I don’t really come from a furry-animal loving family. This is not to say that my family is cruel to pets. The parents are just indifferent to them. I had a fur/dust allergy as a child, and had wheezing as well, so my exposure to several things at a young age was quite restricted – things like stuffed toys (I had several of them, just wrapped up and kept away from my person), and pets, of course. Additionally, the apartment complex I lived in had a strict prohibition on pet ownership, and none of my immediate family members had pets – so I never really got attached to any pet animals. Nor did I spend time as a child caring for them.

This changed when we got an aquarium in our house – for maybe 6 months to a year? That’s when I realized how much effort caring for pets were – but also, how rewarding it could be, in terms of how you could gaze at them endlessly and wonder what was going on in their brains. It was also pretty cool to have an aquarium at home because I really liked Finding Nemo as a movie – although it scared the pants off of me for a bit. Coming back to the aquarium, I did a couple of things including feeding the fish and monitoring pH levels – which was super fun because I learnt about litmus indicators at a younger age than my peers as a consequence. But each time I put my hand in the water, I’d freeze and fear that the fish would eat it up. Not an excellent experience.

I didn’t get too attached there either. And when we left Dubai, I didn’t really miss the fish (this sounds worse as I type it).

My life changed a lot when we moved to India. And one of these was how much I began to enjoy pets and their company. I don’t think this is something my parents realized till recently, but several of my friends, and quite a few homeowners in our villa complex own dogs and cats, and aside from the barking at odd hours (which didn’t bother me – we were too far away from the noise), I ended up interacting with lots of furry friends. My allergies were long gone, and petting them and talking to them became a part of walks  – and often a way to get to know their owners better.

Rufus, Amigo, and Ustad are three of the dogs I’ve loved in Bangalore. Rufus passed away sometime last year – and I know how empty that house feels without him. Amigo is one of my closest friend’s dogs, and since he’s been a pup (after the 2010 World Cup), he’s barked relentlessly whenever I’ve seen him. He can smell me from about 80m away I think – or something about me annoys him (isn’t this true for everyone?) and he just refuses to stop barking till someone screams at him. It was scary, then funny, and now it’s just cute. I hadn’t been to their house in over 2 years – because of college, and he barked at me when I stepped foot in their door recently. Since I’ve come to Uni, because I go home and am at home much lesser, I often join my friend to take Amigo for a walk, and we joke about how Amigo decides to poop just before we’re ready to head back home – it’s always hilarious.

Ustad was my best friend’s dog. He’s the first dog I got thoroughly attached to – because I frequented this guy’s place nearly twice a week, sometimes even thrice. And Usti knew me. Usti barked a lot too, but after he got comfortable, decided to lay down next to us, or just chill in the room with us. I remember this one time we had early morning tuitions and I had slept over, Usti woke up way before we all anticipated that he would so he could hang by the breakfast table while we ate. My friend teased him with pieces of the food just to annoy him.

Usti and my friend are reflections of each other. Their attachment was surreal, indescribable even. And as a friend, I could see the amount of stability and comfort Usti bought in my friend’s life. I know how much joy he brought to his, and my life – and my friend circle’s. We all loved dogs, Usti and Sparky especially – because we ended up spending so much time with these two.

Usti taught me a lot. A lot of it is nonverbal, but a lot of it is tied to some of my happiest, some of the craziest, and some of the saddest memories from Grade 11 and 12.

To say the least, he warmed the cockles of my heart and showed me how silent love and affection can be.

My friend broke the news to me on what was meant to be a catch-up phone call. And since, I know I’ve struggled to comfort him. I also know that this has been on my mind for a couple of days now – while I’ve been writing exams. There’s no rationality that can soothe grief, I don’t think – except the passing of time.

What hit us hard, I think, is how different his house is going to feel without Usti.

So, Ustad. You, crazy, crazy soul. Thank you for loving Aunty’s chutney cheese sandwiches as much as we did. Thank you for being repulsed by Bhukkad’s desire to consume Yakult as much as we were. Thank you for teaching me how to care for dogs – my life on campus has been more joyful because of you. And thank you for taking care of my best friend and his parents for all these years. You will always be loved, and trust me, you’ll never be forgotten. I know I’m going to miss hearing your bark, and feeling you run circles around my feet as I turned up in my school uniform for tuitions. I know I’m going to miss the amount of panic you caused me when you opened your eyes when we were sleeping in a pitch-dark room (because I got scared and lost sense of where I was sleeping at the time).

Rest in peace, brother. We love you.



I think we severely underrate how different parts of our body end up regulating the overall temperatures our body is at. This is understandably, the weirdest opening line I have written to any blog post, but bear with me. You will, if you get to the end of this post, see where this comes from, why, and where it goes – if anywhere at all. At this point, I’m as curious as you are.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way body temperatures work. I’d like my body to forever feel cool, or, forever be at a moderate temperature. Yet, sometimes it’s exceedingly hot and I’ll sweat (apparently this is a “cooling” technique, but I question the Science), and sometimes its frigid and I’ll have goosebumps everywhere. This is a terrible illustration of my fascination with body temperatures – because I’m fairly certain everyone notices these things happening to them. I think I’m fascinated by how we experience temperature in general.

Especially at night-times.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve slept in a cold room (irrespective of air temperature outside), and ensured that I’m wrapped up in a warm/light blanket, but keep my feet prodding out. And occasionally my arms. I find that this makes me reach Ambient Sleep Body Temperature the fastest, and that I sleep the best in these climes.

If I was an animal that you had as a pet, or if I was in a zoo – these are the things that would be on the plaque pointing to me. This, and my food preferences, are perhaps the only things that’ll ensure I’m adequately pampered.

Coming back to body temperature, as you can now tell, my brain cares very deeply for it.

Since I’ve come to Law school, I have discovered that the zone of interaction between the outside air temperature and the temperature in my room overlap greatly. This is owing to the fact that I receive ventilation from my room through 2 windows, and a little gap in the frame of my door – and not much else. This might seem like a lot for a tiny room, and it’s excellent ventilation, but boy does it piss me off when Gujarat has hot wind (apparently this is called a “Loo” (hehe)).

It’s safe to say that my room is warm for most of the day. I’ve combatted this in unique ways, yet sometimes, my body does not reach the Ambient Body Temperature I crave.

This happens very frequently when I’m sitting at my chair.

Today, while procrastinating my studies (because this is who I am), I identified the culprits. My chappals, and my headphones.

While wearing headphones, I block off wind that’ll hit my ear.

And I sweat.

While wearing chappals, I avoid contact with a cool surface, instead, retaining contact with a surface that is warming up for the duration my foot is on it (which is all the time).

I took off the chappals and felt the ground as was amazed at how my body cooled down.

I’m banning chappals in my room.

That was all.


The one thing I’m worried about is how all my productivity outside of Law school related things ceases the minute exams come into play.

I will eat biscuits and ponder about this, and perhaps write some more about it later.

Also, I hit my book goal for this year. I’ll put up a list on tejasrao.net.

I’m done doing number-oriented book goals. 52 last year and 104 this year has taught me that the numbers means very little to me. I’m just going to focus on always reading a book, and try doing a more author-specific/genre-specific reading year next year.

Till then, I have 2.5 months of reading left in me to prep, and also to read random things. Please tell if you have suggestions.



I’m having the nostalgia trip of a lifetime preparing for exams.

From the 10th Grade onward, I barely got breathing room between tests and examinations. The way my school worked was on continuously assessing you – to ensure you were “studying”. So you’d go from week to week with a countdown for the next tests already on, and the portion slowly increasing. The academic pressure definitely existed. A couple of things kept me sane at the time – which largely revolved around my blue iPod nano (which I’ve fangirled over numerous times). To date, along with my Kindle, the iPod is representative of everything I am. It still has an unchanged playlist from my bus rides in Grade 12.

I used to use iTunes to segregate music, and download whole albums and discographies. My iTunes also had podcasts I had subscribed to – so I never missed an Episode and was pretty much on top of most of the music I liked at the time. This was largely possible because I always listened to stuff while studying. At a terribly low volume (because of my parents’ fear that I would go deaf), but the music was always in the background. The low volume also ensured I never missed my mothers’ screaming. Or her footsteps. So I avoided all jump scares.

Anyway. Music basically played a huge role, and specifically Above & Beyond, whose Friday podcasts and new releases were basically things I looked forward to and stayed up for.

Now I’ve been playing all my favourite episodes and writing with the same pen I did while studying all those years ago.

I just wish the food I was eating was as good.



Thoughts on this semester:

  1. Least engaging, academically.
  2. Most adventurous, extra-curricular wise.
  3. Quite frustrating at times.
  4. Lots of TV watched
  5. Lots of writing done
  6. Lots of sleep accomplished. Especially in class.
  7. Quite a bit of reading done, also in class.
  8. Human caring factor: 10/10. I believe becoming a senior makes you care more for people. Truly. Maybe it’s just the process of ageing. Hmm. (I am 20, yes, but people have noted that I sound like an uncle at heart)
  9. Rediscovered YouTube and cartoons (Noice)
  10. Ate lots of Subway.

Overall 7/10.



You know what I absolutely adore about exam-time? Multiple things.

Granted, this makes me sound like the biggest nerd there is (which is not entirely untrue, and something I view as a part of my personality), but bear with me.

Exam time marks the peak of batch unity. Every single soul is confused about portions, and therefore, requesting for clarifications on the batch group. And constantly receiving messages responding to each query, in detail. This, for me, represents the beauty of collective learning, but also, tells me (1) how easily distracted we all are by our phones – because the minute someone posts on the batch group, there’s definitely 180 people checking phones, irrespective of what they’re doing at the time, but also (2) how there’s always going to be some level of reassurance you can get from your batch about how clueless you are. That everything is going to be okay.

You will also notice that during exam time, the batch group becomes a place where people discuss answers to questions they’re not sure about, or even about the past paper that was set. There’s also a mass collaboration to rage against unfair exams after the exam has been taken (which never yields in results), but the raging is fun nonetheless. This means that (1) there is always someone to help you clear your last-minute doubts, and literally, will answer till 9:55 when the exam starts at 10, but also (2) that misery is collectively experienced. You may have had a relatively better paper, but if everyone is complaining, you will join in and agree. It’s nice.

People are also kinder to each other during exams. Even at the mess, fewer people cut line, people request before interjecting. The toilets are cleaner! (which is my favourite thing), because nobody wants to piss off other human beings around them by forgetting to flush, or grossly overestimating their skill of accurately hitting targets. I’m amazed by these changes. Less music gets played on speakers, more people wear headphones.

People exchange concerned looks when they notice eyebags, and check up on each other more frequently. It’s heartwarming.

You can wake up at any time of the day and go brush your teeth, and nobody will bat an eye, because they all know you haven’t slept peacefully for a while.

Red Bull sales skyrocket, as does revenue collected through the sale of snacks or junk food. People mass buy stationery. People also weed out pencilcases they haven’t used for 6 months for this sole purpose. Exams.

But, my absolute favourite thing (apart from toilets)?

I get to stay in my room for however long I want and nap literally whenever.

It’s mind-blowing.

Though, whether I exercise that option or not is another question entirely.


Sometimes I forget how easy it is to get lost in a project, insofar as you begin to lose sight of other elements of your personality. I forgot about how much I loved technology news, and literally kept up with updates only over the holidays. Recently, though I found this Vlog I really like that does tech reviews and unboxings and all the kind of geeky stuff I used to spend my time watching in school and discussing with friends. That made me happy, and has seen me go back to following random tech bloggers on twitter.

Reclaiming my lost identity appears to be a work-in-progress.


Wow, one-hundred pieces of writing for this year. Not something I thought I’d get to, considering how late in the year I started off. And, considering my laziness – this is quite the feat. Pat, pat, Tejas, pat, pat.

I finished this new food documentary (I love watching these) called Somebody Feed Phil – where Philip Rosenthal travels around the world and tastes food that is local/well-reknown, but represents some local tastes. Philip Rosenthal is the co-creator and show-runner of a sit-com I enjoyed with my mother – Everybody Loves Raymond, so I knew I was in for a treat. I think the show is phenomenal in terms of its direction – it literally makes you want to eat everything it showcases, but also, its choice of location – every city picked is delightful, and covers some far-ranging cuisines. My favourite of these has to be its coverage of the Temple in New York, which I think is a testament to how excellent Indian food can be.

My only grouse though is Phil’s limited reactions. He literally says everything is “wow” or “fantastic”, or he comes up with a tune that expresses the whirring emotions in his head. None of this enables me to understand more about the food that he is eating. Which is honestly all I was watching the show for. I wish that he was more expressive about it – doing some comparative of what a particular food item tasted like, to make the show more relatable, is all.

Anyway. Another show is done, and I’ve basically got another massive set of restaurants I’d like to visit someday. Not sure what I’d eat there exactly, but that’s a dilemma I will resolve once I am seated at the restaurant itself.

In other news I am now one teaching day away from completing my seventh semester of Law school. Much excitment.



Yesterday my batch (well, atleast most of us), got together to take a photograph for our Recruitment Brochure. Firms and other people who seek to give us employment at the end of our 5 years will get to see this photograph of 180-odd individuals in black blazers and a white shirt and it will signal to them that we are worthy of being employed, or something. I believe that’s what the logic is.

That photograph is not something I would have missed for the world. We’ve spent 3.5 years at this University now, and with 1.5 years left (which is barely anything, to be frank), the way interpersonal relationships have developed across the batch have been quite the sight to see. The unity for some causes, the debates and polar approaches for others, it’s been quite a wild ride. This photograph just felt like it captured that.

An occupational hazard of being a Lawyer or a Law student is having attire that is remarkably monochrome. When I was a kid, I remember recounting to my mother how desperate I was to be in a workspace that allowed me to wear light pastel colours which weren’t drab. Yet, here I am.

Anyway, the photograph itself also stamped a sense of “wow, we’ve become old” in my head. That wasn’t a feeling I was prepared for at all. I remember my fourth years very vividly, one of them had even come back to campus recently and I got to spend some time with him, and I remember my fifth years, and I now realize that for a whole set of kids who come into college – my batchmates, my peers, we’re now those people.

I don’t think much prepares you for that.

Universities, and all educational spaces, I feel, sometimes understate the impact that the crowd that you’re around can have on you.

That gave me a lot to think about, in terms of what I learnt from my seniors that I want this University to continue to celebrate and cherish, irrespective of the manner in which the culture changes here.

And I’m grateful that I have 1.5 years left to put that into effect.


One of my friends has now departed for the foreignland. All this reminds me of is this extremely iconic poem called Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S., which I think is a literary/cultural masterpiece. I could read this poem for days.

When we were at school, we had this choice between doing an international education board, and doing the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education, and then moving on to the Indian School Certificate. Several of us took the decision to study the international board assuming that it would prepare us better for an education outside of India, which is what a lot of us targeted in the build-up to senior secondary.

That didn’t really end up happening, and for a multiplicity of reasons, I think only 5 of my classmates (of 20) ended up going abroad immediately. For a long time this led to a large amount of chiding from several individuals and school authorities – who couldn’t understand why we spent so long studying a foreign board before deciding to stay back in India. For a lot of them, it felt like we were “settling”, and not reaching or fulfilling our full potential. It was an argument that got personal at the time, but devoid of all emotion now, I’m pretty free to say that (1) I will never regret the education I was exposed to, and I think all education systems have their own sets of merits and demerits in terms of the kind of quality of education they impart, (2) a large amount of your education is not dependent on your syllabus, but takes place through faculty and peers, and (3) I don’t think any of us “settled” for India. We all took different reasoning and made active choices that led to us selecting India as where we would complete one phase of our education.

In any case, I think most of us looked for opportunities to get us out of the country’s education system as fast as possible, and this means, that following a phase of undergraduate education, several of my friends have actually gone abroad, which is where this post began.

Considering I’ve still got two years of University left, that brings a smile to my face. It’s always great to see people you studied with everyday doing well for themselves.

It’s also got me thinking about the changing nature of friendships and how grateful I am for technology. I know I will still call Bangalore home, but the way I experience the city now, in terms of having fewer friends there than before, and not having my immediate family (my mother & father, there’s no offense to the rest of my family), there, is a little distant and definitely distinct from the way I experienced the city as a schoolkid.

There are several things I used to do that I haven’t done in forever now. I haven’t visited this complex my friend stayed at in 4 years, because he no longer stays there. I haven’t eaten at this dhaba my friend and I really like in 4 years, because he’s no longer in the city for me to share that experience with.

That makes me a little nostalgic. However, I think it’s important that I’m just grateful for those memories, which I definitely am.

Also, I might be the biggest brute for saying this, but wow I’m thinking about that dhaba a lot now, and I’m really looking forward to getting to Bangalore at some point and eating there.

The lassi is mindblowing.

Anyway, I wanted this post to encapsulate the several things that change when your friend moves timezones.

But I’ll be honest, not much changes.

I still get ugly photos of my friends. And we still game with each other from time to time. We get on call and insult each other, because that’s the only way we know to show affection.

Not much has changed. I’m looking forward to see where my friendships go next, because weird as it may be, while I’m still in University, the age group that I’m in, my generation’s effectively hitting “adulthood”. That’s one of those changes that you can’t ignore in terms of its impact on your lifestyle.

Ah, well.


All I’m thinking about at the moment is what my next two months looks like. I’m not particularly pleased about the fact that my brain appears to be living two months ahead of the present. It means I’m spending more time calculating things and speculating about future behaviour than just enjoying the fact that I’m still in college.

It’s not that I’m not excited about going to Bombay. I’m pretty excited and quite eager – I’ll be living with my friends for two months, working, and in a city I’ve always wanted to explore more – especially after my visit there in March 2017.

It’s just that my brain is on auto-pilot about the end of the year (which is almost here!), and not entirely committed to my present. I’m not too pleased about that.

Especially considering that I have several things I should be doing at the moment – none of which involve this blog, or the next two months of internship work.

I should probably get cracking on those.


I’ve recently rediscovered a game from my childhood on this website called Miniclip.com, and it’s taking up way more time of mine than it should.

When I was younger, Miniclip was that guilty pleasure you never admitted to anyone, but you knew everyone enjoyed playing anyway. You can’t really describe what the website looked like all those years ago – it didn’t have a membership or a login system, so you weren’t even playing for points. You were just playing.

In an era that MMORPG’s and playing RuneScape or ClubPenguin, or AdventureQuest dominated most of why my generation utilized the internet, Miniclip guaranteed you hours of entertainment when you weren’t playing with your friends. It was something you could play alone. Where you determined what made you happiest.

Miniclip was a safe haven. It’s probably why I still enjoy gaming there so much.