But I’m expected to look like this….

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Annnnd…cue the stress eating.

To my Indian ladies, props for staying sane through all of this.

Lots of love,

K