Thursday, August 30, 2007

The public nature of blogs - 2

Doesn't really let you keep that open book policy after all. So you turn to songs for their metaphorical generosity of meaning :)

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
There is indeed a time, and until my time comes, i just need to keep the faith and the smile that reaches my eyes.

The public nature of blogs ..

Doesn't let you write everything you really want to. I've been told by some bloggers that they don't like blogs that double up as online journals, and I've resisted the temptation to ask them to stay away from mine, coz that's mostly what this is - a dump for the collective (ok mostly momentary!!) wisdom and experiences of the day. I come here coz sometimes these conversations with the reader feel more interesting than real life conversations (Lucky, keep in mind what i told you today... its happened before, and i hope it happens again :P). No I'm not turning into a sociopath who turns to her blog for solace. There's wonderful friends around who i get weekday/ weekend time with and conversations with them somehow add to rather than replace the thoughts on this blog. But there's still something totally wonderful about being able to write here.

Shiv once posted a question on why people blog. What's the inner motivation to put up personal opinions and notes down on a public forum where your life is vulnerable and exposed to the scrutiny of friends and strangers alike? I thought about it and never managed to find a really 'perfect' answer, but here's a sort of longish reason why I blog.

Overall - loving to talk and have conversations automatically makes an outlet like this a precious commodity to me. Specifics as follows ...

Not having all of my incredible conversationlist friends here all the time basically makes me turn to a medium like this. This is how i communicate with them. You'll notice that most stories are just my own. Rather tedious for an outsider, but of some interest to friends who usually have context on my life and can understand, and hence reply and hence contribute to the illusion of a conversation. That's incredible for me, conversation and exchanges of ideas being my lifeblood and all that.

Some of them (Kinks for e.g. who hasn't visited the blog in donkey's years) just find me in person or over phone / chat (Like Sohit, Kunal etc), so don't come here at all. Which is fine, coz atleast they catch me in person and keep in touch another way. :-)

Then there's the wonderful people i've met through the blog world. The Madmomma for e.g. - even before i realized she was a friend of a friend, we'd started to chat and all that, which was followed by a visit to her place and meeting with the OA and the babies :D Or SS, for e.g. who once had so much to say to a certain post, that she emailed me personally with her take on the issue. It doesn't do much for everyone, but that kinda thing, a complete stranger reaching out from another corner of the world just makes me deliriously happy. There's something wonderful about knowing people who think like you, maybe not always, but share your passion for writing and have the enthu to keep in touch, the lack of history notwithstanding. :)

The blog also makes it easy for me to filter out those who don't enjoy this kinda exchange and don't care for personal interaction either. They're essentially saying "im not that interested in keeping in touch with your life, online or otherwise". And imagine how easy it makes my 80:20 principle on friends!!!

To all those who visit and don't visit ... you make a difference in your own little way. So thanks!!! :D

Chai and naashta!

Weekday mornings are usually a crazy blur ...
....wake up wondering how the gradually diminishing sleep quota will affect my dark circles in the long run
....steal a look at the visage of 'God' in my room and promise him ill spend more time with him soon, for now thanks, sorry and all that
....check mail, feel good that there's 2 people somewhere reading the blog and even commenting!
....morning ablutions, and yes, ill spare u the details
....get dressed in a vain attempt to look like some of those perfectly done up women who look dapper no matter what (what's with my unruly mane that makes me a twin of a shaggy dog within an hour of reaching office?)
...usually gulp a banana and some juice before i make a run for the 9 am bus

Now weekday WFH (work from home) mornings are quite a different thing altogether! :D
.....wake up at 8 am and hurrah over the 'no need for a bath or travel' highlight of the morning! (for the record, im a clean, usually nice smelling person, just that i prefer bathing in the evening to wash off the boredom of the day, aka my campus habits)
.....head st to the laptop. And start work. Work for an hour till like 9 am.
.....break peacefully for a first principle cup of tea with elaichi and ginger (Fancy, I KNOW!!!)
.....make myself hot toast with cheese or peanut butter
.....bring back to table and munch/ drink away as i read through all the blogs linked to mine :) spend a nice relaxed 30 minutes getting charged for the day ...
.... back to work .. productively so!

Most things mastercard/money can buy, but reinvesting the time i spend on travel and getting ready into my weekly dose of morning peace - PRICELESS! :D

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Random thoughts ...

Of steps, non steps and broken ankles
Palli broke her leg this morning. Ok lets make it sound less fatal and more real, she did some stepping off a step without realizing there wasn't really another step below the aforementioned step and if you didn't follow all that, it doesn't matter anyway- key takeaway is that she ended up spraining an ankle.
Vijay and I did a surprise thing to cheer her up, all this after the cheap senti she gave me on gtalk as i logged out of office to run to her house, not realizing we were rushing to see HER! Woman, the very caring Pangal notwithstanding, we do hope we made u smile through the bloated ankle this evening :)

Of brilliant songs
We all have our list right, the one that goes favorites/ favs/ favs1/ favs2 (you get the drift eh?) on itunes and sundry other music players?
Most songs are special coz they come with special stories. Some worth remembering, others struggling to be forgotten (all depends on how memorable the story is obv)
Despite the 2 long posts once done on some ultra special songs and their stories, here's my list of other special songs...

To induce happy expression and moon away ....
Wonderwall - Oasis (i know someone introduced me to this song, bleddy cannot rbbr!)
1000 miles - Vanessa Carlton (terrible video, lovely meaningful song)
Feel - Robbie Williams (hot black tea in my hand, sitting alone by a cold window shedding secret tears over 'Kite Runner' and wondering how i NEVER hrd Robbie ever before...)
Love fool - Cruel Intentions OST (i can imagine the singer with a pixie haircut for some reason!)
Can't fight the moonlight - OST for Coyote Ugly (this is fantastic to sing along, strong 'Sharmili in SG' memories)
More than words - Extreme (wat a!)
One on One - Robert Miles (one of the 1st english songs i EVER heard)
Linger - Cranberries (Sumedha, thanks! We do have sim tastes in music :) Wat work will get done on Ariel at this rate say?)
Californication - Red hot chilli peppers (1st song i heard on the IIMB campus)
Comfortably Numb - (They invented this brilliant phrase with the song didn't they?)

To hum along in Hindi ...
Jaane Do - Cheeni Kum (God! this is lovely... although Lalitha gives me threat of death if i play this more than once)
Tu bin bataye - RDB (sigh .. need i say anything? such content expressions, such solid stable love, how? what? where?)
Guzar na jaye - Rog (Sumedha again ...)
Bol na halke halke- JBJ (Rainy day, green view from the window, me with cuppa chai drinking in more than the tea)
O saathi re - Omkaara (Mogambo, OUR song yes ? :-) Wat lyrics, wat melody, the only song i can claim has 'texture': velvety, silken and 'scent': first rains on dry earth)

To headbang and party away...
Jhoom - JBJ (Sur aur taal ka anokha mishran :D)
RDB - The OST (Sets even the filipinos at work dancing away :D)
And some more i don't rbbr!!! Clearly im not quite the party animal yet! :D
Ok sleep beckons now ... meaningless post after meaningless post is taxing on the system still!

Shaadi Vaadi done!

2 very good women just announced news of their wedding. Sanchita just wrapped up the wedding in Calcutta (in great ishtyle im sure) :-) and M, the sweetest woman in my batch (this is without a doubt, find me ONE person who contests this, and ill buy you a house!) pinged me today to let me know she's found someone as well, engagement in Dec, shaadi next yr. All this after last nite's news of Kavita making it to Insead is slisha too much overload of happiness for my system. :-) But yes anyway, the theme for the day, esp after that long talk with M and finding Sanchi online today, is Shaadi Vaadi done!!! :D

Mogambo dearest, you're next i think. I've already gotten a June 1st 2008 date from one friend, and M has June plans as well. If you really really and truly truly (this is extremely irritating P&G CMK Lingo!) want me there, send off dates sooonnn!!! :D

Anymore dates coming up?

Before i forget ...

The wonderful Kavita who came into all our lives like an aforementioned wave of utter enthusiasm and joy has officially made it to a B school - INSEAD Singapore to be more specific!! :D I don't know if im happier for her having made it after everything she's been through, or just for myself - to be able to have her a local call away and catch her every weekend for coffee just feels like too much of a blessing. :D

Kavs, congrats!!! You so deserve this after all the tough choices you made. I hope that anyone you missed dropping a msg to reads this and shares your happiness like we are right now :D Love ya! (((()))))

Thoughts ...

come in all shapes and sizes and textures ...

There's the light misty cloud of happiness that settles over you ... you know it feels good now .. but there's no way to say if it'll be followed by a pleasant shower or a torrential storm .. but uve sworn to shuddup and enjoy it while it lasts ...

There's the brazen wave of joy that engulfs you in its glory and leaves you drenched in its goodness ...

There's the hot wind that comes from the desert, literally strips you of life, leaving you dry and barren ...

There's the pinprick - sharp, shortlived, but quick to draw blood as soon as it touches you ... you don't see this coming, and u sure as hell didn't anticipate exactly how painful it would turn out to be ...

There's the foggy Delhi winter ... stifling and blinding in their uncertainty ...

There's the pool of Evian .. by which of course i mean that sudden flash of clarity that suddenly sends every kind of cloud scampering away and let understanding (of self/ others and sundry) dawn upon a befuddled mind ...

They make us who we are, yes? Then why stop thinking? Why tire of it ever? :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

This one's for you Mogambo!

I'm back in Singapore, and happily so!!! No more sneezing bouts, no more covering my mouth and nose in autos in a feeble (and useless) attempt to protect it from the onslaught of the dust and smoke its so allergic to. I'd love to blog about the whole trip, but its late, i have an early morning work assignment to do and the evening was spent having a good time with the wonderful palli .. so will write more later ... but before i go, just 2 things:

1. I despise - repeat -DESPISE, insinuations about how 'delicate' or 'firang' I am as a response to my mention of the dust in big Indian metros being bad for me.

Its not about having lived in a developed nation and looking down on my own now. Its not about getting spoilt by the cleanliness of Singapore and being unable to 'adjust' or 'cope' with Bangalore. Its about knowing that I have a medical issue with exposure to dust and knowing i don't want to end up in hospital with a case of allergic bronchitis as i did when i was 12 and 14 respectively. Yes, it was a long time back, but no thanks, i'd rather live a safe life than have my sorry ass in a hospital on medication with an IV drip stuck in my arms.

I may look thin (and wtf is people's issue with that anyway? I can pull off the clothes i wear, I have a healthy WBC and RBC count and i can effortlessly run 2 miles a day, so what's so wrong with being 'thin') and that has NOTHING to do with my colds, so kindly stop assuming I'm 'weak' coz im 'thin'.

For the record - I shunned a 3 day stay in a Windsor Manor or a Taj in Bangalore in favor of living on campus (yes - our very own iimb campus with less than average bathrooms, no shower facilities, loos without the 'firang' accesory that is toilet paper, with 3 flights of stairs to drag my 20 kg bag up vs. an elevator or hotel staff to help, with upma/ dosa / local tea for breakfast vs. the lavish spread of a company paid breakfast buffet) and I enjoyed every minute of it.

So kindly give the judgement a break when i say im allergic to dust - I have a health problem, not an attitude problem!

2. I'm seriously tired of losing people to B school. What is with that place anyway? Its like this weird little time warp or black hole that sucks people into it and spews out a mutated version of the people we loved and adored. I'm hardly in a place to judge, having been there, done that. This time round anyway, I've known enough to understand it'll be fine soon. Still, the erstwhile pride and joy of being associated with a b school is coming to be replaced by trepidation and concern for the near and dear ones of those who set out on the journey ... more later ... for now .. just so sick and tired .. does it always have to be this way?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

IIMB after 1.5 years ...

Short post this coz i need to head out again in 8 hours after scrimping on sleep again .. but feels so wonderful to be on campus ... and to be here with Shams who i kept hoping wud make it as my junior while i was a PGP2 student in 2004 - 05 and who finally made it 2 years after i passed out ... just the feeling of coming back to what i regard my true alma mater after 1.5 yrs, just driving in thru the gates ... even i can't find the words to capture that kinda joy :) (but blog about it i can huh!) :D

More later ...

Friday, August 17, 2007

This one's picked from Chandni's blog as well ... absolutely lovely .. whether you have context or not ..

Jeevan Main Ek Sitara Tha
Maana Vah Behad Pyara Tha
Vah Doob Gaya To Doob Gaya

Ambar Kay Aanan Ko Dekho
Kitne Iskay Taare Toote
Kitne Iskay Pyare Choote
Jo Choot Gaye Fir Kahan Mile

Par Bolo Toote Taaron Par
Kab Ambar Shok Manata Hai
Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi

- Harivansh Rai Bacchan
:) How true ...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Is this the way to touch a woman??"

Let me know if you didn't find this incredibly funny. I'll note it down I promise, so I can lament your sense of humor (Oh wait! The lack of it, I mean) when we meet face to face.

As an aside: So many shady googles are going to bring people here to my innocuous link to an equally innocuous blog!!! Apologies!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I've just landed and gotten back home. Had the good sense to get my tickets advanced coz today was just half a day's worth of work!

So here's key accomplishments of the half week in a nutshell:
- Worked. (Yeah 1 word is enough for that one here)

- Read up HP6 on the flight to Manila and was good to see I was still pretty thrilled with it. I realize that with most books, i end up almost skimming through the 1st time coz i jus wanna know how it ends, and then i come back later to savor the writing and style and all that. More morons like that out there?

- Saw this awesome movie called Fracture (Nitin, I can tell u the end if u want to hear, coz the Manila flight let me see the WHOLE movie unlike ur BKK flight .. teehee!!! :D) on my way back

- Also finished this INCREDIBLE book called 'Love Walked in' which before you become your judgmental self and begin to smirk, is NOT about a woman falling in love with a man .. ok wait, before I send out the wrong signals, it's NOT about women and women or men and men or any such combinations! You could google it to check out what it's about. In any case, loved the writing style (its digressive just like mine) and the story feels SO REAL!!! The kind of stuff that could easily happen to the best or worst of us :) Read it if you can.

- As for all that hyped shopping in Manila, vs. the truckloads of clothes/ shoes/ bags/ accessories that you're probably hypothesizing i came back with, I've come back armed with 700 pesos worth of detergent powder. Yes you read that right. Don't (sc)rub your eyes!!! I brought back Ariel for my family, for myself and for Sumedha (who btw asked me to carry enough powder to last 2 generations!!! My 50% scrimping on her request probably saved me from getting caught at the airport with too much 'white' substance!!!) and I'm so enthralled hearing women talking about laundry that I think i'm gonna do an overnight soak for the 1st time in about 4 years now!! :D

Expectations from next week's India travel:
- Work (Yeah since its business travel and all that)

- Shop a little in Bangalore please!!! After that shamefaced detergent loaded return from Manila, I need to save face!

- Have people tell me I've gotten chubbier/ healthier/ rounder... any alternate variation of the above will ALSO do! Please just do NOT resort to the usual blatant lack of creativity (read: "You've lost weight", "Your cheeks look sunken", "Your eyes look sunken" "Your ear/ nose/ ankle/ middle finger looks thinner than when we last met") I promise you'll be promptly shown one of the aforementioned as a sign of vicious protest! Kunal - This is when ur erstwhile irritating googly woogly chant comes to the rescue!

- Meet the parents. My own that is. Pass on aforementioned detergent to them as token of my love and appreciation (not to mention, a valiant attempt to boost my own brand's sales).

- Talk to the sibling and do status check on CAT prep and some probes on closeted girlfriends. (Fine!!! I'll confess my own life is BORING so im looking to my bro to provide entertainment, Is it really THAT bad?!)

- Visit the IIML campus if possible. Simple curiosity. Nothing else.

- Do everything at IIMB that i did back in my 2 years there. Walk around, eat in the mess, visit the classrooms, sprawl out in welcome sunshine at the freshly watered OAT lawn and meet Rambo after what ... 1.5 years? :)

- Eat at my fav joints in Bangalore (Samarkhand, Spiga, Indijoe and watever else this generation thinks is yummy), meet up with old friends, meet some online friends i havent met ever before and some relatives.

And I can't think of more now. Add on if u will! Oh, and do buy Ariel!!! :D

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Paradox at its best ....

There's hungry children all over the world, more so in my own country. I can choose to not notice and not do anything about it. And yet they're there.

Meanwhile, a delegation of visitors run up a food bill of 30000 INR in a fancy restaurant on company expense.

There's people dying as a consequence of the diamond trade in parts of Africa every single day.

Meanwhile women across the world dream about owning a diamond ring that will be the size of their fist.

There's rampant illiteracy in my nation. Child labor where there should be eager 10 year olds going to school. Dark dingy sweatshops instead of bright lights shining down on text books.

Meanwhile, in colleges across the nation, teenagers with access to education, lectures, books and lab facilities bunk classes, sleep through lectures, crib about second rate faculty and use lecture time to catch the latest Bollywood flick.

Women still get treated like second rate shit in many parts of India. When its not violence and physical abuse, its preferential allocation of resources and mental prejudice. When its not in laws paining their DIL to bear a son (please, or should we just get our son married again to a woman who CAN give him a son?) its women getting molested in broad daylight, on the Mumbai Dadar bridge, in Chennai buses, on Delhi streets.

Meanwhile, the government continues to make amends by providing women's reservation in higher educational institutions by which time the woman has crossed most key barriers to making it big and can EASILY just make it on her own merit, thanks very much, instead of having to deal with the irritating tag that reads "Girls Quota".

Cut to my own life ...
My heart and soul light up everytime I'm in the vicinity of children. As i read to them at the library every Saturday, I have this feeling of immense fulfilment, of being whole and of being of use to the planet. I can spend hours with 2 to 6 year olds and not get bored. I lose patience with stupid adults in (give or take) 15 minutes, but im yet to meet a child who I could possibly label 'stupid' or lose patience with even after hours of together time.

Meanwhile, I continue trying to sell more laundry detergent to whoever will buy.

Paradoxical would be an appropriate choice of words now?

Monday, August 13, 2007

This one's very interesting .... women .. can u relate?

I'll get straight to the point. I picked this up from an anonymous blog. Wondered if any of the women I know can feel/ understand what she's going through. Kindly note, I'm NOT saying these are my thoughts reflected. I'm not saying I can feel her pain. I'm ONLY saying this made for interesting reading and I thought many women I know might identify with it. And before you ask, NO! That's NOT MY ANONYMOUS blog! :-)
" Yesterday, while talking to X (for perspective, a female friend), I told her that I was not going to marry Y (for perspective, a man), and I was looking for eligible people to date. The first thing she asked me was, "Why not Z?" (Z, for perspective, is an incredibly good friend, the kind I understand and the kind who understands me and adores me for who I am) Indeed, why not Z, is a question I've asked myself a couple of times over the past month. Well, it's because I need someone to take charge of me, I replied.

It's not that I want to be fawned over every 5 minutes, and told how much I am loved 20 times a day. It's not even that I want the presence of a man most of the time. It's the fact that I can be talked back to, without the guy being nervous or apologetic about doing that. And if I'm being an ass, (which I am a lot of the time!) I want to be told so and firmly! I need someone who's smarter than me, not just in a sectoral way, but smart in life, someone I can look upto ... someone who believes in himself enough to follow his heart, even though that means fear and pain, but happiness at the end (or perhaps along the way?)

Y's spoilt me now in a lot of ways. I realize that when I think about dating other men. It's not like I'm a feminist, who thinks the woman must be in control of the relationship and where it's heading. And it's not even like I'm a village simpleton, who clings to the man in her life like a baby koala. I think not too many men realize that a lot of women now, are half-way between those two extremes.

It shouldn't be too difficult (right?) for a man not to be intimidated by a woman who earns enough to treat herself well, and stand on her own two feet; a woman who knows her mind enough to pick arguments with total strangers without fear of what people will say; and at the same time, wants to be shown that she is loved. Nobody is asking for a mushy display of flowers and candlelit dinners every night, but a matter-of-fact "you matter to me" once in a blue moon will do.

Well, I guess it IS difficult, probably. That's what makes THE men special then. That they understand the role, and play it. I don't even want them to play it well at this point of time - they'll learn along the way.. but can I find such a man please?"
My thoughts (Yeah, these are MINE!): The only thing that comes to mind now is the little known truth about how those women you always thought were CEO material, the ones with the booming voice and extreme confidence in every meeting, the ones with the fantastic academic records and seemingly fast paced careers, the 'tough cookies' on the outside are usually the ones who love with a lot of difficulty but hurt much easier.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

1st night in Manila ...

Reached safe and sound ... bumped into 2 others from the CMK function at the airport so came in together ... checked in and headed st to the laptop ... this is what they'd likely term internet OCD!!! :D

Looking forward to tomorrow ... research in a new city with a new set of people ... have been told the shopping here is gr8 too :)

Until i grab another hour of paid internet, here's Adios everyone! Have a wonderful week! :D

To visitors on this blog - known and unknown, Hi?

Heya everyone who reads this blog - known or unknown to me. I don't think i get quite as many anonymous comments as most other bloggers i know do. That's probably coz the overall number of people who visit this site are low anyway :)

But since I figured it would be really nice to know who drops by, I have a neoearth program running for the last 2 days (yeah i'm getting blog savvy!) that tells me where the visits are coming from and its very interesting to note that outside of the predictable hits from my friends in India and Singapore, there's hits coming from NY/ NJ, Central North America and the west coast (LA? SF?) and London.

Again, I do know friends from most of these regions (except maybe Central NA!?!?) who are visitors and even keep in touch over mail and through comments, but if you aren't someone I know, and don't particularly mind revealing yourself (calling you a lurker sounds awful - like ur a criminal or something!), then could you kindly drop off a comment and a name / pseudo- identity to the effect? :-) Thanks! Much appreciated :)

A view from the window ....

Yeah, so i'm not a brilliant photographer .. but that isnt the point of this post! That's the pretty morning view the new house has gifted me ... an incredible breeze + peace of mind guaranteed :)

And that's the view from the living room.

Our house in Bombay, atleast the last one we've moved to 7 years ago or so had this view of the hills seperating western and central Mumbai on the left, and if u craned ur neck hard enough, a view of Gorai creek far on the right. When monsoon arrived, we were always the 1st ones to know, coz the mountain would blend into the inky darkness of the sky behind and all outlines would vanish. That's when we'd know it was time to get out the umbrellas :)

I've spent many many hours at that equivalent of a French window studying for exams, downing sweet cuppa teas during breaks, indulging in my only hobby then - music, long calls with friends and evening conversations with mom when she was back from work and I had the occassional spurt of goodness to make her a cup of coffee without cribbing about how much I had to study!

Funny thing is, all these window activities were limited to prep leave periods (typically the month before an exam that you sit at home and make up for the non - studying sins of the entire term that went by) and post exam vacations (which in engineering are a sad 2 to 3 weeks) so my strongest memories are still of struggling with fundae at the window and then reaching give up point when i saw how pretty the horizon looked and realized how much easier it was to ponder over life and sundry others vs. mugging for a meaningless exam :D (Don't ya worry, i passed my exams just fine despite all this!)

7 years down, and i'm back to enjoying my Sunday cup of tea plus the window view. :) Life indeed comes full circle :D

Of Sundays lost ...

Egh I'm not looking fwd to tomorrow at all ... have to leave on work for the Philippines by 3 pm in the afternoon and HATE the fact that my personal weekend time is being infringed upon by my work. (Yeah im one of THOSE work life balance fanatics!). If it was travel to India, I'd be leaving in the night and reaching later at night, but with Manila we don't have the privilege of a time difference ... gah!

My visa's still not in my hand btw ... i need to drop in at the embassy tomorrow on my way to the airport and pick up my docs ... a couple of months back I'd have been a nervous wreck thinking about it ... now i've thought about it only now .. as i blog ... and it hasn't bothered me yet. How things change!

Spending the next one week in Manila and then on work in India .. so ill be gone for 2 weeks from my home here ... hopefully will still continue to blog ... esp in Manila coz there won't be too many people (except my daily online angels) to talk to and not talking is as good as jumping into a wild overflowing river (yeah, i can't swim yet) as far as im concerned.

I know I promised to put up the Cathedral pics, but connecting the cam etc feels like too much work. That's the other thing i've recently become - Lazy!!! :D

But the biggest change i think vs past 6 months (apart from the ability to find sleep easily, to not fret over little things and indulge in laziness) is the ability to just sit around and do nothing. My mind used to be like Orchard Road in Singapore. Flooded with traffic forever and not a silent moment ever! Its always been like that. I'd always be looking somewhere outside to find something to occupy me. Making plans by calling people. Chatting. Even waiting for people in other time zones to wake up so i could speak to them. (Yeah, what a loser!!!!) Dropping visits. Blah. Am finally able to just be on my own and entertain a vacant mind. Am able to do that enviable activity of playing music and just listening. NOT cleaning. NOT cooking. NOT tidying up. NOT planning. Just being. Its a wonderful feeling. Avid CMKer that I am, am tracking to see how long it lasts. :)

I'm going to make up for my time lost tomorrow with an extra half day off sometime in the year. God knows with my grand plans for a big vacation (surprise, this one will unveil in a month or 2!!!) I'll need it more than just want it for kicks :D

Till then, ill stop lamenting the loss of a day that hasn't even begun and plunge back into Harry Potter 6 .. i've forgotten all about horcruxes and how D'dore got his hand charred like that ... so adios everyone!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

St Andrew's Cathedral .. a walk through

Am headed out to an evening show of 'The King and I'. Palli's entry into Singapore has made life better in many ways :) Wanted to blog about the morning tour she and I took through the St Andrews Cathedral in City Hall this morning ... but i ended up sleeping through the afternoon. There was this time a few months back that sleep was just SO tough to summon on will... and now i guess i just tire myself to the point where i slump into bed every evening feeling blessed to be able to sleep .. am even able to sleep at weird hours of the day ... pray it lasts ...

The only thing that hit me (and I figured I really wanted to say out loud) is despite being a fair bit of a believer in God and a big fan of churches and temples, the last time i visited church was in early Jan this year ... 8 months to be precise ... and a visit to the temple was only when I accompanied mom on her Saturday ritual when i went home in July. Shameful? I don't know. I don't judge others or myself by these standards, but that feeling of being constantly in His protection and sphere of knowledge is somehow not the same as it used to be once upon a time.

And the nostalgia that hit when i walked into the Cathedral, was weird and unexpected. High roof, painted glass panels, peace and quiet. So much baggage that we convince ourselves we've shed, and then suddenly there's new challenges on that task that crop up out of nowhere.

More with pictures of the cathedral once im back from the play.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blogaddict hoon main ...

Its not fair!!! Their last qn was "When you finish taking this test, do you plan to blog about it!" Well hello! I picked it up on another BLOG. Of course I'll blog about it!

Ah well .. *dramtically sighs*... not like this is a surprise to anyone....

78%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

Am i ashamed? Not really, am actually somewhat kicked :D I'm back to being a geek ... after 7 years or so .. im a Bloggeek!! :D (Yeah you heard it here 1st!)

Validation .... in all forms ..

Watched Chak De India ... walked in with bated breath as we usually do with much hyped movies that proudly show off SRK ... for once, we walked out exhilerated and craving for more :) The movie delivers a punch .. right to your heart ... makes you proud to be an Indian, makes you (makes me!) proud of those women who went from 'belan' weilding nothings to the nation's 'shaan' and gives you a quick yet effective crash course in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Unrelated fact: I have this age old funda that a man is best judged by his behavior on field. Its the most 'real' form of him where every facet of his personality is open for all to see with no charm and no wit to hide behind. To understand you need to see Nayak on field :) Brilliantly talented yet humble to the core and a true team player, an absolute delight to watch! (yeah - who said this isn't biased! :P)

But I digress. Chak De India does all that i mentioned up there ... and more.. yet the one thing i took away from the movie was the 10 second shot after the girls defend the most critical goal that leads them into victory and the camera zooms in on SRK. There's just one word writ on his face - Validation.

Of having being wronged and undoing it all with this one victory. Of redeeming the rejection and the pain that he was put through despite the best that he gave to his role. Validation that he will finally have the ability to hold his head up and know that it didn't all go to waste.

Its very coincidental (or maybe my mind is just in that place where it's twisting everything i see to fit this theory) that just 2 days ago, SS wrote this lovely post about finding her own validation. Read it, and you'll know the parallel.

The situation and setting are fairly different, yet the principle behind both the movie and her post is the same. Of being denied appreciation and acknowledgement of one's goodness in some way and then finally getting it as it is deserved. But she's right. Not all of us are destined to find it. Maybe we should just be happy for those who do :) Maybe THAT's our validation :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ironic ...

How a song named 'Comfortably Numb' can give you goosebumps with how beautifully its written :)

It doesn't get any cuter than this ...

Conversation between me and ex boss A on communicator, the msn eqv within P&G:

A (2.17 pm): Hi

(an hour passes before I get back to my laptop from back to back meetings and see the msg)

Me (3.15 pm): Hi
A: Hi
ME: (long pause)
A:(long pause)
Me: (still pausing)
A: Was I the one who sent the original Hi?
Me: Ermmm .. yep!
A: Hmmmmmmm
A: [emoticon for questioning expression = raised eyebrow]
A: [emoticon for confused expression = :S]
Me: (having deduced with my sherlock abilities that A clearly has ZERO recollection of why he pinged me in the 1st place) Its OK ...just tell me when you remember ...:)
A: Yeah, ill ping you if and when i rbbr ... forgot why i pinged :S
Me: (he's just as human as the rest of us .. hurrah!) Sure thing .. ill be around only .. :)
A: cool :) see you then ..
Me: Cya!

And thus I love my bosses ... ALL of them .. THIS is what they call halo effect! :DDD

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Of Rasam and sundry others ...

For the last 2 nights I've been reading this book called Monsoon Diary - Reveries and Recipes from South India by Shobha Narayan. Handed on to me by Lalitha, the book is the author's story of her life traced from her childhood days in Kerala to present day New York, interspersed with recipes from South India. The reveries make for fairly interesting reading.

But the recipes, dash them, are too appetizing for a midnight read. Seriously! I ended up snacking on a whole pack of Cheese Twisties last night cozz her Rasam recipe gave me the worst craving. :S (Had to run an extra mile today to make up for the awful sick feeling .. but that's besides the point!!)

So all of today ive been dreaming about Rasam .. hot rasam ... golden brown rasam ... steaming aroma rasam ... tomato rasam .. jeera rasam ... molagu (peppercorn for the uninitiated) rasam ... mmmmmmmmm..... finally when V mentioned Mysore Rasam over chat, it propelled me into action. Ran the google, got the recipe .....

May I pause here for a minute to make a minor (ok fine!!! its fairly major!!!) confession?

Me, the tam bram 26 year old who can make reasonably good Sambar and Vattakozhambhu, who can make rava upma, poha, khichdi and pulao, even pasta, the Italian cousin of vermicelli, COULD NOT make Rasam. UNTIL TONIGHT. For some reason, this simple tomato and tamarind concoction always eluded me under the pretext of unfathomed complexity of preparation. Maybe it has to do with how good my mom's rasam always was, and how i never thought I'd measure up (like most other things eh :D) ... and maybe it has to do with how i never quite stumbled upon the recipe by chance.

................ so got the recipe, printed it out and came home looking forward to making some authentic Rasam. And i did ... most of it was pretty simple, my kitchen's unnecessarily unwieldy construction did pose some preliminary challenges, but nothing a determined mind (and a hungry stomach) couldn't conquer. I even added a dash of handground (yeah, my hands those!) peppercorns and cumin seeds for that rich aroma :) And need i mention that the most perfect accompaniment to Rasam Rice is Potato curry? So that came next ... and i ran off to the gym having set the mood right for my tummy :)

The aroma that hit me when i got back into the house has to be experienced, words don't suffice! :) That was one of the best meals ive had in a while ... and ALL of this thanks to a Ms Shobha something sitting in NY right now and completely clueless about the impact she's having on my life here! :D

So Lalitha, to your question on how the book is, the answer is - positively mouth watering!

Monday, August 06, 2007

1st milestone in blogging ... 100 posts!!! :D

Just realized i hit 100 posts with my last one :-)

Feels strange to think that back in November or so I hadn't blogged in almost 2 years (for all sorts of reasons .. work .. life and the like .. ) and then something set me blogging all over again ... the need to find a place to vent thoughts coz it just wasn't happening in my situation back then. To think that something so wonderful can come out of a miserable period of self doubt and low self esteem. To think that reaching out in this virtual world can bring more satisfaction than some real conversations. To think that the strangers out there can turn into friends slowly and steadily....

Thanks to everyone who graces this blog with their presence .. i love you guys for listening .. and i love you even more for initiating dialogue ... i love you for writing long answers to my strange questions and then emailing them to me :) .. i love you for being this complete stranger caught up in her world of 2 young kids who found the time to connect with me and welcome me in her home ... i love those of you who play magic with words on your own blogs ... i love you coz despite not being in touch over the phone, so many of you keep in touch through this blog ... this thing that started for all the wrong reasons and is now something i'm proud to have as a passion ...

Here's hoping i reach my next milestone soon!!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Answer these for me will ya?

If i pray for something real hard, is there anyway to say i'll be granted what i asked for? I promise to pray real hard, even if God's on a temp vacation, i promise he'll hear me... so once he's aware... is it ok to expect he'll grant my wish?

Do songs automatically attach themselves to situations/ people/ places? Is that why some songs bring back a strong rush of memories ... usually a mixed bag of good and bad .... or is this just me being my usual nutty self?

We all have friends that we absolutely love right? Then how come some of us end up loving them and others end up falling IN love with them? What makes the difference? (Chemistry is such a global term .. but is it just that?!)

Are we all destined to find our "calling" in life? Or does it sit in a certain corner, and make your acquaintance only if you stumble upon it as you walk by?

Is the special kinda love reserved for a special few people in this world? The kind where you can wake up every morning knowing how much someone (other than ur folks) values you for who you are and looks forward to hearing your voice and seeing your face? The kind that gives you that wonderful tingle running up and down ur spine? The kind that makes everyone around not jealous, but yes secretly wishing that they were half as lucky? The kind where you have a best friend and a lover bundled in a single package ... Is this kind of love reserved for a few only?

Do our dreams mean something? Esp the kinds we have often? (If anyone says yes, pray explain what all those tigers and lions in my dreams mean!!!)

Do most people feel uncomfortable with uncertainty in the important areas of life? (I've realized a huge insight about myself ... so long as i can find a way to be ok with ALL possible outcomes of an uncertain situation, i can deal with the uncertainty .. takes some time and self explaining .. but happens eventually unless one outcome is an absolute 'NO NO'!) How do normal people come to terms with it? Or atleast find a way to not feel so thrown off by instability/ uncertainty?

Is the 'elusive' always attractive? I was watching an episode from Sex n the City this morning and the part tht stuck in my head was Carrie's immense discomfort with Aidan (am i spelling this right?) being 'too available'. And her intense attraction to Mr Big coz he always felt so unattainable... then there's this part towards the end of the episode where she's managed to actually push Aidan away, turn down an offer to meet his folks and then bumps into Mr Big at this opera thing ... and it all comes rushing back to her ... the emotional frigidity, the inability to commit ... all of the things that while they peeved her when she was in the relationship, now make Mr Big an elusive hence attractive proposition in comparison to the uncomplicated, expressive and loving Aidan. The irony of it, however, is not lost on her and having discovered her pathetic weakness for the unattainable, she rushes back to Aidan determined to defy this crazy internal craving.
The principle of it all seemed so familiar ... everything i cannot have or have too little of always feels like the one thing i just HAVE to have ... is it like that for everyone? Is 'too available' or 'too easily attainable' something that kills the charm for everyone?

I'm ending the pointless midnight ramble here ... but if Einstein ever said we don't use more than a teensy % of our brain cells, then I'm here to prove him wrong!! Admittedly, that brainspace gets spent thinking about the most useless inane things ever, but its the usage that counts, not the intent behind the usage right?? :DD

Oh, and if anyone actually has answers, feel most welcome to answer!!! Muchas appreciated!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Am i talented or wot!!! :D

My 1st work of 'art'. Yeah im a shameless attention seeker who loves showing off the silly trinkets she paints!!! But if ur anyone who can stand this craze .. u probably love me more than fair share .. so feel proud if you can !! :D

That's side 1 and 2 i painted yesterday .. see the beige wooden finish at the bottom? That's the color the entire thing was when i started ... so that's phase 1 after both base coats were applied ... and one side was painted with this awful flowery pattern for lack of anything more creative that my mind could come up with!

And that's phase 2 done !!! Sides 3 and 4 with base coat and painted with less shady patterns :)

I'm gifting them to the person who gifted me the paint brushes .. let him reap as he sowed i say!!! :D

Oh and did I mention .. im shamelessly soliciting compliments/ appreciation/ encouragement :D

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What i admire ...

As the 1st brush stroke ive executed in 10 years dries by the window, I'm gonna take a break and put down something else a lot of people got tagged for ... I didn't, but when did I ever wait for a someone to ASK me to say something!!! So here goes ...

I admire...

1. People who can get back on their feet after a setback easily ... this isn't just ur classic, won't show he/ she is going through a tough time, has a brave front to put up to the world and doesn't let anyone in on the utter hell that she's (can i just keep it to 'she's for simplicity's sake?) going through. This is the kind who shrugs setbacks off with a mild wave of 'shit happens, don't let it ruin anymore of your life' and means it not just to the world, but just as honestly to herself as well. I have standard gestation periods depending on whether the setback is personal or professional and try as I might, haven't gotten close to perfecting the mild shrug OR the admirable attitude that accompanies it.

2. People who can articulate their thoughts well, i admit clarity of thought is a prerequisite, but even if you assume that's a given, too many people i know muddle some brilliant thoughts by communicating them badly. This is almost a converse to my "I judge people who suck at words". I don't just admire articulate people, I practically fall in love with them. I'm not kidding!!! Whatever happens to adoloscent girls when they see Brad Pitt and whatever happens to men in general when they see Katrina Kaif/ Vidya Balan/ Salma Hayek (I'm covering all bases here but u get the drift!) happens to me when I read well written prose .. blogs/ personal emails/ news articles and so on .. or even when i hear someone bring out a thought so well you can almost visualize it :) Yeah im a sucker for linguistic brilliance :D

3. People who can speak their mind .. they don't sugar coat, don't care for status quo, love challenging current thinking, care two hoots for what the boss or the MD or the GM even thinks and speak their mind in every forum. They have strong beliefs (not random strong opinions) and they're not afraid to voice them out loud. I love such people esp coz they're so rare. :)

4. People who tell the truth at interviews and on resumes despite the pressure to impress ... I've seen and even turned a blind eye to claims that people make on their resumes/ SOPs/ interview answers. I admire the kind who can walk into an interview and say NO, i havent had a single leadership position .. or NO i didn't top every damn class i went to ... or I'm not sure why I'm doing this MBA, i just think i'd be good at it .. vs the standard, this is what i was born to do, its my passion and i can see my life 5 years ahead from now (Who the hell are we kidding? I can't see my life bleddy 2 months from now!!)

5. Mothers in general ... going through 9 months of labor ... and then making all those decisions on how to bring up another human being and NOT screw up their life ... trying to do justice to personal passions and to the life of another all at once ... giving up SO SO much despite knowing adoloscence will bring ungratefulness, sleepless nights of worrying about bad company and all kinds of stress ... and still functioning as the glue that keeps families together ... i hope to do it all someday and i admire every woman who's done it so far!

6. People who live healthy lives on a consistent ongoing basis ... Nayak is a classic example of this ... my MD is another much touted example .. in general people who respect their bodies and exercise moderation with food and alcohol alike ... who care about how they look enough to know all rice meals can leave you with a disgusting potbelly ... who ensure they get enough fruit and fibre in their food to keep the wrinkles at bay .. who go easy on the tea and coffee to keep their energy up ... who keep up their stamina with regular exercise ... who love their bodies on the inside so it positively glows on the outside ... totally respect their discipline and control :) (Oh and before you smirk and go "BORING" might i suggest you meet Mr Nayak or Mr Yuri? ... they're both interesting and wonderfully charming people unlike the boring dull ascetics you might have imagined them to be)

7. Men who can be open about their affection for the special woman in their lives ... its so refreshing to have a man say something positively glowing about his woman without feeling the need to be apologetic about it or fearing being labeled henpecked ... Enough of the drunken idiots who blither away about how they're sorry they got married or about how being single was so much better ... Enough of the snide remarks about how they're doing things coz they're scared of their better halves ... how tough is it to feel/ believe and say you're doing it coz u feel like? Give me more of those who don't mind admitting they miss their woman, who don't mind calling her 3 times a day, who don't mind getting moony every once in a while ... its all too rare!!!

8. People with musical talent ... vocal OR instrumental ... i just sit and gaze at them filled with unbridled gleeful adoration ... not only are they blessed .. they're doing something beautiful with it and sharing with us all! Bless their souls ...

That's all i can think about for now ... :) the base coat's almost dried and ready to get painted on further ...

I tag the same set of people to write about the people they admire :) Kinks, Vish, Harika, Ketan, Ravi, Nutan, Samesh ...