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My 30s list – before I am 30

January 14, 2011
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This year, when I turned 25, I made a promise to myself – that I will treat 25 as the new 16. This promise emerged from a conversation I had with a girl friend when we both were rueing the perfectly "good-girl" life that we have led till date. "Its time to have more fun," we told each other.

Now I was really wondering how to keep that promise to myself. How do I treat my life with the innocent excitement of a 16 year old, despite being the experienced, matured 25 year old woman that I am? Here comes the usefulness of a bucket list. So, to facilitate my birthday gift, I pen down 30 things to do before I turn 30, which will constantly remind me to take the necessary break from my mundane life every now and then.

1. Experiment with my looks

I have a secret wish to do something radical with my looks and the easiest way to achieve it would be to go for an extreme hair styling. I am still deciding between a pixie cut and a slight perm. Or may be, I should just get some red streaks at the next available opportunity. [mental note: try that pixie cut some time in life; think Halle Berry!]

2. Get a tattoo

Ever since I got my nose pierced, I have been eyeing the tattoo parlours. I also have had the usual inhibitions about getting a tattoo, but with each passing day, the idea of inking myself permanently excites me more. The design would most certainly not be feminine and sweet, but more devilish and stingy like a scorpion 😉 And it simply cannot be on a skin surface, easily spotted by my old-fashioned relatives. 

3. Buy my own car

Now that I have my driving licence, I am itching to put it to good use. The idea of driving on the streets of Calcutta is not too appealing, but I simply love the sense of power I experience with the steering wheel in my hand. [mental note: buy that SUV or Audi.. O.K. not now, but sometime in life; or else get a husband who will present one ;-)]

4. Go on a self-drive adventure

Once I am comfortable at the wheels, I plan to take it out on an expedition across long distances with just the map as my companion. My most favourite driving vacation idea is to go down the coast line of India.

5. Pledge my eye and other organs 

This reminds me, I have to make that phone call to the eye bank, which I have planned for quite some time now. In addition, I have to contact a hospital for the organ donation. I love my body too much to allow it to go up in ashes when I am not here. It should be used for more meaningful purposes.  

6. Learn scuba diving

I must attain that certificate for scuba diving – be it from PADI or SSI or NAUI. Its my always-there-at-the-back-of-my-mind dream. My aim presently is to go to one of the diving sites at Andamans (because they are the most affordable ones) and combine a vacation with one of the basic-intermediate level courses. 

7. Learn how to play a sport

I always make plans for it and always scrap it for one reason or the other. Now before its too late, I have to train myself in any one outdoor sport. Which sport is a good question – tennis? squash? golf?

I think I will try and fulfil my childhood dream of playing lawn tennis. 🙂

8. Go back to University

Student life was the best and I intend to re-live all of it once again at a foreign university.

9. Try as many water sports as I can

Ever since, I have learnt swimming, I have developed a love for all water sports. Parasailing, jet ski, rafting – I want to do all of them. I also want to try my hand at free-diving, water ballet and underwater photography.

10. Get featured in the media

As the upcoming lawyer/writer/blogger or whatever the media decides to portray me as. The bottom line is – get featured and become well-known [mental note: next step should be ‘become famous’]

11. Learn a dance form

Another childhood aspiration which was cut short. Now it would either be Manipuri among traditional dance forms and salsa/waltz/rumba/tango among western dance forms.

12. Go on a cruise

Vast expanse of sea, luxury cruise liner and lots of time at hand makes for a perfect luxury vacation.

13. Learn any one form of martial art

Options are Kickboxing, Kalarippayattu and Krav Maga. Oh God! I am turning into Ekta Kapoor! 😦

14. Be actively involved with charity

I have already shortlisted a few of them e.g. Goonj and CRY India. However, GiveIndia is an excellent option for people with the intention but not enough time. 

15. Go on a back-packing trip

I have always been fascinated by the backpackers I meet through Couchsurfing. I also wonder how lucky Aparna Shekhar Roy is, who took a year off from corporate slavery to backpack solo through Latin America. This is one dream vacation for me.

16. Try as many different cuisines as possible

My aim is to try all sorts of food around the world. I wish I could be a travel show host/world food critic just to fulfil this dream of mine. 

17. Write a book

Its time I take writing more seriously and take it beyond the confines of my blog. With one academic book as co-author and co-editor already published and one story in one of the Chicken Soup series to be published shortly, I am planning to finally start writing that novel I have been thinking of. Whether it will get published or not is not in my hands, but writing it surely is. I also promise that it will not be on campus-romance/office-politics but a fiction with a strong woman character as the protagonist.

18. Travel solo

Travelling solo helps one to rediscover oneself and offers unique life lessons. My ambitious idea of a solo trip to the north-east was turned down by concerned parents; but I seriously intend to go on a vacation all by myself at some point of time.  

19. Buy those items I have always wanted

Digital SLR; select branded clothing; select branded shoes and handbag; platinum and diamond jewellery. In one word – indulge myself. 

20. Visit at least one country from each continent

A friend once said, "I will not marry until I have visa stamps of 10 countries in my passport." To her credit, she has already managed to gather quite a few. My motto is to set my foot in at least one country from each continent before I hit the 30s. Wish No 8 will help in achieving this one. [mental note: Be realistic about Antarctica!] 

21. Learn glass painting

Again something I always wanted to do but have not, till date. This reminds me, I should start drawing/painting once again.

22. Have a fling

I have that bit of "Geet" (of Jab We Met) in me – I am the old-fashioned one-man woman. I have been unable to casually date anyone or have a fling. But surprisingly, people do not believe me, if I say so. They perceive me to be the "playful girl" for reasons best known to them! So, I think I should try to prove them right by having at least one (and depending on availability of interesting men, more than one) fling(s). ;-).

23. Learn how to ride a bike and drive to Ladakh

The ultimate thrill is to have the wind sweeping my hair as I speed across picturesque highways to Ladakh. I think I should try and nail a biker boyfriend as part of fulfilling both this one and the previous wish.

24. Have my own house

I invested in real estate last year, but cancelled it due to varied reasons. I want to cross over to the 30s with a home to call my own – not my parent’s or husband’s but my own.

25. Get completely drunk

I can’t believe I have this in the list! Till 22, I was a complete teetotaller. I finished tasting almost all types of spirits within the next one year, but found nothing to my liking. But I wonder how it would be to go completely berserk while drinking? I wonder how would I behave when I am high – happy? pissed? crazy? Its time to find out, but of course, in trusted company. [mental note: I hope I am not sick; I would hate that]  

26. Read all the must-read books in all the available lists

Every now and then, I come across "100/500/1000 books to read before you die" and I embarrass myself by counting the ones I have completed. Let finishing all of them be my motto. [mental note: go slow and savour each one you read; you have a lifetime to finish the whole list]

27. Start a business of my own

I know its a tall order may be, but I have to start some time some where some how. As to what it would be, let it remain a favourite secret.

28. Learn how to cook (exotic dishes)

The foodie me simply has to learn how to make those exotic food, desserts, cookies etc etc. [mental note: make sure mom doesn’t see this; she will lock you up in the kitchen and teach you everyday recipes] 

29. Learn  a Foreign Language

It would most probably be either French or Spanish. Now this gives me ideas – I can fulfil wish no 22 by having a fling with a person who speaks that foreign language. [mental note: biker or a foreigner???]  

30. Get Married

Find that man with whom I want to share my life and settle down with him.


Such a long list and just 5 years left! I will try and achieve at least 50% of this list and the rest will then be carried over to my 40s list. 🙂

If you have such a list, do share it, either in the comments or in your blog and let me know. I would love to compare notes. I shall also write another blog post detailing what all I achieved from the list when I will turn 30. Till then, wish me luck!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011 4:54 pm

    Nice, Nice. I want to do the tattoo and the travelling alone part too. But the needle and my parents scare me off!

    One big reason why I still haven’t got a tattoo is that thing called “needle”. I am shit scared of it, too. But after the piercing on my nose, I have overcome that fear to a little extent! Let me see, when I manage to gather enough courage to do it!

  2. January 14, 2011 5:37 pm

    wow!…u ve a wonderfull bucket list 🙂

    i went through a similar phase of life off late…..allways lived at home …..being a good boy all my life…n then suddenly i moved out 1 year ago and shifted to an alien city…..lived my life alone….made all the mistakes i can…n learnt…….no point living on borrowed wisdom is what i realized then 🙂
    joined an NGO…started teaching on weekends…..tried to mend a marriage that never happend….again failed though….fell in love with a girl…got turned down…went to a disc…spent my new year at a 5 start hotel club…turned into a complete nut in thrown out of a project most unceremoniously…learnt fishing…learnt driving a bike…..did all kinds of things which i would have been ashamed of (or just didnt have the guts) doing earlier…..and today i dont regret doing anything that i did 🙂

    life’s greatest regrets r those….where we say…..alas!..only if i had given it a try!

    All the best to you!….let me know if u can….how things work out for u 🙂

    Wow, Mayur! Your story is one proof that I am not the only crackpot here 😉 Like Pawan mentioned – my list has extremes! You have been there and done all extreme stuff, too!
    Frankly, I agree with you that you tend to regret more about not doing some stuff than about doing certain stuff.
    I will surely update my readers about what all I could achieve when I turn 30 😉

    • January 24, 2011 1:32 pm

      one piece of advice…..dont just leave it as list….coz there is a tendency to procrastinate when one prepares such lists……i prepared lists many times in life…but seldom acted on them……so beware and dont fall into that trap ;)……..and do not think too much before acting :P…..human mind behaves in a strange manner to dissuade u from doing things if u hang on to a thought for a very long time!

  3. January 14, 2011 7:02 pm

    A very interesting bucket list indeed ! You should actually try to get this done before 30 – coz post it -be sure to expect finding time – to be a time consuming exercise.!!

    Welcome! after a long time 🙂 I am not hopeful about doing all of it within the next 5 years but I am most certainly going to try 🙂 Few expensive indulgences may have to be left for the next decade 😉

  4. January 14, 2011 8:03 pm

    I now know have a proof on why a woman is said to be complicated. The list has things on both extremes from getting a house to getting dead drunk (I would love that 😀 😀 )
    Travelling alone looks fun too, infact a few of my points are on my list too. Go on, if you finish them by 30 I can assure that you’d be the happiest person around 🙂

    A woman sure is complicated! And I hope this brings back some zing to my life 😉

  5. January 14, 2011 9:16 pm


    For whom??? 😉

  6. January 15, 2011 9:15 am

    You want to do everything before 3o?!! 😀
    But a To-Do list for “Before 30”, sigh! scary! 😛 😀

    P.S. I always find reading you such a pleasure…. Maybe it is the kinship I feel because of the place that we shared, that place where we learned to love this language too 🙂

    Hey Hey welcome back Girl 🙂 haven’t seen you around of late [guess, I haven’t written much, too]
    Not everything in the list.. I doubt that would be possible. I am taking a resonable target of completing at least 50%.

    Thanks a ton for saying that. I too love your posts and unique style of writing. The first post I read of you was the BAT winning one and I finished almost the whole of your archive that day 🙂 Then I was pleasantly surprised to know that you are ‘you’ 😉 There has to be something in those 12 years which made both of us what we today 🙂

  7. Indecision Personified permalink
    January 16, 2011 11:05 pm

    @#20: That friend, if I am guessing correctly, has travelled to 9 countries outside of her home country now but unfortunately has the stamp of just one!!! Two visas but one stamp! So you might want to ask her if she has redefined her criteria.

    But nice list. Do let me know as and when you accomplish each and every one of them.

    Eh! just one stamp??!!! That’s unfortunate! But nevertheless – NINE countries!!! wow! that’s cool!
    As far as updating you, you will come to know when each one of them gets accomplished 😉

  8. Phoenix of East permalink
    January 18, 2011 1:00 am

    Hi…. 1stly I must admit that I am not a blogger and came across your blog accidentally…found your experiment with life quit interesting……………… Particularly your keenness to explore the world beyond your professional life is very inspiring………………….. It seems you know much more about where you stand than I did when I was 25 years old (I am 30)…………..I did not knew what I wanted in my life 5 years back nor do I can say by confidence that I really know it now……………Although I do firmly believe that only a idiot or a saint knows fully what he wants from his life…………………………………….never the less indisputably your 30 points five years plan worth appreciation………………………….Now as far as I am concern I did indulge in a lot of activities in my last 5 years…………………..and only one agenda we have in common is solo back packing trips………..which I did extensively within India(mostly in Himalayas) and in parts of south east Asia…………………………….Believe me such trips can make you a different person……GO FOR IT……. Lastly can I get your email add.

    Hello Phoenix of East! welcome to my blog. Well, I agree with you when you say that no person can ever be sure of exactly what he wants; and if he does then half the charm of the uncertainty called life is eroded 🙂 But its fun to make plans and see how well they turn out to be.
    My email ID is there in the page “I am, what I am”.

  9. January 19, 2011 7:03 pm

    All the best for your bucket list. . No, seriously u need all the luck u can get to complete ur list in 5 yrs. . Ok finally jokes aside, you are a very mean blogger. . Otherwise y didn’t u stop me from reading your Blog and ask me to prepare for my exams. . Its all your fault i tell u. .
    (ok now that i’ve blamed someone else for my lack of concentration in studies, lets stop the useless rambling of mine and come to the point, shall we. . ) Hi DebAsHmita . . . Er..r i mean Debosmita, pls accept greetings from one of your newest followers. I’m sure you have heard it a lot earlier, but i have to repeat it to you – your Blog posts are fantadamnbulous Gurrl. And i’m not saying this just because you are a lawyer as well as quite liberal in using your hands (though both the above elements could be the very reason for others who say so) . I’m quite new to the Blogging scene and more of an irregular species. I don’t know y but the Blogging space in india as well most other parts of the world are being reigned by the gorgeous ladies like you, neha thakkar and smita. Is that an evil grin on your face? Hold it right there! Will you. . Pls. . I mean give us guys some space. . . But till then i’m happy to read your funny posts (and secretly run my anti women blogger propaganda). . Now that i have said so much and that u have no clue my hidden propaganda what soever, i wonder that most of the blogger linked in my Blog are women! God save me!

    You really shouldn’t be writing such comments, or else, I would soon start gloating 🙂 I feel I still have a long long way to go and the support of readers like you is what I require the most 🙂 Thanks for all your kind words. But yes, I am the last person to tell you to study before exams! I hardly did that myself, untill the last moment. Be here always 🙂

  10. Abhishek permalink
    February 11, 2011 12:32 pm

    How many did you complete?

    Now, don’t create pressure on me by asking so soon 😦 I have decided to do an update post on the eve of my 30th birthday, to let all know how far I have been successful 😉

  11. February 13, 2011 5:04 am

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!

  12. March 14, 2011 10:32 am

    Nice bucket list 🙂
    Let me see.. 1,3,4,8,12,16,18,19 – I have done before 30.. but yet to finish so many..
    I had a similar bucket list: Here

    Thanks 🙂 I have seen yours.. You have completed quite a few already!

  13. September 18, 2013 6:26 pm

    I thought you are 30 already. 😉

    How many you have acheived?


  1. Looking back at 2013 and ahead at 2014 | Life's Many Whispers

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