An article on the topic ‘Psychological effects of Fat-shaming’

According to National family health survey India-3 (NFHS-3), thirteen percent of women (15-49 Years) and nine percent of men (15-49 Years) were overweight or obese in 2005-06. Overweight prevalence was higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Why do you think it is happening?

Share your comments and we will soon publish a write-up on this topic.

Reference: https://www.nhp.gov.in/disease/non-communicable-disease/obesity

Magnet Driver™ Space Rocket: A Huge Upgrade For Tiny Screws

Innovation is happening around us all. Every day, there are a million new things invented and we have industries specific for creating all-purpose machinery.

While tools for fixing electronic goods and handy pieces of household machinery was reserved to the electronics guy, today we can have a box set at home.

In this compact world, where electronic goods and handy pieces of machinery are competing against each other to diminish their size, flexibly-operable screwdrivers are in high demand; managing and preserving these tiny screws is a real challenge for many. 

Introducing Magnet Driver Space Rocket; this all-in-one precision screwdriver and toolkit aid is a must for repairing a wide range of items like mobile phones, laptops, cameras, watches, glasses, tablets, notepads and other toys which have an intricate design, fitted with tiny screws. 

The second aspect of this product’s name is space rocket accents. Honoring the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing, echoing the Saturn V spaceship, the innovators have named their product after this milestone achievement. Each toolkit piece consists of various mentions of the special victory of mankind and the details fo the moon, place and the date of landing are engraved and interwound. Anyone with a liking for astronomy will be thrilled to have this as part of their special collection of the mechanical toolkit. 

The Intricacies: 

These hardware products are pretty flexible and extendable to four different heights i.e., 8 inches, 7 inches, 6 inches, and 5 inches, with two-extra shot direct positions for a total of six different working distances. This allows the user to reach specific places single-handedly. Space Rocket driver is made from 6061 aluminum CR-V; it is light-weight, yet extremely durable and can be used for multiple projects, for a long time. 

Magnet Driver Mini:

This magnetic screwdriver easily helps install, replace and tighten screws single-handedly. It is indeed an art and takes some practice to fix a screw and can be a challenge for those working regularly on hardware. The Magnet Driver Mini grips and holds the screw in place, making fastening a much easier work in all aspects. Your other hand can relax while during the process. 

Totally, there are five Magnet Minis in two different colors, signifying different sizes that work with 1-1/8th precision bits or standard – 1-3/4th precision bits. 

Inside the box you get:-

Magnet Driver Bits

Magnet Driver Organiser Mat

Magnet Driver Carrying Case

For more information about this amazing magnet driver toolkit read more here:

https://tech.wtf/new-products/magnet-driver-space-rocket-a-huge-upgrade-for-tiny-screws/

Order your Magnet Driver Space Rocket now!

TOLIYA: New invention for fitness enthusiasts

In this active world, we often outsource services.

Services like travel, food and fitness structuring are rampant in the servicing industry. How can we achieve more with fewer efforts going in is a common efficiency lookout these days? Food gets delivered at home, laundry is taken care of by service providers; even banks send executives to get credit card transactions.

Innovation is the new norm. Newer devices are being created right now that has multi-purpose usage.

In the fitness world, with more and more people quitting the gym and opting for outdoorsy activities like camping, trekking and, the likes, what if we have a multi-purpose fabric?

TOLIYA TOWEL: Upgrading Your Bath, Sports & Travel Essential

Our fast-paced life craves certain arbitrary adjustments and this calls for multi-tasking products. Millennials are more active these days and always crave for some innovative accessories that will enrich their day-to-day lives. One such product we have that we use day-in-day-out is Toliya meaning towel in Hindi originated from India. 

In a regular household, there are various types of towel items ranging from large, life-sized bath towels, small wash rags and handy towels for wash-basin, etc. One challenge we all face is the regular cleaning of these towels and for them to be clean and in proper hygienic condition. Another challenge would be its storage and ability to fit in smaller places. 

Usage:

How wonderful would it be, if we have a product that will fulfill all these requirements, have flexible usage features that would help everyone irrespective of their lifestyles? 

For a person interested in outdoor activities like camping, traveling and trekking, Toliya will come in handy as a product that absorbs water quickly, requires very limited space while packing and dries off easily. Also, for a light packer who prefers to keep limited items in his backup, a must-carry regular towel wouldn’t be practical to carry around if it consumes most of the bag’s space. Toliya takes 1/5th of the space consumed by a regular towel and is space-efficient. While camping and swimming or cycling and running, the need for the towels to dry quickly is of utmost importance, keeping in mind the hygienic conditions in which it is dried. 

Toliya towel serves both purposes and is made of 100% Natural cotton with no harmful dyes. This is a towel created by master weavers that gets softer after every wash. Not just for outdoors, but for indoor activities as well, like gym, yoga or a normal household, this innovative towel is an all-purpose necessity and an important part of active life. The Large size towel is sized at 60″/30″ i.e., 150 cm/75cm, lightweight(approximately 300gms) and can slip into any bag easily. 

Read more about TOLIYA here:

https://twisted.fitness/new-products/toliya-towel-upgrading-your-bath-sports-travel-essential/

Game Of Thrones: S0806

“Duty is the death of Love”

As excited as my Mondays get, I woke up to watch the last episode of Game of Thrones that started back in 2011, as the sun started to shed it’s light through my windows. After today, Monday mornings will never be the same. If you have not watched the episode yet, then I must let you turn back and read further only if you want to know how it ends. This article contains spoilers and they are pretty disturbing.

Daenerys Targaryen after sacking King’s Landing

The show is on; it is titled “The Iron Throne” and it picked up right where it was left last week; the city of King’s Landing turned to ashes by Queen Daenerys Stormborn, riding over her dragon and being true to her heritage of Targaryens. Amidst the celebrating Dothraki and the unsullied army, we see Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark gauzing the destruction that was left in the wake of the Mad Queen. While Tyrion mourns over the death of his siblings in Maegor’s Holdfast, strangled under the deluge of the Red Keep, Arya walks over to Jon Snow and gives him counsel as a representative of Stark family. Tyrion finally gathers courage and takes a stand against his Queen and is immediately imprisoned for treason.

Jon Snow is the only one who can handle his Mad Queen. He is counseled by Tyrion who has best of the interests for the realm, Arya speaking for the North and also Sansa, the unsullied headed by Grey Worm who is loyal to the Mother of Dragons and yet Jon needs to know in his heart that his Queen, the woman he loves, to whom he has bent his knee has some humanity left in her or not.

Jon Snow after sentenced to the Noght’s Watch

Daenerys’s vision in the House of the Undying has come true and we see her walking towards the Iron Throne and she is euphoric as her childhood fantasy is about to come true. Taking over Westeros and protecting the realm, freeing the people from a tyrant and breaking the wheel has been her destiny. An intense conversation between Jon and Dany showcases the two versions of protecting the realm and freeing the people; while Dany wants to create a new world with good, her version of freeing means liberating people of their lives and Jon has always been the one to do the right thing, finally sees the truth behind her megalomaniac ideology, which has always been destructive.

“Duty is the death of love” quotes Jon remembering Maestor Aemon and prioritizes his duty, sacrificing his love, as a true Stark.

Jon kisses her one last time and drives a knife through her heart, thus bringing an end to her tyranny and freeing the world of Targaryens. A distraught cry from Drogon makes us realize that he was her only ally all this while. Drogon, in a fit of agony, burns the Iron Throne, made of more than 1000 swords, melted so easily symbolizing the end of tyrant rule in Westeros. A beautiful moment between Mother and child is caught when Drogon tries to wake his dead mother but accepts her demise, gently carries her in his talons and flies off, probably to Valyria.

Read the full review here:
http://bit.ly/gots8e6r

Urban Poverty

“I have enough money for this month, am gonna buy this beautiful dress and get matching accessories alongside it for the party coming week” – said 24-year old Sana to her bestie Rahul.

Sana and Rahul are “friends“, as per Sana at least. While Rahul is still ecstatic about how his fingers grazed the back of Sana’s palm when they both reached for the red dress at the shopping mall, is unaware of his friend zone status. As Sana nudged Rahul, he came out of the reverie and said- “Come on Sana, let me buy it for you. Anyways it is your birthday next month, this can be your gift” mentally calculating how much money is left in his sad little bank account and realized that even if he does buy her the dress, he has got to buy her another present just to get that “Aww, you didn’t have to!” and a peck on his cheek by the girl on whom he has a crush from past 6 months.

Living in the city, I have analysed people; a lot. Everybody here between the age of 21-30 are living in what is called urban poverty- meaning living month-by-month. Except those who live with their parents from past 20 years in the city and are thoroughly taught about the value of money, even if they have commuted everywhere on a four-wheeler i.e., the richie rich kids.

That is how it is said, two-wheeler, four-wheeler, unless it is KTM, bullet, falling in the previous category or Audi  and BMW falling in the latter one. The other group of people who are not part of the urban poverty are those who are the offsprings of the poorest of the poor, living on daily wages; the truck loaders, the cobbler, cleaner, washer etc. These kids are happy with a bag of chips that they get from the nearby paan shop who pities the woman, mother of four children, who sweeps that road every morning.

The candidates belonging to Urban Poverty line were never really poor in essence. They just never had to go through money problems while living with their parents who were part of middle class families in the smaller towns. They had a beautiful childhood, loving housewife-mom(homemaker is an urban word for housewife), banker/teacher father, a good education and a dream to live in the city, as part of the urban populace, doing IT jobs.

Their dreams, no doubt have been achieved; they are part of the urban society; sipping overpriced coffees, savoring pizzas at the famous pizzerias, planning parties and hangouts with ‘friends’ whom they have met hardly a few months back and call each other stuff like BFFs and bro. Yet these people are struggling at the end of the month to even buy a pound of fresh bread, some eggs and petrol. They are used to spending on materials that will complete their urban look; shades, graphic tees, numerous hair spa sessions at the branded saloon which have air freshener sprayed every 10 mins and yet make a face when the local vegetable vendor denies them ‘extra’ coriander leaves.

The need to be part of the social media culture, the morning-look candid pic Instagram users,  the uber cab daily users who despite the cab facilities available from the company they work with, are too lazy to get up in the morning and miss the office shuttle; the ripped guy from the gym who always wears Nike clothes and Puma shoes and sprays deodorant every 10 mins during gym sessions, who also grazes his own washboard abs looking into the mirror, the cute look-a-like of Alia Bhat who has to wear red lipstick, carry a designer bag and never repeat clothes and feels the need to flick her hair every few minutes, needs to take a selfie and post it on Instagram, the tall guy with glasses who always has an eye for the ladies in his vicinity, shamelessly looks her from top to bottom, delivering a shady line to his friend and is thoroughly perverted, the cool, checkered t-shirt wearing-short-bespeckled-girl who has guy friends and talks about politics and the stand taken by the localites against the authorities for not clearing the garbage; these few are the people you get to see just about anywhere.

There is one thing in common among all these urban children; lack of money. Whenever the topic of payment or money is made, they casually pull out their cards and make the said Dutch payment. They also share the fare among their friends and promise to get back together the next weekend and discuss more such topics. There is no question of bargaining; it is cheap.

The pattern goes like this; the first weekend of the month, the party place is a hip hop pub with ‘dhikchik dhikchik‘ electronic and trance music; this is followed by dinner at the restaurant with the highest stars on a certain food blog website. The following weeks gradually dry down as everyone gets thrifty and the last weekend when they are waiting for their next salary, friends manage with a vada pav from a local barrow vendor who has questionable hygienic sense for the food he is selling.

Most of the money is spent on drinks, dinners at high-end restaurants, shopping spree, concert tickets, petrol, summer/winter/spring look, a vacation to the nearby beach or hill station. Young girls and boys coming from middle class families get independence from their so-called stingy parents who paid lakhs together money for their children’s education and had to deal with caring for more than one child, as the parents wanted ‘Aarati Ge ondu magalu and Keerthi Ge ondu maga‘ translating to ‘A girl child to perform pooja and a boy child bring prosper’ which was a family planning slogan. Back in their dayscouples wanted more than one kid even though there was only one breadwinner in the nuclear family. After decades, when the children have grown up and are asking for iphones and Macbooks, they are suddenly bad parents not giving their children what they deserve.

Once these power hungry, independence-craving teenagers step into adulthood and bag a job with a payscale adhering to normal city standards which is exuberant for the small town folks, want to live their life without having to worry about money(as their parents had to). All the packed frustration of teenage comes out in the form of vengeance, in the beginning of adulthood under the tag of “I want to live my life as I wish to’.

A few love stories are woven, between the constant struggle of living life to the max at on point and struggling for a piece of bread at other, many find their future partners too.

Good or bad, one thing for sure is, these are the best days of one’s life; carefree, energetic, packed with a fresh batch of hormones induced with independence and ambition. As one grows old and progresses in life, they fall again into different categories; married, in-a-relationship, struggling entrepreneur, stud NRI, team lead, freelance content writer, business owner, MBA graduate, Software Engineer the list goes on. As responsibilities fall upon them they move forward and start saving money or investing and the weekly hangouts turn to monthly hangouts with fewer friends or replaced by spouse or relatives; they are followed by freshers who are again carefree, party animals, Instagram hotties, gym studs and English series buffs, repeating the cycle of life and thus all is well in the city.

Mid Office Musings

Since the day I joined a new project, my life had changed. So far, I was in an internal project where my work revolved around the office managers, sending them reports, extracting reports at hourly, daily and weekly basis of each employees effort details, their availability and billing hours. To me it was learning time. I had the bandwidth, as my manager called my free time, to learn some new technology and get things certified.

I agreed to do that and I spent my time working at my own pace with an occasional tap from my lead about the pending calls for the week. Other than that nobody would call me or ping me. Since everything was internal and nobody sat on my head to resolve any issue, I spent a good amount time for lunch and coffee and tea breaks in our cafeteria. This also gave me enough time to pursue my writing passion, my fitness regime and my socializing skill. I chewed my food minimum 20 times per morsel, as the blog said.

However all this came to an abrupt halt when I moved in to the new technology and was replacing a junior member. First few months were onboarding time for KT and learning and nobody gave me the critical work since I was new and might mess up. As days went by, I took up more work and started working on them at a much quicker pace. This shortened my lunch time and my break timings went haywire.

Hey, it’s a new project; got to give what it takes; got to impress the Gods (read clients)

My one hour lunch time in cafeteria was replaced by a 20 minute quick lunch in the pantry, where I would spend some time talking to my Mom because I don’t like being alone.

As days went by, I learned to eat alone in the pantry and would often keep looking over my shoulder if anyone would give me company. Yes, it was sad but I didn’t have time to think about it as I had to quickly go back to work and do a million things at a time.

I quickly realized that I could actually take a little more time to swallow my food else one day I would choke and there would be no one to do the work I was doing. I learned some useful email etiquettes and would reply to the client that I am working on it and will reply soon. This would buy me some time and I relaxed a bit in the pantry during lunch hours.

The pantry was an interesting place; they had only three tables with 3 chairs for each table, a water filter, a coffee machine, a sink and a crate full of various kinds of tea bags. Every once in a while, there would be people coming in to fill water bottles, drink green tea or make themselves a coffee. I found some juniors and recognized them as freshers as they were very loud and treated water bottle-filling-sessions as a group activity and would come in groups of ten or more.

I found a pattern.

A single person coming to the pantry was always a manager or a lead consultant; group of 2-3 members were co-workers and mostly senior software engineers; and the fresher group had the most people.

Every group had interesting topics to discuss about.

Two men walk into the pantry and discuss about mutual fund investment plans. Two women walk into the pantry and discuss about the cooking recipes they have recently learned. Fresher group which usually has more people always has one boy who accompanies almost all girls and ‘walk’ her to the pantry and back all the while she is yapping about her hair or her new dress or the party she wants to go that weekend.

One day I sat at an empty table with my lunch bag propped up. I opened the containers and placed all of them close by; one had chapatis, another had a curry, another was a salad and one small box some spiced chutney. Of course there was a small box for fiber powder and another with some nutritious supplements. I quickly took a photo and sent it to my husband. He didn’t reply back; I didn’t wait.

Meanwhile, at the next table there were two ladies. I recognized their blue tags and they were definitely senior consultants who had spent more than 5 years in the company.

Lady 1: Add some garlic and fry it; then add ginger. Now you cut some mint leaves which actually gives you the flavor.

Lady 2: Mint leaves? Oh really?

Lady 1: Yeah. That is right. It is the mint leaves which give you the restaurant flavor. I watched it on YouTube.

Lady 2: Oh, my elder one doesn’t eat anything I make. Every day is a battle. I have to come up with something new and creative. That is why I have 10 different kinds of sauces at home ranging from mayonnaise to tomato chutney and she loves junk food.

Lady 1: Ah that is true. My daughter has a sweet tooth and I worry that if she keeps eating at this pace, she will grow up to be heavy and obese. I ask her Dad to take her with him during his workout, but he doesn’t care enough.

All this while, I listened intently and found how fascinating their conversation was. Although they are senior consultants and having high priority clients and complex issues to be solved, they were more ecstatic about the addition of mint leaves in a recipe.

At that time, two middle age men walked in to the pantry to fill their water bottles. As the first one water filling water, the second one said, “Man I tell ya, go for mutual funds. There are two types, equity and debt funds. No risk at all, I tell ya. How do you think I bought that car last month? I have been investing in mutual funds since 5 years.”

Man 2 nodding his head, asked “whom did you contact for this one? You must have an agent right?”

Man 1: “Yes. Of course. You call my man. He will give you the best deal and you don’t have to worry about anything for the whole year. He will give you an estimate by the end of the year on how much tax you have saved”

Man 2: “I really have got to do something about this. I am paying a lot of tax and my housing loan is not enough to cover it”.

Interesting how contrasting these two conversations were.

Now another group of people came in while I was savoring my last chapati. This one had 2 men in their late 20s and the 3 girls who looked the like they were in their early 20s.

Not to be a buzz kill, but it was just a matter time that they got what they wanted and looked very predictable group.

I finished my lunch and got up to wash my hands and to fill my cup with water. I waited next to the water filter while one of the girls was filling her water bottle.

Girl 1: She left the job you know? It was her last working day last Friday.

Boy 1: Why do girls leave their job after marriage?

Girl 2: It is not unusual. Either they can’t take the pressure or else their husbands or in laws stop.

Boy 2: What pressure? It can’t be worse than in office? Seriously, you should meet my manager, he is a pain.

Girl 2: House work. Girls should manage both household and office and keep their head straight all the time because they can’t afford to lose their shit yaar.

Boy 1: Household work? Cooking? It hardly takes 1 hour to do that. For other work they should have a maid do all that. Come on, she is been working here for 4 years, she can afford to pay for a maid.

Boy 2: Yeah man. I don’t understand. Why do all girls want to prove that they are some superwoman huh? To impress whom? If you can’t handle it then why do you brag about multitasking etc? No wonder women are so messed up after marriage. Marriage is scary.

Girl 1: You won’t understand that Mehul. It is not always the same.

As my turn came, I filled my cup with water and came back to my place. I was numb. This last conversation was heart-breaking to me. The middle aged men had financial responsibilities; the women had culinary responsibility and the young girls and boys were in their assumptions of how marriage works.

I realized that I have been in all these places.

I was making some investments, also worrying about the cooking for next day and once upon a time, I also was doubtful about work, family and relationship.

What surprised me was that no one was talking about work. No one was talking about technology, new software or bidding for new clients or anything about their work for which they were getting paid.

I started wondering what if the conversations were swapped.

What if, the women talked about financial investments, the men about cooking and their children; the young boys and girls about technology or cars or new apps?  How different would the world be!

At that time my phone buzzed and I saw my Mom calling.

Me: “Hey Mom. I thought you were sleeping”

Mom: “Not yet. Your Dad is yet to come for lunch. Once he comes I’ll take a nap. Also there are some people here for cleaning the garden. The weeds have grown 2 feet tall and our maid spotted a snake in the backyard. Due to rainy season no workers are available.”

Me: “Hmmm mmm.”

Mom: “I made green gram curry today. It will last for dinner as well. How is your new cook? Does she cook well? Does she use less oil and clean up after the work? You should stand beside her and monitor her, you know. They don’t learn. One day you give them some leniency and next day they will dance on your head. You got to learn to keep them under check”

Me: “Yes Mom. How’s dad?”  And then she went on for five minutes talking about Dad.

All is well I guess as you reach retirement. Only a few regrets on how you could do it better. We learn to balance work, family all our lives. You are never too old to learn something, never too old to have problems.

Thus my lunch was over and I walked back to my work station and dived into a pile of waiting emails, deadlines, client calls and meetings.

Couple’s Yoga

Morning sunrise woke me from my deep slumber. A few stray sun rays sneaked through the curtains and fell over my face warming me slowly in an attempt to cook me as I lay rolled up in my blanket as a shawarma. As I open my eyes, I see another face; eyes closed, my husband was still in deep sleep. I snuggle and steal a few more moments of bliss trying to remember the long lost dream I had.

I couldn’t stay in long and rise from the bed, dragging my feet and getting into morning business. It is 7:10 am now and I pack some food for lunch. I don’t want to go out for jog today. It is very sunny for my taste, not to mention the lateness of the hour.

Then, what do we do? We got to drive the sleep from the eyes.

We don’t have tea or coffee for that.

I lay one yoga mat in the living room while the other inmate of the house is still dragging his feet, brushing his teeth!

I call him and ask – “Hey, come join me for yoga!”

His eyes lit up. After wiping water off his face, he joins me in the living room and lays another mat parallel to mine. We are facing the open balcony with its wide open door, letting in fresh air and yellow sunlight which is now falling on our faces.

Before getting into the trance or yoga, I ask him to play music. The whole tune is set for 30 minutes.

He got his phone, connects it to the DVD player and after a few seconds, small beats of tabala starts playing through the speakers and with that note we fold our palms in a Namaste, rise above our head and bend forwards, touching the toes.

Standing side by side, we continue Suryanamaskara for another 15 minutes; facing the morning sun, praying, breathing deep, inhaling and exhaling.

Now the music is on another level; higher notes; flute and tabala music dancing alongside each other.

With the flute beats in the background, we now sit cross-legged facing each other;

Our rhythm matches, we quicken the pace; our feet pressed between the palms, pressing against the floor covered mat. Another 5 sets of Suryanamaskara and we are breathing through our teeth.

After completing we look at each other smile. It is the sense of completion, complimenting each other.

The next set of exercise is stretching.

We now sit on the floor, facing each other as our legs stretch on either side of us, with 2 feet distance between us, we bend forwards, holding the toes for support. We hold that pose for a few seconds and retract back to the normal posture.

We sit cross legged, facing each other; he takes my left palm with his right and right palm with his left hand. We hold each other’s wrists and close the fingers around it. We inhale slowly, matching each other’s pace, hold in for a few moments and then exhale slowly. Eyes closed, we are matching the music, now flowing in a serene rhythm.

He brings both my palms together in the center and closes his palms around mine; pressing the fingers slowly, drawing circular motions with his thumb.

I become aware of fingers on the back of my hand and follow the pattern.

As my mind is empty with only the music running in the background, I focus my attention to my palms.

Nothing else exists. It is just him and me; the music; our palms. There is a connection there.

An energy flowing through each of us and transferring to the other.

I slowly retrieve my now warm hands and hold both of his in the center and close mine around them. I simply hold his hands; no movements.

Music now is slowing down.

After a few more moments, as the music comes to an end with the flute stopping completely and the just 2-3 strokes of tabala, I release his hands and open my eyes to see a beautiful smile spread across his serene, happy face.

“Good Morning”

Trip to Australia: Sydney Diaries

The moment I got off the plane, I was so tired of the long flight that I didn’t realize that I was stepping on the ground that would fulfill my long-waited trip to the land of Kangaroos. 

After finishing the immigration formalities for the first time on a foreign land, I met my sister who was waiting for me at the arrivals, holding a balloon labelled “Welcome to Australia” with a heart above the ‘i’ and a Koala holding a tree branch on the side. We hugged each other and I could feel excitement emanating from her which was not reflecting in me. Yet, we screamed at each other in excitement and I pushed my 25 kg luggage towards the exit. 

The most dreaded solo flight journey was over. For the next fifteen days on my trip, my only job was to do the things which Amy had lined up for me and enjoy. (I’ll explain the Amy part later on). 

Sydney was cold; it was breath-taking as I had anticipated. The climate was bleak and just like my tiresome mind, the feeling was reflected in the atmosphere around me. We took a train from the airport towards her residence in Hornsby. It was around 11 when we reached Hornsby and we walked the half a kilometer distance to her house. The roads were empty; she pushed my big bag across the street on to the curb and I threw a glance to my surroundings; huge mansions neatly lines, lush green foliage covering the walls, one or two cars drove past us and not a soul around. We reached a corner and there was a small three storey building with English lamps on either side on the pavement. 

The one bedroom apartment was cozy and white; thick carpet on the floor provided warmth and absorbed sound. After a quick shower and some hot chocolate, I fell on bed and closed my eyes and drifted into  deep slumber.

“Finally, I am in my dream city” .

Day 1 in Sydney started early. It was a surprise to see darkness outside at 8 am. Although my body was jet lagged and craved more sleep, my mind was fresh and reads to explore the beautiful city. 

I had a bucket list to accomplish; a to-do list which included landmarks places, try all the local cuisine, walk up to strangers and converse, to learn their accents, collect souvenirs and make a lifetime of memories. 

Every change in Sydney was new and welcome for me; although drinking tap water from the bathroom was a no-no. I settled to drink water from the kitchen tap. There was no bucket in the bathroom but only a shower for bathing purpose. Somebody was practicing piano in the neighborhood. I got a new sim card for my mobile phone and checked the service and made quick calls to my family. 

Coming from Bangalore, I was not very used to walking. In Sydney though there was a lot of walking. To reach any place, most everyone used metro trains. Walking to and from the Metro, home and back was a daily affair. It took a couple of days to get used to walking and matching pace with Amy. We boarded the train and I saw a plethora of people from different nationalities. Being Indian and a chatty girl, it took every ounce of energy to keep my mouth shut and maintain silence in the train compartment. 

Harbour Bridge, Sydney

We reached CBD, the Central Business District, the IT hub of Sydney and walked amidst crowds, constantly flickering neck around and checking out outfits. My mouth fell open looking at the beautiful scenario, ocean cutting the city in two with the Harbour bridge- a two and a half km long bridge with 4 lanes, a walking track on one end and a metro line on the other. Walking in the Harbour Bridge, I looked at the Opera house, majestically perched on the wharf below. 

The view was amazing; blues and greens around; clear sky, a few birds flying above Sydney’s most visited landmark; my dream destination; my phone’s wallpaper over a year now. 

Just then a girl in tracks ran past me and I jumped on to the left side of the path, getting out of my day-dream. 

Our next destination was the Manly wharf for which we had to take a ferry from the mainland to the other part of the city. The ferry ride was smooth and serene; the sun was out. I got my camera and clicked a million photos of myself with the Harbour bridge and Opera house in the background. Manly wharf was crowded with tourists. Music blared from one of the nearby bars- The Bavarian.

Bavarian was the quintessential Australian bar; throngs of tall Aussie people were drinking beer from large mugs; blue eyes women dressed in cute mini-skirts served their customers with a smile to go. 

We ordered some chicken wings and a couple of local beer. Initially, I couldn’t grab the local accent and found ‘mate’ sufficed at the end of every sentence; to save me from embarrassment, Amy placed our orders and the girl in the mini skirt left us with a high pitched ‘Thank you’. After ten minutes, we were served two large glasses of blonde beer and a large plate of chicken wings covered in Buffalo sauce and a side salad. 

After the scrumptious lunch, we headed to the Manly waterfront. It was drizzling slightly now. The long road along the beach was lined with beautiful, huge mansions with glass doors and white windows. Even though every mansion had a different architecture, most of them had a garden in the front yard, complete with a barbecue, a wooden table surrounded by some chairs. 

The 6 km long walk was tiring but the view was breath-taking. Around 5 pm, we were back to the ferry and made our way towards the mainland. Our fellow passengers on the ferry stood at the front deck, laughing and giggling every time the boat rose high on waves. I and Amy sat holding on to each other for dear life and prayed so that we don’t end up puking out guts out with seasickness. 

I gathered courage and walked to the front desk, holding the railings for support. The waves were pretty strong and the ferry rocked back and forth. Lady beside me said – “Oh my God. This is so much fun” I smiled at her meekly and said- “Oh Yeah. OF course, it is”. 

She further said – “Hi, I am Susie. You are?”

I extended my hand and shook hers, replying – “I am Anusha”, to which she got confused. I bet she didn’t get my name correctly. At that moment, my sister came to my rescue and said – “Hello there. I am Amy and this is my sister Ana”. Now Susie nodded and smiled at us. 

By the time we reached the mainland, Susie knew all about us and wished us a fun-filled vacation ahead. Now it was nightfall and the Opera house was lit. It was a beautiful sight to see the spectacular Opera house. 

Opera House, Sydney

The train ride back to Hornsby was a blessing as there was complete silence in the compartment and fewer people. 

Darkness surrounded us, as we walked back home. I thought to myself- “Quite an adventurous first day. Let’s see what more Sydney has to offer tomorrow“.

Around 10 pm, I was dead tired and closed my eyes picturing the day’s events in my mind like a slideshow and quickly drifted into a deep sleep. 

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