Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

I have looked in the mirror many a times; and looking at my reflection counted all my flaws, but strangely the scar on my nose has never been one of them. Does the mirror show us only those things that we want to see? This article in today's paper set me thinking. The so-called victim looked fine to begin with, but the desire for more led to the situation that she's in currently.

"Beauty is only skin deep"
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder"

Say what you may, but the truth is a person's appearance is the first thing which gets judged at. The judging happens more in the case of women; who are constantly being judged by men and other women. And ample proof of it can be found in the "Wanted Brides" ads in newspapers/matrimonial sites, or in the ads for fairness creams. Probably the reason why women rate looks as the secondary criteria for men is because every woman knows that she is anyways going to change a lot of things in the guy that she chooses to be with.

To quote Uncle Ben, "With great power comes great responsibility"; but with even a moderate amount of beauty comes a whole bunch of expectations. Expectations to be funny, witty, charming, nice, intelligent (I have my doubts about this one). Ever been on a date with a good-looking person, which you built up so much in your head and which ended up flat and boring, because the date didn't match your expectations? If you have, then you'll know what I am talking about.

Whatever it is, I doubt there would be anyone who would be willing to trade in their looks. So, the ads are not going to change, the countless beauty products are not going to vanish from the aisles in supermarkets. We'll just have to learn not to take beauty so seriously, to walk past the beauty products with our hands firmly on the trolley or inside our pockets, to glimpse at the reflection in the mirror and try to see past our own expectations. Or if you have the moolah, you can get everything fixed from a big nose to a crooked smile, from a no-show bum to a sagging tummy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lend Me A Prayer...

Wish I could say that this post ends with me having a change of heart and embarking on the path of godliness. But years of disbelief/skepticism in any kind of religious practice don't go away in just an instant. I always say that I believe in God but not in religion. Maybe, because when religion comes into the picture, people tend to forget God, and then religion becomes of prime importance.

A few days back, I visited Haji Ali and Mount Mary Church. This was a very unusual trip for me, because I cannot recall the last time I had set foot in any religious place. As far as I can remember, I have never been to any mosque; I have probably visited more temples/churches. So, I set forth with an open mind, not knowing what to expect.

The first thing that struck on my way to the Haji Ali Dargah was the crowd. As I walked past the hawkers selling brocade sheets to lay upon the tomb, I passed old, young, infants, beggars and even a goat or two. The mosque stands about 500 yards into the waters of the Arabian Sea and the walk leading up to the mosque was simply splendid. Inside the mosque was a different story altogether, jostling my way through a crowd of devotees, trying not to crush a poor infant cradled in his mother's arms and worrying about my wallet/cellphone getting stolen, did in no way make me feel closer to God. Moreover, women were not allowed to touch the tomb, and I didn't feel that having the caretaker swing his peacock feathered broom over me would bring out any devotion in me. In the end, I came out after going halfway into the shrine.

In contrast, the visit to Mount Mary Church fared a little better. It was a lot more peaceful. If I had known how to pray, I would have certainly done so. But I couldn't decide which of my problems needed divine intervention and which needed my own intervention! All I asked for was to let me be strong enough to deal with whatever life throws me my way; be it happiness or sorrow.

As I left the church, I could understand a little bit as to why anyone would want to blindly believe in God, or why anyone would want to stick to prayers/religion as a means to feel closer to God. And as I said at the beginning of this post, this trip didn't bring about any enlightenment in me, but neither did it do any harm. So if any heavenly light were to shine upon me, or if I were to have a paranormal experience, I promise not to be skeptical and to keep an open mind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Five Lesser Known Things About Me...

I have been tagged by Amrit to write about five lesser known things about me. For a while I wondered whether I should disclose my neurosis to the world, but then I figured very few of my friends read my blog, my family is unaware that I write, so it doesn't matter.

1. I have a slight, very very very slight strain of OCD. It's not like "I have to wash my hands 10 times a day or I'll die" kinds. But sometimes I keep on checking and double-checking and triple checking things that I have already done; like checking if I have closed the door, paid the bills, check the code/docs that I have prepared in office for errors, wondering about the above things while I am driving to home/office. I have never told this to anyone and even made fun of a friend who thinks she has OCD, mainly because I have a feeling that it started because I read up on OCD. And secondly because I know in my case it's not that much of a problem.

2. I show my mean side only to the people who are closest to me. Very few people know about this, because there are only few people that I am close to. I don't think it stems from wanting people to like me, coz I never really wanted to be Ms. Popular. But that has become second nature to me now, I am polite to strangers/colleagues/casual friends; polite and impersonal, not letting anyone get too close to me.

3. I used to think I was a cleanoholic. I liked things spic and span and in their proper places. I didn't even like untidy people with shaggy hair, baggy clothes. But when I had to do the cleaning myself, I let go. It's just too much hard work! Now, I have compromised by keeping one side of my bed cluttered and the other side all neat and proper; by clearing up the clutter from my desktop and mailboxes. I go on cleaning sprees every weekend and organize everything and forget about it for the next couple of days.

4. I hate asking people for help or telling anyone my problems. There were times when my 2-wheeler broke down/ran out of petrol, but I would drag it alone, not asking for help and giving dirty looks to those few who did stop to offer help. I don't think I can pull off the damsel in distress look. I have listened to the problems of many of my friends (sometimes sympathetically, sometimes faking it), but I rarely talk about my problems with others.

5. I like to watch little kids walking, as they hold someone else's hand and their little feet try to keep up. It always brings a smile to my face. I don't go "Oh how cute" and rush to hold kids. I prefer to watch them from afar and smile at their antics.

I am not going to tag anyone, but if you are reading this post and feel like doing this tag, do let me know. And when you are commenting on this write, do write at least one lesser known thing about yourself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On A Writing Spree...

I have been bitten by the writing bug and churned out a couple of short stories. Now the thing with writing fiction is that I am never happy with my short stories. Maybe I have read too many short stories of O. Henry . Even while reading the short stories on other blogs, I am always thinking about what the twist would be. Oh well, I guess I haven't found my way around the pen(or keyboard) yet. Until then, I will have to bide my time.

A Time To Remember...
He: Happy Birthday!

She: You remembered? I thought now you won't remember my birthday.

He: Why wouldn't I? Just because I am gone, it doesn't mean that I have broken all ties with my family. I never did say sorry to you for going away. I know I promised never to leave, but I broke that promise.

Click here to read more.

Forgiveness Is Divine...
Raj: "I am sorry. Please forgive me. It was a big mistake, and it will never happen again."

Sia: "I can never trust you again. I may forgive you, but I don't know if I can ever forget what you did!"

Click here to read more.

Killing Me Softly...
He: "I am so sorry honey. I promise that was the last time. I will not touch a drop of liquor. And never ever will I harm you again!"

She: "It's just a small bruise. But I am so happy about your promise. I know things will get better once you quit drinking."

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beating The Blues...

Since I have been struck by a very severe bout of Blues for quite some time, I thought why not turn it into a post. (A question to fellow bloggers: Is it just me or do you look for material in everything since you started blogging?)

Fortunately/Unfortunately the weather is just adding to my current mood. It's dull and cloudy and starts raining just when I am about to leave for office. The budget promises no miracles (at least for me). There may be no increments this year. Rakhi Sawant is back on T.V. as a coy, blushing bride-to-be (I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I watched 1-2 episodes of the show, but I have sworn not watch any more!). Ok, so I admit that the above reasons have got nothing to do with my mood. But they will have to do for this post.

I don't know about everyone but I follow a pattern when I am down in the dumps. And I also have a dos/don'ts list to last me through these troubled times.
  • Throw out the sad songs of Kishore Kumar
All you Kishore Kumar fans, before you get ready to lynch me, hear me out. I have never understood the logic of listening to sad songs when you are already in a sad mood. If nothing, these songs just make me cry. So, I scroll through my play-list in search of all the item numbers and disco songs. One of my favourites is this one: "Mummy ko nahi hai pata" A friend and I used to play this song when we had to work on Saturday or when we were in a grouchy mood, and laugh at the ridiculous lyrics of this song.
  • Stay away from tear-jerkers
Same logic as with the above point. Sci-fi/horror/comedy, anything will work. So I ended up watching The Dark Knight (Is it too late to marvel at the Joker's performance?), Shawshank Redemption (Almost everyone I know keeps on going on and on about this movie), The Others (Only the twist was good, the whole movie was a bore), Chandni Chowk To China (But only for 5 minutes,Akki's movies are becoming more and more senseless)
  • Stock up on Moov/Iodex
They really come in handy after every inch of my body starts aching because of too much exercise. I love walking and used to go for a walk whenever I had too much on my mind. But ever since moving to Mumbai, walks are restricted to the treadmill. So, I am always saying to myself "2 more minutes","5 more crunches","2 more laps" till I am about to pass out.
  • Shake a leg
Well dancing does help. But for me shaking a leg is more of restless fidgeting. Even on normal days, I tend to fidget a lot, but on the days I am bluesy, it becomes more pronounced. So, I will never need to buy the
morning walker!!! That's good, isn't it?
  • Go on a binge
Which can be smoking/drinking/eating. The first two options don't count in my case. And as far as eating is concerned, I tend to go the opposite way. If only I had a tendency to binge, I would have crossed the 50kg mark long back. But unfortunately/fortunately, I had to eat my way through for so many years to cross that mark.

P.S. The list is not complete. That's deliberate coz I wanna hear from you what you do when you are down. Oh and please write about doable stuff.Don't write about stuff like; Go on a trip to Himalayas, or something like

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Questions Questions...

I was tagged by Shankar for the Questions tag. So here goes...

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
A: Nothing, I am totally blanked out these days

Q: How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
A: I generally don't have a clue as to how much cash I am carrying. There must 500-800 bucks in my wallet right now.

Q: What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
A: Four.

Q: What is your favourite ring tone on your phone?
A: I generally keep my phone on silent or vibration mode. In any case, the ring tone I have is a standard one, nothing fancy.

Q: Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
A: No one, I delete the list quite often.

Q: What are you wearing right now?
A: T-shirt and track pants.

Q: Do you label yourself?
A: I do, there are too many labels I have given myself, and even more that others have given me. The labels are beginning to hurt now, I didn't seem to mind them so much earlier.

Q: Name the brand of the shoes you currently own?
A: Reebok

Q: Bright or Dark Room?
A: Depends on what I am doing at the moment. How can you sleep in a bright room or study in a dark one...

Q: What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
A: Hmmm, don't really know Shankar that well to comment

Q: What does your watch look like?
A: Which watch are you talking about? :-) I have a thing for men's watches, own two of them. The other two are feminine ones.

Q: What were you doing at midnight last night?
A: Couldn't get any sleep. So started studying for a banking exam, so that I get bored and drowsy.

Q: What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
A: It was from a friend who had sent a reminder so that people don't forget to wish him on his birthday

Q: What’s a word that you say a lot?
A: "Hmmmm" It's a word which I use a lot while chatting

Q: Who told you he/she loved you last? (Please exclude spouse , family, children)
A: It's been a while since someone told me that.

Q: Last furry thing you touched?
A: Not really fond of furry creatures, animate or inanimate kinds.

Q: Favourite age you have been so far?
A: 22-24

Q: What was the last thing you said to someone?
A: Don't say that I am jinxed...to a friend

Q: The last song you listened to?
A: Kitni Baatein from Lakshya

Q: Where did you live in 1987?
A: I think I was in Baroda at that time. Not sure.

Q: Are you jealous of anyone?
A: Nope, not really

Q: Is anyone jealous of you?
A: No idea

Q: Name three things that you have on you at all times?
A: My cellphone, wallet, keys to my home/two-wheeler and a whole bunch of other stuff. Good thing the question only asks for three.

Q: What’s your favourite town/city?
A: No favourites, I had some good/bad moments in all the cities I have lived in.

Q: When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
A: I really can't remember!!! It must have been a greeting card to my cousin on his birthday years ago.

Q: Can you change the oil on a car?
A: Where does the oil go in a car?? :-)

Q: Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
A: I can't even remember who my first love/big crush was,so no question of keeping tabs on him.

Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: Yea my eyes are hurting a lot :-(

Q: What is your current desktop picture?
A: Standard Windows one

Q: Have you been burnt by love?
A: Hmmm, yes.

Well, this was an easy one.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 15 Books Tag

I have been tagged by Shankar for the 15 books tag. This is my first tag. Yippee :-). And it couldn't have come at a better time. Coz I have been too pre-occupied with other stuff, to write a post. So here's some fodder for my blog...
The rules are: "Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag up to 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose."

So here goes my list of 15 books...in a random order coz I cannot rank them down.

1. Folk Tales From Soviet Union Series (Author Various)
Apart from reading Indian folk tales and the Western fairy tales, I also loved reading the folk tales in this series. It transported me to a land of tsars, tsarinas, dragons, fair maids, giant talking crows, fire-birds. It was absolutely fun reading the stories as a kid.

2. Great Expectations (Author Charles Dickens)
Charles Dickens stories are a pleasure to read, albeit a bit sad. And this one was no exception.

3. Wuthering Heights (Author Emily Bronte)
One story that I wished I hadn't read the abridged version as a kid. So that's why I have managed to get my hands on an unabridged version and reading it again.

4. We The Living (Author Ayn Rand)
A book that I have listed almost everywhere amongst my favorites. I have always liked stories with strong female characters. And the hero of this story was also a female. One who was not afraid to follow her dreams. One who believed strongly in her love, to the extent of sacrificing everything for it. And in the end, left alone, and yet not giving up and moving ahead.

5. Doctors (Author Erich Segal)
Easy, breazy and light. The ending was a bit lame though.

6. Harry Potter Series (Author J.K. Rowling)
I am not ashamed to say that I have read the entire series, own all of the books, and still read them once in every few months. And thoroughly enjoyed all the make-believe stuff in them.

7. Kane And Abel (Author Jeffrey Archer)
Two men, alike in so many ways and yet so different. Hell-bent on destroying one another. A gripping story.Liked the sequel The Prodigal Daughter also.

8. How I Taught My Grandmother To Read And Other Stories (Author Sudha Murthy)
Simple and lovely short stories.

9. Oh Shit, Not Again (Author Mandar Kokate)
This book stays in my head, not because it's a fab one, but coz it's the worst one I ever read. I haven't seen any B-grade movie. And the closest that I have come to a B-grade book is at the book stalls near the Baroda railway station. But am sure, this book falls into the B-grade category.

10. Selected Works of O Henry
The original one who wrote such wonderful stories with a twist at the end. Probably, that's why one I read a story by another blogger or when I read the stories that I have written, the twist seems so tame and expected.

11. Sherlock Holmes (Author Arthur Conan Doyle)
Elementary My Dear Watson...If it was so elementary, wonder why Watson and others were never able to find all the clues. Watching the T.V. series was not as much fun and reading the stories, wondering how Holmes would solve the mystery.

12. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Author Khaled Hosseini)
A sad, sad state of affairs. After turning every page, I wished the suffering of the women would stop. But even though this is fiction, it is inspired by the truth. So, the suffering continues for a long time...

13. The Road (Author Cormac McCarthy)
Grey...that's the image that comes to my mind, when I recall this book. Grey and sad and scary, that's what the world is portrayed to be in this book, which is set in the future.

14. The Secret (Author Rhonda Byrne)
One book which has been lying in my closet for quite some time now, and which would be helpful to me in a lot of ways. Still not ready to read it yet.

15. Angels And Demons (Author Dan Brown)
Same setting as in the Da Vinci Code, a different city, a different enemy, a disappointing ending.

Well well, judging by the list above, I can safely conclude that I don't have a very great taste for literature. But that's ok. If I were reading to impress others, then I know that I wouldn't have been able to finish even a single book in my life.
I wanna tag you Koyeli, but you seem to have vanished from the blogosphere. I haven't been able to access your profile for a while. And you too JD,but you seem to have given up on your blog.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

And Finally He Popped The Question...

Who did: Archie
To Whom: Veronica (At least that's what this cover Archie_Weds_Veronica? seems to indicate)

If you don't know who I am talking about, then obviously you have not read any of the Archie comics. I started reading Archie comics after I outgrew Tinkle, Chacha Chaudhary, Chandamama. I have rummaged through numerous raddiwala stalls in search of second-hand comics coz they were really expensive compared to the Indian ones; borrowed the comics from my younger cousin who's also bitten by the reading bug; and even sat in Crossword for hours reading the comics.

The buzz doing the rounds is that Archie is finally going to choose between Betty and Veronica. And rumors are that he is going to choose Veronica over Betty. Not surprisingly a lot of the readers are aghast over Archie's decision to choose the spoilt rich female instead of the goody-goody one. Geez, it's just a comic. Why trash our favourite comic book characters calling Archie a jerk, Veronica a snotty brat and Betty a doormat!

Which brings me to the question I had in my mind: Do nice girls finish last? I always thought that the opposite was true. I mean when it comes to dating, guys seem to like the wild chick, the wilder the better. But when it comes to settling down, it's mummy's choice. And in most cases, it's dead certain that mummy is not going to pick the girl who speaks her mind, who doesn't fit into the mould of the beautiful, obedient, docile wife/daughter-in-law. It's true of even females; we may fall for the tousle-haired, dreamy-eyed, guitar-wielding, poetry-spewing guy in our teens. But when we realize that he's not husband-material, we drop him in favor of the suited-booted guy with a steady 9-6 job. Is there any truth to the keep-your-guy-at-the-edge advice that mags like Cosmo seem to offer?Well, it certainly worked in Veronica's case, didn't it!

P.S. I think the cover is just a trick. The Archie-Betty-Veronica saga will probably end up in a filmy manner with Archie realizing his love for Betty at the last minute.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Turn Off The Lights...

Nope, this is not my favourite bedroom line! Come to think of it, I don't have a favourite bedroom line yet. If you share a room with just a bunny soft toy, you really cannot think of any bedroom lines. (Also, it doesn't help that the bunny is locked up somewhere in a cupboard because I am not really fond of soft toys!)

"Turn Off The Lights" is a game I learned to play when I was living with roomies in Pune, and invariably one or all the lights/geyser/fan switches were left switched on, even if no one was there in the room. I can't honestly say that I was worried about global warming or energy conservation when I used to go around switching off stuff; I was more worried about the electricity bill at the end of the month :-).

As another scorching summer ends, and with reports of Mumbai to witness record high tide in a 100 years this year, it makes me wonder how much of it is related to global warming? There must be hundreds and thousands of articles on global warming on the internet, and most of them very scientific and serious stuff. I liked the simple tips given on this site FightGlobalWarming and was glad to know that I followed at least a few of the tips. And if nothing else, there's always my Turn Off The Lights game.

P.S. I like to watch horror movies and get a little scared. But those horror movies are nothing compared to the ones depicting horrific situations resulting due to climate change; because there is a very fair probability that the latter may come true.

Here's the link to a few of them:



The Day After Tomorrow

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Because The Stars Told Me So...

Why O why did I read Linda Goodman when I was a teenager? I was born on Mar 21, which makes me a Pisces/Aries Cusp or "Parisces" (Wanna check if you were born on the Cusp_Signs). I could have turned out to be a normal Piscean (normal as compared to Aries). But no, I had to go and read Linda Goodman and was horrified to find out that I was doomed to be irritable, quick tempered, restless, sometimes intolerant and contentious. I am going to stop adding more to this list; I am pretty sure if you have ever dealt with an Arian, you will have lots and lots and lots of not-so-flattering adjectives to add :-).

Jokes apart, I don't really bother with horoscope/star signs everyday, nor do I walk around with umpteen gemstone rings and lockets; hoping that it will change me for the better. But I have observed many a times, that even though I don't really believe in astrology, I tend to read my horoscope more carefully when I am facing rough times. Sometimes, I even go and read horoscope of other star signs to try and find out if they might be in a better mood today or if it's a good time to resolve issues. I know it's idiotic, but I don't generally go to others with my problems. So, I have to resort to means, however illogical, to calm myself down. As long as I am not taking the extreme route and resorting to sacrifices and other mumbo-jumbo, I think I am OK. A leetle bit of cuckooness never hurt anyone!

All said and done, if I believe that all the negative traits of my star sign are true, then hope is not lost coz there are some positive traits in there too. In the past, I have got away by saying "That's the way I am, I can't help it!". Now I know, there is nothing that cannot be changed about oneself, all you need is the realization that there is something that needs mending plus the will to mend things. Uff, so now, I have 26 years of damage to repair.

P.S. I really shouldn't blame reading Linda Goodman early on for the way I am now. Guess you can't escape what the stars foretell. How else can you explain my Sr. Kg. teacher's comments on my report card stating "She should not bully others"? I am pretty sure that I had no idea about star signs at that age, so I couldn't have faked Arian characteristics :-).

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Ring To Bind Them...

Ria: "You are late!!!!!!!!!!I have been waiting for my cell phone to ring since the last one hour!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Raj: "Whoa, I can almost hear the exclamation marks through the phone. I am sorry sweetheart I was stuck in a meeting. I was desperately waiting for it to end, so I could call you and listen to your sweet voice."

Ria: "Liar, don't think you can fool me with your senti dialogues."

Raj: "Aah, you still don't trust me, don't you? I love you baby!"

Ria (*giggles): "Ya ya, I know that. Listen, I gotta go. I am reaching Mumbai on Friday. I will see you on the weekend?"

Raj: "Sure, I can't wait. Bye sweetie, I miss you." Click

Rahul: "How can you talk such nonsense over the phone yaar? I was almost gagging while listening to your conversation."

Raj: "Ha ha. You won't understand. You have to do all sorts of things when you are dating."

Rahul: "So, how long has this been going on?"

Raj: "Oh, just for a year or so. Ria works for Jet Airways on domestic routes and Tammy on the Mumbai-London sector. One of them is usually around in Mumbai; and when they are not, I call them up on their cell phone. A phone bill of few thousands is worth dating the two of them!"

P.S. I think I will name the male characters in all my stories as Raj or Rahul or any other name immortalized by SRK. Once, I have had enough, then will move on to the next one Prem. It's easier than trying to think of names which are not of your friends/relatives or anyone who's known to you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Vote Or Not To Vote...

Till this morning, I hadn't decided whether I would vote or not. One major reason for that was that I hadn't yet decided who I was going to vote for. In the end, I finally dragged myself to the polling booth. As I stood in front of the electronic voting machine, I was almost tempted to cast my vote by doing "In pin safety pin, in pin out".

As a child, I always used to hear/read stories of the triumph of good over evil. Forget that, even in movies, you see Uncle Sam's heroes vanquishing all evil; be it villains, terrorists, aliens, dinosaurs etc etc. When it comes to elections, is there ever a clear cut demarcation between good and evil? Today, I did not choose good over evil. I chose the lesser evil of them all. (At least that's what I think; only time will tell whether I am right or wrong!)

P.S. I have never been able to show the middle finger to anyone. I find it very off-putting. Even when I am hopping mad and swearing left right and centre, I have never been able to do it. Once, I tried to see how it looks; by raising my middle finger in front of a mirror, and was absolutely disgusted by the image. But today, I will gladly show my finger to anyone!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Autobiography Of A Doormat

I don't like this title one bit. I refuse to accept that I am a doormat. I was a tapestry (What am I saying! Not was; I am still a tapestry) and used to adorn the wall. I was used to being admired. Sure there were critiques as well, but I accepted those gladly (and sometimes not so gladly, I must admit). I was aware that not many would like my bright and bold colors; I knew that in some places I was beginning to get frayed. But I accepted it all; the bouquets and the brickbats. You might even call me vain; after all, I used to hang opposite the mirror. It gave me ample opportunity to preen all day long! But the mirror also showed me my flaws and kept me grounded (or should I say walled?).

I never realized why I was taken off from the wall and slammed in front of the door one day. Or maybe the process had already started, but I didn't want to accept it. I should have realized it when the brickbats began to outnumber the bouquets. Or when I was being taken for granted, it was almost as if it didn't matter whether I hung on the wall or not. Who was I kidding; I should have known I am not irreplaceable. The wall might stay empty for a few days after I was taken down, but it wouldn't take long for a painting or another tapestry to fill the gap again.

Sometimes I wonder if this is just a temporary phase or the beginning of the end. It hurts me physically when I am trampled upon; it hurts me mentally when I see all the dust and grime on me. Even if I am given a breather and sent to the cleaners once in a while, there's always this nagging feeling at the back of my head that the dust is going to be back again. I worry that if this continues I am going to forget all about the old days. Right now, I am still able to shake off the dust. But if things don't change, how long can I continue dusting myself and hope that I will be back on the wall?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friends Friends...And So It Ends

"So, I guess this is goodbye"

"Only, if you want it to end. I want us to be friends even afterwards."

"You know, it?s not possible. I can never think of you as just a friend"

"But I don't want it to end. We have been such good friends all this time. Why can't we forget everything and just move on?"

"You have already moved on, haven't you? You don't need me now."


"I have been meaning to tell you this since so long. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I hope you feel the same way too."

"Uhh, but we have been friends for so long. We have been with each through our hookups and breakups with others. It would be too weird."

"No, it won't. We know everything about each other, so no surprises there. And I know you feel the same way too. Please say yes. We'll always be good friends, if it works out or not."

"Yes" (* Thinks if it really is the correct step. How do you know where friendship ends and love begins? Does being habituated to someone mean you are in love?)


"I have met someone special, and I want you to two to meet."

"This is a big surprise. I never thought you were in a serious relationship."

"I was waiting for the right moment. And now that I know for sure, I want you to like each other. You're my best friend, and I want us three to be good friends too."

"Congratulations. I wish you all the happiness in the world. I am a little busy these days, but will let you know when all of us can go out." (* Thinks I may not want to marry you, I am pretty sure that I am not in love with you, but still losing you to someone else is not something I look  forward to.)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Retail Therapy May Be Good For My Soul...

But not for my soles or wallet!

Having spent almost the entire last month in malls, I am ready to turn myself in rehab for shopping addiction!!! The only saving grace is that I wasn't shopping for myself. So, I am not completely beyond help!

I think I am turning into a mall rat. Almost every other weekend I visit the mall near my house and spend hours window-shopping. At least that's what I tell myself when I leave for the mall, but then it doesn't help if you have a shopaholic mom, the window-shopping inevitably turns into a guilty shopping trip. Guilty because I know that I already have a closetful of clothes, a shoe cubby which threatens to spill out every time I open it, and a collection of handbags/purses which is gathering dust. Pretty soon, I should be getting Shopper of the year award!

Put semi-nude pictures of models/actors and a sale ad in front of me, and my eyes will automatically focus on the sale ones! OK, that's a lie; I'll enjoy my fill of the semi-nude ones and then scan through the details of the sale; which mall, how much discount, sale period etc etc.

That's a far cry from the days, when shopping meant tagging along with parents to the local non-branded stores in small by lanes of the city; when shopping was restricted mostly to birthdays and festivals; when a new pair of shoes was supposed to last through one school term.

How many handbags/shoes/clothes/jewellery should a normal female possess? To go one step further, let me add number of suitors also to this list. Is there ever a point when one can look back and say, "No more! I think that's enough!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Cobweb Of Memories...

What's an acceptable timeframe for letting go of an old memory? A day for a one-night tryst? A weekend for a bad week at work? Two years for a broken heart? Five years for all the battles of college? A decade for teenage crushes and whippings at school?

I have always found it weird when people start reminiscing about the good old days. When the stories of the days of yore begin, my mind starts wandering away. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a cruel, heartless wretch with ice-water running through my veins. But all my memories are locked up in my head for me to go back and agonize or revel over when I am day-dreaming. (A technical question here: Is it really day-dreaming if you are thinking about stuff from the past? Or are day-dreams meant only for the future?)

Is it just a male thing to trade battle stories over and over again? The stories of teenage crush, the college fights, the office hottie from their previous company? This is really strange, coz women are generally perceived to be the ones who have elephantine memories and can remember minute details like the color of their guy's shirt on their first date! I am trying to recall when I have sat with my female friends and spent the whole day laughing over school/college/office adventures. Ok so all my office buddies were male so that crosses itself out. My college days were pretty non-happening and tame. And it seems really childish to go back to the memories from school years; everything seems so ancient that even the memories are in technicolor!

Eeeks, so where does that leave me? Most probably, sitting on a couch, surrounded by other people's memories! Oh well, serves me right for not holding on to any of my own, I guess...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Some Things Just Never Change...

A few days back I was attending a session on HR practices in the workplace. And the trainer was explaining to us how discreet and impartial and unbiased HR guys are when dealing with issues that the employees face. To explain that he gave us a hypothetical example of a female who had leveled a sexual harassment charge against one colleague. The issue was resolved, but in a matter of few months she raised the same charge against a different person, and then one more time against a third person. To highlight how unbiased they have to be when dealing with such cases, the trainer asked us, what would any normal person think in this scenario. The room fell silent for a minute or two and it was easy to figure out what everyone was thinking. And as one guy voiced that thought, it irritated the hell out of me! And I ended up blurting out "Or maybe there were a lot of perverts in that company who took advantage of that one woman!" Needless to say, no one else said anything more and the trainer quickly moved on to other topics!

Thankfully, I have never had to face any such serious stuff. The two or three random minor incidents that did happen, I think, every woman has faced. (Should I be referring to these kind of incidents as minor? No incident how small seems minor when its happening to you.)And has learnt to take it in her stride. It's such a shameful thing to admit to. To have to accept such things as a part of being a woman.

This is not going to be a post for women's empowerment. I was just trying to think out aloud how on top of everything else that a woman has to deal with, harassment gets added on it. Sometimes more than the harassment, it's harder having to deal with judgmental eyes of holier-than-thou people...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love In The Times Of...

Cholera? I think cholera would be easier to handle than everything else that comes with love; the uncertainties, the doubts, the heartache. I am beginning to understand why anyone would follow the philosophy of flirting around and not committing to one person. Though, the only people who hold this view are the ones who have been hurt in love. You'll never find any happily-in-love person thinking like that.

It's not easy to fall in love and stay in love, if you are not the romantic sorts. You know the kind that thinks DDLJ/KKHH are classics and name their kids Raj/Prem. Well I certainly don't belong to that tribe (Is it hypocritical of me to swoon at the sight of Hugh Jackman/George Clooney, watch reruns of soppy movies like Pretty Woman but tut-tut at the ones who love Shahrukh? Probably yes. Oh well!).

As Feb 14 approaches, I am beginning to develop homicidal tendencies; show me a pink teddy bear and I will stab it through the red heart it holds in its hands! And just when I was planning which knife I would use, someone gifted me chocolates in office! Ha ha, it feels like I am back in school/college! This day is so hyped up, that you can go for a year without thinking about your non-existent love life but start feeling the pangs on Feb 14. And one doesn't necessarily want a proposal or an elaborate gift, even a thoughtful gesture from loved ones or strangers brightens up the day and brings a smile to one's face!

Wish you Happy Day! Why am I not wishing Happy Valentine's Day? Well, Feb 14 without a valentine is just a Happy Day, isn't it?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lest We Forget Our Culture...

Is it election time already? Or are there designated days of the year when Indian culture needs to be saved? Since the last few days, Indian culture is on the news again. There are too many links over this issue, just putting up a few over here:


So what next; are we going to have conform to all the diktats issued by the saviors of Indian culture? When the Taliban came up with their perverse agenda, did they start in the same way? Impose restrictions on people all in the name of religion/culture; which made sense to a few people so they agreed and then slowly everything blew out of control. Ironical that these so called defenders of Indian culture are following the footsteps of the same people they like to hate so much!

The youth of India is getting corrupted! Am not saying that, it's what they are saying. We drink, we dress inappropriately, we dance provocatively, we behave indecently in public, we are materialistic, we have loose morals, and the list goes on and on. The funny thing is, even if we, the youth, like the so-called western concepts of freedom and enjoyment, it's not the be all and end all for us. We follow religious practices, at least whatever fits with our sensibilities. We worry about our jobs, studies, career more than we do about our culture. We leave the major decisions of our life to our parents like marriage; and even when we fall in love, we check the religion, caste, state of the person, so that it fits with our culture! Rest assured, O leaders and politicians, the culture that you so badly want to preserve is still in place; even though there is some stuff in there which should have been chucked out long ago. Ahhh, what more do we have to in the name of Indian culture?

Quick before I forget, let me jot down some points about Indian culture:
1) Drinking is not Indian culture.
2) Clubbing and Pubs/Malls are not part of Indian culture. And girls going to pubs is definitely not Indian culture!
3) Valentine's Day is not Indian culture.
4) Boys and girls hanging out together is not Indian culture.
5) Girls wearing western clothes is not Indian culture.
6) Mixing with people of other faith is not Indian culture. No prizes for guessing the other faith.

Oh no no no no, I forgot the rest of the stuff in the list. What to do, Indian culture is so vast and my memory is so poor that I can't remember everything!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So Much To Do, And So Little Time...

"There, it's done at last!" thought Jai as he finished writing his resignation. He was feeling a little sad, a bit apprehensive and wondered whether he was doing the right thing. But then things had changed now. He wondered whether it was too late, whether he had enough time or not. But he was sure of one thing that whatever little time he had, he wanted to live life to the fullest. He didn't want to lie on his deathbed and have any regrets over all the things he wanted to do, but never did.

The next day Jai submitted his resignation. He gave a party to his colleagues/friends and told them that he would be going away for a while. He didn't want them to worry about him, so he didn't tell them the reason behind his decision. The very next day he took off...

Three months later:

Jai's friends are gathered in his apartment. His roommate had called them and showed them what he had found in Jai's cupboard. Everyone was shocked! They called Jai on the number he had given them.

"Jai, where are you? Are you Ok? We are so worried for you!"

"I am in Africa right now. Of course, I am Ok. I did tell you guys that I am taking a little trip and that I would be gone for some time."

"Yes, you did, but it's been six months now. And then we found your will and the list. It said: "100 things to do before I die" We are your friends Jai, why didn't you tell us? You need to be around friends and family at this time. Come back, Jai."

"Wait a sec, what are you guy's talking about? I am not about to die. I took off because I realized that I was being dragged into a routine, there were so many things that I always wanted to do, but never did for some reason or the other. And I didn't want to wait until I had just a few months to live, to start doing them."


"Thank God, it's not what we feared!" "I always thought he was a little crazy!" "Yeah, imagine quitting your job and wandering off to God knows where!" "I am so relieved to know that he is OK.". "Man, I can't believe I blew off my date for this!"

P.S You know what's one of the hardest things in writing a story? Deciding on the names of the characters! I am almost tempted to use XYZ, ABC.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Matter Of Choice

She had nothing to complain of; she had a husband who loved her, supporting and loving in-laws, a stable family life and a good job. Yet, she could not stop thinking about the life she could have had. The life she had planned for those three years; down to the colour of the walls of her dream-home and the name of her kids.

"He was a loser. You did the right thing!" that's what friends told her as she struggled to deal with the break-up. "You have to get married" said her family as they fixed her marriage. "You have to forget him now." said her friend on the day of her wedding. "You made a decision, so stick to it." said her reflection in the mirror.

She knew she was being foolish. And yet, she was not able to let go of the past. She couldn't talk about this problem with anyone.Maybe they would have understood, if her husband didn't love her or her in-laws ill-treated her. In that case, even she would have understood why she couldn't move on. But how could she explain it to people (or even to herself) why she chose to be miserable.

She had always been decisive. Had never really depended on anyone to make a decision for her. And yet, she couldn't make up her mind over this... Do I choose to end my marriage or my life?; she thought as she absentmindedly played with the coin in her hand. "Heads" she called out as she tossed the coin...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Truth Be Not Told.!?

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli

If only the list were so small..What about: fabrication, bold-faced lie, lying by omission, lie-to-children, white lie, noble lie, emergency lie, perjury, bluffing, misleading, exaggeration , contextual lies, promotion lies...Whew, that's quite a list! And I have no qualms in admitting that I am guilty of resorting to each one of them at some point or the other.

The whole Satyam fiasco made me think about lying in general. I read somewhere that Ramalinga Raju had at least done the decent thing by telling the truth about his involvement. The report further said that there has been no precedence of anyone confessing of such a crime in India. Funny isn't it, how we have a tendency to be emotional even about the criminals in our country. Take the case of Salman Khan mowing down people on the street, or Sanjay Dutt and the TADA case, or Charles Sobhraj's love life!! In Raju's case, he must have sensed the noose tightening around his neck and come out with the confession.

Guilty conscience, anger, drunken haze, force; there are so many catalysts which drive a person to tell the truth. And once you tell the truth, it feels like a weight has been removed from your shoulders. Even the consequences that one has to face after telling the truth are washed away by feelings of resignation or relief. It's always others whose life gets affected by the truth they have been exposed to. It takes a great amount of emotional strength to live with it. I think I prefer telling the truth rather than facing it.

P.S. Have been meaning to blog more often, but somehow can't seem to find the time. And then I was waiting for inspiration to strike, some deep, meaningful and insightful idea for my first post of 2009. Then I thought, Awww forget it, lets leave philosophy for the wise. There are too many philosophers around anyways, the world doesn't need one more!!!

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