Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!

But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!

  1. It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
  2. Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
  3. The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
  4. Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
  5. The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
  6. In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
  7. Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
  8. If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.

If you enjoyed my post, read my article on Gal-Dem for a deeper discussion on how I reclaimed my roots:  https://gal-dem.com/wanderthirst-reclaiming-my-roots-in-india/

Let me know what you think in the comments x

Twitter: @Naveeshaaa

Instagram: @Naveeshaaa

Why I hate my birthday – an ode to being 24

I sit here typing this on the final day/night/hour (for the truly poetic) of being 23 and I am filled with anxiety and dread for my birthday tomorrow. For some, birthdays are the biggest social gathering of the year, multiple outfit changes, lots of presents and attention central for the Tinkerbells of us.

A lot of my birthdays have turned out disappointing – people flake, plans change and it usually ends up with me compromising rather than my original plan

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My 21st has probably been my favourite birthday to date; I was in Sydney while travelling across the East Coast and my birthday coincided with me also meeting up with my friend Megan who I’d only met a month ago while in the Gold Coast. This worked out so well because not only was I in a new exciting city with plenty to do, I was also with someone – solo travel is great but two is better than one for a birthday extravaganza, no? We partied 4 days in a row, explored Bondi/Coogee beach and just had so much fun, I don’t think anything can top having your birthday in Australia to be quite honest. Shoutout to Megan for the makeshift backpacker birthday cake of chocolate muffins!

Birthdays always give me so much pressure because you’re expected to have the time of your life, a huge social occasion and for me a lot of the time it’s turned out to be a normal day coupled with the depressing fact that it is just a normal day except you’re one year closer to death x

I’m slowly realising that it’s okay not to have the best day of your life or have 300 people singing to you and your birthday is literally what you make of it. This year, instead of going hard and drinking so much I get the hangover from hell, I opted to have a lie in (probably the best present ever at the moment, I hate you, working life), booked myself a massage (big up the endorphins), had a lowkey family dinner with yummy Thai food at Elephant Royale and then had a night in with drinks and monopoly

I’m going to aim to do more fun and chilled stuff for my birthdays and not put so much pressure on myself to conform to societal pressures blah blah.  Maybe even make it a rule that I’m always in a different city/country because a holiday just tops it all, doesn’t it?

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What do you like to do on your birthday? Let me know!

 

Chasing the Sun

I’m chasing the sun

Down the bottom of a vodka bottle

It tastes of sweetness, light and euphoria

But it fades as fast as the sunset that reminds me of you

So I turn to the tobacco goodness that sends me into a pseudo heaven

I want to feel love i want to feel hope i want to dream

But chemical aphrodisiacs can only do so much

As i fall into the depths of a hell

Life lessons of 2018

Hello Perkirinos! (I have no idea why I’ve given you guys a fangirl name but hey ho)

How was your Christmas? Was Santa generous? Did you manage to spend a whole evening in the vicinity of your family and manage not to murder anyone? If the answers are amazing and yes then congrats, you’ve managed to have a decent Crimbo. I would have done a lovely festive little blog post on the big day but I was too busy procrastinating and buying last minute presents obvs 🙂

Instead you get this lovely Pre New Years post which is actually on time for once, atta girl!

So….2018…

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it’s been a year of transitioning, feelings, change and memes…

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I am ready for 2019.

Writing this post is probably the best thing for me right now. Having done an intense three weeks of group therapy (that’s 9-5 everyday, talking about your feelings folks) means I’m more focused on what I need to do, who I need to be and who I need to do it with next year…

Or maybe this is all bullshit from a raging 22 year old with a detrimental sleeping pattern and unhealthy coping mechanisms…but I can only take it with a pinch of salt 😀

I tried making a set of very unrealistic goals in September 2017 and only achieved one (to graduate lol) and that told me that I put way too much pressure on myself and need to take things one step at a tiiiiime…(cue Jordin Sparks acapella)

I’m hoping that 2019 becomes the year of the grind. I have no idea what to do with this blog, I wish I could make it a ‘thing’ but its a crazy mix of personal shit and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with my very own stream-of-consciousness to be made public. Considering making an active travel and lifestyle blog but I have no idea what I’m doing.

If you have any advice on what I can do or even about my current life state then feel free to comment and send memes etc.

I just realised I titled this post “Life lessons” but I didn’t actually offer any lessons. I am a certified dinkus

One thing that really stood out for me this year is the absence of self-love and confidence that leads to my depressive funk and inability to place the blame on things other than myself. I need to figure out how to give myself self-love, believe in myself and stop doubting myself. Not sure how much of a grip I can get on this in 2019 but I’m gonna try!

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7 ways to procrastinate when you should be revising

So you’ve stumbled on this post telling you how to waste your life away doing something completely meaningless and you wish to know how to proceed? Stop what you’re doing right now and get back to work Look no further! Perksofbeingaprocrastinator takes you on a 7 step process: 

1. Food – Well you can’t revise when you’re hungry right? What if you pass out…or something? Go and grab something to eat! To be on the safe side, you should keep eating until you can’t feel your stomach. Better to be safe than sorry, who knows what a lack of sugar could do your brain. Pick up that chocolate bar kid…and pick up two more.

2. YouTube Videos – You can’t start revision until you’re emotionally ready and willing. What better way to ensure that then some good old fashioned YouTube Videos? My personal favourites are Dan&Phil, Emma Blackery, Superwoman etc. Keep going until you’ve seen all their videos back to back!

3. Tidy desk – Cluttered workplace = Cluttered mind. Do you think Einstein became a genius living in a pigsty? The answer is no! You need to make sure your desk/table/whatever is tidy and clutter free. You also need to organise and colour code all your pens, line your books up in alphabetical order and just generally make sure your work space is clean and has you geared up for some efficient revision! Repeat decluttering process 3X for maximum results.

4. Take breaks – That super annoying girl who gets straight A’s in your Biology class didn’t revise seven hours a day non stop! She made sure she took several breaks so the information processed in her head and she didn’t feel like she was going to burn out. That means you should probably follow suit and take plenty of breaks too. Long, three day minimum breaks.

5. Go for walks – Fresh air and a nice brisk walk is just what the doctor prescribed for exam period which reduces most of us to extreme stress cases. To ensure you get enough exercise and a break from looking at your books 24/7 make sure your walk lasts a decent amount. Let’s say a couple of hours. Try and throw in a shopping trip as well just in case you don’t feel ready to return home.

6. Paint your nails – Extremely therapeutic. Nuff’ said

7. Sleep – Goes without saying that you should be getting that necessary twelve hour sleeping period so you don’t wake up feeling like a zombie when you should have ideally have a fresh mind for revision. Oh and two hour naps twice a day are also essential. Can’t have you falling asleep on your maths book can we?

 

The Party

A sip of wine and small talk
Pray for me now and I won’t balk-
In this delightful idea of ‘fun’
Why does the very thought make me want to run?
I put on my dress hoping I look hot
A dash of red lipstick, I want to give you a shock
Striding in the room expecting all eyes on me
Instead everyone is chattering impatiently
I smile and wave to the people I know
They want cheerfull? I’ll put on a show
Down that wine, there’s my ‘happy juice’
Not too much or you people might assume I’m loose
The music starts and boy it’s loud
I have a chance to see you in the crowd
Losing myself in the song, in the moves
I almost miss seeing you near me with your funny red shoes
But alas you’re gone, before I can even utter a hello
You’re halfway across the room and I don’t want to bellow
People’s outfits are glitzy, way better than mine
I would have dressed better if I’d had enough time
I catch another glimpse of you during my favourite song
But for a second my world shatters and everything seems wrong
You’re dancing with another girl, arms round her waist
Why can’t that be me, why her in my place?