Blog: Riot of Random

Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Amidst the hills and forests of South-West Kentucky lies a cave – the Mammoth Cave. Running almost 400 miles long it is easily the world’s longest cave system. A separate world on its own, the cave has been of service to the humans for as long as six thousand years. It has been historically used as storm shelter, burial ground, tuberculosis hospital, food reservoir, mine and tourist attraction. But since 1941, i.e. after its incorporation as a National Park its only purpose lies in preserving its own ecosystem and entertaining the horde of tourists that flock every day.With the aim of making most of the quickly receding summer, last Saturday we made it there after a four hour drive amids... Read more
clicks 391 View   Vote 0 Like   5:35pm 14 Aug 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Having learnt the word Clinomania and that it’s a legitimate condition of a human body, I am not shying away from using it anywhere and everywhere I can.  In the last two days of its existence in my life its usage has grown by leaps and bounds. I am dishing this word to everyone who dares to try to get me out of my bed. It gives me a two-way advantage: First it gives me a pleasure to know that extreme addiction to one’s bed is more than just laziness, it’s a condition, and it’s called Clinomania. And I am Clinomaniac. Sounds better right? The hibernated feeling of guilt for being too lazy is gone and I already feel a little elevated in my position. Second, when people around m... Read more
clicks 426 View   Vote 0 Like   9:36pm 6 Aug 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Evan Grae Davis speaks at TEDxGateway about the new word called gendercide and its implications. As I watch, I start to feel nauseated.  A woman somewhere in South India smiles and enacts how she killed eight of her new-borns just because she was a girl. She has no sign of remorse when she shows the home made graveyard where she buried all eight of them.  Makes you shiver. Does it not? But it’s hardly unique. Chances are - you are all too familiar with different versions of the same story.          If you are girl (I know you didn’t have any control over it), then you are a criminal and you deserve to be punished. If you were lucky not to be killed when... Read more
clicks 350 View   Vote 0 Like   6:53pm 29 Jul 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
           A Silicon India daily dose in my inbox told me that there is an acute shortage of IT managers. Such was my shock that I almost suffered a heart attack. With over a hundred thousands of vacancies, my worst fear has come true. The corporate IT hierarchy is finally going to look like a diamond instead of an inverted tree.          Anyway, now that there is such a huge demand, supply should be there too. And if you, by any chance, are aspiring to fulfill one of those positions then here’s a guide you may follow:1) Don’t be scared to apply if you haven’t been to any management institution. If you are old enough... Read more
clicks 342 View   Vote 0 Like   12:37am 26 Jul 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Every now and then life gets complicated and you need to escape. Even though nobody needs an excuse to escape, sometimes it serves as the right incentive. Whether you are just bored or your mother-in-law is visiting or your craving for adventure is really getting strong, a road trip is the answer to everything that can be your excuse to get away. You can carry your curiosity and sense of adventure with you and the let the diversion en route add to the sensation.My idea of a perfect road trip is pretty simple: the Himalayas, my husband and his camera and a sturdy SUV. Mountains fascinate me, especially the Himalayas. If I have time for a trip, I always inadvertently end up planning a trip aro... Read more
clicks 409 View   Vote 0 Like   5:59am 22 Jul 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Solitude!I come from India - a land which is home to 1.2 Billion people. I lived in a city - a place where roadside aesthetics are the families who live there with their swollen-belly children and bare-ribs dogs. I had a small home – an apartment where even the closed doors couldn’t block out the various types of sounds that rose from the passing traffic. Why, I even became uncommonly skilled to identify the vehicle just by listening to its honk. I lived by myself but was never alone for a single second.Now I have come to a country which is three times as large as India but has a population of only 300 million. Now I live in a city where red and white tulips adorn the sidewalk. The only ... Read more
clicks 398 View   Vote 0 Like   5:50am 2 Jul 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
This is the concluding part. You can read the first part of the story here.Rani woke up from the splashes of rain on her skin and the sound of loud thundering. She didn’t know what time it was but judging by how little rested she felt it shouldn’t be dawn yet. The room was dark; the power was out. She sat up and looked outside the open window. A tropical storm was blowing in full force. She had always liked storms but something didn’t feel right about this one. The lightning was so frequent that the sky looked a permanent blinding white. A baby was crying somewhere, no, wait, that was the wind blowing through the Eucalyptus trees. It was raining but not very hard. A dog, no, rather a f... Read more
clicks 355 View   Vote 0 Like   6:51pm 24 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
This time I am back to wearing the judge’s hat for the Indifiction Workshop once again with Leo and Jaish. And we decided: why not use our power to make people write some spooky stories? After all it’s also the season’s preference, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like a good ghost story on a rainy evening, stretching on a couch or a comfy floor mat and munching hot pakodas? The kind of stories that makes your hairs stand straight on the back of your neck?Source: Web            The ideal situation for such storytelling, as preached by the many authors I grew up reading, always involved an elderly person as the storyteller. He narrated his stories, his life experiences in most cases, to... Read more
clicks 297 View   Vote 0 Like   1:23am 21 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Image sourced from webIndia has always been mysteriously guided by mythologies and scriptures that were written thousands of years ago. Our very unwillingness to bring ourselves at par with the current times has been the main reason why we are still a third world country when the countries like China and Japan who started at the same time as ours are already being considered as the next superpowers.We are so proud of our golden history that we fail to see it’s irrelevance in the modern times. But I also feel that either we are too superficial in our understanding of these ancient scriptures or a certain group of people manipulate our understanding in order to maintain their superiority and... Read more
clicks 410 View   Vote 0 Like   6:14pm 19 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
It’s that time of the year again when millions of students from all over the country are starting a new phase of their lives. School days are over and it’s now time for college. It’s time to fill numerous forms, to attend impressive counselling and pray to be accepted in the college of dream. Many are nervous, unsure of the unknown future. But trust me, the worst part is over. Future will take its own shape in its own time. Life gets better from now on. Well it did for me at least. Why, I am pretty sure, it was the same for most of us who studied under the state board of West Bengal during the same time as I did. Even though I hear things have changed, I have no idea how different it i... Read more
clicks 261 View   Vote 0 Like   6:32pm 18 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
New York. No, not the movie. But the city. The real, actual city of New York. A visit to this city confirmed a long standing conviction of mine – that I am a city person. Nothing makes me happier than to have a little space of my own to live in the city – amidst the centre of all the actions.A view of Manhattan from the Empire State BuildingI loved those Concrete buildings - so tall that you have to bend your neck as far back as probably possible to be able to see their peaks. They looked so beautiful when the sun reflected from them.If the busy roads at 2 AM in the morning, the road side food joints bustling with people from all ethnicities, the beautiful bridges thickly dotted with yel... Read more
clicks 460 View   Vote 0 Like   7:09pm 7 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
“Shaadi ke do saal ho gaye, abhi tak koi issue nehi? Kyun?” Mrs. A asks me very casually. That is when, five minutes into our introductory conversation, I see the red light first. Shocked that one could ask such personal questions at the very first meeting, I smile politely and try to change the topic. But Mrs. A clings on, stubbornly – with an expression that seems to say, “You don’t know, what a strenuous dirt digger I am.” Desperate to shake her off, I say something about our non-readiness for parenthood as yet and walk on hastily.             A little further down the hall, I spot a younger group of women giggling heartily. Feeling optimistic I move closer.  Yes, ... Read more
clicks 359 View   Vote 0 Like   4:19am 4 Jun 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Dear Mr. Rituparno Ghosh,I got up this morning with a shocking news. That you had died. My first thought was, “What kind of silly joke is this?” So I cleaned my eyes once again and looked closer into the phone. Yes, there it was. Rituparno Ghosh was no more. That you really had died.You are gone with a finality that can never be undone. With you went the niche of Bengali cinema I was so proud of. I have never been a fan of films because I have never found films comparable to books in terms of portrayal of human emotions. But you were among the very few filmmakers in whose works I found the respite of watching a film without the feeling of a superficial watcher. You restored my faith in B... Read more
clicks 273 View   Vote 0 Like   5:27pm 30 May 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
IndiFiction Workshop is an initiative to help Indian Fiction Writers hone their style. This idea is the brainchild of 'The Fool' who blogs at http://luciferhouseinc.blogspot.in and C. Suresh who blogs at http://jambudweepam.blogspot.in/, both of them need no further introduction other than their names. The workshop in general follows certain rules. Everyone has to tell the story using their own narrative style based on a given plot. Different narrative styles are evaluated by fellow participants and judges. The plot for this exercise can be found here. You can read my entry here as well. All comments and critiques are welcome.Hector: Paris! Come here. I have found a thief hi... Read more
clicks 285 View   Vote 0 Like   12:03pm 15 May 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
        No. Living in the US is not as easy as it seems to be. While I try my best to feel at home here, random culture shocks are thrown at me, making me wiser or sometimes leaving me dumbstruck. Here in my blog I collect them as breadcrumbs lest I forget my way.If you haven’t read my earlier post on this, go ahead and take a look at it: here.This one, however, is more about my culinary tastes. I am a compulsive foodie. I love to eat. I am also a big believer of the saying in Sanskrit, Ghranena Ardha Bhojanam - the aroma is half the taste.But I am very lazy. In fact I am so lazy that I believe if you spill water on the floor, it will eventually dry so why bother yourself with the mop... Read more
clicks 383 View   Vote 0 Like   8:19pm 8 May 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
About Women in India                                      Your lips are probably curved upward already as you read the title. Your incredulous eyes probably refuse to believe that yet another person wants to write yet again about the same tiring topic. And you are probably thinking, “What will it achieve anyway? As if everyone didn’t already know everything!” Maybe you are correct. Maybe what I have to say has already been said many times by numerous other people. But that doesn’t make the unease I feel everyday go away. So I have to speak, I have to vent my feelings out irrespective of whether it reaches you or not.Every day the newspaper reports at least one inc... Read more
clicks 370 View   Vote 0 Like   4:38am 2 May 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Last week I visited a dairy farm – The Fair Oaks Farm situated between Indiana and Illinois. It is also the largest dairy farm of the United States.But we didn’t know about the farm until we reached there. We were just driving to Chicago in order to attend a Holi Party a friend invited us to and to buy some fish from the Devon Avenue. But as luck would have it, we ended up in the farm. How? That’s another story which I would probably tell later. But for now, let me share with you how impressive the farm was.The farm is Bio-Secure. That is, the places where the cows and the calves live are out of bound for public. However they have a guided bus tour of the entire facility, some dairy ad... Read more
clicks 695 View   Vote 0 Like   8:28pm 18 Apr 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Image Courtesy: http://www.wallcoo.net1I have just turned six and attained the minimum age limit for the membership of the neighbourhood public library. I know this because the librarian had said so last time. I proudly walk into the library, holding a photo of my birthday celebration as the proof of my age. The librarian scrutinizes the photo carefully. I wait patiently. After a while he says, yes, I am eligible for the membership.He asks me my name and address and issues me a membership card – B111. He says till the time I am sixteen, my membership is free. Gloating, I go to the children’s section. Wow. Such a huge room! So many racks, so many books! I can hardly contain my glee. But ... Read more
clicks 302 View   Vote 0 Like   11:40pm 15 Apr 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Yesterday I watched a Danish movie – “The Hunt”, one of the best movies in the Cannes Film Festival 2012. I am really not a movie person but this one blew my mind away. I haven’t been able to take it out of my head since then.I won’t review the film here because I am not equipped to review such a great art. But it sure is a controversial take on an intensely emotional issue.It’s the story of Lucas – a kindergarten teacher, who is falsely accused of being a paedophile. A young girl, the daughter of Lucas’s best friend, develops a childish crush on him while in his care and when he gently explains the boundaries of their friendship, she begins to pout.Later, she tells the crèc... Read more
clicks 288 View   Vote 0 Like   3:38am 14 Apr 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
This post has been written for the ongoing Indiblogger contest - Beautiful Ends to your Beautiful Braids! sponsored by Dove Split End Rescue System.“Oh my god! Your hair look absolutely stunning!” exclaimed Swati. I smiled innocently, secretly gloating inside. Of late I am getting used to such compliments. And I can’t say how much I am loving it. I can once again wear my favorite hairstyle - a thick braid that goes straight till the end without tapering. I am wearing my braided hair everywhere these days – to office, to parties, to hangouts – everywhere. I don’t anymore have to tie my hair in a boring bun to hide the horribly split ends I used to have not so long ago.“What have... Read more
clicks 247 View   Vote 0 Like   5:37am 21 Mar 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
Living in the US is not as easy as it seems to be. Especially when you don’t have a driving license and have a husband who lives 400 miles away. Hence I am reduced to taking a cab, a train, a bus and then a gracious pickup in the husband’s car to reach his place almost every weekend.And as unbelievable as it might sound to an average city-dweller-and-heavily-dependent-on-public-transport-for-daily-business Indian like me, you have to time everything! You can’t just miss a train or a bus here, for the next one is only a couple of hours later. And they all have excruciating smart phone apps to remind you that you have a train to catch in 15 minutes and the next one won’t be coming unti... Read more
clicks 449 View   Vote 0 Like   3:43am 14 Mar 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
When Suresh of Life is like this asked me to write about my publishing journey, I was honoured. Even though I was excited and wanted to write immediately, I was forced to put it on hold for a loooong time. Weeks later when I asked Suresh tentatively that if the request was still valid, he was gracious enough to say yes :). Thanks to him!So here it goes, my guest post for the Indi Fiction Workshop - You Have Written a Book, What Now?Hope it will be useful to some of you!Love,© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved Riot of Random... Read more
clicks 216 View   Vote 0 Like   5:26pm 25 Feb 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
So yes I moved to the US. Now I am just getting back to my normal routine after quite a long time of literally living in the air and on the wheel. From New York to Seattle, from Chicago to Miami – it has been a crazy fortnight. In spite of the concept of globalization my transition to this new country was full of new experiences and every day is still full of them. So for now, my next few posts are going to be full of my expatriate experiences.>>> <<<I was a citizen of the glorified global village. Too much a believer of the concept of India shining. That was why I was super pissed when an elderly lady at the Frankfurt airport told me that being able to drink directly fro... Read more
clicks 241 View   Vote 0 Like   5:50pm 23 Feb 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
How Much will you allow?Indians have scrambled sense of personal space. And I am happily included in the parade. I have had always liked my brother’s stuff more than my stuff. Even though they were often identical, I never thought twice before claiming them. My dad’s t-shirts have always been my favorite wear-at-home clothes. I have always eaten happily off my aunt’s hand when she used to mix rice and fish curry together in a big Kansa thali and feed all my cousins simultaneously from it whenever we were having our mandatory family picnics. And I have slept with my mom and dad till I was eleven. I have travelled in cramped trains and buses standing so close to another person that I cou... Read more
clicks 314 View   Vote 1 Like   6:43pm 28 Jan 2013
Blogger: Rajrupa Gupta
In the country I live in, men are easily the fairer sex. Everything they do is the norm. Just by being male, they earn the right to exercise control over their female counterparts. From the time they attain their teenage, by some mysterious ways of nature they turn expert critics of a female’s appearance – they do not hesitate to pass unwanted comments at a passing female -  about her clothes, hairdo, pimples, lipsticks, the way she walks and many more embarrassing topics.  Girls never point back that the superior gender looks damn funny when they walk with their arms slightly lifted from their torso as if they have two big puss filled boils in their armpits. Or that it is not so mascu... Read more
clicks 338 View   Vote 0 Like   4:38pm 21 Jan 2013
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