Random Musings

Mumbai – you are simply awesome!

Monsoons & a story about disruption in Mumbai because of flooding is simply inevitable. 

I’ve heard stories of the ‘heart’ that this city showed on 26th July. I often wondered if this is indeed Mumbai’s DNA or just a one of cases. I got my answer today when water levels were proclaimed to be as high as 26th July (but that’s just WhatsApp heresay).

HR reluctantly sent a message to leave early in the light of rains. Now the risk appetite of people varied – so low risk folks rushed immediately (recently moved too Mumbai), followed by medium risk (been here for some time now), followed by the aapna Mumbaikars (love for work OR just a strategy to avoid traffic??). Anyway, so I left @ 5 pm – 2 hours after the warning was issued. I came out of office with strong winds blowing on a rainy day. I was fully drenched even if I had an umbrella. 

Accha Rickshawala (Good AutoDriver): As expected, I didn’t find any Ola, Uber or auto on road. Not one to cave in, I started walking on the 22 km journey where my home lies. I was almost cursing these apps (for not being there in hour of need) & autowalas for being insensitive when an auto stopped on it’s own. He asked me where I have to go & dropped me without charge till our destinations diverged. While driving he explained how in all autos, brakes become sluggish on waterlogged roads. He advised me to take a bus so that I’ll be safer before bidding good bye.

BEST service-best service: With 3 km down & still no auto in sight – I took the first bus that came my way. It was going to take me 13 km towards my place. I felt I could walk faster – such was the pace of this bus! Thinking it would take me 4 hours to reach, I resigned to my fate. I got a call from my colleague who was ahead of me saying he is stranded now as his auto broke down. Just as I was about to hang up, water rushed inside the bus – around the same point his auto broke down. The scene outside sported waterlogged streets, autos/cabs stranded as water entered their engines & the steady drum of the behemoth begrudgingly treading ahead. The crowd in this bus showed how these rusty buses became the knights in the shining armor today!
Inherent safety of Mumbai: I was walking towards the next place I could get an auto. I stopped a man on a scooty to drop me till that point. It’s not that I didn’t want to walk but getting drenched because of water splashing as cars speed by isn’t the best way to enjoy rains! He didn’t think twice & agreed to drop me another kilometer on the highway.

Open hearts & big gestures: The final stretch of my travel was by a car randomly stopping on highway to ask me where I was going & agreeing to drop me. This guy lived near LTT (10+ km from my pickup point) & just took his car out for the 2nd time ferrying people on EEH. My first thought was of genuine disbelief that anyone could do thisb(I don’t think I would). And this thought was followed by may be all this is happening to me because I’m a girl (#sexism). But then I looked around. That point on highway was crowded with people waiting to start their next journeys. Solo bikers were stopping & giving lifts. Cars with less than 4 travellers stopped & asked people to join them. It was heartening to see people being so considerate.

Where there are senseless problem creators, there are selfless resolvers: Water logging, haste to reach home & being sick of traffic could result in some wrong decisions. But haste makes waste & that is so clearly shown in the lockjam below. However absence of traffic cops didn’t stop conscientious Mumbaikars (guy in blue in the picture) to take ownership & solve it. Within 20 minutes, that road turned green on Google maps from red.

The indomitable spirit: Roads are still waterlogged. Rains have eased but not gone. Some of my friends are still stuck in traffic or chilling in office. But, after 7:30 I heard blaring music of ‘Nasik Dhol’ & drums. Mumbaikars left their houses to immerse their favorite God ‘Ganesha’ as the fifth day ends today – rain or no rain!

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Random Musings

Bahubali 2 & theory of 95%

bahubali 2
courtesy https://thereel.scroll.in/

It seems ages so as I awaited this movie with abated breath & wrote these predictions about the possible conclusion of this magnum opus. And so much was the anticipation that I went for the first day, last show to see why really Kattapa killed Bahubali? And I loved what I saw. I loved the magnanimity of this movie. I loved how it seamlessly connected the 2 movies – coronation scene, history of Bhalaldeva & Devsena etc.

And since Indians get overzealous about everything – this movie too spurred various debates. There were talks of multiple records it had broken (highest grosser in India, North America, China etc. etc.), of how equal pay is a myth in film industry (with Prabas getting 25 Cr & Ramya getting 2.5 Cr), of how some dialogues caused racial discrimination (movie wasn’t released in Karnataka until Sathyaraj said “Sorry!”… Really people!), of finding brides for Prabhas & of KRK getting his 2 minutes of fame tweeting shit about this movie (why else would people read anything else from his handle?).

From the day I saw the movie, I was reminded of a theory that my manager once told me. He said, “Sharmili, Indians are 95% people. They work against all odds to accomplish a task & just when it’s about to be completed (@ 95% levels), they do a hurried job of completing it.”ย Why does this movie remind me of this theory you ask? Because while I loved the movie, I felt rushed as an audience when I saw the conclusion.

So, we all knew that good will triumph over evil & that eventually Mahendra will avenge his father, save his mother & win. But what could have made that 5% difference for me was ‘believability‘ of this plot. The details in the first half were brilliant. The story of Amarendra Bahubali until his ill-fated death was exquisitely handled. After the intermission, the plot had tons to offer & I was sure that Bahubali 3 would be the story of actual avenging. Therefore, I half expected the second half to end with recapture of Devsena OR the message of war given by Mahendra to Bhalaldeva (by sending the head of his son!).

Thus, the third movie could have followed Mahendra’s challenge to Bhalaldeva by seasoned Kattapa training his namesake-grandson like he did his father, resurrection of his mother’s lands for which Tamannah had been fighting, some romantic plot between the next generation, some evil plotting by Bhalaldeva’s father etc. Then the triumph would have been believable. I mean Mahendra may be God’s gift to mankind but with no martial training ever received, it’s becomes too filmi that he bests his uncle who trained for years greater than Mahendra’s age. Kattapa’s urging him to think like his father during the war would not then have felt like a stretch on “genetics” but something about his training.

So, for me even though I loved the movie – it was a 95% movie! A movie that supported Amarendra’s story 100% but hurriedly delivered Mahendra’s triumph. It was that 5% what could have cost Mr. S.S.Rajamouli with some negative reviews (however little in number they were.) Not that he cared about them but an all positive reaction would have been an icing on the cake!

Now, I wait for Bahubali 3 & I predict it would be about Rise of Sivagami.ย And this I did even before Amazon started selling books about this! I am as curious & as excited about it as I was for Bahubali 2 – though may be not so much as to write a blog about it ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Musings · Teach for India

On to the next one…

Exhausted, I sat in the car waiting for distance to home move from 20 km to 0 km. When you are in a car & the traffic on the road doesn’t move, there is very little left to do! And despite the exhaustion, my mind decided to take a trip of it’s own. It wandered through all the days that had passed by in the last 2 years. And it started sending signals of comparison – my last 2 years & my coming years. The contrast was as stark as the song of fire & ice!

The first day I joined school, I was surrounded by a throng & I didn’t get time to do my thing. I was that shiny new toy which everyone wanted to play with! Today, I sat alone in the cubicle doing my thing & I longed for someone to hang out with. In TFI, you always find people around so you sorta get used to it.

I was used to being in a room for hours & not having a fan or even ventilation. Today as I sat in centralized AC, I felt like I was in Tundra region & I cursed myself for not carrying my dearly beloved – a sweater.

My days in TFI were planned to the tee & the infrastructure would derail them (no bathrooms, no class, no cleaning etc.). To ensure derailment doesn’t happen, I had to have plan B upto plan Z! Today, I was in a place with excellent infrastructure & yet had no plan!

In TFI, I didn’t learn any new content, yet I found the use of that content challenging (teaching kids what I knew but in a way they get). Today, I was learning about a completely new industry but somehow it wasn’t very challenging (I’m sure challenges will ramp up as time goes by).

For this one, you need context. There are 4 colors which depict different personalities viz. Yellow – dreamers, blue – task masters, green – planners, red – impulsives/emotionals. (You can read about them here) When I was in TFI, I was a mix of Blue/Green – because I had to be prepared with so many plans! But today, as I sat in my cubicle, my closet Red kept looking for a familiar face to smile to, longing for a friendly chat while going home or wanting great company while having lunch. And while all these thoughts kept going through my mind, I passed my school on my way back. That was when I understood the most important factor. 

Last 2 years, I saw no one around me giving their best, so I tried to give my best to my kids – idea being making a difference in their life. Today, I saw everyone putting their best foot forward – idea being making a difference to themselves which was something that I have done myself for 9 years!

I think we are programmed to think/feel the grass is greener on the other side when we attempt something new! I was complaining about everything that was wrong about my school while I was in there. But today, I’m almost missing it.

It’s funny how our minds react to change…

Random Musings · Travel Experiences

Married? Pull off an all girls trip. I dare you!

I’ve always loved TV series which had friends as the leading characters. That’s the reason, on any bad day I end up watching re-runs of Friends or Big Bang theory or Sex & the City (SATC). It’s just comforting to see, how these people have someone not bound to them by blood understand each other so well.

I love SATC for its awesome writing but more importantly for having 4 girlfriends as the leads. I had always thought (growing up watching it) that I’m going to have such evenings often with my girl gang to remain ‘sane’. But soon I was faced with Sophie’s choice! As the responsibilities increased & the demands on time increased, the first activity to be reduced or to be postponed until further notice was the time with my girls. It happened to my mom, to me, my friends & to my cousins who just got married!

Hanging out felt like an uphill task when a coordinated phone call became very difficult. I remember, I really wanted to speak to a dear friend & around 10 calls later (calls missed because of feeding, cooking, meetings etc. spread over 1 week), we managed to speak. By then, the context was not relevant & it became ‘oh! that thing had happened’ call than a heart-2-heart. Then there are other times, when as a group we overcame all odds & agreed on a day/date/time to meet, only to have last minute drop outs or someone rush home sooner! It has happened consistently & I can’t shirk away the responsibility of being that one person playing spoiled sport at times! And to add to this complexity, there comes a third dimension! Recently, I did manage to go on a backpacking trip (read here) with a girlfriend. Everyone who heard about it said, “A trip with only you girls?”,  “Why aren’t you taking your son/husband”, “How will you survive so many days without missing your son?” “How will he survive without you?” “You won’t like it being alone etc.

I had my apprehensions & all these discussions almost made me cancel. But boy did I have fun! I felt guilty of having a great time away from home ๐Ÿ™‚ But when I returned, I realized that I didn’t have to. My son was well pampered, my husband got his ME time, grandparents got time with grandson without the ‘helicopter mom’ around! A win-win for all… But when I casually mentioned, making this an annual thing, the stares I got were frozen!

So, I began to wonder – does this similar thing happen to all-boys plans too? Evidence seemed otherwise. Viraj planned to meet his school friends a couple of times & all of them drove in from far away places & had a blast (no time/location constraints). Another friend manages to have an annual boys trip with his wing mates (spread across continents) & has been doing for 3 years now with ease!

Then why is girl gang time so difficult? Is it our self assessed need of being irreplaceable? Is it our compulsive need to be around to do things or getting things done in our way? How can all-boys trips, family trips, trips with friends & their families become a reality much faster/easier than an all-girls trip? Initially, it seemed like a very Indian family phenomenon but then it isn’t exactly universal? Then I thought may be it’s just “my generation” but then girl trips aren’t exactly a pandemic!

I’m pretty sure that in most families, husbands now-a-days are more hands-on fathers than our father’s ever were! They are even more empathetic! Then what is stopping us from taking that ME time? Women always wait for everything to be perfect so they feel less paranoid about leaving their people behind. But this perfection you’re waiting for ladies, is a myth! Having recently gone on this trip, I’ll strongly recommend it! Yes, things can go unplanned back at home while you are away, but you’ll never know until you try! So, as Samantha puts it in SATC, 

โ€œWe made a deal ages agoโ€ฆ men, babies, it doesnโ€™t matter. Weโ€™re soulmates.โ€ 

Just go & find time for yours!

Random Musings · Teach for India

#tfifellowship – it’s not for the faint hearted!

#tfifellowship is demanding & is not for the faint hearted! The sheer time, committment & mindspace it requires is mind boggling. As I started fellowship, I knew that the challenge I was here to seek was meaty enough! But in the past 1 year 10 months, I would have concluded that it was more an emotionally exhilarating journey than the one stressing me physically.

With efficient self & time management, I never found myself in a position where I was unable to cope up with my work. But I believe I jinxed this myself & God thought, well let’s stress her brawn now more than her brain!

Expose the body to grime & dust!
You will emerge stronger, this process you trust!

My school when we started tenth

April 1 the school decided to go under construction. “We’ll move, we won’t move ” yo-yo moved on the whims & fancies of authorities in-charge. After about 5 months of vacillation, logic didn’t prevail. We were asked to teach while the construction work was going on. The arguments like “there are loose live wires dangling, bamboo erections have become students’ Everests to surmount & the ceiling can collapse on ground floor if the heavy machinery works on the top floors” just weren’t convincing enough for taking any action! We unsuccessfully tried to make these as inhuman & inhospitable conditions of work, but we were told the only way the authorities will take action is if the slab falls on one of the students (falling on teacher would just not cut it)! I couldn’t pray for that now, could I?

In the last 2 months, I have no class. The make shift class given to me has the capacity of 15 & seats 29! It’s beside a toilet which is used with no water connection so a slight whiff of air post recess makes it unbearable to sit. 

But what doesn’t kill makes you stronger! I’ve circumvented the problem of infection (throat, nose, eyes) due to excessive inhaling of dust (cement, brick, pop, mud etc)! My nose has developed an ability to withstand worst of smells thanks to the last 2 months.

Teaching ain’t a piece of cake. 
There ain’t no rest, there ain’t no room – there’s lot at stake!

With little regard for human life, you can hardly expect any regard for nature’s call now, would you? So, quite obviously for a significant period of time we worked from 7:30 am to 12:45 pm without a bathroom break. Naturally, my bladder has now developed super human strength to store ‘stuff’ & my body can survive without water for longer periods of time (a desert expedition should be next on my travel plans). In the last 2 months, we have a bathroom which is used by students after 10. Miraculously, my body can now even time it’s nature’s call ๐Ÿ™‚ What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

It don’t matter if you’re black or white
Never get in the middle of a cat fight!

A valuable lesson on encroachment was taught to me by my HM. In absence of a class when I went to her, the solution given was come earlier than school time and occupy this class. Don’t leave till I come to school & I’ll work out the details to make the class yours. Surprisingly, the tactic worked (she just didn’t come to school that day) & we got the class. 2 HMs fought like cats & I thought I was the mouse who ate all the cheese. Little did I know that the BMC-BMC bond runs deeper than BMC-TFI bond. Just like that both the cats pounced on this poor mouse & gave us the aforementioned puny class. But I have a class, who am I to whine! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Writing papers is a part of student’s life
Checking them is teacher’s strife!

“These students will study only if you conduct tests.” That’s what we were told! So, against our better judgement we went ahead and had 5 prelims for them (the other BMC class they handled had none btw). Net result, almost every 10 days 90 papers were generated for me to check. And the students ensured that their writing was consistently bad resulting in poor eye sight for me! After checking tons of papers in record breaking time (thanks to husband & sisters who I bribed/bullied to total marks or check objectives or enter marks in tracker etc.), I’m with the same list of passing & failing students but a different power of my lens! By now you know, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

TFI told us that teaching is our only super power! But little do they know, these experiences have created Sharmili version 2.0 – Sharmili with a stronger nose, bigger bladder, encroaching abilities & higher eye power!!! I told you – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….

Random Musings

Are TV soaps making us hypochondriacs?

I love Meredith & Cristina’s bond, 13 & House’s sarcasm & scrubs cast with their peculiarities.. These soaps introduced a whole new world to me & lots of new terms like coding, hemorrhage, aneurysm, 10 blade, cardiothorasic etc.. This world was very exciting & when I switched the TV off, the world faded away until the next episode.. Or so I thought! It seems like I was immensely influenced by these fictional stories. And this was perfectly clear the day I hit my head on the swimming pool floor!

Details of how I managed to achieve this feat of hitting my head 6 feet under water is not as significant (since I do not want people to judge my ‘diving skill’ or lack of it). But when I came up, only one thing flashed in front of my eyes – the episode in Grey’s anatomy where the woman after an accident is laughing with the doctors but dies instantly since an internal brain bleed wasn’t detected! I swam to the edge of the pool & got out with that incident replaced by Derek performing a craniotomy..

I went home safe n sound with a slight bulge on my head. At home, I felt the urgent need to tell my folks what happened so they know what to do should I faint or vomit! I guess I narrated the incident very graphically because they genuinely seemed worried. My FIL even volunteered to take me to a doctor. I tried to assure them I was fine but they weren’t convinced. (Now the imagery in my mind was of House doing brain surgeries). Once they were placated, I took the course of action I normally take in such cases. I called my real-life doctor friend & explained the whole incident to him.

“So, should I be worried?” I nervously asked. The great deal with him is that he is very level headed & patients’ emotions don’t faze him.

He clinically asked me a few questions (I tried my best to describe the fall in detail) & then gave his verdict, “I don’t think this fall can damage your ‘already-damaged brain’ (he laughed). However, I’ll suspend my judgement till I read your next blog post to know the extent of damage.”

Irate, I shut him up & berated him about his flippant reaction. To this he replied, “I’m a real doctor & I prefer treating real health issues. You can’t imagine how many painful patients I deal with because of Google & medical drama on TV.”

Since I was what he categorized as a ‘painful patient’, I shut up. Any further discussion about brain injuries from TV would have resulted in him blocking my number. So, I politely thanked him & went back to my routine. I slept fitfully that night getting up to vivid visuals from all brain surgeries I’ve seen till date. The difference was now Derek, House were all operating on my brain…

PS: Obviously, I’m all well with no damage to my brain or the way my friend put it no further damage ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Musings

Maid in India…

Much line Sauron’s ring, every maid for working women is
One being to rule them all..
One being to bind them..
One being to bring them all..
And in darkness bind them…

These days having a maid is more important than most relations in a house! And you can be from anywhere in India, your experiences are always similar.. Just the other day, I overheard some woman complaining to another one about her maid and ten other women chipped in with same problems.. This got me thinking, is there like a book of laws that each maid has? Something like ‘Guiding principles of household help’.. Here are what these principles look like:

Law of mutual exclusion:
Having a maid who comes everyday (on time) and a maid who does quality work is a mutually exclusive set. Except one friend I know of, every one can select ONLY one parameter of their choice when they get a maid..

Murphy’s maid law:
In the times of highest need – the maid is most likely to not make it.. The stronger the need the lower the probability of maid appearance.. Laughing colors have nailed every woman’s reaction on seeing their maids outside the door..

image

Law of conservation of excuses:
The maid never runs out of excuses to take holidays. There are significant amount of deaths & diseases available to make one up. After all, that’s what relatives (near & distant ones) are for..

Law of contactibility:
While technology has made distances shorter, it has worked the other way around for maids. A maid will have a dysfunctional phone (not working, no balance etc,) precisely on days when you have to reach her urgently or she has to reach you to inform about unplanned leave..

Law of advancing revenues:
Almost every maid you have will ask you for money. The bigger the amount asked, the lower the probability of doing good work or resuming work after since holiday..

They know you know the rules. And you know they rule. So, all a working woman can do is hope. Hope that she turns up on time, hope that her rule book doesn’t get any fatter!! Because if it does, how many times do you expect your boss to tolerate irregular attendance???

Finally, the end result in sight would be a maid still with her job & you find a new one with ‘flexible timings’ (if such a job exists)…

Random Musings

Little ‘A’ passed away…

Little A – a 11 year old whom I have never met, passed away after suffering from dengue. This happened in my complex of 9 buildings and a few buildings away! While no one can possibly understand what the parent’s are going through (they are tearless & still haven’t assimilated the shock of what has happened to them), here is what this unfortunate event meant for various people:

BMC – Upset that a dengue case was found in his ward and its repercussions, a visibly agitated officer-in-charge slammed an inspection of an entire complex concluding that this can only be the source (what of his school, his tuitions, friends’ houses he visited)

Press/Media – This incident for them has only one purpose – this being the headline on page 2, a way to sensationalize poor state of hygiene in the country: ‘Dengue death toll rises to xxxx..’

Society Management Committee – They have used this to mass eradicate potted plants from all houses. A strongly written note about the inspection results & precautions to be taken has been circulated…

Opportunistic chemist nearby – Stocked all forms of mosquito repellents (creams, liquids, coils etc.) realizing the power of fear in our hearts…

Paranoid mother: Me – The inspection report shows presence of dengue mosquitoes two floors above my house. So, I’m doing everything a zero-winged human possibly can to keep mosquitoes away. Shutting windows at 4, using goodnight, all-outs of the world through the day, applying tons of mosquito repellent cream to every exposed epidermis of Sam’s body. Needless to say, my paranoia has reached its summit. But despite this, every night since this incident I get up breathless and check if Sam is breathing well, if he is safe and if I see a mosquito anywhere near him..

And every such time, the enormity of what A’s parents are going through hits me.. When the thought of anything untoward that could happen in future is giving me sleepless nights, their present has been irreversibly sealed with this terrible incident! I know of friends who have recovered from dengue and I always attributed this to their good karma.. What possible bad karma could a 11 year old have to deserve this?

Therefore, I hope that someone out there gets a vaccine for all such terrible diseases or finds a way to annihilate mosquitoes from the world!

Random Musings

Here is why Kattapa killed Bahubali

I define a good movie as a movie that makes me think about it even after it is over. While I applauded the technical brilliance of this movie, until the end I thought the movie was fairly predictable and hence strictly OK! If one had asked me should I watch it, my opinion would have been it’s avoidable. But what I was unprepared for, is the point at which they ended the movie. That changed my review from avoidable to one time watch.

For the protagonist to have some meat in his role, it was plainly obvious that his father had to die. So far, VERY PREDICTABLE! Spoiler alert: but the person who killed the father, is what changed the plot considerably and I found myself anxiously awaiting part 2. Obviously not one to wait till 2016 for the end here are my possible set of reasons on why did Kattapa kill Bahubali.

– Lame reason: he was trying to kill Bhalaldev but confused Bahubali with him while killing from behind!
If part 2 does show this, I’ll kill myself ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

– Plausible reason: the Royal family was held at ransom by Bhalaldev and he agreed to let them live only if Kattapa kills Bahubali. While this looks reasonable it doesn’t explain his last dialogue where he confesses that he betrayed Bahubali.

– Slightly stretched (only present to exhaust all possibilities): Bahubali married Devsena and became a bad ruler – something like Dasrath’s plight in Ramayana or Duryodhan in Mahabharata (like bad guidance brings bad outcomes and hence eventual death)

– Most apt till date: taking a leaf from the Peshwa history, may be Bhalaldev intercepted a Royal message, tampered it to change from “capture Bahubali” to “kill Bahubali”. On receiving Royal message, obviously Kattapa killed him.

Can’t think of anymore – do let me know if you think any other reason can be surmised. Sadly, there ain’t a book about this movie that I can read and know the right reason without being left hanging by the thread (like what I did for GoT, Harry Potter, etc.)!

So, the one movie I’ll definitely watch in 2016 is ” Bahubali – the conclusion “

Random Musings

Switch off that alarm!

How difficult could it be? With most alarms on phones, this is just a touch away. Right! What if I tell you, I have been trying to do so for last 4 days & been unsuccessful. And it all started the day when everything went wrong!

Sam was in his dance class with a friend from school. Proving that we descended from monkeys, my boy wanted to copy everything his friend did. So, as he danced with a dead phone, mine wanted my 2 month old phone. With as serious look as I could give I told him, “Samarth, this is a very expensive phone. If you drop it, nothing is going to undo damage done.” To this I got, “I promise to be very careful. Give it to me for one minute”. Reluctantly, looking at the puppy eyes I gave the phone. To give him the credit that is due, he didn’t drop it even once ๐Ÿ™‚

And then Ms. ButterFingers got the phone out. It slipped from waist height flat on the ground completely cracking the screen with no touch working! Sam came to me exactly at that instant as I mourned my loss. I thought he understood how sad I am that he would cheer me up. Instead he said, “didn’t you drop the expensive phone I shouldn’t have dropped!” With no retort for him, I just exhaled angrily.

So, what does this have to do with the alarm? Well, since that day, every morning at 5 am – my alarm dutifully rings. And because the screen doesn’t work – I can’t switch it off! To compound my problems, I can’t power it off since the control is on the screen, I can’t remove the battery since it is embedded. Normally, I would crib about smartphone battery life but my dead screen phone is alive and kicking for last 4 days without any signs of battery drain. So, normally people wake up when alarm rings and switch it off.

I on the other hand, wake up, rush to the bathroom, tightly clutching the speaker and sit there for 4 minutes till it goes off! All the while praying for battery to die, finding a way to reduce volume of alarm and hoping Sam doesn’t get up!

PS: good side – my alarm is generally a random song from my playlist. So, last 4 days I’ve been having a very musical jumpstart! ๐Ÿ™‚