Saturday, December 2, 2017

Record of absence

The next time you’re absent, phone the new driver, not me.

Clearly, my old bus driver was making sure he wouldn’t get a single call from me again. I couldn’t blame him, though. I was infamous for taking days off from school, every now and then. Mom didn’t have an issue either because it meant she’d have company at home the whole day.

Tenth grade in India was similar, with the only difference being you didn’t need to let the driver know, because the bus would leave on time whether you were on board or not. I stayed at home whenever I fell sick, or had too much to study and too little time. We had exams every week, which meant at one point or another, I felt myself drowning in assignments, homeworks and other school stuff.

I’ve never understood how people come to school everyday and have a perfect attendance. For me, that seems utterly impossible. Just trying to wake up early is where the difficulty starts. During the winters, I can’t seem to push my cozy blankets away.

When I find someone whose record of absence is just as bad as mine, we have an understanding between us that’s close to sibling love. It is very rare though.

Coming back to the present, the little kid next to me had taken his notebook out and was taking down the new driver’s number painfully slow, writing every digit like it was a struggle in his big, loopy handwriting.

Then he looked at our old driver straight in the eye and said “Uncle, don’t come back”; presumably because the idea of writing down a phone number again daunted him.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Greens - A Salad Lover's Paradise

We had dinner from “Greens”, a salad bar, a few days ago.

Dad is a herbivore. I like salads as well, but I always try to chuck out any tomatoes. Plus, if I don’t like the dressing, there’s a good chance it’ll be left uneaten.

An actual salad bar is very rare to find in Riyadh, other than the side salads you can take at restaurants like Pizza Hut and Steakhouse. Naturally, this fueled our curiosity, and we made our way there.

The restaurant was bright and cheery. A variety of food like fresh juices, shakes, and a whole lot of other stuff that was organic and healthy were available, plus racks of chips with all different kinds and flavours.

I’ve never had a chance to choose the ingredients for my salad before, so it was quite a task, because of the several options.  

The place held a calm and peaceful atmosphere, and we really did enjoy dinner.

Friday, October 27, 2017

My first award on Wattpad!

My story “Bruises” was awarded first place in the Athena Awards on Wattpad!

I had entered in several competitions, but lost. By the time the Athena Awards announced their result for the Mystery/Thriller category, I had forgotten all about it. So it was a pleasant surprise to wake up one morning and see the notification on my phone, which let me know they had tagged me. I realized even without opening the app that there was no other reason for them to do so, and seeing my username in bold for first place made me immensely happy.

Being on Wattpad has been great. I’ve read a variety of books from different genres, and it’s encouraging to see the support my own stories get from my readers. It’s something I would recommend for every aspiring writer, or for people who love to read.

I haven’t got a chance to see the second season of Riverdale yet, and the suspense is terrible. I did not want to spoil it by reading the plots of the released episodes online, but a few tidbits did catch my eye. Moose and Midge get shot, and Grundy is killed by the masked murderer. But I have no idea what fully happened.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Burger Junction - Kochi

“It's black.” I noted.

“Yup.” Kunjunni showed a photo of The Samurai.

“That's red.”

No one in my family had ever seen or eaten a black/red burger, but we caught an Uber and made our way there anyway.

Inside The Burger Junction (TBJ), the menu had several options and for a while, we all just sat there stupefied.

Hellboy caught Dad's eye. It claimed to be extremely hot, owing to the fact that it’s contents included the spiciest chilli in India. Dad can handle almost any kind of chilli, and he loves spicy food, so none of us made much of an issue about it. The burger's description also mentioned that it wasn't recommended for children. Even though Dad wasn't a child, the waitress still made a special point of mentioning that it was very hot.

“I'll take that challenge.” Dad waited for the rest of us to order.

Kunjunni went for The Dark Knight. I decided to have the TBJ special. And then when the food came, Dad's burger was an angry red, like the Samurai. And Kunjunni snapped a few selfies with his burger, all while oohing and aahing.

When Dad reached for The Hellboy, we all held our breath. He took a bite, and his face remained impassive. For a minute we thought someone had finally defeated Hellboy. But then he started taking huge sips of his cold cappuccino and we knew he had failed. He then ordered a different burger after giving up.

We all took some share from the Hellboy. Mom, Kunji Chechi and I didn't have much since we didn't have any confidence in ourselves.

It was incredible to see the facial expressions of everyone change from everything's-fine-and-dainty to omg-I-need-some-milk. At first, I didn't have any issues. Then slowly, it felt like something was burning in my throat, and soon, I was grabbing at my drink.

Kunjunni felt the largest blow. He had taken a bigger share, and he needed sips from everyone's drink before he could calm down.

The Dark Knight was a success. The black buns were slightly different in texture from regular bread, but it was pretty good overall.                 

The Burger Junction has more options than the normal fast food restaurant, and it's pretty cheerful, so my family and I would definitely recommend it, and come back again.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wattpad Story | Subway

Updated my second short story on Wattpad!Whee!

This new story is called “Subway” and describes an encounter between two peers on, well, the subway. I’m so proud of it, and I hope you guys give it a read. My character, Cleo, is shy and introverted, and hopefully, she’s someone we can all relate to.

Friday, June 16, 2017

100,000 Pageviews!

We’ve reached 100,000 pageviews folks! Woohoo!

I started this blog when I was nine, and since then it's been an incredible journey for me. “My Diary” has been featured on an American school website as an example of blog writing, is a member of Best Indian Blogs and has been converted into a book by Uncle Gopichan, twice. A renowned artist, Uncle Venki, did fabulous illustrations just for me. My friends and family are an integral part of this blog, and I’ve received a lot of support and encouragement from the people around me.

I feel it is time to revamp the blog. I’ve been thinking about changing the name to something a little more mature.

For the past two years, school has been eating up my time, and my pace of blogging has really slowed down. I hope I can catch up soon with the updates.

For now, this is Janaki, signing off.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

First Wattpad Story - Bruises

Hey readers! I joined Wattpad last week, and just recently uploaded my first story 'Bruises'.

A short, one page story about a mentally challenged girl defending her brother. When a bully assaults Christopher, things spiral out of control as Madison takes things into her own hands while her past comes back to her.

I would love if you gave it a read.