Sunday, April 29, 2007

Landmark Forum

Just a tiny post with a recommendation from a good friend and respected colleague - Marlon Plazo.

Last week he was dragged to this training/ seminar/ inspirational workshop by his fiance. They all attended - the couple and their families. And Marlon came back exclaiming that it was better than the best trainings he's ever had in his career. Recommended that each of us try it and enrol at the soonest no matter how expensive it is. (650 to 700 SGD to be precise!!!)

It has the ability to transform ur life and happiness for good. It makes you revisit what's really important to you in life and move towards ur goals after removing all mental blocks that were stopping you so far. This is jus a gist of what he said. For more details check out

(Sep note:
Dear Marlon - why oh why did u not tell me about this magic potion a little earlier, maybe things could have turned out differently in my own choices, and then again, destiny being what it is, maybe not! :P)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

To Shamu with love and pride

Dear Shamu,

All these years ive seen you go through life, as a student, as a simple girl from Borivali, with ur views on the world that sent some into splits and left others like me wondering where all that self concocted wisdom came from :)

I've seen you at your best, topping exams, being sports secy for the girls at VJTI, balancing a family and a gazillion friends with utmost concern for everyone but urself. Would be redundant to cite that ive loved you and been proud of you through all of those times. :)

But, I've seen you at your worst as well. Going through tough times at work, esp at Infy where you were literally baptized through fire with 15 hour long workdays that paid a pittance. Taking the CAT almost 3 times, almost to the point of giving up, yet never giving up. A life alone in a city away from home and family and friends, all this from a girl who never left Bombay on her own.

Might i add, I loved you even more through those bad times. Partly, coz all the times u reached out to me, you magically endowed me with a special place in your life. The position of the person who's words mattered enough to be heard and taken seriously. The position of a person who loved you and was given their due right in that role - the right to cheer you, comfort you and encourage you.

But more importantly, coz i saw the butterfly emerge from the coccoon in a slow, sometimes painful yet steady process. And the butterfly became the person that is you today. Gone is the idealism and naivette. Its replaced by a healthy realism which beautifully complements your innate positivity. Cause you've handled everything that was thrown your way with utmost grace and strength. Cause you've still been there to put a smile on so many faces when they were going through dark times, no matter how dark things were at your end.

And today, as you called me to tell me you made it to IIMB, you gave me what ill cherish as the best moment in this year. Possibly among the 5 top moments of my life. More happiness and excitement than I have had at any point in the last few months. So much pride in knowing that one of the finest women ive known and loved in my life, will be a part of community IIMB.

Congratulations on a very well deserved entry into a whole new life sweetie! More proud of you than you could ever imagine, happier for you than i have been for myself lately and looking forward to you becoming part of the bschool league :) Do give them some time to know how lucky they are to have you around. And i envy the people who's lives you'll touch with your friendship. Love you!!!


P.s: Yes ill visit you in Blore sometime this year, just like u visited me wen i was a student at IIMB. Can't hardly wait. Once again, I have a reason to come back to campus. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

So ur good with word associations?

Intellectual abilities: Burnt out, exhausted, brainfried, braindead:

For aforementioned reasons. From looking at concept after concept after concept. Looking through the consumers eyes, then through my own, then through my boss's then through the AMD's then as the grammar nazi, then to check for creeps, then to endow verbal brilliance and finally to ensure the core of the idea is still alive after all those checks. Now run this in a loop as many times as u frigging like.
Welcome to my world!

Mind and spirit: Dull, lifeless, lackluster:
For want of a vacation somewhere in the mountains or near a beach. For want of a rainy evening spent observing raindrops or quality time with a loved one. For want of some undying affection (Read shamu) or pampering (read mom) or listening (read shamu or mom :D) or touching words (read Sohit) or brilliant insights into my future (Read Sai) or affectionate leg pulling (Read Kunal) or time spent feeling fulfilled and innately happy (Read a currently incapable me??) or white at its most pristine (Read snow capped mountains) or refreshing hues of green (Read wide open fields dotted with tiny sunflowers) or the calm of blue (Read the wide open ocean) or the mystery of deep blue (read a starry starry nite at the beach) and much more to describe without the pain of a job to do hanging in the back of my mind and guilt making a slow entry into this afternoon endeavor :)

Fine fine .. ill get back to work ...

No sleep comin ...

One of those days that has just been SO eventful, and SO filled with news that the excitement isn't letting me blooody sleep .. i know ill regret it tomm morning when i trudge out of bed reluctantly to YET another concept writing session and wonder how we wrote such crappy concepts after everyone openly shunned the last round ... my creative juices need some salt n pepper and some tabasco and vodka!!! Hic! :D

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The meaning of music - 1

Now that's an utterly profound name for a blog that won't really expound of the meaning of anything. As any marketer's tricks, that was just to get you reading :-)

Anyway, the thing about songs is, as i thought about them a few days ago i realized, some songs had special meaning in my 26 yr old life coz they brought me closer to someone or the other in an inexplicable yet in retrospect, meaningful way. Never realized it through the way, but as i thought of how much music has brought to life, mine and most other people's i also started to recollect all of the songs i associate with someone or the other today, inevitably breaking out into a smile. :-)

Lemon Tree (Fool's Garden): BM - the babe magnet Srikant Nayak
Of the guys i hung out with, Nayak had the cleanest room in IIMB. Which meant that if we had dinner plans as a group and if i was ready before the others (which was mostly mind you!) I'd walk over to C top and sit in his room and wait for everyone else to get done with being ready. (Although i simply dont get it, they have short hair, no eye make up shoe hassles or accessorizing - then WTF takes so long for a man to get ready when it takes me all of 10 mins?) But i digress. So most times Nayak had this random playlist running and he'd pick the nicest songs just so people wud think he had great taste in music!! :D There was this one song called Lemon Tree that id heard before, but cud never place the lyrics. One fine day as Nayak and I waited for the others (lets give him credit here, he takes all of 2 mins to get ready unlike Sohit and Kunal) this song started to play and we started humming along. It started as mild mannered humming with both of us being rather self conscious, and then suddenly we picked up rythm, started enjoying ourselves and started screaming out the song out loud in karaoke style!! It was soooo awesome, we had a google lyrics page open and sang along like 2 or 3 times before we had to leave for dinner. But Lemon Tree since that day, is our song :) (BM: Now u know why 10 mins ago i was asking you who sang it :))

Your body is a wonderland (John Mayer): Kunal the funny guy consultant Mundra
Ok dont get me wrong here. I know it sounds weird, but let me explain before you jump to conclusions. Kunal was the first friend i made on campus (apart from Sam and Sandeep who i knew from VJTI) and we spent a fair bit of time together in our first few days, discussing our respective families, friends, i knew his then gf and now fiance Sudipta from some crash course at Vidyalankar and he knew some friend of mine and thats how it went. So as Kunal started to increasingly plonk his elder brotherly self in my room, (usually it wud be a pleading "Sudha i need to study and i cant do it in my room with ppl walking in!, Let me study here na!" and wud end up in me sitting uncomfortably on my chair working on the PC and him falling asleep right there on the bed! This is why i got the extra gadda into my room eventually!! Things i had to do for these boys .. sigh! ). Anyway, i digress again as is my habit! So Kunal wud always ask me why i was single and if i hadnt met any nice guys and all tht, tons of elder brotherly concern and advice, and one fine day as i walked into his room listening to this song, he goes, u know wen u find a nice chap, ull have the chance to play this song for him. Its much better than the crap u play on ur PC! Here, ive sent it to u on bracket. I was like :O but i kinda agreed with him and heard the song, and heard the song and heard it some more times before i felt sorry about being single :( and stopped listening to the song!!! :D Anyway, that was just that day, love the song to bits now and Your Body is a wonderland reminds me of Kunals attempt to change moi taste in music to reflect some refinement and class (!!!) .. Its your song Mr Mundra! :D

Tere aane ki .. (Jagjit Singh): Mr Sohit Ibanking Kapoor
Sohit was always the Jagjit Singh fan. Him and I both take pride in the fact that he went on to translate a simple pleasure in music to a passionate channeling of energy at Unmaad which culminated in Jagjit Singh performing LIVE at IIMB for the very 1st time!!! :DDD so proud of everything he is and has accomplished! Remember our days in 5th term? Kunal and Dush were on exchange and Nayak was just busy with Chu and Moron, and Sohit and I would jus hang around campus, at the mess, in C top, mostly on the roads on campus and talk for hours, listen to music in his room which was mostly Jagjit Singh. I still remember one evening when Sohit calculated to a decimal's accuracy what grade i'd need in term 4 to make a 3.2 overall - without a calci or excel!!! We don't call him a superbrain for nothing! :D anyway, thats the time Sohit introduced me to his collection of fav Jagjit songs, tere aane ki was the one that stuck in my head, and the sweetheart that Sohit is, he'd play the song as many times as i wanted until i asked him to stop outta guilt :D So here's our song,
Tere aane ki jab khabar behke
Teri khushboo se, saara ghar mehke ...
Lovveeelyyy innit!

More tomorrow, its midnight and i dont want another abm asking me why im yawning so much!!! :DD Night everyone!! Have fun listening ...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Yeah RITE!!! Im sure this is why im such a budding partygoer with the active social life. And if u didnt get the sarcasm, forget it!


Yeah fine, im not a bad unkind person, but this Mother Teresa thing is kinda pushing it!!! What DID I answer to those questions anyway!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Random ramblings of a tired young girl

10.30 pm. Just back from office a half hour ago. No P&G dusnt pay me enough to be slogging like this. But sometimes, (as the infamous by now) Tyrone taught me that investing that extra little bit can make all the difference to the quality of projects one works on ... and so we sat and slogged out over ideas ... also i guess at some level, i wouldnt have been able to sit there and actually enjoy it unless i loved writing SO much. Makes it easier to go through reams and reams of concepts and not tire of cleaning them, beautifying them, changing grammar and structure to ensure simplicity yet impact and all that jazz. Net - concept writing rocks. I'm hurting all over esp in the shoulders where the exhaustion painfully builds up, but i still am sharp and cheerful! :D Just yearning for a massage, but well, one cannot have it all.

What is it about keeping in touch? It almost physically hurts me to not talk to anyone through a whole day. Work is such a sanity rescuer coz it keeps me alive and ticking and in the midst of fun loving wonderful people. It redeems and reaffirms faith in myself, but more importantly, provides that much needed human contact that my mind craves for. Long hours of working from home inevitably leave me blue and silent in the evening - not sad, but not myself either. Inevitably end up spending a bit of time even on these days either talking to Kinks or Adrian or someone over the phone through meetings et al. Am i crazy? Or does this happen to normal people? What defines normal? Ah lets not even go there!!!

Have an intern for the first time. How do people do the whole being a boss thing? I feel so torn betwen giving him all the answers and letting him figure it all out on his own. Feels cruel to be making him spend precious time from this 2 month period gathering data that i can give him verbally with the added benefit of my 2 yr old perspective. Somehow Tyrone did it so bloody well with me. Stuck with the questions until he scared/ bullied/ provoked/ encouraged/ aided me to find the right answers until i got to a point where i could find them on my own. :) Being coached was like sitting in a cold room with warm sunshine shining through the window on my brain, i would watch fascinated as he explained the logic behind everything - which was ALWAYS unfailingly CRYSTAL CLEAR and drank in the meaning of his words, the principle based approach vs technique based approach, the 80 for 20, the casual everyday banter that made me feel like a friend vs a direct report... Now that's how a boss should be!!! God help me live up to the high the others in P&G have set!!!

What do most ppl have nightmares about? Mine are usually about tigers. Weird? Heck Yeah!!! Tigers surrounding some place im stuck in and waiting to devour me. Me sitting inside and devising 'strategies' to escape unhurt, sometimes with family or friends (inevitably the more i love them, the more likely they turn up in a tiger dream!) And this is ever since the age of like 6 or 7. Back then it was easy to ask mom to hug me tight and not let go, in IIMB it was easy to walk over to Sohits room or Kunals room and find them awake. What do i do when i break out in cold sweat in my room in singapore at 4.30 am when no one in India or Singapore is awake? Some form of contact, even sms feels so good at a time like this, and calling would be a blessing except that feeling of being a rotten person for shaking someone out of sleep through peaceful slumber .. so how? What do you do when you have nightmares?

So much for random rambling beyond decent hours. Am sleepyyy, in pain from the bunched up shoulder knots and stinky from a whole day in office!!! End benefit articulations and product technologies will surely haunt me today .. muchas better than tigers anyday i say!! :) Night everyone!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sa re ga ma anyone?

Reporting live after first day of carnatic vocal training at the Singapore Indian Fine arts society.

Discoveries and conclusions:

- Humming sa re ga ma to the accompaniement of a harmonium in the background makes me sound WAY more melodious than i really am

- My sudden foray into the world of classical trained singing is more than a wee bit baffling to my instructor who through the class gave me such disbelieving looks that i spent the rest of class with my eyes closed

- Most Indian kids who learn carnatic music are in the age range of 6 to 10, which explains the aforementioned baffled looks

- I dont need to make a career out of this. Its the 1st time in my life im training for something that has no relevance to my career and yet i find myself taking it more seriously and enjoying it much more :)

- I dont suck entirely at singing. My bathroom singing will someday hold me in good stead in the world of music in the years to come (! if i continue with this newfound pursuit that is!)

- The hardest part isnt humming sa re ga with the teacher or even humming the series of 7 from sa to sa on my own .. the hardest part is recognizing the sa's and the re's outside the context of the 7 series .. bloody difficult and what my teacher has set as the min benchmark for us to hit before we move on to making music quite literally

- Singing of this kind has potential to induce calm and peace in the mind. :) As much as i enjoy rock, pop and the like, alai payuthe is still the only one with the power to propel my mind into stratospheres beyond the ordinary :)

Bliss is this :) ill continue to report as the days pass by .. till then sing with me .. Sa Re Ga ...

This time last year ... and before ..

Weird thought occurred to me as i stood outside Jade Cinema post a session of "provoked" (which isnt a bad movie .. one cud watch it in the absence of much better to do) .. what was i doing last year this time? And the year before? And the one before?

The thought probably occured coz ive always maintained that every phase of life was better than the previous .. and its always been true .. (by that logic tomorrow will be even better than today and i have reason to be delighted .. but thats a story we'll reserve for another day) .. which is why usually ive looked back and thought, how did i manage to get through that time at all? Obviously this doesn't discount or belittle the wonderful people who brought happiness into life, most of them are still around, its the circumstances im glad to not have anymore ...

Last year this time .. hmmm .. was actually a pretty good time except everyone wanted to price down everything and i was going crazy with all the chip allocationing!!! Then there were these ad hocs coming in that i couldnt care less about given i had interesting conversations with frnds to come home to .. so i actually felt bad about sitting in office!!! So work wise, it wasnt the best, otherwise pretty good. :)

The year before that .. hmm id jus made it to P&G and was waiting it out at home in Bombay so they would call me to Singapore soon and relieve me of the boredom that was home after 2 bloody fantastic years of being surrounded by people at IIMB. Took up random driving lessons which i never even completed .. and for sure id run down someone today if asked to drive to save my life ... which pretty much negates the body count in the universe and hence amounts to negative ROI on the effort of driving!! :P Also went to the dentist and the ENT for multiple sessions coz my gums and ears had been ignored for 2 yrs on campus and were kinda out of the running and in bad shape :( Sulked a lot that i was missing life on campus, chai and sundry others with friends, spoke to friends a LOT on the phone, caught up with relatives as if i was to die in the next month and id better take all their blessings before that happened, fought a LOT with the incredible loving woman that is my mom, gave my bro a hard time with sharing the room after 2 years .. accused him of being spoilt, accused my mom of spoiling him and accused dad of doing nothing (god i never knew i had such immense capacity for accusing!!! :D) Eventually P&G kinda gave in and said ok stop making life miserable for everyone .. come join us in bombay till we work out ur work permit for singapore .. and so i chugged to and fro from andheri to borivali by train for 2 weeks starting may .. talking to Tyrone over the phone everyday and feeling shit scared and breaking out into a cold sweat even though i hadnt officialy met him in person even (yes, imagine the effect he has on u in person!!! :PP Kidding .. hes the most adorable person ive ever met!!!.. more in another post) So essentially i started out on that thing they call a dream job, and i cant complain so far :)

Year before that, had just moved to Citibank for an internship. The fools put me in Madras, likely after looking at my surname (which technically isnt even my surname! the world needs SO much education on tams! yet another post on that one :) ) where i knew no one except nutan who lived miles away from Mount Road in secluded Adyar!!! Finally ended up living with the Dushyanth's adorable mom who was cool, conversation savvy and so like my own mom that half the days were a breeze thanks to her! The maid hated me.. but thats another story :D

Citi was a nightmare in many ways, although i made my first acquaintance with Aparna (who is now technically inner circle:)) and the lovely lady Pallavi Tyagi and had my first taste of corporate life, i was also shown the ugly side of bossdom by my 'wonderful' boss who saw nothing wrong with publicly insulting me and screaming at me loud enough for Aparna (who sat on the other side of the floor mind u) to hear. Nothing in my life has ever been that humiliating, i left that place feeling like the most stupid insignificant person in the world, and it took a brilliant real coach like Tyrone to redeem my faith in my abilities (seriously, he deserves a whole post here.. later though). I still came back post summers unsure of whether id like to go to Citi, figured i wud if they promised me i wont have to work with her :) THank god it never came to that .. thank god i work on Olay.. thank god tyrone worked on olay .. thank god for sooooo much that summer!! :D

Year before, had jus received calls from the IIMS, was touring south india when i found out B had accepted me .. did a mini dance on a main road in Trichy :DD So did Sandeep ... thought that was the best time of my life :) little did i know there was SOOO much left to be seen and enjoyed yet :DDD

Year before had jus about started prep for the CAT... life revolved around studies, assignments and the like .. shamu and i were best pals by now ... she'd turned into one of those ppl we call FPG (friend philosopher and guide), i know ppl find it tough to believe that kid can be P and G .. but beneath her silly exterior lies a grown up woman worthy of tremendous respect for her values and strength :)

Year before, had jus decided to take the CAT and was doing a lot of gen chilling. Dont even remember those days, so insignificant they were. No plans, no nothing. Just lots of travel to and fro college, studies on weekends, assignments and lots of friends made in the process .. some stayed .. soem didnt .. all for a reason i guess :) All i rbbr is thinking nothing in particular and everything in general :) and doing pretty badly in term exams coz the big play thing had jus happened .. now that was fun!!!

Year before? Oh it was 2nd term exams approaching, we were moving house, Sandeep was getting his sacred thread .. so we had the ceremony clashing with my mech crach courses and life in general was quite hectic. Incredibly, i scored the highest ever marks that term with a whopping 77% .. still dont knwo what the hell happened between me writing the paper and results being declared :) Someone was drunk, and it certainly wasn't me!!!

Year before? 1999.. HSC exams had jus gotten over and we were vacationing in Kulu and Manali as a family. MEt another fam on the way and had a fantastic time travelling together!!! I remember feeling terrible about how 'chubby' i was back then, and now look at me, im one mass of bones with a little bit of flesh in all the politically correct places! :) No wonder amma sighs each time she sees me after a long time and sets out on her mission of bringing back the color to my cheeks! :D

Year before, agarwal classes had probably jus started, studying for the 12th had jus picked up i think. Afternoon batches meant reaching Dadar at a sweltering 1 pm in the afternoon after navigating my way from Dadar TT to circle. And misplaced AC vents meant carrying a sweater to wear through classes for fear of freezing into extinction even before i had a chance to give the darned exam, prep for which was sucking the life out of me!!!

Year before, SSC exams had prob gotten over, mom was in hospital getting operated for a hernial (which because of many reasons, the family's negligence being prime, recurred in 2002 and had to be operated again, paavam amma!) and we did a little trip to a place called Bordi close to Bombay. All i remember of this place is lots of chickoos and trees with chickoos and a family in the adjacent room of the hotel that used a lot of foul language while refering to each other!! :O

Year before.. studying for class 10 .. quite a fun experience actually :) But so not worth mention :)

Year before and before and before ... Aprils meant summer vacation --> Id walk to the library outside my building while mom left for work at 9 am, borrow the thickest book i could find, come back home, sprawl out on the floor from 9.15 to 12 under the fan and READ ... jus read as much as i could, usually finish a typical Grisham in under 4 hours. Then have lunch, nap, pick up Sandeep from the bus stop, perform sisterly duties such as conjuring up his evening snacks and milk and in general boss around a lot :) Then we'd settle for a good one hour watching cartoon network together, esp Johnny Quest at 6 pm or so. And then the rest of the evening would be spent helping mom in the kitchen, gallivanting with friends, and meaningless television with family :)

I dont remember much about the summers before say 1995. Many were filled with vacations with the family to new places and were lots of fun. But, somehow life seemed to have started only after i turned 13 or so and academics assumed a strange centre stage in life :) Before that was a lot of drifting and being a kid like many others.

Without a doubt, if i had to point out the best time of my life, id say now! I loved my years at IIMB coz they shaped so much of who i am today. Amidst harsh judgement and brilliant minds, i was sculpted into a person even i like better today :) IIMB was unforgettable and yet the severing of the umbilical cord happened only when i started to work at P&G and moved to this wonderful city. Then on its been a roller coaster of sorts, admittedly there has been frustration, disappointment, loneliness, indifference and inertia along the ride, but more than anything there has been evolution, learning, discovery of the self, exhilaration, travel, achievement, independence and indulgence :) This, today, is what i know as the pinnacle of my life so far, and i hope to find reason to believe that things will only get better as i go on :)

Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So why do they come and then leave?

Let me confess i didn't write this myself. My originality and self proclaimed creativity have taken a nose dive somewhere at the deep end of the ocean and although i have the usual hundred thoughts running through my head, i'm finding it tough to write anything sensible. Loved this fwd Shamu sent to me and thought everyone shud read it. Fits it very well with my paradigm on life, that a lot of it is goverened by destiny, and that we're given chances to influence it at certain junctures, and thats how the course of our lives are determined.

This one's about a common occurence, people who walk into our lives, bringing with them tremendous hope, joy and promise and then suddenly for some reason or another, it becomes tough for them to stay on. I know its supposed to be for a reason, yet have found myself wondering why and how i lost people i could actually use the word 'forever' wrt. This piece of writing sheds some light ...


People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide y ou with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or dosomething to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.!

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept thelesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime :-)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Whats worse?

*vent post vent post vent post*

A refusal to make a promise out of fear that it cannot be kept? Or a promise made and not kept? Figured out there's one thing i hate more than people who turn up late, its people who dont keep promises. Even when given the chance to NOT MAKE the bloody promise, they go right ahead, make it and then dont bother to honor it. URK!

*vent post vent post vent post*

Who would you rather be?

Let me confess, weekends with nothing to do but sack around and laze off the week's flurry of work usualy result in me and S sitting to talk about everything from the most inane to the most relevant subjects of our time.

One of our favorites as 2 women living single lives in this house is obviously relationships. Mind you, thats relationships - NOT men! K came armed with ground breaking insights on men (which ill reserve for a later post after negotiating royalty terms with K) but S and I talk about relationships... and they always throw up these incredible questions which we usually take for granted, but are actually quite serious and can define one's happiness in life and in relationships.

So here's my list of popular questions .. with sneak peeks into my own answers ... Ive been trained well in writing with exit options so feel free to skip my answers, the questions are more important anyday!

But i'd love to hear from others, esp men (K biggest insight on men is they dont think, they dont like to think, it bothers them at a very basic level coz it takes effort, and so they keep themselves occupied playing sport, watching TV, working and sleeping but they DONT THINK about relationships).

Contrary to that, i've been spoilt rotten in my perceptions of men by the wonderful ones ive met in my own life, they've mostly been sensitive, patient and thoughtful people who love discussing anything under the sun. And since those are usually the ones who visit this blog it would be incredible to see if they've ever thought about these things ever!

Qn 1. Does it suffice that someone loves you or does it have to be for the right reasons?
AA1 (AA being Answer Attempt): Preferably for the right reasons. I'd be more comfortable knowing why someone says they love me and knowing that its a true perception of who I am, rather then them loving an illusion that i'm not. I'll be fair, its not always possible to know the "right reason", but broad principle is the love has to be rooted in someone you really are coz illusions are too temporary and can carry relationships only so far.

Context to Qn2: This one comes from the very factual interpretation that relationships will always have one person being more of the 'nurturer' and the other person being more of the 'recipient' of the nurturing. Scales of 'affection showered' will always be midly unbalanced and tilted heavier in favor of one party. (Oh get off ur high horses and quit telling me its cheap to think about relationships like that, everyone who gives something likes to get something in return, u can be unconditional most times, not ALL the time, so healthy balance is a desired end state like it or not!)

Qn 2. Would you rather be the one to love the other more? Or would you rather be the one loved more?
Do u want to be a Ms X who gets showered with tons and tons of attention and affection by her doting husband and basks in the sunshine that is his love? Or would you rather be a Ms Y i know who wouldn't want to be the recepient of so much adoration (coz it would make her feel too pursued and lose interest in the guy)! Do u wanna be a Mr Z who loves suprising his women and doing wonderful things for them and doesnt mind if they'd like to bask in it? Or would you rather be a Mr Q who is neither interested in giving nor receiving affection and regards all this as unnecessary waste of people's time and energy (and would probably like a woman who understands that)?

AA2: Id yearn for one where there's above average displays of affection from both ends (and yes thats different from PDA!!!) and really wouldn't mind being the one to do more of the showering affection, its just that im such a mom to most of my friends that i get spent taking care of others, and hence being taken care of at the end of the day and some good ol pampering (material or verbal) every once in a while while i continue to put in the sustaining tarps on affection is my idea of complete bliss :-)

Lemme clarify at the outset, we're not judging any of the above behaviours, heck, some of those could be us! Question is, do other people think about this before they walk into relationships? Or are me and Shals plain nuts indulging in what the thought abhorers would call 'intellectual overload'? And if we aren't quite nuts, then what are ur respective takes on this question?

And that's the primary questions i had for the day. Really looking fwd to reading ppls views on these, and yes ive called out to the men more specifically but i hope that doesnt stop the women of the world from responding!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Do you love yourself enough?

{ At the outset, let me clarify, my state of mind is fairly clear, but my writing is more than a little muddled. Its simple writer's block and will wane in time. Until then, don't give up hope on me - not yet! Ill bounce right back in a week or so with some gems :) }

Its a thin line like so many others. Do we really love ourselves enough?

Genesis of the question is well - friends who practically kill themselves working hard and long hours, friends who lose who they are completely because they're trying so hard to become worthy of somebody else's conditional love, friends who're so caught up in pleasing other friends that they simply cannot decline invitations to social gatherings, vacations and events that they personally couldn't care less about but their friends love so much.

Which makes me wonder, where do we cross the line from being a good employee, an adjusting partner and a understanding friend to losing our identity, space and soul for someone else, sometimes in the vain hope that if we change enough for them, they'll sit up, take notice and do the same themselves OR simply cause we never thought there was a better way?

In my rant about 5 key life roles, i'd mentioned that some people consciously call out one key role as the 'self'. I'm one of them. Is this because i'm more enlightened than others? Nah!!! Its coz if i didnt make this a conscious choice, then i'd get even more sucked up into doing things and living my life for other people and for my job. And then id wake up at 50 and go "CRAP!!, what did i do for myself all these years?", coz there's no guarantee anything else will stay. Jobs change, friends come and go, spouses are maybe somewhat more permanent, but their undying interest in your life and activities will wane at some point right? And then what? You'll realize too late that everything you naively built a life around and constructed dreams around has vanished and you've got nothing to call your own.

So my advice to people who feel like they spend more than 90% devoted to things outside of themselves, let there always be something you do that constitutes the core of who you really are - an activity that lets you discover inner talents, special friends who cherish the core of you as it is with no ulterior motives to change you, a hobby that makes u feel energized and worthwhile, anything that makes you touch base with YOU. Yes you're always going to feel like a good reason to give it up - a demanding job, insistent friends and the like, but a current intervention is always more useful than some future regret :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What kind of day should it be today?

For once, i have nothing more to say.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunset? Or Sunrise?

100 bucks to anyone who can point out if this is the start of a new day or the end of an old one. Im struggling to understand it myself. Funny thing is when I google for sunset, the pics look no different from when I google for sunrise. I love metaphors, don't you?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The best moments of my life ..

For some moments, there's pictures coz words wudnt do justice, for some others, there's words cause pictures i dont have ... In random order of chronology ..

Sai and me .. talking about life, love, success, dreams and the like ... evenings spent in A 315 basking in the glow of my favorite lamps .. one of them gifted by Sai himself .. listening to 'Aahista Aahista' as the sun set on us .. Sai, my friend, philosopher and the closest thing to a spiritual guide i'll ever have. Sai who i havent spoken to in ages, but who im sure can sense my state of mind on a daily basis even from the distance.

23rd birthday, right after my summers, and Sh came to campus - a visiting. N took her out on his bike to buy my gift apparently, and as is with every woman who goes on a bike with him (exceptions to be made only for sister like souls), they got lost and spent a good 2 hours more than was needed to buy my gifts and return to campus. Anyway, they hosted this mini surprise thing at CCday on campus for me, chocolate cake et al.. and the brothers wore what i'd picked up for them with my first ever pay from Citi summers. Lets give sh her credit here .. it was all her idea!!! Im not putting up her snap coz i look nicer than her in it and thats a very wrong depiction of reality (meaning, in reality, sh is much much prettier than i am, altho ill never admit it to her!)

Vacation with my folks in Kunoor, a landmark trip this one .. for many reasons, anyway .. the family had an amazing time. I love mountains and so does, i suspect, my mom. My bro and dad are fairly indifferent to external stimulus so i wont even get into what they thought of it. But the views were great (or maybe i was seeing everything in pink light!) and we had some fun talks as a family, something we hadnt done since our trip to manali in 1999! FYI - Sandy rarely smiles genuinely in his snaps, most times hes trying real hard to look like a super cool dude :-)

With S& K at home in Singapore, we've had our best times on weekends wen we would first wait for K to wake up after her Friday night out partying, then from 10 am or so until like 1 pm we'd just sit and talk! We'd go in and out of topics, flitting effortlessly across topics - love, men, friends, work, happiness! Incredible times, that brought me and S much closer than id ever imagined, and we still miss K in our lives and wish weekend mornings could be the same!

To be continued ....

Ayers rock .. and sundry others ..

Anand recently went on vacation to Queenstown, Australia. When he was back I overheard him telling someone about how he got to the Ayer's rock and how it was a stunning spectacle. The Ayer's rock actually has some really fond memories for me - few fond memories of the time i spent at Citibank Chennai, most of which was spent cowering from sheer fright of the person who was my guide through the project.

So there's this one day when a team of Australian Citibankers arrive to understand how Citi India does business - esp the e banking aspect. So after the routine of taking them around the place, showing them systems and processes to wow them etc, dinner was set at this fancy restaurant and in Sriram's classic style, dinner wasn't just dinner. Rajeev Rai, an avid quizzer (Chennaites, esp quizzers will recognize his name) who was then the manager for the Acquisitions team was asked to organize a special quiz based on Australia for the whole internet banking team. And so he did.

So we all saunter into this nice place, see a lavish spread of food and dessert laid out, but are herded into this big circular chair formation where we're supposed to split into teams for the quiz. Now had I known this a little earlier, i might have done some background research on who in the team had a remote chance of winning and would've placed myself as such. Turns out, my luck wasn't too bad anyway. I was seated next to 1 certified quizzing enthusiast, lets call him Mr B, and another chap who in course of the quiz demonstrated his penchant for trivia. Lets call him Mr M. Now i didnt think too lowly of my own knowledge of trivia (then again, i hadnt ever been in a competitive quizzing environment before! Ignorance is bliss indeed! :-)) So I look at B and M and wonder how itll all pan out. (If u havent figured this out about me yet, let me just state it plainly - I LOVE winning. Im a monica in that sense. I put achievement over enjoyment in competitive scenarios. We'll delve into the how's and why's of my childhood influences some other day) Anyway, our quiz begins.

As time progresses, i realize im seated with a bunch of astoundingly trivia friendly guys! B and M are totally cracking the scene so to speak! Answer after answer, they didn't even spare the passes that came our way. Suffice to say, i was fairly elated, but at some level i was rather ashamed of how little i was contributing (ok let me not sugar coat this - i had answered NOTHING 45 minutes into the quiz) and we were probably on the last round or so. So im kinda trying to hide my shameful face behind nearby chairs etc, while B and M happily go on cracking the quiz.

And then came my moment. This was i think the last question or so for the quiz, and it came right to our team. Something about a stone that changes color. And i knew this one!!! Heart pounding i practically jumped over B and M trying to ensure that my answer got through even before theirs, just so they could know i wasnt a COMPLETE loser after all! And the answer was the title of this blog of course - the color changing Ayer's rock. They grinned and patted me on the back (i was after all the summer intern kid who had just made them proud!) and we noted that we'd officially won the quiz.

Thing i remember is them giving out gifts a day or so later. And the gift was a whopping 1000 Rs worth of Landmark vouchers per head. I'd never won anything this big EVER before in my life! And i knew i owed it to these 2 Citibankers who carried our team on their shoulders. I did of course meekly walk up to both and tell them how grateful i was, and how i knew id done very little to be partaking of the voucher. The response was standardly sweet - "Oh dont mention it! Enjoy ur voucher! ". And enjoy it i did! I spent every penny of that thing buying gifts for friends and family and had a blast doing so! (I dont use vouchers for myself - its strange but true! I spend cash on me, but can never find the heart to spend vouchers on me! Im so weird!!!)

Later found out that the vouchers were an afterthought really. Apparently B was mildly drunk by the time the quiz was over (trust naive me to NOT notice!) and in an open gathering asked Sriram "So when are we getting our prizes". Not surprisingly, Sriram shot him a cold glare at that point, but true to his really cool self, gave out this awesome prize later that week. :-)

And thats my story on the Ayer's rock! :D

Why its good to spend time with children

R is a 2 year old who lives in my condo. (Its only incidental tht his dad was my 1st boss). R's the kind of kid who walks around with this perpetual grin on his face and is happy to meet new people and animals alike!!! One of the few kids who did not wince when he met our Leo for the 1st time, instead ran toward him and sent him scurrying (away from the exciting child going for his furry tail!) and who didn't hesistate one bit to let himself be carried by yours truly when he 1st met me! R truly delights me with his sense of enthusiasm for everything around, and his ability to make me feel like the coolest aunt person in the world coz he has a blast everytime we're together! :-) He loves the soft toys in my room, gauges everything hung on our walls with a sense of childlike awe, follows Leo around, and makes conversation with me about cars, big cars, reallly big cars, blue cars (he thinks its a type vs color of car), kats (thats Cats mind u), big kats (thats lions on animal planet), about kaka (Re, his nanny), papa and mama and very importantly about shoes, papa's and mama's. All very deep and meaningful conversations mind you, which leave me brilliantly refreshed even after a lousy long day at work.

V and D are nephews of my flatmate and friend S. The kiddos live in Singapore a little away from where we live and they visit occasionally. Its another thing that they're so cute that Nayak mentioned tht they shud probably be child models. But V at 4 and D at 1 have the same effect on me as R does i.e. they leave me feeling completely relaxed and chilled vs. exhausted and tense when theyve spent a few hours in our house. At 1, D is obviously much easier to captivate. And i know he gets me, although he dusnt quite have the linguistic ability to express it yet :-) But oh the smiles he gives me, melt my heart and make my spirit do a 20 feet high jump in the air with no support to land back on :D Everything from my nose to the shampoo on my shelf are intriguing to him. :-) And V at 4 takes a little more intelligence and a little less gibberish. He needs to be treated like an adult and spoken to with respect. But in return he rewards me with incredible smiles and child tricks (and yes the 'you're such an adorable aunt' look).

Now here's the magical thing about kids, they have this incredible ability to send ur blues flying out the window and replace it with enthusiasm and optimism and laughter. :-) The risk i run with adults while im going thru a rough patch (which in my case has been ongoing for what - 3 months now?) is of transferring my blues to them when im actually trying to shake them off myself. But with kids, that never ever happens!!! Their guileless attempts at making you laugh can never ever fail coz the attempt comes from such a pure heart and from unconditional admiration and love for the person that you are!!! So vs. u passing on ur blues to them, they pass on their pinks to u!!! :-) Oh watta brilliant way to live life!!! :D Yes im sure its shadowed by the diaper changing and the crying etc that will entail actually having my own kids, but cmon, any mom will agree that the joy of having their love overpowers anything else that you can feel!

And thats the insight ive found about myself. The reason i love kids, is coz i love being adored and respected. Cause i get that unquestioningly from children when i give them my unconditonal affection. Which is much more than i can ever say of any adults except perhaps my mom. I love that wide eyed look kids have when im reading stories to them at the library. I love the happy curiosity my kiddo friends in the condo demonstrate when i show them new stuff - lights being switched on and off, feeling the breeze in the open garden, flowers, my friends, our dog, my room, my laptop, the TV ... everything i do gets incredible returns with children - return on optimism and joy. They're interested in everything i have to say and im their hero .. yes it takes more than average patience, but i guess the patience that i usually never find with adults manifests itself in unbound abundance when im with children, and so its never an issue. So long as i find them willing to love me, and unquestioningly so, i can find it in me to keep them entertained, learning and engaged :-)

Its why id rather just have children than get married. Coz despite all the wonderful men ive met in my life, (friends, brothers, fathers, bosses) 'unconditional' is a word that only kids have managed to translate into action. :-)