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.