Friday, March 30, 2007

What kind of day has it been?

Life is like that long long journey where we cross several islands and continents. Touch many new places, smell new smells, feel new feelings and do as many different things as possible.

Today with my 2nd big deliverable for the year close to done, i feel like ive arrived at my 2nd shore for this year :-) Ill park here a while and move on to newer adventures soon. But for now i feel relief, contentment and tremendous happiness that i didnt give in to the urge to give up and run out on everything when i had the chance.

I wish i could the say the same for other parts of my life :-) Im still in the throes of struggling, finding understanding and coming to terms with realities both pleasant and unpleasant. Soon ... very soon ... ill see the light ... Until then I pray that im all set for a new journey either literally or figuratively ... Cant hardly wait!!! :-) Till then .. the smile has to stay on!!! :-)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What kind of day is it today?

The kind where i wanna look up to the sky, sing a merry tune, forget the past, and look forward to the future with bright open eyes :-)

The kind where im falling in love with my work all over again...

The kind where good things are happening to people and it inspires absolute joy and exhilaration

The kind where baggage is shed, and I call it quits with the blame and the guilt...

The kind where i want every day to be full of laughter from deep within ...

The kind where my smile reaches the corners of my eyes :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What kind of day is it today?

This is a personal post. One that im writing simply coz i feel like, not coz its informative or debate inducing. Feel free to skip and wait for the next one. I promise that'll be most entertaining :)

So, what kind of day is it today?

Pretty much the same kind its been for a while now. The sky clears up every once in a bit, lulling me into a false sense of optimism and security. Every once in a while, the sun shines out and spreads light. Just as im starting to feel better about everything, one cloud, then another, then another and then many many more creep in turning the sky gray. Slowly, im forced to shut the doors and windows coz the drizzle turns into a storm. It becomes tough to meet anyone or talk to anyone. Its easier to just sit in and blog. Somehow being behind a screen makes me feel like i cannot be hurt or touched by anything.

Its the kind of day where i'd probably beg someone to give me something to do... coz i can't get around to doing anything myself. Nothing is interesting and nothing seems like it will help - except venting like this. Which is fairly sad considering how many wonderful people there are in my life, but even by Singapore standards its too early on a Sunday to wake up anyone, even Nayak who's drunk and fast asleep completely oblivious to the sun having risen above him. There's also this thing about dealing with demons oneself right? So ive always hoped to be able to do that, confront my demons, find the courage to stand up to them and make them go away. But as courageous as i seem on the outside (scary even, to most who dont know me), my cowardice is sometimes apalling even to me. And yet, I'm simply going to ignore it like i always have and continue the meaningless existence where everything seems to be going from bad to worse. Little by little its all slipping away. I can feel it and yet i cant seem to find the energy to stop it. Phew. I'll be proactive another day, for today can i just be dark?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What do the Tarot cards say about me?

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

Here you can take the test yourself

Friday, March 23, 2007

Think long, and think now ...

How exactly are you living your life? Your dreams? Are you still one of those caught in the flurry of activity that makes you feel all important and busy yet not getting anywhere close to where you want to be? As is the classic Covey metaphor, are you living like the super efficient group of workers sawing down trees at 3X efficiency, but super ineffective coz they're simply in the wrong forest? So are you running... running as fast as you can.. faster than you've ever run.. BUT in the wrong direction? Explain to me how that will get you to ur destination? :-) If anything ur running really fast toward the wrong goals :-) If anything, you'll look back at 60 and have nothing but regrets for not having done all you wanted. :-(

So how bout, you take a deep breath, pause hard, think far into the future and think NOW about what you really want out of your life?

- Work and life?
Stop thinking in terms of what you want out of personal and professional life. Its all one goddamed life, and its all yours. So you bloody well choose what you want out of it and how you'll live it so you find everything you want. Once you start divvying up your life as work and life, your work will have the tendency to eat into everything else, work always does. ALWAYS. Remember that. Whenever you feel like you're being overwhlemed by how much there is to do, please remind yourself, that is the nature of the beast. It expands (as one of my closest friends told me once) to fill up your time. So as you give it more and more, it'll take over more and more. Until you'll have lost touch with everything that probably really matters. And here's the funny bit, the day you leave that job, they'll throw you a big party, say heartfelt goodbyes and wave you out the door. The next minute, everyone will be back to their lives, and you wil be a mere listing in the record of employees who came and went. No one is going to miss you at work. Please remember that. So give work importance, but do that as a conscious choice, all the time staying carefully cognizant of the expected outcome.

- What are your 5 key roles?
So do this simple thing, think about the things you want to be remembered for when you leave this planet. (Please don't assume its a long time away, i dont mean to be morbid, but seriously, if you're taking life for granted at 25, then you'll be no better off at 50, so stop it at ONCE!).

Now ask yourself, based on those things you wanna be remembered for, what is it thats truly important to you? And hence what the key roles you are expected to play in life, (and play superbly at that). Why only 5? Cause its been proven scientifically that with our normal capacities and 24 hour days, human beings can only do justice to about 5 - 6 key roles in life without doing injustice to any of them and without spreading themselves too thin.

Let me give you an example, as it stands today, and its probably only recently that ive started thinking about this seriously, my 5 key roles are probably as follows: Daughter to my parents, Sister to my brother, Soulmate to my inner circle (this ones a little broad i know, but i have constraints on a public forum), an employee to P&G and as an individual to my hobbies.

Can i honestly claim im doing justice to them all? Probably not. Least of all as a daughter and a sister. My work at P&G takes up my time, whether i like it or not, so it becomes an almost default option. Being soulmate to the inner circle takes a little effort coz the inner circle is a circle that shares wavelengths but sometimes exist across distances, and in radically different contexts. To bridge all this and create a common context despite the distance takes tons of effort, but i love doing it cause its very very imp that my inner circle feels like im there and im always willing to put in love and affection and understanding. As an individual, well if nothing else i manage to do the few things i love doing, being around kids, reading, gymming, blogging etc. Where i probably could do much much better is as a daughter. Too many times, i find myself not giving my mom the attention and energy she deserves over the phone. Too many times, i let it slip and she lets it go, but ive realized now that if being remembered as a good daughter is important to me, then there's no bloody way i can let that slip in future. Most times, its a matter of intent rather than ability that helps us function at our peak in our relationships. The choice is entirely in our hands as to what we wanna hold on to and what we wanna let go. Do i wanna let go of my parents? Certainly not. And so i have to make sure i push around everything else, maybe some of my work time, maybe some time from my inner circle, or better still, time from activities that are not important to my key roles, and reinvest in into my exchanges with my mother. It will be the saddest thing if all my mother remembers of my conversations with her are tired sighs and bored short clipped sentences. Ill never forgive myself. And the same goes for my bro. If he ever feels like his sis wasnt around in his prime years, when she cudve been of use and her experience would've been handy, then im a complete failure as a sister and its something ill never be able to live with.

SO there. Now the thing with the 5 key roles is, we all start out with 5, but as we progress through life, new roles get added. The key is to drop certain roles to be able to take on new ones. This is what we miss to do.
Its not humanly possible to take on newer and newer roles and still do justice to old ones, so do remember to drop some roles as you take on new ones. For e.g, say im married and have a child in the next few years, ill make the conscious choice that being a good mother is a key role. To execute this fairly, ill probably have to make a choice between my other roles and drop some/ relegate them to lower importance. This could be myself OR my work OR even my parents and its critical to be clear and honest about that choice, cause else I'll continue to question why life is suddenly so complicated and messed up and there's so much being demanded out of me. Its perfectly OK to drop a role, but PLEASE - make that choice yourself and make it actively instead of feeling like a failure and being compelled into it by others.

- Are you doing justice to your roles?
Answer this honestly. Ive admitted that of my key roles, ive slipped badly on my role as a good daughter and sister. This is not to say my folks need me to visit them every month/ i need to send my bro on fully funded vacations around the world. Please be clear of the expectations that all these relationships entail. Old relationships are less effort intensive and can be worked easier with a little effort. New ones are tougher, like today being a good employee is easier than when i was 4 months in P&G.

Please remember, you're doing this for urself, and no one's judging. Think long and hard about whether you're doing justice to the things that matter.
And if you're not, if everytime you want to something else gets in the way then there's 2 possibilities.
1. You're kidding yourself when you say its an important role - you dont really mean it or want it badly enough.
2. You're coping with WAY too many roles right now so this one gets relegated to the bottom all the time.

Solution to 1: Admit to urself the role isnt important and take it off your list. No matter what the guilt/ pain is that you or others have to go through, its much better admitting it now than trying unsuccessfuly to 'manage' this role. It doesnt make you a bad person for saying, being a good employee isn't important. It makes you a better person for being honest and transparent about it. You're probably giving the respective stakeholder a chance to evaluate if they want you around or not - so for e.g if your company kicks you out coz u think being a good employee isnt important enough, its probably fair and you don't make a fuss about it anyway coz u wr clear on the choice you made. KEY: BE HONEST.

Solution to 2: Drop another role. Do it NOW. If you're really certain that one role is important to you but you're not doing justice to it, then drop something else to do this well. All the more if the important role involves people. Sometimes, people give us second chances. Sometimes, they dont. And its not reversible. Your parents will probably not abandon you for being a bad daughter, but they'll live in perpetual disappointment, and if u wanna spare them that and spare yourself the guilt (coz its so imp to you) then DROP SOMETHING ELSE. DO IT NOW!!! I know the choice is tough to make - to cite chandler bing, "stuck between a rock and a hard place" is what it'll feel like. But hello!!! Life is about making tough choices and having the courage to live with them. So make yours now. Coz if you cannot do justice to it now, chances are there will always be something else to keep you from doing justice to it. The cycle is never ending and it'll never stop unless you make the choice.

And thats my rant on roles for the night. This blog is inspired by the work life balance talk that Mr Jim Lafferty gave us last week. It touched a chord somewhere. :-) Im making the effort with my folks now, and with my bro too. Coz i know these people and this time will never come back.

Please make your choices now, as time consuming and effort intensive as it sounds. Please do it. You owe it to yourself and to the other people in your life. You'll be a happier person for it - and so will others. If you've made your choices and you're unable to do justice to them, seriously think about what the disconnect is and fix it. Its one of the few things you can do in the short term to guarantee you look back at 60 with pride and joy at the life you lived. :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Swallowed in the sea...

Another song post ... one of my favs by my latest addiction .. Coldplay

You cut me down a tree
And brought it back to me
And that's what made me see
Where I was going wrong

You put me on a shelf
And kept me for yourself
I can only blame myself
You can only blame me

And I could write a song
A hundred miles long
Well that's where I belong
And you belong with me

And I could write it down
And spread it all around
Get lost and then get found
or swallowed in the sea

You put me on a line
And hung me out to dry
And darling, that's when I
decided to go see

You cut me down to size
And opened up my eyes
Made me realize
What I could not see

And I could write a book
The one they'll say that shook
The world and then it took
It took it back from me

And I could write it down
And spread it all around
Get lost and then get found
And you'll come back to me
Not swallowed in the sea

And I could write a song
A hundred miles long
Well that's where I belong
And you belong with me

The streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well, that's where I belong
And you belong with me

Oh, what good is it to live
With nothing left to give
Forget, but not forgive
Not loving all you see

All the streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well, that's where I belong
And you belong with me

Not swallowed in the sea
You belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
Yeah, you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
Hear it to love it :-)

I can run, i can hide, can i escape?

If my earlier para wasn't clear enough .. here .. have a look .. i wish i cud HIDE and not do any F$#$%^& thing for a few months. Hibernation is too positive a way to cite this.
P.S: Thanks to the person who sent me this. You know i appreciate it a LOT! Esp now.

Down under

Im pained. Im down and as low as it can get. I wanna shut out everyone and everything for as long as possible. I want to run away from it all. Im tired and im sick. Of not knowing how things will go and of how things have gone so far. I feel uninspired, pessimistic and black. With work, with everything else. Shali's not around so ill go home to an empty house today and blog some more. About how dark it feels.

Im tired of not living up to my own expectations - as an employee (ive slipped on so many committments its not funny), as a friend (still havent called sohit to ask about his eye), as a sister (i havent spoken to sandy in a LONG time now and our only communication is on orkut), as a daughter (moms waiting to talk and all , but i cant muster the time or energy), as an individual (ive failed to exercise as planned, meditate as planned) and so many others i cant bring myself to even talk about on a public forum. Im tired of failing others and being failed by others.

If i close my eyes, i cannot think of a happy place. Not right now anyway. Hopefully things will be better by evening. Until then if u see this, do realize its transitional and will die out by evening in all likelihood. The blues will be replaced by the pinks. Coz god is still in his heaven and all is fine with the world. Until then, if ur someone who cares, dont worry. dont try to talk to me. Just wait it out and be patient. Ill bounce back soon - better and stronger than before. :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back from Bangkok ... and im home now

To be honest, this post has little to do with Bangkok per se, its probably more about the events of the last few days, selective ones obviously coz the rest of the last 3 days passed in this crazy blur that im more than glad to push out to a small distant corner of my mind. Pathetic, stressful and gah! to say the least ... and now that ive gotten that out of the way, ill focus on the silver lining so to speak :-)

- I come to SG to a home, not a house! :-)

Well u have to see Shali's msg on my orkut scrapbook to get this one, but it feels incredibly good to be missed in somebodys life and even better if the people missing u are as wonderful as Shali and Leo :-) Im officially on cloud nine ever since i saw that my flatmate missed me being around :DDD And SOOO happy to be back home :-)

- I came home to a gift and some very warm words!!!!

My 'lucky' mentee, admittedly one of my two favorite mentees (the other one being kinky who btw seems to have vanished off the face of the earth! :S) is a Mr Ravi Karthik. On his latest visit to SG for CMK college (yes somehow both my fav mentees landed up in CMK at P&G - yes i checked their resumes and helped structure their answers :-) ) he decided to maximize his visit with a trip to cambodia. As always is with his SG visits, Ravi stayed in our very hospitable home enjoying the mothering from me and shali and the undying attention that Leo reserves for newcomers. Now on his way back from Cambodia, Mr Mentee drops by our house to pick up some bags etc and head out to Bombay (shali and i both werent around but im sure Rose took care of him, our hospitality is always alive and kicking yeah!! :D) and leaves me this awesome boho bag from Cambodia as a gift. Ravi, thanks a ton, and its not so much the bag that touched my heart, it was ur so called thank you note that made an overall lousy day end very well :-) THANKSS!!! :DDDD

- I saw a happy family today!!!

The kind that u only see on television, the kind where the husband and wife still shine in each others company and the kids have a healthy rapport going with dad and mom. Mom and dad were sitting by me on the flight and kids were up front. Incredibly touching to see hubby and wife still hold hands, laugh at apparently personal jokes together (they turned down the offer for headphones coz theyd rather talk to each other), wife still puts her head on hubby's shoulder and he still has his arm around her, no different from a honeymooning young couple, only this couple was resplendent in a love far more mature and soulful than any young couple ive ever seen :-) Yes, i know they probably have their share of troubles, and yes i also know that there's possibly more than a few cracks under that blissful facade, but more importantly i know the value of shedding cynicism once in a rare while and enjoying the visions of optimism that god sends my way. Today was one of them, and it touched my heart to say the very least :-)

A very good night to everyone!!! Im officially home and thrilled to be back !! :D

Saturday, March 17, 2007

No objective

Working in P&G conditions one to a certain style of writing and thinking. It becomes tough to imagine any kind of action without wondering about an objective. Eventually it does wonders for ur work, but kinda sucks when it comes to ur personal life. Coz friends dont always talk to you with an end in mind, so it doesnt help when ur kinda holding on waiting for the point they're making, most times, there isn't one! :-)

So I've set me a challenge, writing with no end in mind. Letting the words flow must be easy considering:
1. Im a woman
2. Im a talkative woman
3. Im a talkative woman with a gazillion opinions on a gazillion million things (most of which do not matter to the course of mankind lemme warn you)

Let me clarify, this very post is an experiment in the above. I have no idea right now, how this post will turn out and what it will be about. Read ahead at your very own risk or if you love me beyond belief. (like my mom or that crazy woman sharmili) :-)

Mumbai: My latest 'vacation' (No, Mr. Jim Lafferty of work life balance fame, it was NOT a real vacation - i DID take work along and worked from Mumbai office) was a visit home to family and friends. I grew up in Bombay for the 1st 22 years of my life, and on my 22nd birthday, i packed my bags to Bangalore for an MBA. 2 years were spent at Bangalore (memorable and incredibly life changing years those) and then 2 years at Singapore where i currently live. No other place in the world evokes as much emotion as Bombay does. (Forgive me but Bombay just sounds so right, i cant find it in me to say Mumbai!) And by emotion, i dont mean tears... Emotion ranges from rage to gratitude, from adoration to hatred. Rage at the crowds that literally make movement impossible, Gratitude at random acts of kindness that people send your way even if ur a complete stranger, Adoration at how little pockets of Bombay have these real stories of development and progress, and hatred at the dirt, the pollution and the lack of civic sense that go unnoticed. But i now realize that it is the most fertile ground for an imaginative mind to churn out world class stories (aka Shantaram) and an incredible lesson in survival instincts (aka hanging out the train from dadar to borivali) - none of which can happen in the very livable, yet very staid singapore. Despite all its conveniences, all its safety, im pretty sure that i'd like to put my children through a crash course in "Survival" by subjecting them to the teacher that is Bombay :D

Work life balance: To provide reference to that Jim Lafferty portion above, Mr Jim LAfferty is a country manager for the Phillippines MDO and an alleged authority in the subject of work life balance. Some other companies call it "life equilibrium" apparently, but we at procter call it WLB (Work Life Balance). We had the privilege of hearing him talk on the subject on Friday. I was rather tempted to walk over to him and ask if i could borrow his material (essentially just 13 simple tips on how to bring WLB into your own life) and post it here on my blog. Cause honestly, its the kind of stuff that is truly inspirational and has potential to be life changing. He starts with one simple rule about how WLB is not about working lesser hours, but about figuring out whats important in your life and ensuring it gets most of your energy and attention. Coz the popular notion in my company is that people who go home late have poor WLB, heck for all u know, they have nothing to do outside and really do enjoy working those hours, and people who go home at 5 pm might be too stressed by the events of the day to give their families the kind of energy they probably demand and deserve. Some other time, ill put in a more detailed post on Mr Laffertys tips on how to have better work life balance. Not until i email him and ask for express permission tho! :-)

Allergies: Yes i get how this isnt the glamorous post you thought it would be, but if you've read this far, you're probably really vetti anyway and won't lose much by reading a little further! :D So how many people suffer from allergies? (My hand's up in the air with another 60% of the classroom!) Im seriously allergic to dust (yes ive been very very sick from allergic bronchitis in the past), to the sun (yes yes rotfl and all that, but i am!), to eggs (they give me this bad stomach ache) and to bigots (well, those who isn't allergic to!) The one that bothers me the most, is probably the dust. Ill admit there's no dust here in Singapore, not by Bombay standards anyway, but heck there certainly is something around me that hits me every once in 30 days and sends me on my classic sneezing sprees (6 -7 aaccchhoooossss! at the very minimum in ONE SINGLE SPAN) and worse still, leaves a horrid runny nose behind. Ask people prone to colds and they'll tell you, the one thing that really pisses them off about the cold is not the headache, not the blocked nose, but the painful river of muck that endlessly flows forth from the nasal passage! Doesnt let you study, doesnt let you work, doesnt let u exercise, doesnt let u sing, doesnt let you meditate, doesnt let you do anything but sniffle and lie down all day waiting for the spell to pass ... ARGH!!! Im going through one of those today and i swear to god, a runny nose is a sure fire way of leaving you crabby and pissy to talk to. It takes GREAT effort to be nice and polite to people while u generously dose ur nose with tissue, all the while lamenting how its getting redder and sorer by the minute!!! (Yes - ill step out for anti histamines in a bit .. for now i need to vent!)

Kavita: She moved into our house in August and turned it into home. By the time she left in December, she'd created an atmosphere of friendliness and affection in this house. One of the most amazing women ive ever seen, great great listener, understanding, patient, childlike in her enthusiasm for everything alive or inanimate, ardent shopper, easily influenced by smooth talkers (yeah - how do u think i won her over?), shopping crazy, squash buddy to many, ex health instructor, ex Wella India General Manager, ex procerite.. Kavs is everything Shali and I could never be and so many things we would probably be better off being :-) Yes, Kavz, ur so right in saying i dont call, and that i seem to have forgotten you. Im incredibly sorry babe, i promised u id always be there and i didnt live up to it. And still u wr generous with ur forgiveness and shusshed me up saying it didn't matter. Let me just say you're one of the best things that happened to me in the past year (amidst many others yes yes), and we cherish you from the bottom of our hearts. Hope we can be flatmates once again, very very soon :-) And hope you find all that you've ever dreamt of and more! :D

And thats all for my non objective driven posting for the day. :-)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lets talk!

The infamous thing i swear by, and claim to be the be all and end all of all of existence, the very reason for being, the antidote to every problem, the source of all joy and inspiration is conversation - preferably dialogue :-)

Why so? I mean, yeah it seems intuitive that a good conversation could be fairly enjoyable given the time and mind space. Heck, throw in a couple of drinks and people could even loosen up, let go of inhibitions and really enjoy themselves! But is it too much to believe that conversation can be much much more than just a way to waste time?

The answer can be found when you see conversation in the various dimensions it exists in and the special responsibilities it assumes at various stages of our relationships.

- Catalytic – The sparking of chemistry with another human being and thereafter finding their friendship or love.

Remember how you felt when you first met that person and spoke to them? I still remember my first few conversations with Shamu, with Kunal, with Sohit … I remember thinking, this will go somewhere good someday, and it did. That thing they say about the ‘spark’ – it’s completely spot on! Sometimes, you just know.

Catalytic conversations are those that foretell the beginning of something completely brilliant right at the start .. here on, things can only get better …

- Consuming – staying up and talking for hours, maybe until daylight breaks reminding you that sleep is a necessity, perhaps until the charge on your phone dies out, sharing anything and everything, agreeing to disagree and laughing about those disagreements :-), creating memories for the years to come when you’ll look back upon that one conversation and smile in contentment at another milestone your relationship reached

Because once we started, it was always tough to stop, it was almost magical how words just flowed and one sentence led to another.. then another… then another .. until the watchman came and put off the lights outside cause it was morning and we’d been talking all night, or until dad woke up and complained about how I’d been on the phone for more than 2 hours already, or until I realized I had a stupid lecture to run to and that even with only one bunk left, I was considering bunking nevertheless!

Consuming conversations are those that make a fire of the spark, the energy and enthusiasm they generate in both minds is fuel enough to keep them burning stronger.

- Confiding – starting to trust another person with your fears and desires, dreams and nightmares, trusting them enough to tell them about the highest and lowest moments of your past and present life

Cause only a few people inspire trust that is enough to break barriers of the mind that hold us from indulging and divulging. And it’s only when you’ve bared your soul enough that you can open doors and start to build the bridge that connects you to someone else. Cause only if you trust someone with the secrets that reveal your weaknesses, can you trust them to love you despite the same. Cause trust is like the foundation that holds it all together at the bottom.

Confiding conversations take you past introductions and information into the world of insights on another person.

- Curative - words of kindness, appreciation, comforting, reassurance and encouragement that provide sustenance to the soul

Cause it takes something special to know when to listen and just be there, to know when to look beyond reason and cold logic and blindly support the other, to do not what’s right, but what’s needed, to nourish another soul with kind words and soothing reassurance, to inspire confidence through your almost blind belief in their goodness, their abilities and reinforcing your love and support for them. Even if it means saying it a million times, even if it means missing a meal, even if it means losing precious hours of sleep – cause they need to know they matter. And not just through the rough times, but also through the cozy times, cause it never hurt to tell someone they are wonderful and mean so much :-)

Curative conversations vary from simple maintenance sessions to serious troubleshooting, all to one end – keep the engine running smoothly at all times!

- Candid - knowing when to be brutal and honest, knowing when to give unasked for yet critical advice, knowing that everyone else will sugar coat, but you will not, and for that you will be thanked someday

Probably the most painful, yet most appreciated are candid conversations. Only someone who loves you deeply enough can muster courage enough to face potential wrath at being candid. Only someone who cares tremendously about your long term well being, will put you through a few hours, maybe days of teething pain trying to overcome your weaknesses. And yet through it all, you will hear advice – not affront, facts – not judgment.

Candid conversations are probably the toughest bridge to cross, yet each time they occur, they strengthen the relationship a little more.

- Cosmic - the rare almost magical ability to complete each others sentences and read each others mind

Yeah, today, Sohit can finish my sentences for me. Sharmili can anticipate my responses. Kinky can just look at my face and answer my question without me having to voice it even. Nayak already puts in caveats such as “and before you answer with a …, consider this …”. And today, I can figure out if these people say “I’m fine”, whether they’re really fine or not. Admittedly I may not know what’s bothering them, but I know there’s something I don’t know. Cosmic connections are the most magical of all, cause they let you know you’ve actually invaded that person’s mindspace so completely that you almost reside in it when you feel like :D Nothing can beat the cosmic connection a mom can have with her children but this is probably the ultimate high that any relationship can ever reach.

Cosmic conversations are hardly conversations to be fair – Ronan Keating probably meant this when he said “you say it best when you say nothing at all” :D

- Connecting - simple everyday conversations that serve as conduits for information to flow both ways and keep you in touch, not because they’re essential or required, but just because they enable reaching out and feeling the others presence

Let me not undermine the importance of simple, uncomplicated info exchanges. Each chance to talk to another person is a chance to understand their context a little better, to sense where their internal radar is pointing and to understand what makes them tick on a day to day basis. Don’t ever take a ‘How are you’ or a ‘What’s up’ too lightly! It may just be your chance to make another person see a little more of who you really are and what you really do. This is probably the simplest, yet the most meaningful kind of conversation cause it tells you that someone really cares enough to know what’s happening in your life, no matter how trivial it may be.

Connecting conversations are like sustaining Tarps, they don’t necessarily bring in additional sales, but they prevent a current business from starting to tank :D

- Cathartic - the confessions of confused minds that finally bring clarity and take relationships to the next level

I don’t think any kind of love can ever function without a healthy dose of blame and complaints. The idea is to bring them out in the open and talk them to death until you can reach a point where it’s easy to laugh at them vs. keeping them inside and letting them suffocate your relationship. Admittedly, none of us fit perfectly into each other, admittedly I’ve had my share of horrid disagreements with the people I most love. But it was probably our cathartic conversations that saved the day for us. Had Sohit not taken the initiative to clear my misunderstandings, had he not walked around campus for 3 hours telling me why things happened the way they did, I’d have continued to hold so much against him. That one gesture saved our relationship and possibly propelled it from an acquaintance into the strong friendship it is today. Had shamu not told me I’d let her down and failed to be there for her when she needed me most, she’d not have come back to being the sister that she is to me today.

Cathartic conversations are like spring cleaning – painfully exhausting and tough to do, but the outcome is lesser dirt, baggage and more space and fresh air. Need I even say what this can do for a relationship?

And that was my rant on conversations. Cathartic to say the very least! :P

Sisterhood of the travelling pants

As 'Chick flick'y as they come, this is one movie every woman with any taste whatsoever for movies MUST watch!

A story of 4 young girls who chance upon a pair of jeans that fit them all (From the skinniest to the chubbiest!) and decide to take turns with using them through the first summer that they will all go their own ways away from home.

The jeans are expected to show their magic in some way, and through each story are expected to do something magical for the girl who's using them.. but kinda fail on their assigned responsibility .. until the end of the movie when all of the girls realize what was so special about the jeans was the lessons she learnt while she was their temporary owner in her respective story.

The sountrack is incredibly good too with a special mention for 'Unwritten' by Natasha Bedingfield for the magical uplift the melody brings to your soul (Proctorites might remember this as the Parthenon theme song within the company) and 'Black Roses Red' by Alana Grace for its very touching words. Posted below ... read on if ur the kind of person who keeps a word doc called lyrics on his/her laptop with words from your favorite songs within reach always :D (this one's on my doc for sure!)


Artist: Alana Grace Lyrics
Song: Black Roses Red Lyrics

Can I ask you a question please
Promise you won't laugh at me
Honestly I'm standing here
Afraid I'll be betrayed.

As twisted as it seems,
I only fear love when it's in my dreams
So let the morning light come in and let the darkness fade away

Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?
Drowning in my loneliness
How long must I hold my breath
So much emptiness inside
I could fill the deepest sea

I reach to the sky as the moon looks on
One last year has come and gone
It's time to let your love rain down on me
Can you turn my black roses red?

Cuz I'm feelin like I'll blame it on love

P.S.: You dont have to be in the context of the song NOW, im sure every woman has been there atleast once in her life :-)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Nishabdh - No words to express

The movie literally lives up to its name, i have no words to describe the feeling of watching it. I won't claim its one of my best ever watched but one must hand it over to Mr RGV. He does know how to make some fantastic subjects come to life through his flair for storytelling and visualization.

What Nishabdh has in common with Kaun, Satya, Company, Bhoot et al is the flair for weaving tapestry with the right music and silences, the right shadows and lights, the right expressions on the right talent and somewhere in the midst of it all, a powerful storyline that holds the other elements together.

Where Nishabdh probably differs - for the first time ever, RGV touches upon relationships with such depth and delicacy. A far cry from the underworld dons and the supernatural yarns he's come to be associated with, Nishabdh is a touching story of an older man falling for a younger woman. And as the movie goes on to elaborate, its not about sexuality (as is usually claimed to be the rationale of such love) and raging hormones. Its very simply about finding a spirit to inspire and reverberate with your own. Although the principle seems sound, the anomaly of the whole situation (married older man, object of his affection is his daughters best friend etc) is so stark esp in light of Jia's provocative behaviour that you wonder sometimes how the mother and daughter aren't seeing the storm thats brewing right under their very noses.

Throughout the movie, the viewer can take away what he wants - sympathy for 2 lost souls who find each other, OR disgust at 2 selfish individuals who haven't given any thought to their circumstances and the feelings of the other parties involved. There's absolutely no bias induced by the director and ur completely free to support, revolt or express casual indifference. But there's no denying that regardless of what you take away, Nishabdh is a delight for any discerning viewer, a visual and mental treat that doesn't torture or insult your intelligence like most other movies today :) That if nothing else should make you want to watch this one! :-)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Highly recommended

My closest friend Sharmili blogs 'Direct Dil Se', and if you read this, you'll know why she calls it that. Must read for those in relationships. Im sure not all of her descriptions of the PS and PD are 100% accurate but if u think about human nature at all, then they're about 80% there ... and to think despite all these complications, those out of / not yet in relationships yearn to be in them! I wonder why! :-) In hindi i think its called "Aa bail mujhe maar" :D

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wattan idea! Co blogging on 'Green'!

Been a while since i blogged .. spent the last week in Bombay. Never imagined a change of place could make so much of a difference to state of mind and sheer creativity! Have suddenly taken an about turn on POV on some issues plaguing my mind, have come back with tons and tons to write about. Been very long since i felt this inspired and perky! Not to say that my vacation was the most relazing or anything, but it served to distract me and bring me the normalcy and optimism i hadnt felt in very long :-) Maybe it was meeting mom, maybe all the shopping, maybe being pampered by Kunal and Sohit like good old times, maybe all the non stop chatter with the mad woman that is Sharmili :-) (Shamu u know im kidding - i love u too much to mind ur madness :P) .. more about Bombay later .. but have made good time this week, wrote an article for MaSh (the Marketing Shrine of IIMB for the uninitiated), wrote one of those long emails that was long overdue to pass on the cheer (did i manage to do that at all?), had dinner with one of my fav couples - the brilliant Aparna and the very warm hearted Abhishek :) and was thoroughly inspired to visit cambodia (Kinks!!! We have this one trip to do with Vijay, Deepa and Soggy :D) and am now peacefully settled to do my long overdue blog for the week! :D

So news is that Vish and I decided to co blog. A rather cool idea to synergize 2 brilliant writing minds (:D they dont call me hopelessly immodest for nothing!) So we're gonna give this thing with his pics and my words a shot :-) Lets see how it goes...

Today's blog is about this very fiery looking parrot outside vish's window in chennai ( im not sure if i wanna do the whole real issue blog thing ... i was always a fan of abstract topics .. esp at the IIM Gd processess .. people hated me for the weird linkages id come up with straight out of thin air .. come to think of it im not quite sure where a lot of the links in my head come from .. sometimes im almost sure theres another person in there ... :P

So what comes to mind when i see the pic?

Green reminds me of 'Pachai Nirame' ... a song from Alai Payuthe - the tam version of 'Saathiya' ... one of my all time favorite songs is the rendition of 'pachai nirame' which means green color ... the song in tam carries pretty much the same meaning in tam as it does in hindi, it has one para each devoted to one color in the color scheme, only in tam the devotion to colors is much more painstaking - each line in each para makes a vivid reference to one instance in nature that captures the color ... so the song starts with 'pachai nirame' - the color green and moves on to the color red with this line that goes "Kilaiyil kaanum kiliyin mookku" which almost means (and dont beat me up if i get this wrong, i was born and brought up in bombay!) as red as a parrots beak .. and then goes on to say something about "all reds are like your anger" .. completely mindblowing esp when a tam illiterate finds the english translation of the lyrics :) .. a must hear and must listen more so if ur tam :D

Green reminds me of when i fell in love with the rains in bombay, we moved into a house on the 5th floor which had windows as close to french windows as one can possibly find in a city with sky high property rates :-) The view was incredible if one stood out on the ledge and looked to the left, the hills seperating Borivali from Mulund/ Thane were visible on clear days, and if you couldnt see them, it meant clouds were gathering over the horizon and u were to be fortunate enough to smell wet earth, feel cool breeze and experience the thrill of raindrops on your skin ... rain is possibly the only other thing from love that can touch every one of your senses and make you come alive in the real sense of the term :)
I can still remember goosebumps as i felt the clouds coming on ... the almost startling green of leaves that made a brilliant contrast to the gray of gathering clouds, the scent id still be willing to trade for all the gucci envys and burberrys in the world, the instinct to let my hair down literally so the wind could play with it, the music of a million droplets pattering down all at once, and the sense of calm and exhilaration that invaded the mind at once ... isnt love just like that? :-) The only thing that possibly tops this is experiencing rains WHILE in love :DD

Green reminds me of IIMB, think Thakore is the only one who can lay claim to having walked that campus alone as much as i did ... through the long winding roads, the faculty quarters, the well hidden paths along the back, the football field, the tall water tank near the admin block, through the alleys of the MDC which was home to the feared placement process that brought out the best and worst in people, places Sai and I walked for hours together as we inspired each other (he mostly did the inspiring :) while i drank in his words of wisdom), the children's park where he told me id leave the country soon even as i stubbornly shook my head (how little we know how the future will pan out when we're right there in the moment no?), my cozy room which was the prefered choice of sleeping off while pretending to study for some (read Mr Kunal Mundra), the venue for 4 hour long conversations while bracket status read online (read Mr Sohit Kapoor), and accidental crash landing spot while bird scouting :P (Read Mr BM) and most prefered venue to deliberately walk into wearing chappals when i had JUST cleaned my room (Read Mr Kunal, Sohit AND Bm!!!) :) ... god i miss that time all over again!!!

Green reminds me of the monster called jealousy :) Not once will i claim to being above this wasteful emotion ... and not once will i spend more than 2 lines on it :) Green reminds me of Liril .. a testament to how good a marketer HLL is :)

And there's probably more to write about .. if only it wasn't for midnight being a good time to hit the bed and 9 am meetings the morning after!!! :-)

A very good night, after my 1st attempt at co blogging ... :DDD and tomorrow will be another fantastic day :-) night everyone!