Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Family That Almost Got Me Killed

Most of my memories of childhood are marred with one trauma or the other, but this one sticks out the most.

I was only 6 years old, and my dad had made a new friend at work. His friend had a daughter who was my age, and as overly enthusiastic parents tend to do, both the dads forced us to meet and become acquainted. For the sake of this story, I'll call the daughter... 'Evil Kid'.

Now, my memories of us first meeting are pretty fuzzy - but I know that my parents planned a playdate at our house. My mom took painstaking measures to ensure we had a fun time, which involved a 'pool party' in our tub - complete with swimming costumes, bubble bath, and toys. And parental supervision, of course.

Out of the societal pressures of reciprocation, I was invited to spend the day at the daughter's house. 

Now, going to Evil Kid's house would have been fine, had that kid and her mom not been... BATSHIT INSANE.

I knew something was wrong the second I entered the house. The smiley demeanor of Evil Kid's mother, which was present whenever I encountered her previously, had suddenly disappeared. With an abruptness, she handed me a towel and said (almost in a scolding manner) "go take a shower if you want". 

A shower? I was so confused.

It dawned on me many years later that a 'shower' was Evil Kid's Mom's answer to the 'Pool Party' me and her daughter had at my place. As if those two were remotely similar??? And the fact that she expected me to 'shower' on my own for entertainment - with no swimsuit or toys, or even her own daughter involved - was super sketchy.

I politely refused, and I was ushered into playing some random games with Evil Kid. All seemed to be going well, until Evil Kid's Mom proposed that we go to the balcony to look at the birds. 

Birds? That sounded fun! As I entered the balcony, Evil Kid's Mom pushed me ahead and slammed the door shut behind me. My stomach turned as I heard the click of the lock. Why did she lock me out in her balcony? A part of me thought it might be a game - my 6-year-old brain was scrambling to find a reason for this woman's actions. Perhaps they were planning a surprise for me inside, and this was a method to keep me out of the way for a few minutes? 

I looked around the balcony to find the birds. Perhaps they would be cute and colorful, and kept in cages? But there was nothing. 

Nothing, until I looked up.

Horror dawned upon me as I saw crows circling the balcony. Crows that seemed to be coming closer and closer, swooping lower and lower each time. And all of a sudden, before I could even blink, one of  them made a beeline for me and pecked me hard on my head.

I shrieked and immediately tried to open the door. It was locked. I screamed as a second crow swooped down to peck me. (Writing this down sends shivers through my body, as I can clearly recall the pain of the hard pecks on my head.) This situation was something I couldn't have even had nightmares about - it was beyond my comprehension. After what seemed like an eternity with the attacking crows, the door swung open and Evil Kid and her mother stood cackling. The sinister gleam in the mother's eyes was something I will never forget.

"Did you have fun?" She asked.

I think my brain did me a favor by blocking out what happened within those moments after I ran inside the house for shelter. All I remember is, after that entire ordeal, Evil Kid's Dad was on the scene and excitedly offered to take us kids to the park. Getting out of that house was a relief, to say the least.

But little did I know, my day of terror was not over.

Now, you must be wondering - why on earth is the kid in this story being referred to as Evil, when so far, the mother has been the primary villain of my story?

It's because of what happened next.

As a child, I had never been left in a park to play - even with friends or cousins - without there being a responsible adult involved. However, Evil Kid's parents wasted no time in dropping us to a remote park after sunset and scrambling away for some "alone time". Being only 6 years old, I wasn't as skeeved out as I should have been, especially since I immediately got distracted by the rides in front of me.

If my memory serves me well, there was a merry-go-round, a sandbox, a see-saw, and those weird animals on springs that you need to hold on to for dear life so that you don't get catapulted into the stratosphere. But the one that caught my eye (and unfortunately, Evil Kid's eye too)... was The Slide.

The Slide was a magnanimous structure smack dab in the middle of the park. To me, it looked as tall as a small building (in reality, it was probably only 7 feet tall, max). Instead of having a ladder or stairs to get to the top however, this slide had a weird grill-and-monkey-bar structure which one had to navigate it order to reach the top.

Evil Kid suggested we have a race. I naively agreed.

I climbed, and climbed, and climbed with all my might. Being somewhat of a pudgy child, I never really saw being an American Ninja Warrior in my destiny - but that is exactly what I became in order to reach the top. And despite Evil Kid's claims of being the fastest one around, I beat her. I was about to turn around and gloat, when I felt a small hand on my back....

And a push.

When the push happened, I instinctively closed my eyes. The drop simultaneously felt years long and milliseconds short. 

I hit the ground. There was a CCRRRAAACKKKKK. Then silence. 

Then... pain shot up my entire right side.

I screamed.

It felt like I was screaming, sobbing, and whimpering in pain forever before help (if you can call it that) arrived in the form of Evil Kid's dad. I remember him crouching over me and asking me what was wrong, and all I could say in between sobs was that it hurt.

He picked me up in this arms and rushed me to the car, where Evil Kid's mom was sitting in suspicion. Most of my memory of this part is pretty fuzzy, but one thing stands out clearly - the mom asked me if I wanted... a Happy Meal.

Uh, NO THANKS?>>>???

I told her I wanted to go home. The ride home felt years long - but finally we arrived at my place, and I remember sitting in the back seat of the car in the dark while Evil Kid's parents rushed out to try and get their side of the story out to my parents before I could. 

It didn't make a difference though, because my parents didn't want to hear any of their nonsense - they came rushing straight to me, precariously removed me from the back seat - every single movement causing excruciating pain to jolt up my entire arm and torso - and asked me what happened.

I wasted no time in exposing Evil Kid for pushing me off the slide (yes, off the side of the slide, not down it, much to Evil Kid's parents' dismay) and my parents were LIVID.

Everything after that happened in a blur - I was rushed to the hospital, where the doctor informed my parents that I had broken my collarbone in three places.

The recovery took 3 months.

While writing this post, I corroborated a lot of information from my mom. She shared many other details that I wasn't previously aware of, which really showcased how warped that Evil Family was, such as: 

  • Evil Kid's mother was distraught that her husband would 'lose his job' over this (because my dad and him were colleagues) - that's all she cried to my mom about when I was in hospital
  • Evil Kid denied pushing me, and said I 'fell by myself'
  • Evil Kid's mother kept bringing up how she offered me a Happy Meal, as if that were to make up for her horrendous babysitting skills
  • The reason why I had felt like the ride home from the park took ages was because Evil Kid's parents were purposely stalling while trying to figure out what to say to my parents before facing them

It's safe to say that I never saw Evil Kid or her parents ever again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

So much has happened these past 2 years

I got married.

... And celebrated my first anniversary.
I moved cities.

I got promoted.
I experienced snowfall for the first time. 

I started my Masters.

I started therapy.
I started getting back into reading.
I got a new piercing. 

I got two more cats... and a dog. 
Life's been good.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

100 Days of Staying At Home (and losing my sanity)

(Due to my laziness, this post was not complete on my 100th day inside. My 100th day was actually June 29th, 2020. Let's just pretend it is that date, so I don't have to live with the guilt of living in a fake timeline. Thanks.


*deep breath*


I have been at home for exactly 100 days due to the coronavirus. The COVID-19. The PANDEMIC. That's right. ONE HUNDRED DAYS. I've been through it all. Quarantine, self-isolation, shelter-in-place, a total nation-wide lockdown... EVERYTHING.

This means I have actually, physically, not stepped out of my house for ONE HUNDRED DAYS.

I think, in my entire life, this must have been the longest period of time where I have had to be at home (counting both voluntarily/involuntarily instances). I don't even think me being a premature baby stopped my parents from taking me out in the early days of my life. Or when I got typhoid as a toddler. Or when I broke my collarbone falling from a slide in a playground at age 6.

completely unrelated image. don't worry.

No matter what happened, I don't think I can recall a time when I've had to stay home for such an extensive period.

It's not even like I'm an extrovert that loves interacting with people who has suddenly got their entire life's purpose snatched away from them. I have always been happy to stay home most weekends, and keep my interactions to people IRL to a minimum. However, that was my choice. Once the choice to go out and meet people was taken away, staying at home stopped being fun.

It didn't happen all of a sudden. For the first month at least, I was pretty much all right. I found things to do, like reorganize the entire store room and whip up an ungodly amount of Dalgona Coffees.

I was (and still am) lucky enough to retain my job, and just switch over to working from home. This played a huge part in maintaining a semblance of purpose and routine throughout this entire time at home. Otherwise, I think my mental state would have devolved even further than it has currently.

So. With all this free time, and not being able to utilize it to have healthy interactions (not to mention just getting some fresh air beyond what I can have from sticking my head out a window), there are loads of things I have been doing at home to pass time.

1. Watching Shows

I was never really a big TV show watcher, so it's been kind of nice to immerse myself into stuff that I normally would not have had the time to experience had it not been for this pandemic. I have come to realize that I prefer shows over movies, for the sole reason of the investment in someone else's life for a change - and for an extended period of time - without having to worry about it ending too soon (LOL, that sounds so sad).

Anyway. Since I paid for PicCollage so that the terrible watermark would go away, I am now going to inundate you, the reader, with a collage of every show I have watched within these 100 days so far.

I know that watching eleven shows (with all their seasons) within a hundred days is probably nothing of note for some people (for example, my fiance blitzed through 400 episodes of Diriliş: Ertuğrul while also watching each and every one of the shows I watched PLUS lord knows how many more, all while holding a full time job and getting 8 hours of sleep - don't ask me how), but for me, this was a massive feat. I mean, back when I first got Netflix, I had literally spent one whole year of my life on Gilmore Girls and nothing else, so I've definitely stepped up my game.

I organized the collage as much as I could to depict the genres I was/am most interested in: Thriller/Suspense/Horror/Dystopia/Mystery, Comedy (with some good old representation) and Absolute Trash Reality TV. On a serious note, watching people being sexually charged imbeciles is a perfect palate cleanser in between shows with heavy themes or intense storylines.

2. Reading Books

Now, with the access to Netflix being available on every device I own, I haven't read nearly enough books during my time at home. Reading is something I have struggled with in my twenties, despite being an avid and insatiable reader throughout my childhood and teenage years. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I continued to purchase all his books as they released, but never really got around to reading anything of his (or of anyone else's, for that matter) since the past few years. So, I have a pile of untouched books that were waiting to be cracked open.

I did read one of these, which is The Outsider. I truly enjoyed it and it sparked my love for Stephen King again. I'm planning on reading the whole pile of these within this year. If you have any suggestions for what I should read next (from the above picture), let me know.

3. Creating edible things

I'VE BEEN COOKING/BAKING AS WELL. (I don't know why I decided to write that in all caps. Fake excitement to mask my disdain for suffering the heat of the stove whilst fasting for 33% of lockdown, perhaps?) Apart from the regular Iftar prep, I managed to make/bake a few things I'm proud of. Here's another PicCollage (seriously, I'm trying to get my money's worth of posting as many non-watermarked collages as possible at this point):

For anyone interested, the pics are of a typical Iftar, dynamite prawns, jalapeno poppers, peri-peri grilled chicken w/ baked wedges, brownies and a chocolate birthday cake. I made other stuff as well, but I couldn't be arsed to dig too much into my camera roll to find them.

But yeah.

Don't kiss the chef. We practice social distancing in these parts.

4. Working Out*

*trying to work out.

It's been a struggle, you guys. For the first month, I just let everything go. There was no physical activity whatsoever. My step count never even reached 100 on most days, since all I would do is roll out of bed to my laptop for work and then back in bed to watch a few episodes of the shows I previously mentioned. And not gonna lie, that certainly took a toll on my physical (and mental) health. I was feeling lethargic, irritable and bloated by the end of the first month.

That's when I got inspired to do...

The Chloe Ting Summer Shred Challenge.

I know this challenge became super viral this summer. I managed to finish 2 weeks of it before coming across a thread on how Chloe Ting wasn't a qualified nutrition/fitness expert. So then, that demotivated me to the point of giving up entirely, until I realized I had an old purchased program of FitnessBlender lying around - which I am currently doing. I'll let you know how that goes.

And yeah.

That's what I've been up to in this stay-at-home period. While it may seem like I have been getting stuff done and kept myself busy, it's still really, really tough some days. I know this blog is where I make light of many situations and don't really post about my mental health struggles (*COUGH* wewillignoreeverythingIpostedanddeletedlastyear *COUGH*) but I do wanna say that the title to this post holds some truth. I NEED THAT SOCIAL INTERACTION.

So. Please engage with me in the comments. How have you been spending your time at home? Has your lockdown lifted? Do you have a suggestion for what I should read? Do you want to be workout buddies? Do you wanna swap Money Heist memes? JUST TALK TO ME, THANKS.

Love you. I guess.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Most Terrifying Moment of My Life - 2 (yes, it happened again)

In 2013, I wrote a post detailing the most terrifying moment of my life. It is one of my least favorite posts - mostly because I do not like revisiting the horrors of  that incident. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that something like that would happen to me...a second time.

For anyone who has actually read that post when I wrote it 7 years ago and still remembers what happened:

1. wow you're old. also, how on earth does your brain have that much storage?
2. it happened again, guys. it freaking happened again.

My day started like any other does in the current climate we live in. Waking up at home, eating at home, working from home, sleeping at home - rinse, repeat.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that I am spending a LOT of time in the kitchen these days (points at expanding stomach). Initially, it was because the quarantining pRoDucTiViTy that people were showcasing on Instagram seriously got to me. The amount of Dalgona Coffees and Banana Breads on every corner of social media made me want to pull my hair out - but also, made me feel like I was wasting all this extra free time I was bestowed with by not learning a skill.

So I baked and baked and baked and whisked and whisked and whisked.

I spent over one hour compiling these headlines and arranging them into this picture. Don't let it flop.

The Ramadan began, and if you know anything about girls in Ramadan, you know we are forced :) into :) the :) kitchen :) while :) the :) men :) sleep :) all :) day :).

I usually wrap up work at 5 pm and that's when my kitchen duty starts. It's my mum and me doing most of the cooking (with my grandma and aunt periodically assisting) - and after Iftar, it's usually me who does all the washing up. All in all, I get totally free from the kitchen around 9 pm - which would be fine, but...

We have roaches, you guys.

And they emerge at night.

Now, we didn't always have roaches. Okay, I'm lying. We always freaking had a roach problem. It's not just us though - our neighbors have complained of it too, particularly in the summertime. So please don't assume that we just breed those disgusting brown suckers in our cabinets. THE WHOLE STREET RAISES THEM TOGETHER. We got an entire extermination team in last year who absolutely ENDED those roaches' careers. But alas, the sweet relief was temporary. We had a good year without them... and now, they're back in full force.

The thing I hate the most about these scuttling pests are that they really know when to make an appearance. You need the cutting board? Oops, there's a roach stuck on the underside. Washing dishes? Oh dear, Mr. Roach seems to be having a swim - oh wait, he's being sucked down the drain! You're entering the kitchen for a midnight snack? Uh oh, you've busted the Daily Roach Gathering that congregates on the kitchen counters and table and disperses in 0.00005 seconds when you switch on the light.

Anyway. I digress. It was during one of these Ramadan days where (thanks to my completely messed up body clock) I found myself in the kitchen around 11 pm searching for a snack.

And that's when it happened.

It started out innocuous enough. I was rummaging through a cupboard, hoping I could manifest a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies into existence - if not cookies, then at least one of those mini Shahi Chilli Chip packets that simultaneously felt like birth and death when you ate them - when I felt something land on my face.

In that moment, I could not tell you if time stopped, or if I was the one who froze. All I knew was that there was a weight on my left cheek that felt abnormal and alien. From my peripheral vision, all I could see was a dark, unknown mass.


You guys. It was a motherfucking FLYING COCKROACH.


As soon as the wings spread, I knew I was gone. One hundred percent a dead woman. Flashbacks from when the first time this happened to me kept occurring. At least this time, I had enough presence of mind to scream.

As soon as the aghast cry left my mouth, the cockroach flew off my face and left with the speed of someone that just realized their 4000-rupees-per-session therapy appointment started five minutes ago and they were still home.

In the flurry of thoughts that I had in that moment, one that particularly stuck out was that my first encounter with a flying cockroach was so many years ago and I was so little - maybe that's why it had looked so massive to me at the time? But judging by the size of the one that violated my cheek in 2020, the now - I was mortified to see that the species of flying cockroaches were as huge as ever.

Unfortunately for me, this wasn't the end of my encounter. The flying cockroach was still flitting across the kitchen. It was free to land on the multitude of surfaces in the room, which also included my face again. Thankfully, my banshee-esque scream had summoned half of my household who also ended up staring in horror at the mutated, winged creature for a couple of seconds before snapping into action with bug spray and a broom.

So yeah. This has been the most terrifying moment of my life 2. Here's to hoping part 3 never gets written, because it will never happen. Right? Right?

Sigh. If this incident has taught me anything, it's that I'm cursed and I am to expect another flying cockroach encounter in the next 10-15 years. I just know that this won't be my last rodeo. Oh, and availing extermination services annually is a great idea. Just saying.

Here's a picture my sister made to commemorate the existence of the flying roach. Trust me, it did not look as cute as this at all.

See you really soon,