Monday, December 29, 2008

The Ghosts Of New Year Past, Present And Future

(Warning: This is going to be a very cryptic Dear Diary kind of you might wanna skip it. And my sincere apologies to Dickens who must be rolling in his grave coz of this post inspired by Christmas Carol. Mr. Dickens, please believe me when I say that "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery".)

The Ghost Of New Year Past

He doesn't always visit me at the end of the year. He turns up whenever he wants to torment me with haunting and scary images from the past. From time to time, he makes sure to remind me of the mistakes from the year gone by. I should hate him the most for tormenting me like this. But I know he keeps me from repeating the same mistakes again, so I try not to mind. Though sometimes I wish that he would not drag up the same things, that he would stop when I have realized my fault and let me be.

The Ghost Of New Year Present

This year the spirit seems to be more or less happy with me. Even though I had made no promises to him or to myself, I know he won't haunt me this time. He has a slight frown on his face though, as if to say that he is not happy with what I have done this year; that I could have done more. But I hope he understands that I have made an attempt to change things. He shakes his head as if to say that I am starting to lag behind, I tell him I am happy with my pace; that I will surely reach there (Where is 'there'?, you might ask..I am still trying to figure that out!). He groans and tells me that I am just using peace of mind as an excuse not to move forward, I respond that he would never be able to understand how much I craved peace; and that now I am ready for whatever life throws at me. He warns me not to isolate myself again, I assure him that even though I am tempted to, I will try not to do that.

The Ghost Of New Year Future

I have never been able to determine how he looks like or what he wants from me. He is the least corporeal of all the three spirits. He is engulfed in a fog and as I try to get closer, he moves further and further away. Sometimes, I give up trying to reach him, and at other times I am not able to resist myself. I keep on wondering what he looks like; does he look happy, contented, sad, frightening, disappointed or frustrated? But he always manages to evade my attempts to catch him. I think he wants me to be more patient, so I will just let it least for now.

P.S.: I can't believe how fast the year has gone by!! Mr. Einstein, your theory of relativity doesn't seem to work in my case. Even when I am deliriously happy or down in the dumps, time still flies by at an alarmingly rapid pace!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

When Recession Strikes...

  • A slight note of displeasure from the client turns into hour long meetings at offshore.
  • Your manager sees you leaving the office at 6, and wonders if he should assign some more work to you.
  • People no longer want to stay on-bench.
  • You have to fight for every pen/stapler/notepad that you need in office.
  • The toilet paper starts vanishing slowly from the bathrooms.
  • You put in a little something for your company, your client, the stock market, the economy in your morning prayers.
  • You start getting a nagging feeling, that you should update your resume and update your skills, so as to be prepared.
  • You start reading economic section of the newspaper or check your company's stock value.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Deja Vu...

The spirit of Mumbai...
Mumbai bounces back...
Mumbaikars will fight back...

Messages that are supposed to make people feel good? I am tired of hearing that. Its being used as an excuse by politicians and administrators to not do their job.To me it just means that people are so used to these things happening, that nothing is too much for them. What other option do we have? Do we sit at home as the city gets flooded, as hooligans hold the city at ransom, as bombs go off in one place or the other, or as terrorists go about on a killing spree?

Thankfully, the politicians have so far not hogged the news. But that will not last long. In a day or two, the political circus will begin. We'll hear inflammatory speeches and blame games, homages to the brave security personnel, announcements of compensations;all in the name of political one-upmanship. When the storm abates, then these paper-tigers will come out and use this incident for their votebank politics.

I have no solutions,just a lot of questions.#@$@!%!#%#!%#@!%#@!%#@!I can feel this voice screaming inside my head, trying to make up swear words. Who do I direct it against? What do we learn from this? Fortunately/Unfortunately, public memory is shortlived. Just like numerous times in the past, this time too, we will raise a hue and cry and then things will be back to normal. There will be numerous villains who will come out of this whole mess. The only true heroes are the policemen, the security personnel, the fire brigade guys and numerous other good samaritans who have been in the line of fire. God bless them!

P.S: This is the second time in six months that I have had to write about this. I just pray that I will not have to do that again in a long time. I don't think I have the Mumbaikar spirit or the famed resilience of this city in me; to bounce back again and again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Do You Get When You Put Two Girls In A Room?

Contrary to what the title of this post suggests, this is not going to be a kinky post. So, if you wandered to this post, after reading the title,sorry to disappoint you.

Once upon a time, there were two female roomies....And they lived happily ever after.

Ever wondered why no one has ever heard of this story? One always hears that two females can't live together without murdering each other after a while. Although I think it's a tad bit exaggerated, it is true to some extent.

It's not that we live in a war zone. If you happen to drop in unannounced, you'll be able to hear scrambling going on the other rooms to hide underthings and other objectionable items. This is also accompanied by sounds of frantic attempts to dress appropriately, washing off the henna/egg/curd from the hair, scrubbing off face-pack. It's a myth that only guys live like pigs and a flat inhabited by females will always be all clean and pink and smelling like perfume. If it not were for the maid who cleaned our flats there would be unwashed dishes and laundry, hair here there everywhere. But God forbid, if two roomies fall for the same guy. Then all hell breaks loose. And like any war, there are innocent people who are affected;the other roomies.

All said and done, if you are lucky enough to live with like-minded females, life is all fun. Where else will you find companions for umpteen shopping trips, endless gossip/bitching sessions about movies, fashion, guys, work, family, etc etc. It makes a lot of difference between being able to enjoy living apart from family and wanting to run back home.

And then there are female roomies who lived happily ever-after
Ever-after meaning
A. Till the end of the lease
B. Until they have a fallout
C. Forever...if they fall in love

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dumb And Dumber

"How did you fit ice into a bottle?"

"There is no impact to existing code/process."
The Idiot in the next cubicle

"I am sorry... 2 years." And she believed it!

Someone goes to jail,someone does not go to jail, something happens, something doesn't happen, we vandalize buses, train coaches, shops etc. As it is, there are so many problems with infrastructure in our country. And we have a mob that is ever-ready to destroy public property. Do they not realize that tomorrow when the rioting stops, they will not have enough buses/trains to travel in?

Saturday, October 18, 2008




Responsible for all activities on Earth. Provide advice, assistance and follow-up on policies, procedures. Coordinate the resolution of specific policy-related and procedural problems and prayers.


  • Responsible for all human/non-human resource activities to include birth, happiness, suffering, death of all species.
  • Develop and maintain relationship with all incarnations and forms of self.
  • Prepare and maintain historical data of activities performed by all species on earth.
  • Analyze data and provide recommendations on allowing access to heaven or condemn to hell.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Behavioral Attributes: omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Knowledge of multiple human/non-human resource disciplines.
  • Visibility requires maintaining a professional, calm and soothing appearance and providing a positive image to the public.


  • Working conditions are extreme. Work may require evening and weekend work from the date of joining to eternity.

P.S: What made God accept this job??

Forgive me God, if this post is blasphemous. I hope that You have a sense of humor. Or at least are forgiving enough to ignore my extremely bad sense of humor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Once I Had A Secret Love...

And my secret love's no secret anymore

But it's OK, I guess. Since I never told him nor will it matter to him if I disclose his identity over here. I saw him first when I was in pre-teens and fell in love (infatuated would be the right word) with him. He was handsome, brave, strong, funny, a thief...and also a cartoon character; Aladdin. Though, till date, I am not sure whom I liked more; Genie or Aladdin? Ahh, if only Genie wasn't blue, which woman wouldn't love a man who fulfilled all her wishes!!

Having been at the receiving end of a respectable amount of crushes, first-love, infatuation (I can't be more clinical than this!), I have been surprised, delighted, shocked, irritated, sad. It's amazing how many emotions that one word can evoke! Now, if I was a giddy teenage girl, I would talk of red roses, chocolates, long hours on the phone, daydreaming. Of waiting for something to happen on Valentine's day, of not losing hope even while cycling back to home after school, and of disappointment that it ended like just another ordinary day. Of living in the moment and not knowing/caring what the future holds. Of secret crushes and mushy songs/movies.

I may not be a teen anymore, but I still like/expect some of the things which I have written in the previous para (It's not required to list that here! This is not a "10 Tips To Woo Me" kind of post !). But, I can't talk of "What is Love" and write down cutesy stuff. (Though I just love to read the "Love is" cartoons! If you like them too, then check this out: Wise in the ways of the world and perhaps a little disillusioned becoz of it; I can say that along with all the mushy,sweet feelings sometimes love's more about patience. Sometimes it's keeping nasty thoughts to yourself, of letting go, of a seemingly endless waiting period, of changes in oneself (for better or for worse) Sometimes it's not knowing whether it's love or being habituated to a person. Sometimes it's not about being overdramatic and thinking that you couldn't possibly live without that person; it's knowing that your life would go on as before even if you ended up alone, but you simply choose not to let go of him/her.

P.S: Note to self: Watching chick-flick and extreeeeeeemmely sentimental movies over the weekend makes one prone to write senti and nonsensical posts!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Tale Of Three Cities

This is not where my life began. But by virtue of living in this city for close to fifteen years, it has to be the first in the series. I can't even begin to write down all the happy/sad memories of this city.

One thing that leaving this city has taught me is that, it's quite easy to live in the past, to hold on to old friends, good memories. But in a way that blocks new memories from being formed. It's also very easy to completely forget the past and the bad memories, lose touch with people. And how difficult it is to move on, smile while remembering the happy memories and hopefully become all the wiser after the bad ones!

For me, it's a city of lot of firsts and some seconds. First job, first time away from home... Living apart from family and having the freedom to do a hell lot of stuff made me realize a lot of things about myself. Things I took for granted, things I craved for, things that didn't seem so wonderful once I had experienced them, things I had pushed in the backseat of my mind...

Although my tryst with Pune was short, it leaves a whole bunch of memories in my head. Some happy, some sad, some which will turn out to be happy/sad...only Time will tell!

My birthplace and my current home. Almost all my memories of Bombay are linked to childhood. Travelling to Bombay every vacation, bugging mom about how long till we reach Bombay Central, knowing that we are close just by the smell, drinking coffee prepared by my granny stealthily in the kitchen, fighting with my brothers. Somehow, the memories of adulthood have not sinked in.

I think of Bombay as a stopover for my next destination. I feel like I am waiting at the airport(domestic or international...not sure) looking at the schedule. I can see the flights getting delayed, some flights getting cancelled; and am wondering which flight is mine!

P.S: It's not much of a tale, is it? Oh well, I wasn't aiming for the Booker. I had sooo many thoughts in my head for this post, that I couldn't focus. And some things were too personal or too embarrasing or too idiotic to mention here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Answer Me This...

Why did Superman, Batman wear their briefs on the outside of their tights?
Do vampires get AIDS?
If women ran the Pentagon, would missiles and submarines be shaped differently?
Why is it that everyone driving faster than you is considered an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron?
What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

These are just few of life's unanswered questions. They may leave you searching for an answer, but you can get away with any kind of reply.And they are better than some of these questions:

Do you know who I am?
I have a very bad memory for faces. I would remember a Brad Pitt or a Hrithik Roshan, but normal people look...well normal. It's quite embarrassing when some of my relatives ask me this question. And when I sheepishly say that I don't remember them, they start by describing our entire family tree which makes me even more flustered.

How would you describe yourself?
This is quite a tricky interview question. If I spoke the truth, the interviewer would think that I am seriously deranged. So, I have to stick to standard responses. And although I know that this question will inevitably be asked in all the interviews, I hate to prepare for it. I belong to the breed of people who would rather not talk about themselves. I can write an essay on myself and my life because at least the reader has the option of not reading it. But I would rather not bore people by my self-obsessed ravings.

When are you getting married?
When you reach a certain age (The age limit varies, if you are in a small town the countdown starts at 18. If you live in a cosmopolitan city and the people around you are open-minded then the age would be probably late twenties.) and are still single, you get this question from a lot of people. Good friends, concerned relatives, nosy neighbours; everybody wants to know the answer. I can only say that if I knew when I was getting married, I would have already changed my status on Orkut and sent them my wedding card. The next time someone asks me this, I will tell them that I am thinking of becoming a lesbian and since same-gender marriage is not allowed in India, I am never going to get married.

When are you going onsite?
If you are in IT, and still in India after 2-3 years of job experience, people automatically start assuming something is wrong with you. Its the equivalent of a guy being in his mid to late twenties and never been involved with any female, then people start assuming that he is gay. The money is definitely good at onsite, and I should have been the first one to queue up for visa coz I am such a big miser (You know the joke about the guy with the Rolex who had his arm cut off and was worrying about his Rolex, I am that kind). But I know that I would end up getting depressed if I have to live alone; and if I am not happy what good is money going to be?

Friday, September 5, 2008

S For Sun, S For Sugar, S For Snake

Anything but S for sex. Because we are Indians, we don't have sex. Foreign forces are to be blamed for the rising population of our country. The stork delivers our kids. Wondering how the stork got the baby? Did it mutate and give birth to a human child? Did it kidnap the baby? Did it find the girl child abandoned in some street, took pity on it and decided to give it to a loving and sensible couple?

But the truth is something else. If anyone has read the personal columns of certain newspapers, then they won't be able to say this with a straight face. Majority of the questions in there are about dimensions or technique or the "forgive me for I have sinned" kinds. It's quite funny at times and sometimes quite shocking. Sometime back a reader posted this query:" Does dandruff cause AIDS?" Wow, and still we oppose sex-education in schools hoping that if we shut our eye to this menace it will simply go away.

Even the classifieds are full of ads advertising massages and escorts [Now you must be wondering what kind of newspapers I read, then I must clarify that we get perfectly respectable newspapers at home. I do not go scouting in dingy streets wearing a disguise in search of these papers :-)]. Some of these ads may be genuine, but you can make out the creepy ones with the pictures of females.

Oh well, none of my business. Actually, I started this post because of some ads which confused me. What exactly is the product here? Is chocolate being used to sell sex? Or sex being used to sell chocolate? Hmmm anyways, I hope that these products were reviewed stringently to check that the rules for hygiene were not being flouted during manufacture.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mind Your Ps And Qs

I swear I have never heard so many thank-yous, welcome and sorry in my entire life than in the last few months! I am thinking of writing a program which will automatically print out thanks at the end of every sentence in email/chat, or welcome/no problem when someone else types thanks. Just as there are smiley buttons, there should also be thanks, welcome and sorry buttons in chat applications.

It's not that I am a fan of the "No sorry, no thanks in friendship/love" rule. I think that works only in the initial honeymoon period. I have realized that it is as important to be civil to your friends and family as it is with strangers. Too many times I have given excuses for my bad behavior as a personality trait. And too many times I have excused others' bad behavior also for the same reason.

I am a firm believer of not using too many thank-yous, welcome and sorry in my day-to-day routine. I don't understand the logic behind saying these words after every sentence. I would rather not create situations where I end up having to say sorry. Or have to say thank you for small things when I don't mean it. And I would rather that people don't say sorry unless they mean it. Coz, if you hurt me and say sorry later on, I will probably forgive you the first few times. But if you hurt me again and again, then I will just interpret your sorry as "Sorry, I am going to hurt you the next time also." Politeness is a virtue which works best when it is combined with honesty; otherwise it becomes just a formality. Like having to get up and say good-morning when the teacher comes in class. Or having a "Thanks and Regards" or "Sincerely Yours" in one's signature.

But as they say; When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, I am going to limit my personal opinion to this blog and join the Romans. But, if I have to fake it, then I might as well go the whole hog! I am thinking of sending an email at the end of day which goes like this (Think of all the rest my fingers will get from typing the same words over and over again throughout the day!)

               Thanks for all the help, support that you extended today. Welcome, if I have been of any help to you. Sorry, if I caused any inconvenience or hurt you in any way.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

You Know You Are In Love When...

You long for the day when you will be together...
Your pine for it every single day and hope that someday you will be together.

When there are more and more photos of both of you together...
Did you take pictures the first time you saw it? And click more pictures of both of you after you bought it?

You can't wait to see it again...
Ever felt that the day was dragging and you just wanted to go home and be with it? Did you ever have one of those days when you were not able to concentrate on anything and your mind was somewhere else?

You have a hard time saying "goodbye"...
Ever felt like you are getting addicted to it? Do you have to keep on telling yourself "5 more minutes and then I will stop"?

You don't want to share it with anyone else in the world...
Do you feel extremely possessive about it? Do you feel jealous when someone else looks at it or touches it? Do you feel special because you have it and other people don't?

When you are sitting silent in front of it not because you have nothing to say but because there is no need for words...
You never realize how time flies when you are together. You can sit for hours staring at each other!

Well, if these are the signs of love then probably I am in love with my T.V. and laptop. Now, if only I could transform my T.V./laptop into a tall, handsome, smart, funny, understanding guy at the click of a remote-button/mouse click.

If while reading this post, you were reminded of something (please note, I said something and not someone), then yes you are in love too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Next Is What?

Faster than a speeding bullet (Thanks to hours of exercising in the gym)

More powerful than a locomotive (Able to withstand the pain of waxing his chest and tweezing his eyebrows)

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! (Hmm, this bit he cannot do,he still has to walk or take the lift!)

Look up! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Metrosexual Man!

He's not just on T.V. now! He's on the street with gelled hair and sunglasses. He is in your office wearing a pink shirt (It's so hard to find good colours like lilac, pink for females! All the colours I like are there in the menswear section now!). He's in your salon in the chair next to you getting a facial or his hair straightened or his hands manicured. He's in your living-room watching a chick-flick, in your kitchen helping with the cooking.

I think guys always had these traits but did not express it. Whatever it is, this new metrosexual side is quite a change from the "Me no cook, Me no shop, Me the He-man" kind of mentality. So ladies, if you see your guy fussing about his hair/weight, sharing your night-cream, under-eye gel, face-scrub, face-mask, undergarment, skirt...relax, he is just showing his metro sexual side. Oh, but if the last bit is true, you may want to keep an eye on him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

And The Next Contestant Is

"So, what song are you going to sing today?"

"Song? Sing? I am not a good singer. I sing when I am happy! Or when I want to irritate people."

"Can you dance then?"

"You mean salsa, samba, tango, bharatnatyam?...Uhhh no, I am more of a crazy bhangra-disco kind of dancer."

"Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

"Ummm...I think I am smart, but 5th grade was a long time ago, I think I must have forgotten most of the stuff. Forget school, I don't even remember half the things I studied in college!"

"Are you ready to answer some embarrassing questions and speak the truth?"

"I am not sure I am ready to disclose my secrets in front of all these people!"

"Are you funny? Tell us a joke."

"Uhhh ok..There was one elephant and an ant..."

"Ohh forget it! We are sick of elephant-ant jokes! Are you a millionaire? Are you ready to fall in love on a reality show?"

"I am still some zeroes away from being a millionaire...Love on a reality show; that's probably the most depressing thing I have heard. And I am not that desperate!"

"No, no, no!! What the hell are you doing here? Why are you wasting our time?"

"What do you mean?? Did I give you the right to turn my life into a reality show? Who asked you to sit there and judge me!! "

Friday, August 15, 2008

Freedom Is...

What does freedom mean to me? Nothing special really. I think I take freedom for granted, that I should be able to say what I want, do what I want! I was thinking about the extremes we have with respect to the fundamental rights of our constitution.

Right to equality

We have abolished things like untouchability. But if we want social equality, why are we pushing for more and more castes and reservations? If we have abolished titles why are we still using terms like Maharani, Nawab for some people? And when it comes to equality before law, power and money has put some people above the law. People have gotten away with scams, frauds and even murder.

Right to freedom

Its ok for us to have saas-bahu soaps on prime time with scandals, extra-marital affairs, illegitimate children, superstition etc etc on prime-time. But every time a high-profile movie releases, one or the other group decides to take the law in its hands and protest against a scene or a song. We sue artists for expressing their creativity. Tell me, what % of Indian population goes to art exhibitions and what % watches T.V.? And why doesn't anyone ever protest against sleazy B-grade, C-grade films?

If the Indian Constitution states that we have the freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India why do we resent people from other states? Do we want to be a nation or a ghetto?

Right against exploitation

I don't know if forced labor still exists. But child labor and trafficking of human beings certainly does. It's not the evil landlords who always employ children, the so-called elite and educated class also doesn't think twice about employing children as long as its cheap labor.

Right to freedom of religion

We give people right to choose their religion. But when everybody starts exercising it, we disrupt the mass conversions and threaten those who have converted.

I think my post is getting too long so I will just skip the rest. If you are still awake after reading this far, you can check this out:

If you think about it, our constitution has probably taken care of everything. Even if these seven fundamental rights are observed properly, it would solve half our problems. We need to send all the politicians for a crash course in democracy and constitution first!! Democracy is a tricky thing isn't it. The way I interpret these rights may be totally different from how you do. What may be an aimless protest to me, it may be freedom of expression for you! And that's what is best about democracy. That both of us can voice these different opinions and live in the same country!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Dream Of...

They say dreams are the windows of the soul--take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts.
Henry Bromel

If that is true, no one can analyze my soul based on my dreams. I wish my dreams were stored on my brain's hard-disk rather than on RAM. The minute I wake up, I forget what I was dreaming about. One of the hazards of being a sound sleeper, I guess. I can probably sleep through an earthquake. I have been told by my roomies that I talk in my sleep. My mom told me that she has heard me swearing and shouting a couple of times when I am asleep. Which is weird, coz my swearing phase ended with school; and now I cuss only when I am hopping mad and that too only in the company of some kindred spirits.

Then why in my dreams? Probably the result of bottling up things in my head. Keeping mum about the things you don't like may be good in the short run. You can avoid confrontations, misunderstandings with your friends/family this way. You can be a master at poker-face. But when the subconscious mind takes over, the mask crumbles. The things that you don't say, the feelings that you don't express, ultimately find a way of coming out. It may be in the form of sarcasm, a snide remark now and then, loss of sleep/appetite, grouchiness.

There is only dream that I remember. And that too because it is a recurring one. In the dream I am floating on air. Not flying in the sky, mind you. And not doing any fantastic stuff or soaring like an eagle through distant lands. I see myself going through my normal daily routine but my body is levitated. What can it mean? A) I am possessed by an evil spirit. B) I am going to invent a shoe which allows people to levitate.

Those who know me will tell you that probability of A being true is greater.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

I was so confused when I met you. I did not know what I wanted. I took the easy way out and stuck to you. You have been with me when I was sad and wanted to talk to someone. You were a guiding light when I was engulfed in darkness. I was so scared when I thought I had lost you. Everyone told me that I was better off with someone else. Still I did not let you go.

My Nokia 1100. 3 years old, a little worse for wear, buttons all faded out, battery that needs to be charged everyday; still I just can't seem to throw it away. My cell seems so lost and little in the midst of Cybershots, N series. But it's ok. I am more of a watch person anyways. Come to think of it, my watch is costlier than my cell!

What do people do with a 5.0 Mega pixel camera cell phone? Photograph themselves in the weirdest of poses; poses which they would not have dared to do if there was another person standing in front of them holding the camera. Never ever view anyone's cell phone pictures. You never know what you might see and be scarred for life!!!I think I will pass! Video recording? I am not planning to shoot MMS ahem. So, I think I will pass again! GPS - does it work in India? What with all the millions of by lanes with no names and roads and landmarks with the same name? Have you counted how many Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar and LBS roads we have? Pass! Emails on the go, office applications; no way, forget about office work after 6. I have seen people checking their Blackberry at 4 or 5 in the morning. And I have no intention of going down that way. Pass again! Radio is a must though. Especially since we are not allowed to store songs on our pc in office. I don't think I will be able to survive the whole day staring at my computer screen if I was not plugged to my mp3 player. And some good games; somebody talking nonsense on the phone, waiting for someone, waiting in the doctor's office ; play snake or tetris.

I get so confused when I check out the new models. And after a long search when I finally pick one and read its reviews it turns out to have so many problems. Whatever happened to keeping it simple? I think I will probably end up buying 1100 again or maybe upgrade it to 1101.

And so the search continues!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

All The Perfumes Of Arabia

Here's the smell of the blood still;
All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh,Oh, Oh!
  • A group of misguided individuals under the delusion that they are fulfilling God's will?

  • Another group hell-bent on destroying anyone and anything that attacks their faith?

  • A sore loser who will not rest till he usurps power?

  • A party trying to ward off the anti-incumbency factor by creating a diversion and instilling fear in the minds of people?

  • A country that arms the terrorists first and then goes after them when the terrorists start pointing their guns on their land?

  • A country ravaged by unrest and uprisings because of the wealth of its resources; in some cases its own leaders looting it to fill up their coffers while in other cases being attacked by others who covet its wealth?

  • A dictator so puffed up with his grandiose schemes of expansion of one race that he meticulously set about destroying others?

Whatever the reason; whoever the perpetrator; the end result is always same! If only we could rely on our conscience to guide us in doing the right thing always! In an ideal world maybe! For once, I do not feel like rambling on and want to cut this post short!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Five People You Meet In IT

At first I thought I should write my own version of Five People You Meet in Heaven. But I am 99.95% certain that I am not going to heaven. Then I thought I should change it to Five People You Meet in Hell. But I don't want to meet any of my friends and family in Hell. And I most definitely do not want to meet certain other people down there (I am not saying that I don't want them to be in Hell. I just want them to be in a separate section, far away from me). Plus why waste breath writing about people who bug you.So, I am writing about IT. Although the people I have met can be found in any other industry too.

The Whiner
Nothing is good enough for him. If he is in support project, then he wants to be in development. But if he is put into a development project, then he will crib about the long hours. Everyone is out to get him, his team-mates, his project leader, his manager. I agree that everyone cribs at some point or the other, but if someone has nothing else to do but crib, then there is something seriously wrong. One year in IT is enough to know that most of the times the work is menial. Copy-pasting code, preparing umpteen documents, sending status reports(this is somewhat tricky coz you need to find stuff to show for the time you were in the canteen or checking your stock's performance on sharekhan or moneycontrol) does not require a very high IQ.The project leader/manager is a b*****d (they have to, otherwise its hard to get things done from unmotivated, unhappy people).So, either you should quit IT or shut-up and adapt.

The Midnight-Oil Burner
These people take great pride in staying in office till the last cab is ready to go. And they make sure that they can let other people know about this at the slightest chance. Maybe you have heard this (If not you will have to imagine the tone: Long sigh + pride + condescension)
'Oh I missed dinner.'
'I was in office till 12.'
'It's been a long time since I have seen the sunset.'
'I can never leave at 6.'
'I was in office on the weekend'
Sadly, lots of people do get impressed by this. But what they do not understand, that only very few people have to stay back because of the work load. Free internet, photocopying, scanning, dinner in the canteen or just doing tp with friends in office may be some of the reasons for people to stay back. More often than not, it's because the person isn't strong technology wise, or his analytical skills aren't too good.

The WonderBoy/WonderGirl
Assign them a task and it's like they take put on their cape and underwear and transform into superheroes. And the reason that you don't see the cape or the underwear is becoz it's invisible. And it is visible only to others like them. Their superpowers? Excellent communication skills, sound technical skills, team player, proactive, strong domain knowledge, management skills etc etc (Just copied that from one superhero's last appraisal)

The Idiot In The Next Cubicle
This is the guy who is in IT by fluke. He didn't have any good job offers in college and accepted a job in IT as a stop-gap solution. He will probably goof around in office till he gets through CAT or GRE. Then there are others who belong to this breed ;whose ultimate aim is not MBA or MS; but who just don't believe in working. Ever had to stay back in office because someone else goofed up and didn't finish their task? That's the idiot I am talking about (Though probably everyone is an idiot at some point or the other).

The Boss From Hell
There is nothing worse than being stuck with a team-lead/project manager who doesn't appreciate you. Even worse is the boss who pretends to be listening to you and then retracts whatever he has promised you. This is the guy who keeps a tab on how long your coffee breaks are, catches you in the restroom/canteen and asks about the status of your pending tasks, nods disapprovingly when he sees you talking on the phone, whose face bobs up and down from his monitor every time you get up to take a leak.

I know it's quite wrong to categorize people like this. But there is no malice intended behind it. I have met some good people too. And I am sure that you have too. Remember the team-lead who faced the music when you screwed up the code in UAT/Production. The colleague who stayed back for moral support when you were rushing to meet the deadlines. The client/manager who sends in an appreciation mail once in a while to boost your morale (it's a different issue that you were expecting a promotion or onsite opportunity rather than just nice words).

Friday, July 18, 2008

What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;

All my life I have been correcting people when they misspell/mispronounce my name be it strangers, friends, teachers, colleagues, managers, clients. I don't understand why people have to add an extra a, e or b to my name. I think I must have heard all the possible permutations and combinations of it after adding these extra characters. Should I be annoyed or concerned that they are probably dyslexic? I think I should start writing the phonetic spelling in brackets along with my name. Though I am sure not many people would be able to understand that anyway.

I don't know if it's childish to have strong feelings about one's name. I may get tired writing my full name on forms or any other document (although it may not be as long as some south-Indian names are, still 19 characters isn't short). But I can't imagine myself with any other name than my own. How can I be anything else other than SK?

I wonder whether it's the first or the last name that gives us our identity. For a famous celebrity probably one's first name is enough. Take the case of Madonna, Cher, Shakira, Sting, Eminem, Bono, and Pele.I couldn't think of any Indian! For us, I guess, being a Gandhi, Kapoor, Bachchan or a Khan carries a lot of weight. But for the common man, it's the last name which identifies them; which connects them to the rest or segregates them.

The idea of changing even my last name after marriage does not sound good. Wonder what made Romeo offer to drop his last name for sake of love. I should probably check with Juliet how she managed to convince him. And if you have no idea what I am talking go read Romeo and Juliet.

P.S : Was just going through my previous posts, and noticed there are soooooooo many I's in there!!!! Think the name of my blog needs to be changed to Me,Myself and SK!!Dunno how a blog is supposed to be. But don't think I would be able to write about anything unless I am able to relate to it somehow. There I go,some more I's!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Experiments With Food

How can I burn thee?
Let me count the ways.

My apologies to Elizabeth Browning for mutilating her poem. But I am not joking. My cooking sessions are always so full of suspense. Until the end, I never know whether the end product is going to be edible or not!!But sometimes I can crack the mystery before the murder happens. My clues?Uncooked or burnt rotis. And I am not even talking about their shape, since I am least bothered about it. As long as I can eat it, I don't really care if my roti is triangular, square or quadrilateral. Too much salt in the food ;I can never detect when the salt is not enough, so I keep on adding till the dish gets too salty. Or worst case smoke coming out of the vessel or microwave. Thank god, my landlady didn't see her blackened microwave. I had to work very hard with the scrubber and cleaning liquid to hide the evidence.

I guess, I should have listened to my Dad when he told me to learn cooking. But I always got angry and thought that just because I am a girl doesn't mean that I have to end up in the kitchen. My secret plan was to marry a chef and be done with cooking forever. So, when my friends were cooking up gourmet meals; along with doing all the other things I must add.I was curled up on the sofa reading a novel, or watching TV. Anything as long as it did not involve chopping/cooking and kept me away at least 100 meters away from the kitchen.

When I finally left home and started living alone, I realized that knowing how to make maggi does not help one much. Neither can you live off canteen food forever. I always thought that people exaggerated the bad quality of canteen food. But first-hand experience taught me otherwise.Uncooked rice, watery dal, same gravy,rotten veggies don't seem like exaggerated stories now.Thanks to some kind-hearted roomies, I did manage to grasp the basics of cooking. Although my role was mainly to cut the vegetables. So beware I am pretty feisty with the knife!!It's only when I was living alone in London that I decided that I would not eat restaurant stuff even if I died of food-poisoning after eating the food cooked by me. Although, I did cheat a little bit by getting microwave ready meals. But hey, at least I know how to operate the microwave now.
Guys don't be MCP's and expect your gf or wife to cook. If you are stuck with anyone like me then you will most definitely need to wear the chef's hat at home. And ladies, you don't need to let go of your feminist vows. Learn to cook at least for yourself; if not for your family. And if your ma-in-law/hubby cribs about your food, tell them to go to h....the restaurant :-).

I have not read any of the "For Dummies" series. But if there is one called Cooking for Dummies, I think I definitely need to purchase it quickly. Last weekend as I tried to fry fish (which my mom had bought,cleaned and marinated),yelling and jumping every 5 minutes coz the oil splashed over me, I realized that maybe I need to think about my back up plan. So, until I master the art of cooking, I am not going to let go of my plan to marry a chef. Or I could develop some additional skills like batting my eyelids very sweetly to get my hubby to cook for me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away...

And come back when I am at home or in office.

As a kid, monsoon was soo much fun. You had a legitimate excuse to bunk school/college if it was raining too heavily. I remember going up to our terrace and getting completely soaked. Even cycling from school to our home was fun (albeit a bit tiring). And even though I had my raincoat, I almost never wore it. One reason for this maybe because the full length raincoats make you look so dorky. The closest I have come to wearing an evening gown was the raincoat. Waddling in the muddy water is certainly not my idea of ramp-walk. Can there be anyone who has not made paper boats and floated them in the puddles. Childhood is such a great excuse to do all the things that adults consider stupid and immaturish. Even floods didn't dampen anyone's spirits; except for the poor ones who were affected by it.For the rest of us, it meant staying at home, enjoying with friends and family. And venturing out towards the river to see it in full spate.

Now I prefer to watch rains from our balcony. There's something about rains that brings on a feeling of nostalgia. It's an excellent atmosphere for day-dreaming. You know how they say that one should always save for a rainy day. I know it is in context with money, but I am saving my leaves.So that I can safely skip office if I am feeling too lazy to venture out. One thing that I am missing sorely this time is the smell of wet earth. Instead whenever I come out of my home, my nostrils are greeted with a slight stench. And some pesky kids waiting in line to splash the dirty,muddy water on the next hapless rider who comes their way. I dread putting my foot down in the puddle so much that I feel like I am in a "Slow Bike" contest. I don't feel like writing about long drives in the rain, corn on the cob etc etc. Once the monsoon season starts, you can find these articles in all the newspapers anyway.

It is said that in future most wars will be fought over water. I can already see a sort of mini-war raging on between humans and nature. The tsunami in 2004, China's quake lake make Mother Nature seem so scary. Some Indian states are engaged in disputes over water; Cauvery issue being one of them. A fight is on between the general public against the administration. We all like blaming the administration when things go wrong, but no one gives it a second thought before building illegal constructions which block the flow of water or dumping garbage till the drains choke up. But hey, that's not our problem is it? By the time things take a turn for the worse, we will be too old or probably dead. So why bother? Let the future generations worry about saving the earth.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Joys Of Pessimism

Joy and Pessimism?? Aren't these two supposed to be mutually exclusive?
I have been a life-long pessimist. If I accomplish something, I always feel that it's not enough. That I could have done better. And God forbid if I make any mistake, I am the first to run myself down (Question:Is this pessimism or trying to be perfect all the time? Not sure).

There is some term in psychology called 'Defensive Pessimism'.Actually, I had no idea about it. But when I read what it means, I felt like that's what I do all the time. After every exam/interview, my mom used to ask me how it went. Every time I used to say ok-ok types. Coz I myself have never felt overly confident about my abilities. I always think that whatever I know, it's very basic. Every person must know at least this much. My poor ma spent all my school and college years thinking that I would surely fail in the exams. So whenever the results were out, and I managed to do well, she used to be so happy. Even I would be happy coz I always had this feeling that I would fail. Which is exaggerating things a bit too far, coz I was never a bad student. It’s hard to be pessimistic when you know you are good.

Being pessimistic has some advantages too. Since I have several hundred scenarios of what could go wrong, it makes me extra cautious. And I try to think of solutions to the problems. Any good thing that happens to me is so surprisingly wonderful. The feeling of happiness is heightened since it was completely unexpected. And if anything bad happens, it feels anticlimactic.

But I would gladly change this thing about myself. It's no fun thinking constantly about the worst thing that could happen to me. I don't like acting like the Angel of Death and Doom. And sometimes when bad things are not happening as fast I like, I deliberately set out to wreck things. I know it's very dumb of me, but the relief that I feel after the worst comes true is kind of therapeutic. I am trying to reach some sort of middle ground. But I don’t know whether I will live to see that day...... [Ahhh, spoken like a true pessimist :-)]

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Cigarette smoking is injurious to health!
Smoking kills!
Don't drink and drive!

Are the above messages writing in some gibberish language? I can understand them perfectly well. And I suppose one doesn't need to have a high IQ to understand it. I am not going to act like Ramadoss and constantly hound Shahrukh about his smoking. If Shahrukh wants to smoke his way to death, more power to him. I don't really care about thousands of people suffering from cancer or cirrhosis. But when I see some of my near and dear ones smoking/drinking, it bothers me a little.

I really can't understand some of the arguments that people put forward.
1) It relieves stress
Really??? For how long, till the time of the hangover or the next smoking session? And is it worth all the trouble that comes later on? Isn’t that going to be more stressful?

2) I do it coz all my friends do it. It's cool.
This is probably the stupidest excuse. I thought peer pressure was supposed to end after teenage years. I would rather drink a mocktail, at least it tastes good. I used to take a bottle of bournvita to office and drink it. Who cares if people make fun! Seeing people swaying after drinking too much, stinking like hell is definitely not cool. Why is alcohol needed to have a good time? Isn't the company of friends and family enough for that?

3) It gives me a kick
Well if kick is what you want, I would be most happy to give you a kick in the rear. It's been a reaaaaaaallllllllly long time since I have hit anyone and I am just itching to do so.

We have some mini bottles of liquor at home which my dad got on his travels abroad. And long time back, I opened a bottle of vodka with every intention of drinking it. Not because I wanted to be cool or anything. But I really wanted to know what the whole fuss about alcohol is. One whiff from the bottle was enough to put me off. If the smell is this bad, I can just imagine how bad the taste would be. Some time later, I gathered up enough courage and had some sips of dessert wine. It tasted like Glycodin.No, I think Glycodin tastes better than wine.

Smoking, that I am never gonna try. I don't really need to experiment with that to know if it's good or bad. Thanks to the smokers around me, I must have already inhaled significant amount of smoke. People, if you want to smoke, please go to some secluded place. And when you come back don't just chew on some gum or mints. But also spray some deodorant on your clothes. Coz u stink so bad!!

I thought of putting up some pictures of people with cancer caused due to smoking and suffering alcoholics. But I know, it's not going to bother the people who do smoke/drink. It's just going to upset me every time I visit this page.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
                                       Robert Frost

This is one of the few poems which I actually remember and like. It reminds me of the way my life has turned out to be. It's not always the off-beat choices which have had an impact. More often than not, when I had no clue what I wanted and let others decide for myself, those decisions turned out to be blunders and I had no one to blame but myself.

It would have been the best, if I could say that all the choices I made turned out great. The problem is I know where I am going wrong, still I let things happen coz it's boring to be a good girl always. I know when I am hurting the ones I love, when I am hurting myself..But when I am caught up in the moment I never really stop to think. It would have been so convenient if I made the same mistake always. Because then at least I will have the benefit of past experience.

It's great to have the freedom to take all my decisions. But then there is no one else to blame if things go wrong. And sometimes, I feel the need to dump this responsibility on someone else and not have to carry the burden all alone.

P.S. Hmmm, this post seems sooooooooo morose. Like I am on the verge of suicide/run away or something. No way, I love myself too much.Ohhhh, now I know why I sound like such a drag. Its these damn Banking documents that I am being forced to read. A half hour about nostro accounts, zero balancing,treasury,trade finance and blah blah blah is enough to give me nightmares for a week!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Am 16, Going On ...

16...that I am definitely not anymore. In fact, almost a decade has passed since then. And anyways, I feel that it is just a hyped-up number.Wonder why other birthdays don't get this kind of attention. No wait, there's 13 when The Wonder Years begin (also known as The Torturous Years for the parents). 18, the legal adult age or for some an age when they can officially bring out the whisky bottles from their hidey-holes. And for guys at 21; if they haven't managed to get a girlfriend after school or college, they can get a girlfriend for life through their parents.

That's it. After that, every birthday becomes a reminder that you are nearing the dreaded age, the thirties!! As far as I am concerned, I have never bothered to hide my age. Last year, I couldn't remember my age at times, and thought that I had already turned 25. So this year, when I finally did cross 25, it was no big deal. Except for that one moment, where I freaked out, and tried to think of all that I have accomplished (the list was too small) , mentally compiled a list of my bloopers (sadly it was too long) and checked my head to reassure myself that I don't need to color my hair yet (Yeaaaahh!!.....touchwood). But later, better sense prevailed, and I reminded myself that I have so much to look forward to. Things are just getting started.

But there were some subtle and some not so subtle ways where other people reminded me of my age. The jokes about looking old were the most mundane. But this one took the cake, my voice sounded old! Now, I am pretty sure that I have not started rasping or wheezing. I didn't bother telling that person, that the male voice breaks after puberty. Does it mean that we should call 16 year olds uncles just because their voice has started sounding like their dad?? And then there are those friends who take great pride in having studied in the same class with me in school or college in spite of being born a year later. Like the timing of their conception and birth is some kind of achievement!!

I have a habit of tuning out comments (be it good or bad), it turns out to be a boon in situations like these. But it is quite hard not to snigger. Have I passed any such comment? Sure I have (I never said I was a saint). But not out of malice or with the intention of one-upping anyone. I wonder how I would feel about this five years from now. Would I still be able to brush it off as lightly as I do today? For now, I am just going to have my cake and eat it too!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dear Diary

It’s been a while since I picked up a pen and jotted down my thoughts. Having sat and stared at a computer screen for almost three years, I feel like I have forgotten how to wield a pen. And on the rare occasions that I do pick up a pen, my writing turns out to be sooo bad that I dropped the idea of starting a diary. (I think I must have been a doctor in my last birth and must have written hundreds of illegible prescriptions) So here I am, writing my first blog. It’s a bit difficult to gather my thoughts since my mind is soo cluttered nowadays. And since I can't put this blog under lock and key, I can't even pen down my innermost thoughts. So, it’s a toss between writing about the weather or choosing harmless topics which don't give away too much about myself.

Disclaimer: I write for myself, not for bouquets or brickbats. Neither do I pretend to be a pseudointellectual.And this blog is certainly not an invitation to all the wannabe quacks to analyze me or my writings.

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