Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The year that was...

I am not big into retrospection in general because it usually is a very tiring process. It should suffice to say that this year has been good.

M and I traveled around the country quite a bit and we saw some amazing places and indulged in some real fun activities like white water rafting. Both of us turned 30 and had a blast while doing so. I got to meet both my best friends and it was wonderful. I got to spend time with my darling little niece. I re-connected and bonded with certain members of my family and it felt great. M and I took some really important decisions and we so look forward to their fruition next year. I made some new friends and got back in touch with some old ones. I met some of my blogger friends and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. I developed a wonderful friendship with some other terrific bloggers and I so look forward to meeting them in person sometime soon.

My professional life wasn't as exciting though and I wasn't in the best of health either but I am hoping this will be remedied in the year(s) to come.But apart from that,I have no complaints. Its been a wonderful year and I can already feel the excitement as I get ready to usher in 2009.

Here's wishing all you wonderful folks a very happy new year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Change is constant

On days when I have free time on hand and nothing else to do, I tend to sit back and introspect. And off late, the one thing that I seem to think about a lot is change. Change in me, change in the people around me, change in the places I have lived in. For someone who found it very difficult to adapt to change, I seem to have taken all the aforementioned changes in my stride quite well I might add. Some of it went completely unnoticed by me and only when someone else pointed it out did I realize that there was something different after all.

People who have known me for a long time can vouch for that fact that I have mellowed down considerably.You see, I used to be this fire cracker, always ready to explode. I got into a lot of trouble for saying the wrong things at the wrong times but I could not care less. There were certain things that I just could not tolerate and I made it very abundantly clear to everyone around me. I was stubborn and my thinking was very radical and in essence, different from everyone else. I dated a guy 2 years younger than I was and could not comprehend what the fuss was all about. If I didn't like someone, I made it plenty obvious to them since diplomacy was something I totally lacked.

I don't know what it was that brought about the change and whether it was gradual or sudden, but I do know that I am a much milder version of my former self. Somewhere during the process of "growing up", without my knowledge, I became more tolerant and less stubborn. I still suck at diplomacy but I have learned to not say anything at all rather than say the wrong thing. But I still have very strong views about certain things and do not hesitate to express said views. But I find it hard to express strong emotions such as anger or frustration or even affection for that matter. And the part that saddens me the most is that I am unable to coherently put down my thoughts even on paper because that was something I could do very well. I could write about anything and talk about anything and always managed to convey my point very clearly across to the other person. But as the years flew by, I no longer felt the need to be verbose. I didn't quite feel the urge to try and explain everything that is in my head to the other person and make myself heard no matter what.

I took to blogging because I felt a strong need to go back to being the kind of person I was which is the more expressive and articulate version of myself. But so many times when I was overcome by very strong emotions, I found myself searching for words to express what was going through my mind. And this just made me feel sad since I never ever had such an issue before. Words came very easily to me. Thoughts came very easily to me. Opinions came very easily to me. In a way all of that still holds good. Its just that I no longer feel the need to express it as much. Of course, when it comes to a handful of people who are very close to me like the husband and my best friends and parents to an extent, none of the above holds good. To them,I am pretty much the same person I used to be and thank god for that liberty.

So basically some of the changes have been good and some well, not so good.I, like everyone else, gave in to the diktats of nature. I adapted. I "grew up". I became more mature. All very natural processes that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. But the point of this rather unwieldy rant is that I am still unable to decide what I like more ; if an old friend commented on how I just haven't changed or if the said friend commented on how he/she cannot believe how much I have changed and it almost seems like I am a different person altogether.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Money matters

I am addicted to the lattes at Starbucks. Despite being severely allergic to caffeine, I cannot keep off the Starbucks latte. I have never taken well to caffeine especially in the form of coffee.I get pimples and my acid reflux kicks in and if the coffee was consumed on an empty stomach, I experience discomfort all day long. And yet, when the latte beckons, I cannot muster enough determination to walk away from it! Of course I don't do it everyday. I indulge myself probably once a week.

My aunt often comments on how drinking coffee from Starbucks is so pretentious and how regular coffee isn't good enough for me.Well, I have said this before and I say it again, I love my lattes so sue me! The husband and I are not big spend thrifts but at the same time we don't keep account of how each penny is spent. We eat out when we get bored of cooking at home. We go on a vacation when we feel we need a break and of course if there happens to be a good deal on airfares and hotel tariffs. We shop when we see a sale or when we have coupons. So yes we indulge but we don't overdo it by any standards. We are prudent and we are aware of our how much we can stretch ourselves financially. We have seen life as students here in the US and trust me when I say that being a student in the US is as rough it gets. After being through all of that, we want to take it easy and enjoy some benefits of whatever little we have of our hard earned money. The bottom line is that it works for us and that is all there is to it.

My point is despite the recession and the current economic crisis, there are certain things that I won't comprise on.Groceries for example.We don't believe in skimping on groceries and buying sub standard stuff. So the real question is where does one draw the line? You work so hard all year long and if you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labor then that is a very sad situation. So do you go all out and pull the plug on everything else except basic necessities like food,utilities and rent? Or do you stick to your current lifestyle and stay oblivious to the changes around you?

We took the road in between.We are aware of whats happening around us and we have altered our lifestyle accordingly and are in the process of figuring out what works best for us.

But I would really like to know your take on this matter and what you have been doing to adjust to the current shaky economy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

We move on...

Mumbai has entered the proverbial calm after the storm phase. The finger pointing and blame game continues unabated.

Politicians are resigning from their posts, an action that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They fail miserably in a task assigned to them and instead of taking responsibility for their actions and making a sincere effort to remedy the situation, they run away like cowards. And you have politicians insulting a brave soldier and his family. And there there are politicians that take their actor-kid and his director friend along to inspect the damages sustained by the Taj and Oberoi like it was a field trip.

What were they thinking? Is this what we, as a democratic nation, elected to power?

And then there are those SMSes doing rounds about how all the deceased in Mumbai were Marati Manoos and counter SMSes about how the commandos were all non Maratis. Really?

I know a lot of folks from Maharashtra and I can vouch for the fact that none of them would ever condone this regional bias that some demented people are hell bent on promoting. So all you nitwits out there, please spare the people of Mumbai and let them get on with their lives. Yes, they are resilient but that in no way means that you guys should put their resilience to test by subjecting them to your meaningless agendas.They have suffered enough so please show them the respect they deserve.

We lose faith. We lament. We curse. We hurt. We grieve. And then we pick up from where we left off and move on. Slowly and painfully. One day at a time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Tis the season

So winter is officially here. My favorite time of the year. It is treacherous though since the sun is shining real bright but should you step out without adequate insulation, you would freeze instantly.

I have rediscovered my love for hot chocolate and the Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate powder has never tasted better. My sister-in-law and I picked up a box each from the Ghiradelli square in SFO and while her stash goes into the yummy cakes she's been baking ever since we got back, I have been ODing on hot chocolate. I finally get to wear my lovely, soft sweaters and my ankle length boots to work. I also get to feel super hot in my knee high Aldo leather boots and woollen skirts. My craving for chai at all odd hours of the day is no longer frowned upon and my co-worker willingly agrees to accompany me to the local desi joint.

And the shopping.Don't get me started on the shopping.This year the Black Friday sales have started earlier than usual to try and lure unsuspecting, hapless folks into parting with their hard earned money in exchange for some incredibly satisfying retail therapy.I have decided to do my part by jump-starting the economy with my shop till I drop policy.

Thing at work are slower than ever since most people are on vacation. It gives me time to take stock and get some fresh perspective on the way I want my professional life to be from this point on.

Did I mention that I love winters? And you?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Repressed memories

Chandni said it all when she wrote.."Its like opening a Pandora’s box...". I read SnS's post on the same topic and I just had to vent.

I guess all our experiences with perverts while traveling in buses are more or less similar. My story goes one step forward.So there was this guy,a classmate in college, whom I was so totally oblivious to that I had no idea he even existed or that we were in the same class.Turns out that he lived very close to where I did and when he did attend college,we would take the same bus from the same bus stop.One day on my way back home from college,he accosted me and asked to borrow my Computer Science notes since he hadn't attended college for god knows how long and exams were around the corner.I obviously refused politely since I hardly knew the guy and I needed my notes to prepare for the upcoming exams. My turning his request down for some reason seemed to have had a very adverse effect on him and he took it upon himself to make my life miserable since that day.

There was this park that spanned across maybe half a mile from the bus stop to the street in which my house was.This creep and his friends would sit on one of the benches in that park every single day and the moment they saw me, they would all yell out my name as loud as they could.Initially I didn't pay much attention and just ignored them.Soon they started passing weird comments as well.That really got to me and I would turn around and glare at them and they would just laugh and do it all the more.I tried talking to that guy but it was of no use.I was after all this meek, bespectacled,class-nerd whose polite words were no match to that guy's abusive language.I told my dad about it and he went and talked to them but again it was of no use.My dad is again a very soft-spoken man who has never uttered a harsh word in his entire life. These guys would pretend that they did nothing wrong in front of my dad and make it look like I was making it all up.The moment my dad turned around the corner, the whole routine would start all over again.This torture continued day after day and I felt so miserable and helpless and angry and violated. That 4 minute walk from the bus stand to my house used to the worst part of my day and I dreaded it with all my heart.

A few months later,I was with a group of friends and I just happened to casually mention this episode to them and how frustrating my life had become.And just like that, from the very next day, it stopped. I never saw that guy or his friends ever again in that park and there was no one torturing me and making my life a living hell. I was of course thrilled to bits but I was also super intrigued about the sudden change. It was too good to be true.

It was only a year or so later that I found out what really transpired. In that group of friends that I mentioned earlier, there was this guy.Lets call him S. S was actually my best friend B's classmate and a very close friend of hers.I used to hang out with B and her friends all the time so I knew them quite well. S is the quintessential guy with a golden heart but a toughie on the outside. After hearing my story, he decided to take matters in his own hands. He along with a couple of friends confronted that creep and beat the life out of him and let him go only after warning him that if he ever messed with me again,they would throw him under a bus at the very same bus stop. That was enough to scare the living daylights out of that guy and he never bothered me ever again.

I don't think I ever managed to thank S enough for what he did for me. Everytime I brought it up, he used to just give me a hug and brush it aside as nothing. Except that it was not nothing. It meant everything to me at that time. Though there was no physical harrasment involved, those guys did lot of damage to my already fragile self esteem. It was frustrating that being in the same locality made no difference to them. It was frustrating that neighbours who saw them bullying me did nothing to stop them as they brushed it aside as boyish pranks. After all those huligans were merely shouting out my name about a 100 times.It was frustrating that I couldn't handle it on my own and that I needed someone else, a tough guy nonetheless, to make it all go away.

I remember the day I told my husband about this incident. I told him every single detail and I wept.M held me close and I could feel his body tightening and his jaws clenching in rage.It was so therapeutic to just let go of the demons and unburden myself. And then there is today. This is where I undergo another round of therapy by writing about it and opening up to you all.

I did learn to stand up for myself and be more outspoken and bold after that incident.I just feel that the price I paid for it was a bit much.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where was I?

Right here actually.Just that I have been really busy over the past few weeks.It was work initially and soon after, my mom-in-law came to town for a month long visit.She has been shuttling between our house and my brother-in-law's who lives in the same town.So a lot of fun was had and a lot of family bonding took place.A 5 day trip to the Bay Area with the whole family also happened which turned out to be one of the best vacations ever.Just that all the walking and standing in long lines took its toll on my back and I am still recouping.

Talking of family bonding, I guess every family has its own way of coming together and expressing affection. My family is loud and we believe in expressing our emotions openly and yes, loudly! We hug a lot and talk to each other all the time.M's family on the hand is quite the opposite.Both my in-laws are scientists, astrophysicists actually and they have their share of quirks and idiosyncrasies thereby living upto the general cliches` associated with professors and sciencys! So last Saturday, the weather was gloomy and the clouds threatened to burst open any minute. It was the perfect weather to curl up with a book and a mug of steaming hot chai and thats what I did. M and his mom spent all afternoon bonding with each other. Just that their idea of bonding was to sit in front of the big screen TV which has a CPU connected to it and browse through the map of California for hours on end! They both had so much fun just looking through the maps and figuring out the best possible driving options and flying options in terms of distance. I just sat there on the couch, looking at and listening to the mother and son who were perched in front of the TV on over sized cushions with their backs facing me and having such a good time.Something about that picture right there touched me very deeply.I only wish I had taken a picture to capture the warmth and tenderness and unspoken love in that moment.

M and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow and it just dosen't feel like it has been that long since we got married.I have this weird problem of not being able to express myself all that well when it comes to someone very close to my heart.I wanted to give him a hand written letter tomorrow but knowing how words will fail me for sure,I did the next best thing.I asked him to write me a letter instead!He agreed readily so lets see how that goes.The journey so far has been wonderful and having M in my life has always brought out the best in me which I guess sums it all up.

Happy 5th, my love....and here's to many many more to come...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I want MORE.I want it ALL.

We are seldom satisfied with what we have.We want more.We want a better job that would bring in more money to be able to afford fancy stuff.And once we burn a huge BMW shaped hole in our pockets while attempting to buy the aforementioned fancy stuff,we want more money to fill the gaping hole and thus continues the saga.

We are also very susceptible to the perils of comparison in terms of materialistic possessions or otherwise(beauty,intellect etc) and that is when jealousy rears its ugly head.On most occasions,we manage to groan and curse inwardly and not display our true emotions on the outside.As long as one manages to acknowledge the truth that it is supremely difficult to be all zen and remain unaffected by another person's success but at the same time be civil enough to not let negativity get the better of him,its all good.

Sue and Parul talk about how a strong sense of resentment is building up in the lesser privileged folks.I am yet to encounter this form of resentment but I have however been subjected to a different form of resentment and that too from very unexpected quarters.Let me elaborate.

An acquaintance from Bangalore was in town for a month on work and visited us quite often during that period.Now this guy is about 6 years older than we are and works as a HR manager in a highly reputed and big company and his wife is doing pretty well for herself too.They have a 3 year old son.They recently bought an apartment.Nothing wrong with this picture right?I thought so as well but that was from from true.Now at the outset,everything seemed good and he seemed happy to meet us and spend time with us.We dutifully took him around the city and showed him the sights and had him over for dinner every now and then or took him out to dinner so that he could try a new cuisine.After a few visits,I started noticing his resentment.He would often make comments on how his flat in Bangalore had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and yet, was smaller than our 1 bedroom apartment on the whole.Or how we eat out often and we can afford to do so since we do not have children yet.Why do you need a big screen TV? A regular TV isn't good enough for you any more is it? he asked. You people here in the US are so spoiled, he said.Everything of course was said in jest and was supposed to be a big joke according to him but it was very hard to ignore the inherent bitter undertone.It was like he was challenging me to a duel to see how I would react.Not the one to be cowered down,I gave it right back to him of course but I could not go all out.It was after all a double edged sword.I say too much and I will be eternally branded as a big show-off.If on the other hand,I say too less and I will have to live with the knowledge that this guy almost insulted me and got away with it.

It was a revelation,his behavior and reaction, to us and our lifestyle.He was trying so hard to make us feel guilty for being better off than him inspite of us being younger.It was almost as if we had been given everything that we owned in charity.I just don't get it.Its not like we started of like this.In fact,when M and I got married, all we truly had that was ours was a hefty student loan.We had very little money but somehow it never affected us too much.We were happy.We worked hard and we got by and we saved and we scraped and here we are.Whatever little we have today is what we earned.And I am guessing this is the case with most people,isn't it?We of course are discounting those lucky bums that had rich forefathers leave behind pot loads of gold and a palace or two.

The icing on the cake,however, wass this ridiculous assumption that since we lived in the US of A,we made more money than our counterparts back home and that money here,came by very easily.So as a rule of thumb, we are forced to do the spending every time we go out with him and his family, either here or in Bangalore.

I can perhaps understand if my maid or my watchman or that homeless person on the street showed resentment.I would attribute that to lack of education and class and years of suppressed angst.But when a well-educated man makes such banal comments and shows such utter lack of good judgement,respect and class, it is very hard to digest.

Monday, September 15, 2008


This weekend was a quiet one and was mostly spent indoors thanks to the incessant rains that came our way courtesy hurricane Ike.The husband was engrossed in Wii Tennis and monopolized the television.And like any other self-respecting techie,I took control of the laptop.During random website hopping, I chanced upon some videos of the Tamil talk show hosted by Anu Hassan.We used to watch this show quite regularly when my parents were here on vacation and I did quite like it as Anu did a darn good job as the host.So this week, her guests on the show belonged to the cast of a newly released Tamil movie which was apparently about a prostitute with a golden heart.The interview itself proceeded along familiar lines and everything seemed ok until the producer of the movie decided to share his two cents.He said something along the lines of :

"I come from a Brahmin family.When I heard the subject,I was very apprehensive about producing such a film since it had a prostitute as the main protaganist.I had several discussions with my family and only when they gave me their blessing,I decided to go ahead."

So yes,the oldest trade known to man is a touchy and uncomfortable subject to dwell upon.But what does being a Brahmin have to do with it?And this was just cinema.A form of art.Why the need to over-indulge and pontificate? Why unnecessarily bring in religion and caste ?

I was now curious to see what the fuss was all about and proceeded to watch the movie online.I could just about sit through the first 10 minutes.There is acting and then there is acting. Even if I could ignore the absurd and ridiculous portrayal of a harlot by the lead actress,the way the story was unfolding was just so damn ridiculous.This woman lives in a small town and everyone in the town knows what she does for a living.But she is so overly generous and helpful that everyone worships her.She is portrayed as this pious goddess who would have had a temple constructed in her name if not for her profession.Every other dialog was a eulogy to her.I really did not get what the director was trying to convey through this film.Why the need to glorify this character? So it does not matter that you are a prostitute as long as you spend the rest of your time and all your money in emulating Mother Teresa?

Amar Prem and Pretty Woman belong to the same genre and then there is this excuse for a movie.Enough said.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And the award goes to...

It is always a good feeling when your presence is acknowledged by others and hence I graciously accept these awards that come my way thanks to lovely La Vida Loca and the brilliant Thoughtroom.

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere.

The rules:

1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’
4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
5. And then we pass it on!

I find many blogs to be brilliant in terms of content,some of which are as follows:

The Bride : I am regular reader of her blog where she writes about her life as a journalist in Hong Kong and life in general.She has a very unique style of writing which is very thought-provoking and sattirical at the same time.

Biker The Dude : A celebrity in the making,this guy can knock your socks off with his humour.A multi-faceted guy,his hillarious bengulooru banter makes for a fun read.

Ms.Loca was sweet enough to consider her blogging friend forever and confer upon me this award as well:

Keeping with tradition,its my pleasure to pass this one to the following wonderful folks that I was lucky enough to get acquainted through my blog :

Dottie - a wonderful friend with a cheerful disposition.I could talk to her for hours on end!

Silvara - she writes with such honesty and innocence that it is like a breath of fresh air.I am so glad I discovered her blog!

La Vida Loca - she has a quirky sense of humor and is always so positive!

The Mad Momma - She dons several roles and manages to perform each one with aplomb! She is a very warm person and I am a huge fan of hers!

Chandni - A selfless person involved in some amazingly selfless work and yet you would never find her blowing her own trumpet which she so easily could if she wanted to.Its been a pleasure knowing her and I am looking forward to meeting her in person someday soon!

Orchid - She is another blogger that I had the pleasure of meeting in person.She threw open her lovely home to us by inviting us over for her son's birthday party and made sure that we never felt out of place that evening.

Divya Iyer - She seems like a very easy-going and intelligent gal who can turn even a mundane event into an exciting adventure on paper!

Renovatio - A very talented and creative guy with such a mature head over those young shoulders! Its been so much fun knowing this guy and he is yet another Delhi-ite that I look forward to meeting someday.

Pri - She writes so well!Her blog is as hillarious as it can get!

ThoughtRoom - A brilliant writer and an amazingly talented artist! She writes with a lot of honesty and integrity and I am really glad I got to know her.

Clueless Chick - We supposedly went to the same school!Though our acquaintance has been a recent one,I hope it will mature into a wonderful friendship.

Dewdropdreams - She comes across as a very vibrant and cheerful gal!I am so glad I came across her blog!

Abha - Her wonderfully warm and friendly smile says it all! Her passion and zest for life is reflected so well in her writing.I cannot wait to meet her and the little darling Cubby on my next trip to Bangalore!

Asaan - A supermom with so many varied interests!She does everything with so much poise and enthusiasm that she makes being a busy mom of 4 wonderful kids look so easy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

She said. He said.

I believe in God.I am not religious per say.A puja for me is a silent conversation,which is in English most of the times, that I have with this really strong and universal symbol of strength that I simply refer to as God.But I love gaities and the beautiful bonding as a family, that a festival brings with it.All the rituals associated with a festival evokes very strong and fond memories for me since I associate them with my parents and close relatives and friends back in Bangalore.It is a very strange juxtaposition that I enjoy being a part of rituals simply because I associate them with the good times I have had at family gatherings.But I do not much care for the religious aspects of the said rituals.For instance,not being allowed to participate in functions during one's menstrual cycle or the rigorous madi system that is followed.All these customs do have a resonably logical explanation like hygiene and cleanliness and as long as that is what it is about,I am fine.But the moment people start twisting things around and turn the whole thing into a freaking circus, that's when it gets my goat.

The other day,I was invited to this distant relative's house for the traditional "arishina-kumkuma" or "haldi-kumkum" ritual after a puja.I wanted to wear a saree on this occasion and I did try to drape one too.The fact of the matter is that my saree-draping skills totally suck.I can never get both the pleats at the waist and pullu, right.It is either one or the other unfortunately, thereby enforcing a ration on my traditional and ethnic Indian wardrobe.After 3 highly unsuccessful attempts,I just gave up and went back to the trusted silk salwar-kameez.I got acquainted with this distant relative very recently and she actually appears to be very sweet and affable.Her in-laws are in town and hence the festivities in their household were on a very grand scale.So I reached their place and introduced myself and tried to explain to her in-laws to the best of abilities,how she and I are related.I don't think I made much sense though.The ice was broken as soon as her mother-in-law discovered that my parents lived in the same neighborhood in Bangalore as them.We chatted for quite some time during which she asked me about the husband and his work and I found myself starting my next sentence with, "namma yejamaandru..."(ewww gross!) that literally translates to "my owner" but is used colloquially in Kannada to refer to one's husband.I managed to surprise myself immensely at that point as this was the something about which I gave a lot of grief to all my aunts and cousins who used the aforementioned phrase.I was sub-consciously trying not to give the lady the impression that that husband and I are bohemian or liberal in any way.There was no mention made about how the husband cooks and cleans not because he wants to help but because it is his home too.You get my drift right?I had a really good time at their place but I could not stop thinking about how the evening had played out.

See the thing is I have never had to watch what I say or do with neither my parents nor my in-laws.Both sets of parents are very liberal when it comes to us so I have always been myself with them.Why, then, was I being so watchful of my actions that evening?Was it because those people were related to us and everything I did or said would somehow be a reflection on my parents and family?Or was it because she was much much older and I somehow felt a sense of obligation to say and do the "right" thing and stick to protocol?

I have come across several instances when people have blindly attributed someone's supposedly bad behavior to bad upbringing by his/her parents.Especially when it comes to the daughter-in-law.A very good friend's brother got married recently to his college sweetheart.The wedding happened with much grandeur and with everybody's blessings.A month later,my friend seemed a tad unhappy with her new sister-in-law.

"She hardly talks to people.We have visitors all the time and she hardly interacts with them.Didn't her parents teach her social etiquette?" she said.

I was too shocked to reply as this was coming from someone who has an MBA in Marketing and is one of the most intelligent women I know.Since when did being shy and uncomfortable in a new environment go from being most natural to a social taboo and a sign of bad parenting I wonder.

It probably was playing at back my mind when I visited my relatives.Communication and exchange of information between the US and Bangalore happens at such lightening speed these days.And I would want my family to continue to look good and rule the roost,no?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And we are back!

For those of you(yes yes,the two of you) who wondered where I was all these days,sorry to disappoint you but it was just work and more work at office.I haven't had the time to do much else.So much for the previous post and all the brouhaha about wanting to do something with my time.I haven't even been able to leave comments on all your blogs though I did stop by and did manage to read all your posts.

Oh but there was this one major exciting event that happened which changed the husband and my life forever!Hold onto your horses now.I am just talking about our new Wii Nintendo! So the husband celebrates his 30th birthday on the 21st of this month and I was left with the uphill task of figuring out what to get him that would be exciting enough.I narrowed it down to XBox and Wii and since Wii is the latest craze,I decided Wii it would be.But anyone whos been trying to get hold of Wii would know how hard it is to find one in the stores.If you do find a store that has it in stock,the price is almost $100 higher than the actual cost.A colleague of mine suggested I check with ToysRUs.So thats exactly what I did and the lady at the store informed me that they were getting a shipment of Wii and Wii Fit the coming Sunday and it would sell at the actual cost which of course was an amazing deal.She however would not divulge how many they pieces they were going to get since the demand for the damned toy was so high.

ToysRUs opens at 10.00 am on Sundays.So this particular Sunday,I woke up at 7.00 am and slipped out of the house without waking the husband up.I reached the store at around 7.30 and there were a couple of cars parked already in the parking lot!So I waited and waited and then around 9.40 am,everyone got out of their cars and stood in line in front of the store.We nodded at each other and silently acknowledged our fellow geeks.It was amazing to see the number of people willing to stand in line on a Sunday at such an ungodly hour.All for a stupid toy.The doors finally opened and the store manager handed out a ticket to all of us who were in line for the Wii and Wii Fit.So only those who produced the said ticket at the counter could buy the Wii.Thank god for small mercies because there was no way I could have competed with the others there simply because of my comparatively smaller girth and build.I would have been pushed and shoved around like a little lost dog.

So anyway,I got my ticket and walked triumphantly to the counter and was handed a brand new Wii Nintendo with Sports Bundle.I was also informed that the Wii Fit is even harder to get and just like that I was the proud owner of the Wii Fit as well.I got back home and hid both the boxes in our garage and went up to find the husband still asleep blissfully unaware of what had transpired.The plan was the keep it a secret until the 21st and then spring the surprise on the unsuspecting guy.The thing you don't know about me is that I keep a secret really well from anybody but the husband.I hate myself for it.Many a birthday surprises have been anything but.So this time I was determined more than ever to keep the whole thing under wraps until the 21st.I called my brother-in-law to inform him that I managed to buy the coveted toy.On hindsight I almost wish I hadn't made that call because I could hear the excitement and buzz in his voice while talking to him and it just got me all excited.I had to give it all I had to keep myself from blurting it out to the husband.I managed fine until evening when this guy casually asked me what he would be getting for his birthday.That was all it took for me to spill out my guts and hand over the Wii to him.

The husband was mighty chuffed on seeing the Wii.He couldn't believe that I actually did all that to get him the Wii and was super thrilled about it which of course was the exact reaction that I was hoping for!And boy is that wretched toy addictive or what!We have been playing Wii tennis every single day since that eventful Sunday two weeks ago.I was swamped at work and would come home only by around 8.00 pm.We would have a quick dinner and then immediately get down to business.Wii Tennis.

In a way the Wii has been a blessing in disguise as it keeps the husband occupied since he has almost been rendered a handicap thanks to an ingrown toenail in the big toe that got out of hand and caused a major infection.The poor guy had to undergo a minor procedure to have the infection drained out and he is in so much pain and discomfort ever since.The Wii has actually helped keep his mind off of his leg.

I have managed to keep the Wii Fit a secret still.I just hope it makes up for the fact that I took away the surprise element from his birthday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What can I do?

So I seem to have some time on hand and I have been racking my brains to come up with something to do.Something different.Something useful.

Last summer I took swimming lessons and did a brief stint of hosting a radio program at a local radio station.This summer I am stumped for ideas.So I am turning to all you people out there for suggestions about what I can do this summer.

I am looking at learning Spanish.I would also like to something that would supplement my professional IT experience and look good on my resume.Any ideas?

Also has anyone heard of the CAPM(Certified Associate in Project Management) certification?Is it any good?

I am so looking forward to all that you wonderful people have to say!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Favorite Literary Characters

I wanted to do this tag for a long time now but for some reason I forgot all about it until today.

So here goes my list which of course is nowhere close to being comprehensive:

*Howard Roark - in Fountainhead.
I loved the book and I loved this character as I could somehow identify so much with him.

*Holden Caulfield - in Catcher in the Rye.
An absolute lunatic but with a razor-sharp wit.Also loved the way he melts into a puddle of love when he interacts with his little sister and the relationship that he shared with his deceased younger brother.

*Atticus Finch - in To Kill A Mockingbird.
A strong man with such strong principles and a wonderful, wonderful father.I would marry him in a hearbeat!

*Florentyna Kane - in The Prodigal Daughter.
An amazing woman who is intelligent,clever,witty,strong,principled and determined.I like the way she lives her life and dreams despite having an over achiever for a father.

*William Kane and Abel Rosnovski - in Kane and Abel.
What wonderful characters.Loved the way they try to out-do each other at every step.

*Hassan - in The Kite Runner.
Everyone wishes for a friend like him.Loyal,forgiving and loving to a fault.

*Frederick Algernon Trotville(Fatty)- in Enid Blyton's Five find-outers and a dog .
Oh what a fun series that was!This lesser known "Famous Five" series is everything that one can expect out of an Enid Blyton detective series.And Fatty was just ridiculously clever and outrageous.I have the fondest memories of reading these books as a child and I think I owned almost all the books in this series though I enjoyed the other Famous Five and Secret Seven books just as much.

*Oliver Barrett & Jennifer Cavelleri - in Love Story.
I am a sucker for love stories that have protagonists gunning for each other's throats in the beginning and don't realize when the hate turns into love but eventually do end up together! The husband and I fell in love on similar premises.So!(Abhipraya,this one was for you!)

*Hercule Poirot - I loved reading about detectives and how they solved crimes.Poirot especially as I would imagine his egg-head and pencil mustache all the time and was thrilled when my imagination was very close to the character on the TV series.

*Sherlock Holmes - At one point in time,I used to try and incorporate "Elementary,Mr.Watson" in almost every conversation!My all time favorite detective.

Do you have any absolute favorite literary character that brings back fond memories?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Of being different

I get that a lot.People telling me that I am "different" from the other girls they have ever known.
Maybe.May not be.Depends on who is asking the question.Of course it has nothing to do with my sexual orientation.Just in case your devious minds are conjuring up any such idea.It is just all about the preconceived notions that one has when meeting someone for the first time.

In school and then while in college during my PU(pre-university) days,I was very lucky to have met like minded people and formed bonds that have withstood the test of time.Trouble started when I got into Engineering College.I met so many people from so many different schools and backgrounds and while I always thought I blended well into the crowd,everyone else begged to differ. They felt I was different.That I stood out from the rest of the crowd.And why was that?Because I spoke good English.I loved to read.I loved sports and was good at it too.I was comfortable in the company of guys.I was good at academics but was ever ready to bunk classes and go watch a movie.I loved to participate in debates and quizzes as well as song and dance programs.I wore glasses.I enjoyed a good discussion.I appreciated honesty and openness.All of which seemed pretty normal to me since that was the kind of person I was all along.

All my close friends enjoyed doing pretty much the same things and nobody had a problem until then.As time passed and I realized that I had trouble making good friends,I began to feel the difference too.I had just then read Ann Rynd's Fountainhead and was able to identify so much with Howard Roark.Not that I was as anti-social as he was but I did prefer to hang out with like minded people and that was proving to be increasingly difficult.So I did the next best thing.I settled.Well actually I had just become more open minded and realized that I have to expand my horizon and be more accepting of people just as I expect of them.But at that point,it seemed to me like I was just making a comprise.So I did get to hang out with friends and we did have a good time but there was something amiss.

I have met a lot of people ever since and made many friends too.But I have been subjected to the "you are so different" tag ever so often.In fact, just last week, I was chatting with a friend of mine and he said and I quote,

"but you know,you don;t look the filmy types..more like the studious non responsive,books only matter types but i guess looks can very deceptive"

This was just after I told him all about how the husband and I met and fell in love!

I guess ultimately it is all about choice and preference and tastes.And also knowing that one needs to be open minded and less rigid when it comes to making friends and meeting people.And steering clear of preconceived notions does help to a large extent.But then just like how you fall in love with THE one,just like that, with the knowledge that he/she is so right for you,making good friends is also a similar process.It doesn't take much to realize that you can get along really well with someone.Blogging is a one such example.I met a couple of bloggers for the first time without having interacted much except for the occasional emails and chat conversations on gTalk and we hit it off instantly.What say,Dottie?

Its like how I like Aamir Khan for his intelligence whereas I don't quite care for SRK.Not to say that AK does not have any flaws and that he is perfect.Or that SRK is a duech bag.Its just that I like AK despite his flaws because his intelligence and brilliance and the way he thinks all of which outweigh his flaws.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wooo hooo!

So I was watching my favorite show,So You Think You Can Dance, last night and I jumped off the couch in sheer delight on two occasions.Both times the couple that was dancing was one my favorites on the show,Katie and Joshua.The first time around was when they danced to OUR song.The husband was finishing up some work on his laptop while I was checking email on mine and all of a sudden the song started playing.Both us looked up at that very instant and turned towards each other and exchanged that smile and kissed once we realized that they were actually dancing to our song.Neat!

The second instance was towards the end of the show when the very same couple danced to "Dhoom thaana" from Om Shanthi Om which was choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan.This was the very first time that they had a Bollywood dance number on the show and it was just so nice to see these two do the perfect thumkas and jhatkas in typical Bollywood style!Everybody in the audience as well as the judges enjoyed the performance immensely as did I.

You so have to check it out here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Colorado was not our first choice of holiday destination for the long weekend.Seattle was.It was the $550 airfare per person to Seattle that changed our course and am I thrilled or what!After being accustomed to flat,dull,brown land everywhere and then to see lovely snow-capped mountains amidst so much greenery was such a treat.We hiked in the mountains at an altitude of 10,000 feet which was an adventure in itself for me as I could barely breathe and walk 10 steps at a stretch at that altitude.The drive up the Rockies was beautiful,the drive back wasn't all the great for me since the motion sickness and altitude sickness got to me and we had to make frequent stops in order for me to retch my guts out.We also took the cog rail upto to Pikes Peak which is at an altitude of a whopping 17,000 ft.It was so damn cold up there that I had to jog around in circles just to stay warm.But what an amazing view of the valley from up there!One has to see it to believe it.And it started to snow just as we were about to leave which made for a beautiful and romantic sight.

How can any trip be complete without a round of shopping?Oh yes,shop we did in this amazing outlet mall in Denver where for the first time in my life,I found something nice in every damn store that we walked into!But the highlight of the whole trip has to be the white water rafting.It was fantastic!!Given the fact that both the husband and I can't swim and I was quite scared for my life especially after listening to that safety lecture by our trip leader and that we got sit right upfront and steer the raft with our paddles,we did a really good job.The water level was almost twice as normal and the rapids were really difficult to paddle through.But thats what made the whole experience so much more interesting and fun and also the fact that we had a really cool and capable guide.We shared the raft with this other couple and their kids aged 10,6 and 4.They made for excellent company and the kids were really cool to hang out with.And of course,I looked really hot in that wet suit.Well, so said the husband anyway.

Our final pit stop was at Erie where we met up with another very close and heavily pregnant friend of mine.All of us then drove to downtown Boulder and took a nice long walk on Pearl St which was really cool.We had dinner at this awesome Mediterranean restaurant simply called Med and the food was so good.We of course, had a heavily pregnant woman at our table who was ravenously hungry so that resulted in a huge quantity being brought to our table.But once we started digging in,no one was complaining and my pregnant friend had the last laugh.

I leave you with this.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jab we met

This past weekend has been one of the best ever,a weekend that I will remember for a long long time to come for various reasons.

It was my best friend Maddy's 30th birthday on Monday and her husband B,and a couple of her colleagues planned on throwing her a surprise party on Saturday.B being the sweet guy that he is, decided that the festivities would be incomplete without me(thats what I chose to believe anyway!) and convinced me to fly over to Virginia.All I had to do was to say yes.The sweet man even took care of my flight reservations leaving me with nothing to do except making sure that I would not blabber everything to Maddy during one of our daily conversations.

The party itself was a major hit and she was really surprised by all of it as her friends had done an excellent job of decorating the place and making all the required arrangements whilst B managed to pry her away from the home scene on the pretext of shopping.But the best part for me would have to be the moment she laid eyes on me when she let out this loud blood curling scream,dropped all the shopping bags on the floor and ran into my arms and we hugged each other tight, screaming all the while with excitement!My trip was made worth my while by that one moment.And of course when I met her wonderful little angel of a daughter.She is such an adorable little sweetheart who makes my heart melt into a puddle everytime calls me "Dhodamma" (Aunty or Mausi in Kannada).This little darling is the closest I will ever get to a niece so this bonding with her meant a lot to me.

And the icing on the cake was of course when I met our very own DotThoughts. She and I met at this mall near Maddy's place before I went to the party and I had a really nice time with her.The time we spent was short but nonetheless I am so glad I got to see Dottie.She is just as warm and wonderful as her blog is,very bubbly and animated and lot of fun to talk to.She looks so much younger than she actually is!She was kind enough to offer to drop me to Maddy's place which was a good 10 miles in the opposite direction as her house was.Oh and she also introduced me to the Bratz Doll, a hideous concept for a doll which I still cannot get over.

It was one helluva memorable weekend...

Edited to add : This has nothing to do with the past weekend but it does fall in line with title of the post and it had slipped my mind to write about it though I meant to.So I met another fellow blogger last year and this is none other than Ms.La Vida Loca.
It was winter and the weather that day was treacherous with snow storms and heavy rains.And our Ms.Loca managed to brave the rough weather and drive all by herself in a new city which was very impressive.We met for lunch and spent a good 3 hours chatting and it was so much fun getting to know her and her quirky side.When she mentioned that she was planning to spend the night on the couch at her husband's friends' apartment,I just had to invite her home and ask her to spend the night at our place.We have been in regular touch since then and its been really nice knowing this quirky girl with a really quirky sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I have a dream

Has it ever happened to you that you dream of something very scary but when you try and recollect what the fuss was all about in the morning,it seems so silly and banal?Well, it happens to me all the time.But the scariest aspect of a dream atleast as far as I am concerned is the fact that it recurs over and over again and this does a number on my brain.I am at a loss for answers when I try and analyze the dreams themselves and also the reason as to why they come back again and again to haunt me.

I have two dreams that keep coming back.One of them is where I am trying to make a phone call but its too dark and I cannot see the numbers all too clearly.This is probably a manifestation of the darkness because of my eyes being closed when I am asleep and dreaming.But the scary part is that even when I can see the dial well enough,I always end up dialing the wrong number.Always.I dial and re-dial like a hundred times over but in each instance I would have gotten the number wrong.

The other dream is where I am in college and its exam time and I suddenly realize that I an completely unprepared and I do not even know what topics I need to study.I am able to somehow manage English and Science but when it comes to Math,I am in a really hopeless situation.I have 2 days to prepare for the Math exam but the topics are so complicated that it is impossible for me to figure it out all by myself.So I decide I need some help and I try to call a friend on mine.And thats when I am unable to make the damned call.

Even as I type this post,the whole thing seems a tad silly but at that point of time when I am actually dreaming this stuff, it is the single most frightening experience ever.The panic and helplessness feels so real.And the fact that it is recurs over and over again makes it all the more frustrating and surreal.

While I am at it,I have been asked to reveal 10 of my deepest, darkest secrets or at least 10 things you don't know about me by the very beautiful Silvara. Well, lets see:

1] When I eat rotis with subji,I normally need a very large quantity of subji; for a regular person,the quantity of the side dish that I need for 1 roti would probably be good for atleast 2-3 rotis.

2] I have a bad case of "starting problem".Be it a new project or new technology or a new restaurant or a new dish or a new outfit or a new friend or a conversation even,I have a hard time with the initiation part.

3] I have never been able to do anything ahead of time especially when it comes to preparing for an exam or cooking for guests.I somehow manage to push it to the very minute and then I start to panic.But in the end I have managed to somehow pull it off.

4] My hand bag must have a comb/hair brush, chapstick and a packet of facial tissue irrespective of whether or not I have my wallet even.

5] I can get very competitive.

6] I used to make small children cry when I was a kid.Only those that were annoying or those that spoke in a manner that was way too much for their age though.

7] I cannot bring myself to throw away food.Especially if it something that has been sitting in the refrigerator for over a week.

8] I get very disturbed at the sight of neatly arranged dots or anything round and resembling a dot like for example daal spread out neatly on plate in one layer.I guess it has to do with this Kananda I saw as a kid which had Kalpana playing the female lead.She is very proud of her good looks and suddenly one day she gets this measles-like diseases that causes black round marks all over her face.Ugggghhhhhhhh.

9] I have always wanted and will continue to yearn for an elder brother and a pet dog.

10] I used to play a lot of cricket as a kid and I was one of the best batsmen there ever was.Until it was ok for boys and girls to play together without feeling shy or conscious,I was always in demand while teams were being formed.

It has been really long since I did one of these tags! I shall pass it on to DotThoughts, SnippetsNScribbles, Divya and my new found blogger buddies Imp's mom,cluelesschick and Abha.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pain pain go away...

And my back woes continue.

It all started early last year when we shifted houses twice in very quick succession.The first time around M and I misjudged the amount of work that needed to be done in terms of packing, cleaning, moving and unpacking and ended up doing everything by ourselves.This took its toll on my back and I was in pretty bad shape.Unfortunately,we did not quite like the new place and decided to move almost immediately.But this time around,we did not have packing to do as most of our stuff was still in the respective boxes and we hired movers.But the damage had been done.I could not stand for too long nor could I walk for too long.The pain was its worst during early mornings when I could no longer sleep and would have to sit up and walk around just to alleviate the soreness and agony.

I went to our family physician who went through the usual routine of OTC pain medication followed by a round of steroids.Nothing worked.He then did an MRI and found no issues.So he recommended physical therapy.There was no improvement in my condition.So I went to an orthopedic surgeon.He put me through the same rigmarole only this time he found two bulges in my discs in the lower back.But the treatment did not change my condition in any way.Finally I went to another highly recommended orthopedic surgeon who of course came to the very same conclusion as the previous guy.But this guy went one step further and asked me get steroid faucet joint injections.So 8 injections were administered,4 on either side of my spine.This was supposed to negate the pain during which time I was asked to do physical therapy in order to strengthen my back.Turns out that this was completely useless as it did absolutely nothing for me.

So I started physical therapy and the first session went off well and the lady did a very detailed and accurate assessment of my condition.When I was about to leave,she told me very hesitantly that she was on vacation from he next day and so my next session would be with a different therapist.I was so mad.I mean is she knew she was going to be away why on earth did she have to do my assessment in the first place?Anyways,the nest session was with this therapist Chris who totally sucked.She is the kind that wants to talk all the time,not only to you but to all the other patients.She constantly interfered in the treatment of the other patients while she neglected her own.And when it came to my treatment,she somehow never knew what to do.She had to consult the other therapists for directions all the time.I finally got fed up and asked for a change of therapist.I was then assigned to the director of that facility,a young guy called CJ.I soon discovered that while CJ is good technically,he has about 6 patients at any given time slot.He has no time to even listen to what I have to say about my condition.But since he is the director after all,who am I to second guess his work and so I kept at it.

Its been almost 3 sessions and we have done the same 3 exercises and the worst part is that none of them are stretching exercises which are so essential for any back strengthening routine.I try to give him specific details about my problem but the guy refuses to listen.I just don't know what to do.These sessions don't come cheap and my back continues to agonize me.I know for a fact that I am not getting anything out of the physical therapy but I don't know how to make that guy listen to me.Everytime I try to pin him down he gets away with some mumbo jumbo for which I have no answer.I feel I should just quit and do the exercises on my own since I know most of them and have done them before at the earlier physical therapy center.But running away from the problem without facing it head-on also seems cowardly.

I wish I knew how to deal with that guy and get my point of view heard.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Of this and that..

I hate days like today when I do not have much to do at work.I got a latte from Starbucks, checked my email and did a blog roll round-up all of which took less than an hour.I now sit at my desk in front my computer, fighting the strongest urge to go back home and plop myself in front of the TV and watch three of my most favorite shows on TV : Project Runaway , Top Chef and So You Think You Can Dance.Lord,I am so addicted to these shows!I can watch reruns after reruns without the slightest hint of boredom,a privilege that was reserved solely for M*A*S*H until now.Blame on it on the Direct TV recorder.

One thing that gets my goat is how the fact that three out of four of the final contestants on Top Chef are women, has created such a huge controversy.In the previous seasons,the male chefs have always dominated the competition although there has been one female finalist in all seasons.Scores of people from all over the country have been leaving comments on the official Top Chef blogs as to how the TV channel,by design,chose to have more women contestants in the last stage of show.I think this is utterly ridiculous.So if the women are outnumbered it is considered natural but if the men are outnumbered, it is considered improbable and an outcome of rigging?The fact of the matter is that these women are outstanding chefs and two out of three of them are clear winners by any standards.Such baseless insinuations are doing nothing but undermining their talent and capacity as a potential Top Chef.

My day started off with some bad news at the doctor's office.Apparently,they have discovered another bulge and this time it is my cervix.That explains the dastardly pain in my neck and shoulders.Like I did not have enough pain already what with bulges in two discs of my lower back.This saga of pain and discomfort has been going on for almost 1.5 years now with no relief in sight.I have tried everything that I possibly could but my situation remains unchanged.I must be doing something weird to cause so many bulges in my spine but I have no idea what and neither does my orthopedic surgeon.According to him, for now, the only thing close to a solution seems to be lot of physical therapy and strong anti-inflammatory medication.Lets see how that works out.

Oh and we went to Russell Peter's show at the Improv.This guy is good!In fact the whole show was very good as the guys who opened for him were really funny too.One of the them was Paul Verghese, whose act I had witnessed not too long ago and I wasn't impressed at all as he was overly abrasive and obnoxious that day.See the USP of these guys is to poke fun at all the different ethnic groups in this country.They capitalize on the misconceptions that Americans have about people belonging to different ethnicities and come up with hilarious material.And both these guys are of Indian origin so most of their jokes are about what it is like to be a desi.Sometimes they tend to go over the top but on this particular day,both guys were at their humorous best!Well Paul more than Russell.I guess Russell lost steam midway as Paul and the other Filipino comic,Edwin something, had done a superb job earlier and their material was very similar to what Russell normally does in his shows.This guy,Russell Peters is so popular that his shows were sold out even without any publicity or advertising whatsoever.And the tickets were fricking expensive at $45 a pop.Good fun it was!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And then there were none

There seems to be a sudden dearth of "suitable girls".Well,how else would you explain the franctic emails and calls that I get almost every other day from my male friends asking for my help in getting them hitched.Initially I did not take their plea for help all that seriously.I assumed it was just one of those typical,casual conversations that you normally have with your single male friends which invaribaly involves them asking you to set them up with your attractive single female friends.But when the volume of emails that came my way increased and the plea started sounding more and more desperate and the said friends implored me to do something about their situation,I was forced to sit up and take notice.

A situation as precarious as this called for thorough analysis which produced some very interesting results.So there is this guy.Lets call him Specimen A.I have known him for a long long time and he has always been the flamboyant,good looking guy.The class flirt with a roving eye if you must.Of course it was all in good taste but the fact of the matter remains that this guy was the kind who loved to be associated with and seen in the company of pretty girls.He never did seem like the kind of guy who would ever want to settle down or worse,commit to one woman.So you can imagine my surprise when I was approached by him to help him do just that.I tell him exactly what all of us are thinking.Why would a guy like him need help in the first place?What happened to all those girls that he knew or dated or had a crush on or had a crush on him ?His answer?He has no idea.All he knows is that he is desperate to get hitched.And why is that?Because all his friends are no longer single and he feels awfully left out when with them.And he is tired of probing questions about when he was planning to shed his single status from his no-longer-single friends.And he is also tired of everyone assuming that finding someone should be a walk in the park for someone with a history as his whereas this was so far from the truth.I felt so bad for him that day.

And then there is Specimen B.Again I have known him forever.He is the quintessential nerd. Intelligent,hard working,soft-spoken,successful,rich.He has always been the kind who never showed too much inclination towards women in the romantic way.He seemed to be very content with his higher studies and later on, with doing well at work and moving up the corporate ladder.I am not sure whether it was by design or just a coincidence that he maintained his single status effortlessly.Now all of a sudden,he feels he is very lonely.He feels the need for companionship.He feels the need for the presence of a woman in his life.He wants a wife.And he wants to take the traditional route.Unfortunately for him,as hard as his parents are trying to match horoscopes and find the right girl,its just not materialising.

Specimen C.The die hard romantic at heart.One of the warmest guys I have ever known.He is quirky, funny, full of energy and a lot of fun to be with.And someone who beleives in a fairytale romance and that he will find The One in a manner that he has always dreamt of.Sigh.He asks for my help to make all this come true.As hard as I try to break the bubble and bring him back to planet earth, he seems to be fixated on his idea of romance.And he is getting really impatient that his dream is taking forever to come true.And then there is Specimen D.He is your everyday guy.A wonderful friend.Helpful,polite.A really good guy who is the most practical person I have ever known.Perfect husband material.And yet he is finding it very hard to find the right girl.

They are all so different from each other and want very different things from life.And yet they want the same thing too.A suitable companion.The right girl.The One.I have always maintained that things like marriage and relationships and having kids are very personal and individualstic. There is no right age or wrong age.There are no rules.There is no pattern.But look at these guys.Isn't there like a semblance of a pattern?They are all turning 30 this year.Maybe that has something to do with the desperation?

When M and I got married at the age of 25,we got a lot of raised eyebrows,friends wanting to know if we were sure this is what we wanted,friends wanting why we did not want to play the field some more,friends wondering if we were too young to take the plunge.The fact of the matter is that both of us just knew.Period.And boy am I glad that I am not in their shoes today.Ironically these days,we get a lot of I want what you have and I envy you guys.


And it dosen't help that none of my girl friends are single.And the ones that are single are involved in a relationship.Where did all the single women go??!!!

You know,this is serious fodder for thought for people of the likes of that idiot doctor that Chandni wrote about a while ago about the extent to which female infanticide is affecting society.

Oh and what do we have here!An award.My first one!This space supposedly has Nice Matters according to the lovely SnippetsAndScribbles. And following the blogging-world tradition of passing on the said award to those I think are worthy recepients, I choose DotThoughts and Silvara; two of the most honest and sophiscated women I have come across.And they write very well too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The big 3-0

I turned 30 on Saturday.And it was the best birthday ever.The husband frisked me off to a 4-day weekend to Hot Springs,Arkansas and we had a ball of a vacation.This birthday will remain etched in memory for a long time to come for several reasons:

1] It was a fantastic trip and we had lot of fun doing simple things like a long hike and paddle boating in the lake.There was this one particular zen-like instance when we hiked up the mountain at the national park and all we could manage to do was sit there in silence and take in the breathtaking visuals.

2] I got several phone calls all day long from all corners of the world....from my parents and in-laws and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents....from friends whom I hadn't spoken to in ages......folks that I met through my blog and are now friends for life....from people who married my buddies and are now an integral part of the gang and close to me as ever.It felt really nice to talk to all of them and know that I have them in my life.A couple of these calls were extra special though.Like one of my best friends way back from high school who called all the way from Budapest,Hungary and we spoke for almost an hour,catching up effortlessly from where we had last left off.

3] The husband actually agreed to go on a spa session with me! The session itself was amazing as it was at one of those ancient bathhouses.The fact that M played along and ended up enjoying the whole experience was a bonus.

4] I got "drunk" drunk for the very first time in my life.And what better day to do so than my 30th birthday!! It was completely unintentional of course.We went to dinner at this really fancy place and we ordered some wine.This place apparently doesn't do wine in a glass and we ended up with an entire bottle of Chardonnay.And the waiter kept topping off our glasses after every couple of sips.So by the end of the evening,I had consumed close to 3 glasses of very good and ridiculously expensive white wine and was drunk enough to know it but not be able to do anything about it!So I was chatting away nineteen to the dozen and giggling after every sentence in the loudest of voices.A voice in my head kept saying "Dont talk.Stop talking.Sssshhhh.Be quiet.Now." But I just could not stop talking.I insisted that the husband run over some of the pedestrians who were a little slow in crossing the street.I composed a silly poem for the husband which he thought was very cute by the way.And several other things that I cannot remember too well.It was fun though and my husband was thoroughly entertained at my expense.

I have been getting a lot of "How does it feel to be 30?"I did do a lot of thinking and introspection just to see if I feel any major change within me.Honestly,I feel no different than I did when I was 29.It is just a mere coincidence that I felt I was ready to take some big decisions a few months before my birthday.Decisions that will change both our lives.Hopefully things go as planned and it all works out well.

This year and the next looks to be one hell of a roller-coaster ride and I can't quite wait for the party to begin!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life nahin hai laddoo

It has been a particularly unpleasant start to the weekend.

So about a couple of weeks ago,I was on my way to the parlor and I got my very first traffic ticket.And it was such a freaky incident too.I passed a school bus that had its stop sign on.See the thing is I have never seen a school bus with a stop sign hanging by its sides like little wings. Never. So I realized that I should have stopped the very next second after I had passed the bus and saw the stop sign but it was too late.The darned cop came flying out of nowhere and swooped in on me and very majestically handed me my first ever ticket.I was whining and mopping all evening about how unfair it was and how I should have been let off with just a warning.The husband and everyone else consoled me by reminding me that I could pay a small fine and do the defensive driving course and get away with it.

I went to the Municipal Court yesterday afternoon only to learn that I cannot do the defensive driving course for this particular offense.Oh and it gets worse.I have been ordered to cough up a fine of $433.00.Oooo yeah.The lady behind the counter was so amused that I had to pay such a hefty fine that she said she would give me a month's extension and that I would start my 90-day probation period right away.I guess she assumed I was a well-dressed destitute when she saw the grief-stricken look on my face while she hemmed and hawed about the how huge the fine amount was.

"Oh my my,this is so much higher than the construction area fines too.You be careful from now on,dear.The moment you spot a school bus,try and go past it like nobody's business." she said.

Thank you.

Then I decided to buy a new book in order to try and cheer myself up.There was this excuse of a book fair happening right outside my office building which consisted of maybe 4 copies each of about 10 different books out of which 8 were for little kids.Anyways,I spotted a copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni and picked it up right away.Oh dear,I could not have picked out a book that was more wrong.It turned out to be a big big mistake.Ok,it is well written and he has depicted the turmoil in Afghanistan very well..yada yada yada.But the book is so damn depressing.And it made me angry.Very angry.I was already all moppy and whiny and this book just threw me right at the bottom.I would not recommend it to anyone.Especially not to someone trying to cheer herself up with a good read.Nope.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Sunday was fun.We met up with one of our friends from high school for lunch at Genghis Khan grill.The food was great and so was the conversation and it was an afternoon extremely well spent.I guess the best part of it all for me was when the friend gave me a goodbye hug and said,

" You know, you just haven't changed since the last time I saw you.You look just the same! "

The last time I saw him was in December 2004.And he said it in a very matter-of-fact manner without actually intending to compliment me at that moment.So that felt really really good!

Like all normal women,I obsess about my weight and appearance.Thing is,though I think I am fat,I don't look fat.Atleast I make sure I dress well enough to camouflage the flab around the tummy.See thats my only grouse.The flabby tummy.More so because there was a point in time when I had the flattest abs ever.And then marriage happened.And laziness happened.And the move to the US happened. And introduction to cheese happened.

So thats that.Among other things,I have finally joined the elite club of people with spring allergies.Oh it has been really bad,the darn allergies.And it didn't help my cause that I got the flu at the same time too.Double whammy.My current trade mark is a humongous box of Kleenex that I lug around all the time.And I am just not able to drink water so I switched to Gatorade before I succumbed to dehydration. Just that each fricking bottle of Gatorade comes loaded with 200 calories.The newer version, G2 has like half the calories but the flavors that it comes in suck.

I hate Murphy and his stupid laws.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Guardian Angel

I am standing in queue at one my favorite restaurants to order lunch and I am playing a little game in my mind.Trying to guess which one of girls behind the counter will be taking my order.And I am hoping that its the one with the pierced lips because she knows me by sight(since I frequent that place so much) and she does a darn good job of waitressing.I am very anal about such things.I prefer my latte at Starbucks in a certain way and there is this cute guy who does makes it just the way I like it.Everyone else there messes up my order.Either there is too much foam or no foam at all when I specify light foam.The temperature is never right when I say I want it extra hot.And on days when I badly need my coffee to be done right,it usually is, thanks to cute guy.

This reminds of one of the most bizzare days of my life ever.A day when everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong but in the end it all worked out fine.

So it was exam time and I was in my final semester of engineering.I had this policy of not going to college any earlier than T-15 minutes mainly because I would invariably be asked to explain a hundred things to a hundred people in the process of which I would end up confusing myself thoroughly.And most importantly because I needed all the time I could get to cram.It was no different on this eventful day either.Except that the weather looked really dubious.My mom kept reminding me to leave earlier than usual but out of sheer habit,I left home at exactly T-25 as it took about 10 minutes by auto from my home to college.I just about turned around the corner of the street and it started to rain so heavily that my umbrella gave way and flew out of my hand.And within seconds I was completely wet.There were no autos in sight and I could not even see what was 5 meters ahead of me as visibility was so poor thanks to the rain.I walked a little ahead to next bus stop hoping that I would get an auto as it was the main road.But again no luck.It was now T-20.My mind was totally blank as I saw no way of getting to college on time for my exam.And just then I heard a loud honk.I look up to see a friend of mine who was a year junior to me.He was on his way home from college and he had decided to take this route as it was less crowded.I had never ever been so happy and relieved to see someone in my whole life!

So this friend of mine,lets call him Mac.Mac offered to drop me to college and I hopped on to his bike.By then the intensity of rain was so much that we could not see a damn thing.There was no way Mac could ride the bike for a good 5 miles with zero visibility.So he suggested that we go to his house which was close by and we could then take his dad's car.So we reached his house and he was kind enough to offer his sister's clothes as I was completely drenched.So I grabbed the first set of salwar kameez in sight and changed hurriedly while he removed the car out of the garage.Since there was no use of carrying my wet back pack,I just picked up my pen case and got into the car.We were half way there when the car suddenly stopped moving.It would not go forward or backwards.We then realized that the car was stuck in a pothole which we had not seen as the streets were flooded.It was T-0.I was hyper-ventilating.Then Mac being the brave guy that he was asked me to just get out of the car.It had stopped raining by then.So we got out of the car,locked it and left it right there.Bang in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Bangalore. Before we got stoned to death by the other motorists for blocking the road,we managed to find an auto and got into it.I was now a little calm and hopeful that I will somehow be able to write the exam.We were about a mile away from college when the auto went into this huge puddle of muddy water all of which landed right on me!I was wearing Mac's sister's dress which was light pink in color and my entire right side was covered with muck.I did not know whether to fret about my appearance or about her dress being ruined!

Finally we reach college at about T + 10 and when it was time to pay the auto guy,both of us realized that we didn't have our wallets with us.We had left it in our jeans pockets when we changed into dry clothes.I could just die right then!Mac asked me to just go ahead and find my exam hall and that he would take the auto back to his house and pay him there.I did as I was told because I was in no state whatsoever to think rationally.I went to the designated building to find that there were 16 rooms on that floor and I had no idea which room I was in.I just stood there in the middle of the corridor.Blank.Covered in muck.Luckily,one of my professors came out for a drink of water and spotted me.He instantly knew that something was wrong.He asked me wait right there while he figured out where I was seated.I stood there nodding my head and shivering. After a couple of minutes he came back and guided me to my room and seat.He got me a cup of water and asked me take a couple of minutes before I started writing.I drank the water just to realize that I was feeling a little damp elsewhere.Nature decided to play truant and I had just gotten my period.Of all things!

I did manage to write the exam and get a decent score.Mac paid the auto guy at this place and then managed to extricate the car from the pothole with the help of the auto driver.And the car was intact, thank god.I got the dress dry cleaned twice before I returned it to his sister.To date every time I think about that one fateful day,I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if Mac hadn't passed by.Mac, I don't think I have thanked you enough for all that you did.You were my guardian angel.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Edited to add: I guess I haven't articulated my thoughts too well.The only bone I have to pick is with the guys over at the slaughter house in this article.Their callous attitude just gets to me.My anger and disgust is solely directed at them and people like them.This post DOES NOT condone a particular lifestyle choice over another.

I am vegetarian. Simply because I believe in it. I have nothing whatsoever against people who eat meat although I cannot relate to it.It is their choice just like being a vegetarian is mine.But what really really gets to me and makes my blood boil is when certain statements are made.Such as:

"Humane and inhumane killing of cows in slaughter house......"

Excuse me?Could it be more paradoxical?You are killing as in ending the cow's life for your own benefit.What is so damn humane about it?It is not like you are euthanizing the poor animal or making sure its death is as painless and quick as possible.So why the pretense?Someone asked me how I can take such a hard stand when capital punishment still prevails.Well,you get the death penalty only if you have committed an extremely heinous crime.What is your excuse?

I do not expect anyone to justify the choices they make.Neither am I proclaiming that eating meat is sinful and vegetarianism is the way to go.All I am trying to say is do not glorify the horrendous act.Animals are killed/hunted for their meat and fur.Period.No point pretending otherwise.No point in justifying the act of killing.All this just makes it harder to stay objective.

Read this.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

We have been following the Texas primaries and caucus closely and for once,I am really enjoying it.Maybe it is because this time around I understand to an extent, whats going on and whats being discussed.Enough to stand my own (for a while atleast) in an elections-oriented discussion.It is amusing to see the two Democratic candidates go at each other like there is no tomorrow.By the time the Democrats are done deciding who they are going to field,both Senators Obama and Clinton would have lost steam.Presumably Senator McCain is having the last laugh.But what a speaker that man Obama is!Inspirational does not begin to describe it.Fun it is.


Things at work are looking up.Some new work just came in and we had the kick-off meeting yesterday.Of course,it didn't help much that our manager spent half his time talking about naming conventions which is like coding 101.I so need to read What Color is my Parachute. Thanks for the suggestion, bird's eye view.


We watched Jackie Brown a couple of days ago.Loved it.We also watched Mithya, another gem of a movie and Rajat Kapoor's directorial debut.Loved it as well.Especially this scene that has Neha Dhupia and Daisy Irani rambling away in Punjabi.Apparently Neha Dhupia can act!


JustFemme,an online magazine, is organizing a women's film festival in Bangalore.The festival features five short films,chronicling women's lives in contemporary India.For more details about the films,visit www.justfemme.in or contact Just Femme at 9741437431.This month's issue features an article written by your's truly as well!


Spring seems so far away.But I couldn't wait any longer so I went ahead and pampered myself with a really cute and springy floral black and white dress.Now the question is how long before I can actually wear it.


I never knew blogging could be so much fun.I do not write as much as I should but it has been a nice experience thus far.I got to know so many intelligent and fun and super-cool people most of whom are of the female persuasion.This is a first for me because I have always had more male friends.I am loving it and I am really really glad that I got to know you all.You all are wonderful and its been a blast interacting with all of you.Cheers!

Edited to add : Rohit rightly pointed out that Mithya is not Rajat Kapoor's directorial debut.I stand corrected.Thanks Rohit!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Moving along...

So after the much needed ranting,I am going to move on.Thanks much, you guys, for your comments and suggestions and for stopping by.You know the truth is that I have nothing against my profession.It is just my current job that sucks big time.But yeah I have been contemplating a change for a while now and it is time that I did something about it.

Su is finally back from hibernation and she tagged me with this really fun meme.I first saw it on Once Again's blog and loved it right there!

Ten things you wish you could say to people right now (don't list names):

1. I wish we could be good friends.I like you for many reasons but then you just go ahead and spoil everything with your bizzare behavior.It is almost like as if you have MPD.
2. I know all about your schemes.I try hard to forget that incident but it is just not possible.You pretend to be someone else all the time.Why?
3. You need to get a life.Not everything is about you.
4. Screw you.I quit.
5. We will do so when we are good and ready.
6. You have changed beyond recognition.I miss the old you.
7. I am so sorry I couldn't make it to your wedding.I know you needed me on that day but I let you down.I am sorry.
8. You need to stop competing with me.We are not the same person.I don't judge you for the choices you have made so you need to stop being a bitch at times.
9. You have led privileged lives so good for you.But that doesn't give you the right to be so sarcastic and downright annoying.
10. I wish you were born as my sister.We would have fought like crazy but then we would have been the best sisters ever.

Nine Things About Yourself:

1. I need to connect with people in a certain way to be able to feel comfortable with them.And the ones I do connect with,I value their association for life.But I can strike a conversation with just about anybody.
2. I am pretty good at a whole lot of things but I am not an expert at anything.I can pick up something new at lightning speed.
3. I lose interest very easily.
4. I am very stubborn.
5. I will do something only if I feel upto it.It is very hard to force me to do something that I don't quite believe in or care for.
6. I love to shop; be it clothes or shoes and accessories or books or something for our home.
7. I used to be very frank and voice my opinions without mincing words.And that landed me in a lot trouble.So I managed to change and become the complete opposite.Now I either say what I feel or I just don't say anything at all.
8. I love to dress up and look good.I love going out.I love attending functions and parties.I like it when the house is full of people.I like good conversation and banter.
9. I have trouble at the very beginning of anything; be it a task at work or a conversation or a relationship.

Eight Ways To Win Your Heart:

1. Humor.Good humor.Make me laugh.
2. Intelligence
3. Be sensitive without being a sissy.
4. Be honest.Don't pretend.Give it to me straight.
5. If you make promises,then keep them.
6. Be attentive.Pamper me.Worship me.
7. Be there for me through good and bad.
Don't be manipulative.I hate mind games.

Seven Things That Cross Your Mind A Lot:

1. How much did we spend vs save this week?
2. Thank you god for making my mom all better.Why her though?But I am glad she is ok.
3. We have such weird relatives.
4. Will I ever get to where I want professionally?
5. Will I ever stop getting pimples?
6. I wish I had more close,really good friends.
7. What if...?

Six Things You Wish You Never Did:

1. Losing my temper with my mom when she was unwell.
2. Letting the politics at work get to me.
3. Trying to be someone else albeit reluctantly with some people to impress them.It just came back to bite me in the ass.
4. Missing one of my closest friend's wedding.
5. Letting people and their attitude get to me.
6. Not being independent enough when I was single.

Five Turn-Off's:

1. Body odor
2. Boorishness and rudeness and arrogance
3. Foul language and cussing for no reason.
4. Unkempt hair and nails.
5. Bad manners and dishonesty

Four Turn-On's

1. Intelligence
2. Great sense of humor
3. Cleanliness; you know like washed hair,clipped nails,good looks,great body and smells divine
4. Mystery

Three Things You Want To Do Before You Die

1. Travel,travel,travel
2. Have the flattest abs ever.
3. Master and become perfect in atleast 2 of the things that I am good at.

Two Smileys that Describe You

1. :-)
2. :-(

One Confession

I judge people.

And now I tag : Dot mom, bird's eye view, shruti, Madhu, Silvara and Pri