When death sneaks upon us

Having been assaulted by death on no less than two occasions, it is only fitting that I dedicate one post to the infallible devil. Perhaps, we have all had a close brush with death at least once in our lifetime. There must have been a moment in your life during which you felt unsure of your own mortality or even sure of the inevitable death.

In 2007, death had the cheek to sneak upon me right into my classroom when I was sitting to sit for my graduation exam. I was hurrying down on my food and in a rush to finish off with the proceedings before the exam commenced, I thrust more food into my mouth than I should have. And I choked (a literal case of ‘having bitten more than I could chew’)! The next few seconds felt like a lifetime as I wrestled with death that wrenched at my guts and clobbered my windpipe, nobody in the class taking any notice of my silent agony. 10 seconds later, I was able to squeeze the food out of my windpipe onto the floor. That rush of oxygen and restoration of normalcy heralded a new life. I was born again.

For 7 years, death kept at bay. I thought it had gone for good. But no, it was only lingering in the shadows. In 2014, it stalked me all the way to Goa and assaulted me with the kind of savage suddenness that is so unfair in any game of love and war.

Left on my own, with the rest of my friends having returned to their respective home towns, I ventured into the sea in a kayak. With an air of adventure that accompanies someone who is trying kayaking for the first time. I got carried away. Emboldened by the careless assurance of the kayak-walla that you can go to any length you desire, I sailed deeper than I should have. When I recollect that moment now, I wonder how I had that cheek to flirt with the sea, given the fact that I didn’t know the ‘s’ of swimming.

But since I was paddling ahead with apparent ease and expertise, I soon disowned the shores and began to caress the hidden line of safety. In a way, I lulled death and trespassed the fence behind which it lay asleep. I poked it with my oars and it erupted angrily in the form of a mighty wave which upturned my kayak and tossed me un-kayaked into the restless arms of the naked sea.

And it was then that I stared into those horrific lurid eyes of death, perhaps watching it so up close for the first time in my life. I disappeared under the water and behind the waves and surfaced again only to disappear back only to surface again only to disappear back again. I owe this life to that foreign tourist who swam all the way in to drag me back to the shores, and back to oxygen and back to life.

But after that incident, I have never been able to love the sea the way I loved it before. Even if I step into its fluid folds in the future again, I know I will keep myself tightly anchored to the shores. My heart, having been cheated once, will never be able to trust it again. I guess it will now shift its loyalty to the mountains.

And for all the astrology and numerology fans out there, I guess I can expect another Appointment with Death (phrase borrowed from Agatha Christie) in 2021, given that the table of seven is proving lethal for me.


~Ritesh Agarwal

Email: ritzy182000@gmail.com




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TRESemme shampoo and conditioner review: What makes them work?


Before plunging into this post, please leave behind the preconceived notion that TRESemme is an all-women product. Men too have their share of split ends, messy locks and, God forbid, even hairfall. 

To bring fact to the table, let’s say that even I, like most men, have been hit hard by the Hair God in the second phase of my 20s. Premature greying and thinning aside, one major issue has been dry (read ‘parched’) hair. Goes without saying that split ends and tangled fizzy knotty convoluted hairs have walked into my cranial life quite gleefully, like street dogs prancing behind you excitedly the moment you crack open that packet of biscuit.
TRESemme’s shampoo has been specifically formulated to fix up those split ends (and those ‘tangled fizzy knotty convoluted hairs’ too). It promises aplenty but does it love upto it?

Apparently it does to quite an extent. When you squeeze that shampoo out, its ultra soft touch will appeal to you, giving a warm assurance that this one will work. And so when you rub the thing on your hair, it both cleanses and caresses the scalp, washing off the dirt and the dandruff (it helped me to keep my seborrhoeic dermatitis in check) and straightening almost each strand on your head.

The container’s look is simple yet attractive. There’s no fakeness about it. The 90 ml pack should last you for quite a few days and the price of Rs 80 is reasonable enough.


Something I really enjoyed is its cap. A simple press nob makes shampooing a lot of fun. Also it’s user-friendly and lets you control the amount of liquid you wish to squeeze out (so you can avoid wastage).


TRESemme conditioner helps keep dryness at bay. It smoothened and moisturized my ‘parched’ hairs and offered a sole reprieve from the barren summer weather.

To close the subject, let it be clear that this is no magic product. It may work for you, it may not work for you; though if you have the usual non-medical problems of the hair, it should work for you.

Overall review: 4.5 out of 5

“It’s not good. It’s not perfect. But somewhere in between.”



Footnote: All pics are mine and the review is genuine, borne out of personal experience.

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Calcutta chromosomes: A flirty post from Kolkata for love and friendship

Hi there 😛

Ritz here 😛

Some men are dogs
Some uglier than frogs 😛

Why go for sleaze
When Victoria has such pleasant breeze 😛

There are horny men who will ask you for s*x
I am just cute, will ask for a date in a plex 😛

If something brews, it’s all good and fine
If not, we are still friends. We will hang out and dine 😛

I am honest, I am decent and I read a lot
Agatha Christie is my fav, I can never guess her plot 😛

I myself write a bit when I am in writing mood
But alas, am lazy, I usually sit and brood 😛

I am from north but in south was my school
I maybe nice, but I won’t make you drool

Not a boyfriend material, I am average-looking and shy
But my feelings are true, I do fantasize on the sly :O

My name is Ritesh, they call me Rats
I cuddle my street dogs but I have a loathing for cats 😛

You may be cheese, and I may be chalk
So, all I want is just a simple walk

Text me if you can, but a call will also be fine
Nine eight eight three four two five three four nine 🙂

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Bunny, the rambunctious rabbit

Bunny is the younger and the more vociferous of the two rabbits I adopted last week. He started off decently enough with the kind of naughtiness that was within acceptable limits. But a week later, now that he’s well-settled in the new house and well-acquainted with his new family, he has become what we call a fearless hell-raiser. I guess it was a mistake on my part not to have reprimanded him heavily the day he chewed on the cover page of The Lowlands. Encouraged perhaps by my easygoing nature, today he dug his tooth on my headphones and tore off its wires. Admittedly, I was disheartened. Any tips how I can bunny-proof my home?

Bunny also has a tooth for food. Although he doesn’t as such have a gluttonous appetite (at least not as monstrous as the appetite of the other rabbit Hunny), he is clearly a foodie. To say that he relishes junk food would be an understatement. Last evening, when I got puchkas (meaning ‘panipuri’ or ‘golgappa’) for my guests, the way he jumped and ran amok at the sight of them couldn’t be described in words. He just went pagal (berserk) and didn’t relent until a few of the puchkas were poured into his own dish bowl.

Looks like, I am slated for some exciting (read menacing) days ahead.

PS- Had an epiphany last night that the biggest reason why I love Ileana D’cruz so much is because she has rabbit teeth. 🙂

Twitter ID: RitzyChoclate
Email: ritzy182000@gmail.com

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Queen Review: All about self-discovery and an endearing Kangana

It’s midnight and I am sitting here before my computer with my brain pushing me hard to scribble a few hasty words about this beautiful film I experienced today. I just returned from the theatre sometime back and am still benumbed by this whole thing.
‘Queen’ starring Kangana Ranaut is a film which can influence you in a very positive and therapeutic way. Though principally, it is about a simple girl out on an odyssey of self-discovery, it is a very realistic and relatable movie at its core. Almost everyone will relate to it. I myself went with my family and despite the differences in age and gender, we had a very satisfying smile after the credits began to roll.
Incidentally, this is the first movie of Kangana which I have watched in a hall, and I can promise myself that it certainly won’t be the last. This girl can act. It’s her sincerity which makes her character of Rani (Queen) so endearing and realistic. I don’t think there was a soul in the hall who disliked the film. I also don’t think there was any soul who didn’t love the film.
Perhaps, I am exaggerating since the film is so fresh in my mind right now. But at the risk of sounding so, I can claim that it’s impossible to watch this movie and not fall in love with it (and with Kangana who carries it entirely on her shoulders).
Actor Aamir Khan had tweeted about this movie last day, appreciating the good work done by the director and the actress. So, just in case you don’t have faith in my review, you can trust our Mr. perfectionist :))
Go watch it before some no-brainer Akshay Kumar flick pushes ‘Queen’ out of the halls.

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Topless Miley Cyrus is a far cry from that endearing Hannah Montana



My first brush with Miley Cyrus dates back to my college days when both of us were still teenagers. Her ‘Hannah Montana’ act would keep me glued. There was an innocence and an endearing quality to her character which won hearts from Calcutta to Canada.

Sadly, the image which she has at present does little justice to those days of chastity. After rubbing her body in near-lesbian acts live on stage and showing her profanely provocative side by twerking and sticking out tongue, she just set the bar higher (rather lower) by going all topless for a mag shoot.

In a way, some may cite that it was an artistic shoot and the pics were captured aesthetically. Granted all that, but it does not take away the fact that Miley is no more (not even a bit) that endearing Hannah we all were accustomed to love. Now, she appears just another desperately-seeking-your-attention kinda woman who will flaunt her body unabashedly perhaps only to bask in the limelight.

I say, what happened to her singing/acting talent?


PS- No offence meant to her fans. Just needed to spill my thoughts out.


~Says someone who was once her fan

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Sunset at Miramar Beach, Goa

Sunset at Miramar Beach, Goa

Sunset at Miramar Beach, Goa


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5 really romantic places in Kolkata

The youths today are all game for dates and relationships. But for spending some romantic time, home is the last place that would come to your mind, unless your parents are away and your maid can be made to keep her nose away. Couples are more comfortable in hanging out outside where roaming around also helps to lift the mood.

Here in Kolkata (Calcutta), there are a few generous places where lovey dovey couples can steal some private moments. Here is a quick look at the best romantic spots in Kolkata:

  1. Rabindra Sarovar Lake:

I haven’t come across a more scenic place in Calcutta. The lake is huge with a beautiful forest-cramped island in the middle. The shores are green and lavish. There is a lot of space to walk hand in hand or just sit on the benches or at the edge of the lake. Boating is another option that can be enjoyed for a moderate fee (around Rs 40-50 per hour). There is also a restaurant/eatery where snacks, including noodles and coffee, are served.

How to reach-

Just catch a metro to Rabindra Sarovar station. Once you come out, just walk a bit towards the right and you will find the park at the bend.

Privacy quotient-

This place is a lover’s point though friends and older people also stream in to hang about. The enormous park permits a lot of privacy. Snogging (kissing) goes on rampantly. Some couples also go a step ahead though it is advisable not to get carried away and do something rash.

2. Golpark Lake:

This is another park which is notorious for playing host to naughty lovers. With a protected lake and lot of herbs, bushes and benches, one can find a cozy corner to indulge in…ahem ahem.

How to reach-

Take a bus to Golpark. Then ask your way to the park. It is at a 5-minutes’ walk from the bus stop.

Privacy quotient-

A lot of privacy is guaranteed but here there are gate-keepers who will shut the gate at around 7 pm. So, do watch out for the guards.


3. Birla Planetarium:

I know a guy who happily recounted me how he would take his girlfriends for a ‘tara mandal’ show at the Birla Planetarium and have his moments of thrill in the dark during the near-30 minute show. Once you are through the show, you can walk out of the Planetarium, cross the road and indulge in PDA (after 7 pm).

How to reach-

Take a metro till Maidan. Then walk for 5 minutes,

Privacy quotient-

Birla Planetarium isn’t the best place to do anything more than snogging. But some couples do use the opportunity to play with their hands a bit (if you know what I mean).


4. City Centre, Salt Lake:

For the more sophisticated couples, this mall is ideal for a romantic hangout. No, you cannot engage in unabashed kissing (a peck is okay, though) but there is an open courtyard (a hangout zone) where couples sit hand in hand and talk, eat and laugh.

How to reach-

  1. Take a cab till City Centre I
  2. Take a metro till Girish Park. Then, take an auto till Kankurgachi. Then, take another auto till FD Block. Then walk for 10 minutes.
  3. Reach Ultadanga. Then take an auto.

Privacy quotient-

Not much privacy there. It’s a mall. You can’t have sex there. The ambience is good and even holding hands would give you a high. So, be happy with that!


5. Nalban Boating Complex:

It’s another romantic corner which can be fun. It will cost you entrance ticket, though. But you get a license to romance with full privacy and a good atmosphere. Boating can also be enjoyed and you will find hygienic food.

How to reach-

Take a cab

Privacy quotient:

Basically, young lovers haunt the place. So, stuff like smooching is pretty ordinary here.

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Is kate winslet the best actress of her generation

Kate Winslet clearly is amongst the most loved Hollywood actresses in India. You’d hardly come across a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, a septuagenarian or a tiny-tot toddler who doesn’t love Winslet.
‘Titanic’ is easily the best film she has done as far as mass appeal goes. Most of my sepia-tinted memories revolve around that iconic film.
Recently, I also chanced upon ‘Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’ and I was bowled over by the intelligence employed in its making. ‘Emma’ is another film which I enjoyed thoroughly. It is a treat for people in love with classics, Elizabethan romance, Jane Austen or Kate Winslet.

With a happy mix of commercial hits and critically-acclaimed films sitting pretty in her kitty, Kate Winslet is definitely one of the better actresses of her generation. Awards and success are trivial accomplishments. Her greatest winnings are millions of hearts from around the world. If I ever need a heart transplant, Kate will be the reason.
“Brilliant an actress, beautiful are you
I don’t have a heart, and you got two”

Titanically/Eternally yours,
Ritesh Agarwal



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5 essential travel items you can’t leave home without

Image courtesy-fridayisforeverblog.com


It is good to be a gypsy and to travel as much as you can. Travelling is not only liberating but it also widens your horizon and helps you get to know things you never knew or possibly never knew existed. But travelling may also put you under a fix at times. Geography, climate and the element of unfamiliarity may often conspire together to put even the most street smart traveller into a spot of bother. So, how to combat them?

Here we whip up a list of 5 essential travel items without which you should never leave your home:

1. Laptop/iPad/SmartPhone

Kindly read the full post at this link  Five Essential Travel Items You Can’t Leave Home Without | WeAreHolidays



~Ritesh (Rats)

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