Saturday, December 10, 2011

Because sometimes, jazz flows through me like the current through a river

Going through a huge jazz phase right now. Even though it's always been right up there with country music and swing, these days its been ticking inside my head like a thought that won't go away. Scratch that - like a thought that you don't want to go away.

You guys, I have so much to tell you. Like the fact that the approaching winter can be a pain and rock at the same time.
That Austrian cheese "aus dem Bergen" ("from the mountains") and Glühwein from the Christmas markets here is magical.

That I rediscovered the Tacheles house (that I've told you about several times before, remember?) last night with K. Met some of the people there, happened to land up in the middle of a Mexican birthday party, got a new cloth bag which says very coolly - Kultur kann man nicht kaufen - which in English means - you can't buy culture. And then there's an asterisk and right at the bottom, in small letters, it says aber (meaning 'but'). Cool huh?
The artist is Tim Roeloffs and his work pulls me out of my comfort zone and makes me think. I also bought this postcard right here. It means 'Berlin - The City of Peace'. I love that little bear and the dove.

And my birthday was last week and it was really good. One of my many lovely presents (from friends I now have, hallelujah!) was the Amazon Kindle I got from G, complete with a book I was waiting to read. Moment of crazy dancing here for the awesome people in my life:

A dancing banana

A dancing cow WITH bananas (and udders for genitals)
Thank you Google images for the awesomeness. Ironically, the cow is smaller than the banana. 

Lots more to tell, but for now, Saturday sloth is calling.

Love and bananas,

The Cyniqueen

Friday, November 11, 2011

When you live in Berlin...

The last, crumbling signs of autumn lie dulling on the ground and winter is slowly reaching out its frosty hand, frost being the operative word there. I know I don't usually start with the weather (or do I? Eh, don't really care to remember), but when you're in Europe, you can't not talk about the weather, you simply can't.

See? How can you not talk about it?

More things that happen when you live my life:
  • Your language becomes a royally awkward hodgepodge of English and German that makes you fumble and falter no matter what language you're trying to speak.
  • You realize for the first time in your life how cold some things really are - keys, door handles, coins, zips, for example- especially when you have to heave your hands out of the warmth of your pockets.
  • To your mild surprise, life still has many, many firsts to offer that make you want to act like a child (blow smoke/mist in the air, pick up leaves frosted overnight and stare fascinatedly at everything wintery).
  • You listen to old hindi songs on your mp3 player in the train and cherish the secret joy it brings you, surrounded by people who don't know the language and may never understand the beauty of Kishore Kumar or R.D. Burman.
  • You click pictures every time you see something novel. Which is all. the. time. Oh yes.
  • You begin to want hot chocolate everyday and feel bad about it.You discover that the sugar-less Cappuccino from the vending machine at your uni is surprisingly good.
  • You discover the pure, unadulterated joy of cooking Indian food in a foreign land. Of bonding with your mother and grandmother who taught you to cook, and feeling their presence next to you, guiding you when you're cooking something even though they're continents and oceans away.
  • You cry a little when you have to write a report on the German political situation that you know squat about. You also snivel at German literary texts that you are supposed to read up on and understand. You wonder at how it is possible to understand every single word in a sentence and still not follow what it being said. You nod obediently at people, even when their German is too fast/thickly accented. You wonder or cry about it later (as the case may be, especially if the German in question is spoken by a teacher giving important instructions for the next class). Basically, you cry a lot. And by 'cry' I obviously don't mean sob. I mean your eyes well up a bit/you want to tear something or scream just a little.
  • To put it simply, there are several moments of deep self doubt.
  • ...but then there are days you're proud of yourself because you just did one more thing today you never thought you could have :)
  • You learn to budget a little better. A little tighter. It makes you feel a little grown up. And then you buy Aloe Vera gel for 7.40 Euro and save like a squirrel the rest of the week.
  • You finally stop saying 'Rupees' at the end of every sum and switch to Euro.
  • You learn about some huge cultural differences between India and Europe. You can't wrap your head around them.
  • ...and some things, like smiling at strangers, you love and adopt as your very own.
  • You learn that moving away to a new country means finding new brands of personal products. Which can be a pain.
  • You think you're going to miss your train everyday and run... then you bake in your 50 layers of almost-winter clothing.
  • You wonder how bad and gloomy January will really be, especially with everyone painting such a bleak, depressing picture.
  • ...but you secretly wait for the first snowfall of your life (and hope you can cope with the cold).
  • You do a happy mental dance when you give tourists directions to a place in Berlin.
  • You feel somehow browner, just a tiny bit. It makes you respect your heritage :)
  • You get frustrated at your hair's lack of effort to be presentable in Berlin and its animosity towards the water here. But then, after a couple of weeks, the bounce comes back and you look normal again. 
  • There are some moments that jerk you away from Berlin, from Germany, from Europe and hurl you back to India - to a sight (beige, smooth, sparkling beach sand) or a sound (hundreds of honking cars) or a taste (pani-puri, Goan bhaji, batatwada, hot, soft chappatis) or a person (family). It leaves you bewildered, exasperated and yearning in an incomplete, torn sort of way.
  • You try eating a lot of new things and decide you like most of them (except for duck that one time. And 'tropical fruit tea').
  • Incense sticks never smelt holier.
  • Life was never this stimulating.
More later. Probably. How has everyone been?


The Cyniqueen

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Something More

Things happening/being mulled over presently:
  • Autumn  - bites you in the face and produces awesome mist type thing in the air when you exhale/talk. Not to mention how beautiful the bright yellow, fiery red leaves on trees and rustling, whispering heaps of dried leaves on the ground (like in the picture above). I can almost hear my skin cracking gently against the cold. Also, I keep hearing the term 'golden autumn' (goldener Herbst) everywhere. 
  • The end of waiting. Almost - My course starts very soon. I'm excited, but have mild concerns about starting out a Master's course in a field I've never studied before and in a foreign country. Oh yeah, and in German. Mild concerns *pulls out hair and runs amok*
  • My only friend/confidante/support here moving away for a while. It's going to feel like the first day of kindergarten. Like the time you're cooking something and you realize you're out of salt. Like when you're only pair of shoes breaks when you're travelling, y'know what I mean?
  • Upside of aforementioned course - fewer students in each class, which means a higher chance of being able to make friends. Past experience sits on its throne of smugness and scoffs at my optimism at hoping to make some reliable friends (and not the kind to flake out on you in times of need, as has unfortunately come to pass several times before), but I'm planning on dethroning it and being the one who scoffs. With my new friends, hopefully.
  • I am soon going to be in possession of some very coveted substances - Indian cooking ingredients! As much as I have come to love Schnitzel and Quark (curious? Go Google), I can't wait to make some decent Goan Sol Kadi and attempt (hopefully successfully) to make chappatis and Pav bhaji and things like that. Yum!

Task for the day - Go listen to Take That's latest song if you haven't already.

An icy, misty, autumny flying kiss to all,

The Cyniqueen

Monday, September 26, 2011


Because sometimes, nothing helps. Not a hug. Not a hot cup of tea. Not a warm orange-crimson sunset.

Because sometimes, you simply need to let yourself go. To drop every little squirming bit of regret. Every baser desire. Every lonely thought. Every social gaffe.

Because sometimes, it's all you can do to keep from laughing so hard, the old man in the crisp suit at the other end of the train station can hear you as clearly as if the laughter were his own.

Because sometimes, like a waiter at a fancy restaurant who knows you'll tip him well, life will bow down to you and ask you what it is that you want. 
It is then that you will err. It is then that the sunny laughter will mellow.
It is also when you will really start to see life for the cruel joy it is.

Until then, my friend, be very still;
for Life is watching you with its sly, slanted eye.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

'Pure' vegetarians, steer clear of this one





 [Pictures via Google Image Search]




1.devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
2.entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.
3.pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to secular  or profane): sacred music; sacred books.
4.reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study.
5.regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero.
Why this sudden slap of religion, you ask? No, it has nothing to do with the Pope visiting Berlin today (he really is. Go Google it if you want.). It has nothing to do with religion. Devotion? Reverence? Ah, the lines begin to blur a little there.

It started with an egg. It started shortly after I was conceived, with my mother eating an egg every day 'for the baby's sake'. I wish I could tell you that I remember the food I ingested as a foetus, but I'd like to think that my crystallizing, still-forming brain loved it like a dog loves a belly rub. I'd like to believe I relished it and let it stay on my tongue (well, after I had one) and smiled a satisfied smile before I swallowed and went back to floating in the warm cocoon of my mother's womb. (I'm pretty sure that the foetus doesn't eat any of the food by itself, but this is the bit where I play my poetic license card). 

For as long as I can remember, eggs have occupied a special place in my heart (figuratively, although it may hold in its literal meaning some years down the middle-aged road, cholestrologically speaking). I ate them at breakfast, I had them as a snack in the evening or simply because I wasn't too hungry at dinner. When I was still a kid, I loved hard boiled eggs. Hard boiled and fried. I detested the flaky, smelly yolk of the boiled eggs for several years, only to discover years later that the same yolk tasted like heaven sprinkled with sunshine and angels' smiles if you boiled it for a lesser amount of time. I also learnt what divine pleasure fried eggs, the sunny-side-up kind, can give someone. And except for a brief affair with bread and butter in my school years, eggs have been my breakfast staple. Imagining ife without eggs was (is) very very difficult.

Having been a fussy eater through my growing years, with an almost spiritual connection to junk food and sweets and all things unhealthy, eating eggs seemed to take away some of the guilt (just to be clear, I wasn't an unhealthy or overweight kid. The weight issues started very mysteriously, much after I adopted a healthier lifestyle, but that story's for another day. Like the day after the apocalypse).

Eating eggs, with all their folic acid and protein and minerals and calcium and potassium and iron and vitamins (PACKED top to bottom and side to side with nutrition. Go Google it if you want), made me feel like a nutritional angel despite my loathing of certain other healthy food. The NECC (National Egg Co-ordination Comittee) would have been proud - speaking of which, I dug around youtube and found these. Too bad if you don't understand hindi:

And the one I think is slightly lame in terms of over the top acting and bad quality , but also rocks in its listing of why eggs are awesome *drumroll*

How eggs could possibly, conceivably be vegetarian is beyond me, but whatever.

So anyway, things were fine, I was happy and eggs were delicious. Then came research, like it always does to ruin a good thing. 
Eggs are evil, it said. The egg yolk has fat. And cholesterol. Terrible things will happen if you so much as smack your lips in the presence of an egg ( how I saw it then). This happened when I was a teen, and for a while, I ate my boiled eggs without the yolk, and our cats fought over who got to eat them. Then came more research which said hold on a minute, may be we were wrong. Really? I thought, and continued eating eggs - with the yolk, minus the guilt. And like the boy who cried hen (I know, I know. But, poetic license.), research stuck out its 'objective', 'methodological' head and shuffling its feet on the ground and biting its indecisive lips, whimpered something else about the health benefits of eggs. More recently, someone brought to my notice that eating eggs every day may not be good for me and I should try cutting down.

This is how I see it:
  1. The good in the egg seems to outweigh the bad, with more health benefits for women.
  2. To roughly quote my mother, anything eaten in excess is a bad thing. Which is why my mom put an, ahem, limit to how many eggs I could eat in a day (Two. Except when there was egg curry or bhurji. That was like a bonus). And I still stick to it.
  3. Very few things rival what eggs mean to me. I know it sounds silly, but it's true.
  4. One more fact - If it really came down to it, I think I could give eggs up. But only for the people I love (Except that the people I love, if they really love me, wouldn't take eggs away from me, would they?).
And finally, it doesn't matter, okay? I don't stuff myself with eggs till I can't eat anymore. I simply treasure every bite of egg as if it were my last (even on days when I was running late, when the boiled eggs were eaten almost whole). When I bite the soft, boiled egg white and it hits my tongue, for the slightest second, my world stops. It does.

So scrambled or fried, boiled or baked or poached or cooked, this is it. My biggest romance with food. I want to grow old with it and never let go.

Mock me if you will -- all I'll do is swish my healthy hair at you and walk away, with a smile on my face and an egg on my mind.

Yours sincerely,

The Cyniqueen

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Big City Life

Almost 3 weeks in Berlin and I'm still in the first flush of love. Since having been here, I have gone to Brandenburger Tor twice, travelled a bit within the city on my own, and oh, did I mention - I also got the spot at the university of my choice. Not a bad few weeks, eh?

I have also made 2 trips to Hakescher Mart (about which I've told you a few times) which is a weekly market with stalls selling spectacularly assorted things from shiny necklaces, curious hats, fresh coriander (that was one joyful discovery), agarbattis, antipasti, falafel, crepes, photo frames and paintings to second hand books.I went there last week in the afternoon when I had been having a day best described as a string of clumsy accidents (dropping my things, missing the train and so on) and all I needed was some Hakescher Markt. I had a big cup of hot chocolate at the stall with the warm, smiling italian man who's always humming to italian songs playing in the background as he makes your drink. Now wouldn't that turn your day around?

On my list of things to do in the two years (at least) that I'll be here (with regard to food) is try as many varieties of cheese, tea and bread. So the tea here is very different from good ol' Indian chai, but there's a mind boggling range and I'd be a fool not to make the best of it.
Ooh, and I haven't had any beer or bratwurst (sausages, which Germany is famous for) since I got here. Unbelievable. Also, calories. But still, Curry 36 will happen soon, I hope.

This time around in Berlin, things are different. There's no hurried rush to take it all in. It's not a quick snack, you know? It's a sumptuous dinner, cooking luxuriously over a low flame, bubbling with anticipation, drinking in flavours and just simmering. Mmm...who's hungry?

More later

The Cyniqueen.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Short update and a little dance

It's been so long since I posted (3 and a half weeks), but it seems like longer. My world has changed in that time, hard tests (the test of mettle kind, not the grading kind) have been passed and I write to you from Berlin, where the breeze outside is just right and the sun, in a spurt of end-of-season generosity, has decided to shine and smile at the Berliners.

Oh wait, I never celebrated my coming here with you properly
Okay, I got bored of searching for more. But I'm here, you guys! Finally, after all that longing and craving and dreaming.
It hasn't even been a week yet and I feel like I've never been away. Don't get me wrong, I miss my family like hell and try not to think about home too much. It's different from the last time I was here, because at that time I knew I was going back, that this was a holiday. Now, I'm going to have to call Germany home, and that's something that hasn't sunk in yet.

Feels so good to be blogging again :D

Yours sunnily,

The Cyniqueen

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I dipped my heart in sunshine

Via Google Image Search

  • I will be in Germany next month at this time soon (ifeverythinggoeswellwiththevisabutIhavefaithanditwill).
  • Packing is hard.
  • Wrapping up your life in a city (well, country) is harder still.
  • Giving away old clothes which are ill-fitting and worn; and to which memories cling like musty smells, is tragic.
  • I will miss Indian English Television. And knowing about the latest hindi movies and songs. And Tata Sky.
  • And my night lamp in my room in Goa that I love so much (but I will buy another one at Ikea the first chance I get).
  • I just discovered the best waterproof curling Mascara ev-er. The downside? I can't seem to find any more bottles. Talk about disappointing discontinuation of much loved products (Which I did here that one time).
  • I have had 2 doses of local anaesthesia injected into my jaw in the last two days. A routine dental check-up has turned into one continual hell-session, with me needing to visit every day so as to be done with all root canal-ing and wisdom tooth extracting (uh huh) in time before I leave. Thankfully, I have no dentist phobia, and I'm, somewhat immaturely, I must admit, immensely enjoying coming up with new dental double entendres (cavities being filled, dark places being poked and so on). I share them only with myself though, not with the dentist. Obviously.
In other news, I might be cat-sitting for a friend for 3 whole weeks in December and the prospect makes me tizzy with excitement. Two. Cute. Fat. CATS. You guys! :D

The Cyniqueen

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    On the sunny side of the street

    I'll be popping the bubbly soon, oh yes I will. [via Google Image Search]

    As much as I love doing listy posts, I sort of miss posts-posts. So here's some news...ish.

    I am probably going to Berlin next month if all the formalities go smoothly. I have a good feeling about it all. In fact, it takes all of my restraint not to dance as I type this (but a little jig never hurt anyone).

    And horrid university applications are finally done. You may now join in my jig. Happily. Not like you're being forced. Dooo it.

    I have fun lists to do now, namely things-to-buy. Wheee!

    Also, the prospect of making new friends in Germany is a great one. Especially when things on that front here in India are not too hot, with about 2 exceptions. Why do some things have to be so difficult? I wish I could say more, but loose lips might sink ships. (P.S - Please go hear the song, it's awesome).

    But but but, nothing can get me down right this minute because an official phone call I received some time back takes me one step closer to Germany. Eee! ^_^

    The Cyniqueen

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Eff this

    via Google Image Search

    • Eff being in a great hurry, trying dress quickly and wearing your top inside out.
    • Eff sitting at home all day, doing application work.
    • Eff paperwork. Eff it to the deep bowels of hell, where Satan and his minions will proceed to use it as second-hand toilet paper.
    • Eff having to sit at the laptop for hours on the end and getting an aching finger-joint for your troubles.
    • Eff feeling lonely despite all my alter-egos (Am I joking? Nnnalmost).
    • Eff rolls of fat and the power they have to plunge one into depression.
    • Eff being alone in the house all the time.
    • Eff this heaving, circling, wrecking, smashing, screeching tornado inside my head.
    • Eff eff eff eff eff eff.
    Venting is overrated. But tomorrow is a new day.

    The Cyniqueen

    P.S - The 'nnalmost' thing is from Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things when Rahel is trying to deny having seen Velutha even though she actually has. How many nnalmost moments do you have? I have millions, mostly when in conversation with myself.

      Thursday, June 30, 2011

      "Just like that", she said randomly. And went on smoking her Cuban cigar.

      Things on my mind:
      1. You never really know for sure. About anything/anyone.
      2. What will I do when I can't talk to my mom everyday over the phone when I'm far, far away? :-/
      3. The Catcher in The Rye, as of page 50, is superb. Not at all the kind of stuffy narrative I thought it might be.
      4. I am spatially challenged (as far as making space for things in my room is concerned).
      5. I miss having room-mates (who stick by you no matter what and comfort you on sad days and willingly provide comic relief during exams).
      6. Country music awakens something in me that no other music does (Hmm...except Jazz, perhaps).
      7. I don't fit into about a thousand of my old college clothes. That, and a combination of Van Gogh, Rubens and Trinny and Susannah prompted a quirky poem about women's body image (at least I think it's quirky). May be I'll post it later. May. Be.
      8. I really really really really miss having a pet, especially since our last cat, the alien-looking Baldy died last year. 
      9. I love playing the C, G, D, A minor notes on my guitar in succession. They're like best friends who never fight.
      10. I'm sort of kind of little bit may be starting to get closer to kids. No I'm not. Yes I am. No. Yes. May be. May. Be.
       Ever-ly faithful, never-ly flaky (almost),

      The Cyniqueen.

      P.S - Don't ask me about the title. It was the first thing that popped into my head.

      Tuesday, June 28, 2011

      Dum dee dum

      Because sometimes, only Van Gogh can capture how you're feeling.

      Some of the things I will do when I send out my last university application:
      1. A happy, crazed, I-never-want-to-look-at-another-university-website-in-official-German dance
      2. SLEEP
      3. Wake up every morning and remind myself that the ordeal of sifting through the 181 universities list is over forever and I don't have to do application work today.
      4. Revive social life some what.
      5. Read Bridget Jones' Diary again and laugh and ruminate.
      6. Not think about anything document related, official language related, list-related at least for a day (because unfortunately, moving to a foreign country entails non application-related paperwork too).
      7. Go to the Salon. Get a haircut. Get a hair spa thing.

      The Cyniqueen
      P.S- Pictures via Google Image Search

        Tuesday, June 14, 2011

        Someday, baby

        Happiness is a state of mind. Cliché? Yes. Untrue? No.

        I'm so happy right now. Even though my room is a mess of clothes roughly classified into 'Clothes that fit' and 'Clothes that will fit again soon'. Listening to Jack Johnson, thinking about the beginning of the end of acne (according to my doc), thinking about a similar, more panicked scene 10 months 1 day ago; and a similar scene which will come to pass in a couple of months from now. 
        Packing. Clothes everywhere, strewn plastic wrappers of knick knacks freshly packed in a suitcase bigger than me, worrying about being on time, about good weather when I land, about nothing breaking inside, about perishable food not getting spoilt. 
        Looking forward to Brötchen on the plane (about which I blogged that one time), looking forward to Germany. To all that being there means to me.

        A difficult goodbye, a familiar buzz, lots of green tea over 2 flights and then, the landing. And then? A new life.

        Scary? Of course.
        Exciting? Hell, yeah.

        The Cyniqueen

        Sunday, June 12, 2011

        Who's to say

        Glittering evening sunshine

         Fading friendships

        When it's raining and the sun comes out
         Making a book of recipes

        Listening to Gloomy Sunday and not feeling gloomy at all

        Feeling strong enough not to need someone  
        Tender, teeming green after the first week of rain 
        Missing your grandparents 
        The taste of home food 

        Wanting to read 5 books all at once
         Resisting chocolate
        Laughing hard at 3 in the morning 
        Watching once-hazy plans slowly take shape
        Feeling happy for no reason
          Berlin on the horizon, here in Goa

        Dusty fingerprints on forgotten memories
          Cynicism providing the cushion to the (big and small) blows of life
         Re-reading your favourite books

        Missing having a cat

        Reviving love
        Stubby fingers
        Old, soft, worn clothes, which, when you wear them, is like sleeping in a hug
        Sleep tight y'all.
        The Cyniqueen

        Friday, June 10, 2011

        Of this and that

        A representation of me scaling new heights (with an ever so slightly body. And not Caucasian).

        News: I cleared the TestDaF exam (remember that dreaded German exam I went to Delhi for? Which prompted this slightly hysterical post?)...with a full score! It was a moment of such pure bliss (and also some jumping all over my room).

        Also, I'm done with my internship, which I will miss.

        And, here's the cherry on the cake (ish) - concrete Germany plans are happening again! I can't tell you much at this point (because I don't know myself), but I will soon. Know and tell.

        What else? Goan rains, driving the car, German, documents, acne (again), a new book called Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, a lot of mangoes (not so much since the monsoons started, but before that, two a day. Hey, calories schmalories, okay? I figure I'm going to be missing a lot of Indian Summers from now on).

        And now, I must go.

        Love and health and happiness and luck,

        The Cyniqueen

        P.S - Image via Google Image Search
        P.P.S. - Here's one of my favourite songs, for which you can find the lyrics here. Enjoy :)

        Thursday, May 19, 2011

        Nothing gets me feeling high like feeling a little low

        A scene from Waiting for Godot [via Google Images]. Absurdism gets me every bloody time.

        Too many things in life are overrated. Is it really worth it, all the things we keep fighting for, day in and day in and day in? 

        Job, I could lose in a day. Money too. A degree is infinitesimal at the end of it all. Take it from someone who could have been doing a proper moderately well-earning job (already having completed a degree and all), but is instead doing an internship. Not to say that it's awful. Not to say that it isn't fancy. Not to say that I would rather not have it, but that's how it is.

        What's left, then, at the end of a day? Love, I guess you'd say. 

        But this is bad, the place I'm at - Being Cynical. Why then, does it feel familiar - like an old house I've come back to after many years? Things are a little dusty here, a little rusty there. And there are many bones lying around.
        But it's a home I once lived in, a home that mattered.

        I left it eventually. Stopped being cynical, more or less. But I'm always afraid a bubble will burst. And the worst bit is, sometimes there isn't even a bubble. Alles scheint hoffnungslos zu sein*. And I find that I can't even rest on cynicism, because I left it, and then it left me. Call it sour grapes, call it escape, call it cowardice. But it was always there for me when other things weren't, wasn't it?

        I know I'm not making much sense and I'm going to stop now. It's just that I wonder sometimes, what it's all for. I want this and that and that. Say I get it. What then?

        Yours pensively,

        The Cyniqueen

        *Everything seems hopeless.

        Monday, May 16, 2011


        There's no water in the house
        And in my mind, a tap's leaking

        Does that make sense? Guess not. But there really isn't any running water in the house since morning. Urgh. So disgusting I feel in this sticky heat. But we had fish curry rice again for lunch today and then we had alsaandyachi bhaji yesterday and today (which is sort of like Rajma, but you only get  it in Goa) and life was merry again.

        My internship's going pretty well and I've got a couple of bylines in the paper too. And also, I have the best morning commute in the world. The road from Margao to where I need to go is lined with coconut trees and fields and green and ponds and rivers and glimpses of the ocean. Whenever I get the window seat, I get no reading done whatsoever (except on Saturday, when I was so exhausted while coming back from work that I feel asleep with my face against the window, doing that involuntary, terribly undignified head bobbing, falling asleep thing I used to laugh at fellow-commuters for).

        I miss my sister, who is still in Pune, very, very much. I wish she was here too. It's nice to be home, have my folks around, have the comforts of air conditioning and a soft bed. A little annoying what with the no water and all, but still. I get to be home home. In my birth and growing-up place ^_^

        And and and I have a lot of work still, but I can't get my mind to be still. It's not horrible like the pre-German-test tension and restlessness that was pouring out of my ears, but simply the tired kind. I have to peel myself off the couch after I get back from work and I'm done with dinner. And then work again. But we must what we must, no? I gently placed my Berlin magnet above a photo frame in my room because there's no magnety surface it'll stick to. I need to keep reminding myself of the bigger (and ahem, thinner) picture. Next stop, fitness.

        Until later.

        The Cyniqueen


        Saturday, May 7, 2011


        Ahwoohoo! The dreaded exam is finally over and done with. For now, anyway. Results are out at the end of the month. Until then, I wait, hope and work. And fear. Life throws a lot of things at you. And some are wonderful, but scary. But a good kind of scary, you know?

        I don't have much else to report except for the sticky heat of Goa and the strangely disorienting comfort of home. Also, beautiful, warm, summery rays of sunlight slant into my room in the evening, little glittering golden beams. I can't help but love the orange glow it brings to my room. Peace visits my bedroom every evening, no exceptions. Isn't Nature wonderful?

        The above paragraph was written weeks ago, after I was in Goa following my big German exam. Since then, I've made a short (hectic) trip to Pune, where I proceeded to attempt the frightful task of moving almost 4 years worth of stuff back to Goa along with managing university work like transcripts and recommendation letters. My room in Goa is now covered with suitcases and clothes upon clothes, as if I'm a guest in my own home. But but but, the main reason I came back here is for an internship I'm doing in Panjim, which I'm quite pleased about. Life lessons (such as the iron-smelling, sweat-mingling, elbow-punching, change-counting joys of learning to travel by the local transport) are happening. 

        I miss you and you and you. I shall post again soon, I hope.

        Love and sunshine,

        The Cyniqueen

        Pssst....reading this very interesting book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey about time management, which I don't normally do (both reading about time management and sadly, time management itself). Point is, try to give it a read if you can. Thanks to G for the tip (read: almost devotion-like praise of the book following by continual prodding to go read it). :D

        Sunday, April 10, 2011

        I am completely calm and controlled....(not)

        On Tuesday - The mother of all German exams.

        Surreally sensitive to the heat (evidently) - my skin

        Overcast - Pune at the moment

        I am not going to freak out, I am not going to freak out, I am not going to freak out. The exam is in Delhi, where I must go. Which is what makes everything...grander. And puts more pressure on me. Oooh, though. May be will get to do some shopping. Not that I particularly love to shop, but still. It's Delhi.

        I have to go describe graphs in German now. Any luck or prayers you send my way will be most humbly accepted and most greedily ingested (by mind, naturally, not body). 

        Yours nervously,

        The Cyniqueen.

        Friday, April 8, 2011

        It never stops

        You Learn  
        (by Alanis Morissette)

        I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
        I recommend walking around naked in your living room
        Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
        It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
        Wait until the dust settles

        You live you learn

        You love you learn
        You cry you learn
        You lose you learn
        You bleed you learn
        You scream you learn

        I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone

        I certainly do
        I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
        Feel free
        Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
        Hold it up (to the rays)
        You wait and see when the smoke clears

        You live you learn

        You love you learn
        You cry you learn
        You lose you learn
        You bleed you learn
        You scream you learn

        Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)

        Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually anyway)
        The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

        You live you learn

        You love you learn
        You cry you learn
        You lose you learn
        You bleed you learn
        You scream you learn

        You grieve you learn

        You choke you learn
        You laugh you learn
        You choose you learn
        You pray you learn
        You ask you learn
        You live you learn 

        [Photo via Google Image Search]

        ...and I'm ready to take on the world again! Thank you wise musicians of the 90s who know exactly what to say and when to say it :)

        The Cyniqueen

        P.S - You can hear (and watch) the song here.

        Friday, April 1, 2011

        Here without you

        Symbolic representation of my mind. [via Google Image Search]

        Dear Blogger, 
        I miss you.

        Dear fellow bloggers whose blogs I read and love and comment on,
        I miss you too (but guilty pleasures have a way of getting fulfilled).

        Dear TestDaF exam which takes place on 12th April,
        I want to crack you, but you're somewhat intimidating. You are the reason for my rear being stuck to this chair for hours on the end. You are the last German-related hurdle and you, my last exam (Hopefully in the first attempt).

        Dear aimless internet-surfing,
        You are the only thing that makes me feel entertained and useless at the same time(after 2 hours of mindless surfing and Wiki reading). But I miss you. The Massive Surfing of  31.03.2011 (as it shall be known from now on) about World war II after watching bits of Der Untergang (again) shall be our little secret.

        Dear link-hopping on German university websites which I need to do till I finish my applications,
        I haven't taken warmly to you (since you made me stop my much loved mindless surfing) and it is quite unlikely that I will ever miss you. Quite.
        Note: These University websites have me caught in a web of links so tight and intricate, I can't breathe. Did you know you could get lost on the internet and roam in circles and get very scared you'll never be able to find your way back to your homepage again? I feel like that when I go through these links. So to reiterate, I will not be missing this particular activity.

        Dear afternoon naps,
        No, you aren't good for me, but we both know how much you mean to me. And now that I must study every chance I get (as relaxing as that is), I have to let you go. For a while, anyway. But we shall meet again, okay? Soon.

        Dear Goan-raw-mango-concoction-which-we-made-in-pune-which-sits-on-the-dining-table-as-we-speak-and-which-makes-me-drool-just-thinking-about-it,

        Dear social life,
        I mourn your death every moment of everyday. I will meet you in your new, reincarnated life in Germany, I will.

        Dear English books, Vogue and Cosmo,
        Hang in there. I'm getting to you very soon. Also, I miss you.

        Dear Goa, dear home, dear air conditioner, dear fish, dear Tata Sky, dear backyard, dear peace,
        Simply put, take me in your arms and let me live with you forever*.
        *Conditions Apply

        Dear Juno, my lovely guitar,
        You are my weak-spot, but I haven't played you all year. All year! I'm so sorry, my precious, and I miss you.

        Dear empty-wall-in-my-study-room,
        It's weird not having you around. Instead, the wall is now a disorderly wall-of-post-its bearing Redemittel, Synonyme and other study stuff in general.

        Dear Solitaire on my laptop, my sole sweet source of pleasure,
        Don't ever leave me okay? You're all I have. You and my colourful stationary. And the new Rubik's cube, which is more fun to scramble expertly than try to solve uselessly .

        Dear feeling of Nothing-On-My-Mind, 
        I barely remember you. Your brethren Falling-Asleep-Quickly-And-Thoughtlessly and Mr.Switch-Off (as in switch off all your worries and be carefree, also called my Goan state of mind) have become vague memories too. Come back soon, won't you? Missing doesn't begin to cover what I feel for you.

        Dear Germany, dear Berlin, dear people who made Germany magical for me,
        Guess who I miss most?

        Yours sincerely,

        The Cyniqueen.