Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year = Jodhpur = Fun

2009 is not very far away. Three more days before this year bids a good-bye forever. Like always, I do not plan to spend the new year at home. So yes, I am travelling for the first time on the new year. I leave tonight for The Sun City or the Blue City - Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Jodhpur has its own beautiful and magnificent history to narrate. A trip around the whole Rajasthan has always been a dream for me. I guess I shall cover Rajasthan in bits and pieces. I have already been to Jaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar. Now Jodhpur is the next city to visit. I am looking forward to the trip as always. Plan to meet and stay with some really close school friends. And yeah, I shall attend the new party as well either at the Air Force or the Army base in Jodhpur, if the political situation around the country remains fine. Otherwise, party at home.

Whatever happens, I am all ready to go to Jodhpur and explore. Hail Jodhpur!! Here I come to have fun...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blog Award


I am a proud winner of an honest blogger award. Blue Mist has sent across this award to me. I have never met her in real life, but on this blogging world. It fills me with pride that in this blogging world, people do feel the honesty about the posts and the blogs. Thanks a ton for the award.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Of spices and spicy food.

Spices form an integral part of any food that we cook or eat. Though I am not a person who likes too much of spices but I do not detest them completely. For me spices should be put in the quantity that they lend a perfect flavour to the food. The spices should be put in food and not the other way round.

Of all the spices, something that I completely detest is chillies. Any sort of chilly in the food is a no-no for me... whether its white, red, black or green chilly.. I cannot enjoy or rather eat the food if it has chillies in it. A pinch (exact pinch) of chillies is still fine if it is just to provide the flavour but when there is a spoonful of chillies put, I am off. I dont enjoy masala wafers or kurkure... I have also noticed that eating chillies gives me a severe burning sensation in the stomach and it upsets my stomach as well.

One can make out if I am made to eat chillies... Nose running, eyes watery... I shall be drinking water after every bite. Though this behavior is not very nice to have, it has other problems as well. Whenever I eat out, I request for food which has no chillies. Its difficult to make others understand that I dont want chillies in the food. There is a difference between food which has spices and spicy food.. Many find it difficult to digest that food can be cooked without chillies as well. For them, if there are no chillies, the food can never be tasty. There are times when people ate food from my lunch box and found it surprising that its so tasty despite having no chillies in it..

Many a times I have eaten food at home and then went for any formal gatherings, where I know that I will not get the food which has no chillies in it. I dont eat food in my office cafeteria, even though they offer a wide variety and its free..

When I travel abroad, I never have to worry about the spicy food. Since I know the food that I get there, is perfect and according to my choice.. For me, spices do not just contain chillies. I remember an incident in one of the fine restaurant in Taj, Mumbai. We ordered food and we requested the chef not to put chillies in the food. His first question was: 'Ma'm, do you want no spices at all in the food?' Thats where we made him understand that he can put all the spices like cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon or cardamom, but only he should avoid chillies of any sort. He found it strange that an Indian is asking for a non-spicy food but he was kind enough to cook the food according to our choice and believe me, it was delicious. My mum still makes that dish of broccoli and I enjoy it thoroughly.

Similar incidents happen with our local vegetable shop. As the vendor's habit is, he puts a handful of chillies after I have purchased the vegetables and I have to request him everyday not to put any chillies, since we dont use them.. Even he finds it strange that we dont use chillies in our food.. But thats how it is..

I feel its a matter of personal choice what one wants to eat and can eat. Yes, I cannot eat chillies and I dont see anything wrong with it. I do not even miss them because I have realized that I dont enjoy it. Just a hint of it is still fine, but if you put a spoonful of it, you shall see me running out of the door.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To Doon and back

Growing up in a small town has its own advantages. As a child I used to love walking to the school, later going by cycle. I never had very high ambitions of working in a multi- national or earning a big fat salary, what I earn now. But one thing was there.. I wanted to work. I used to tell my Mom that I will not stay permanently in Dehra Dun.. I will move out one day.. My relatives used to explain that the quality of life in Doon is much better than any other city. It has everything that one can ask for, to live a peaceful life. But after graduation, I wanted to stay in a bigger city..

I still remember how much I cried, the day I got a job in Pune and never got a chance to go back to Doon.. It was because of the fact that I was in Mumbai on a vacation at that time. Applied for a job in Pune and there it was.. I could not even say a final good-bye to the city, my house, my street, my friends, my relatives... There was a time when I did not get a chance to go back to the city for 4-1/2 years... How much I missed each and every bit of the city.. Those lovely mountains which I could see from my bed.. The snow, the green trees, the fresh flowers, the birds chirping, the squirrel dancing, my pet playing, the sun playing hide and seek with the clouds.. each and every bit of Doon I missed and I miss it even now..

I have now realized that no matter wherever I go, I would always want to go back to Doon. Every time the engine pulls the train into Dehra Dun, there is an excitement and joy in my heart.. There is a strange feeling of peace.. I feel safe.. I feel as if the city always welcomes me with its open arms... I generally reach Doon in the night and still there is no fear. I know that this is my city. I have grown up there, studied there and made myself capable to face the world outside.

Now when I am staying in a big city for the past eight years, first Pune and then Gurgaon, I realize how much I miss Dehra Dun. For me its still the place I want to run back to, after a day's hard work. I know I dont go often to Dehra Dun - time constraints do not allow me to do so. I am at a stage where I want a holiday for a couple of weeks and spend in Dehra Dun. I want to experience the life again. I want to meet my friends, teachers, relatives, walk, run and live all over again.. I want to experience its winters, rains and summers again. I want to experience the warmth of the sun in the winters, the cool breezy evenings of the summer, the little rain droplets, the spring, those small lanes, the local market, the bakery, walking past my school, college way upto the Rajpur Road.

I had never thought that I will miss Doon so much once I leave that city. It may be because of the fact that the city made me, what I am today that I miss it so much. It has given me everything that I would ever want from life. It has given me friends for life, education, love, peace, security. I want to rest in peace in Doon forever...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Randomly

Life has been a on roller coaster ride since the past few days. The weekend that just went by was expensive in more than one way. A very close friend has supposedly got engaged - someone who was one of the most eligible bachelor among the crowd. Someone who has a golden heart, who can make you laugh at any time, someone who knows what love and care, is all about. Absolutely adorable and lovable. Well, the news was a shock and a surprise in its own way. I had mixed feelings on hearing the news. I still need sometime to digest the news.

Now the literal part. There was too much of shopping this weekend. Not that anything was planned. It was all on the spur of a moment. The list is elaborate as well as expensive. Whenever there is an upcoming function in the family, it gives more than a reason to we - women to indulge in shopping. There is an engagement function which I have to attend the coming weekend. Not that I wanted to buy anything specifically for it. When I reached the market, I ended up buying a suit reluctantly which was murderously expensive. Another shop - two suits for mom, another shop - a sweater for Mom and one for myself, which is bought just for style and not for warmth, a pair of sandals for mom, a flower vase for the house, some fresh flowers.. all this along with a lunch and a cup of coffee....

I came back in the evening and since I knew that I have spent more than I should have, ended up totaling the amount, for the first time. The amount shocked me beyond imagination... It was more than 11 grands!!! Obviously the most expensive one was my suit... I am thinking whether I should be happy or sad about the expenditure I did on myself... Again mixed feelings and I am unable to decide...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heal the world...

A song that is going on in my head since the past few days...

There's A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
and this place could be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry
In This Place You'll Feel
That There's No Hurt Or Sorrow

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie
Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For
Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living

Then It Feels That Always
Love's Enough For
Us Growing
So Make A Better World
Make A Better World...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

And The Dream We Were
Conceived In
Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We
Once Believed In
Will Shine Again In Grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares

We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

You And For Me
Make it a better place
You And For Me
Make it a better place
You And For Me
Make it a better place
You And For Me
Make it a better place
You And For Me
Heal the world we live in
You And For Me
Save it for our children
You And For Me
Heal the world we live in
You And For Me
Save it for our children
You And For Me
Heal the world we live in
You And For Me
Save it for the children
You And For Me
Heal the world we live in
You And For Me
Save it for the children
You And For Me
Heal the world we live in
You And For Me
Save it for the children
-
Michael Jackson

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is it over?

My Mumbai has been burnt down. The landmarks have been targetted. The fear has been built-in. People have been killed. Several have been left wounded. Some scared for lifetime. My only question is: why? What is mankind upto? Have we become our own enemies? When will this war end? When will we stop killing each other? Will I feel safe venturing out in Mumbai again? Will I be able to step into Taj again without any fear? Will I visit the marine drive and get photos clicked?

Everytime there is a war or attack, we first look for our own people. How selfish it sounds, but thats the truth. My heart is restless after reading, watching, thinking about what had happened. Though the operation has ended, but has it ended the misery forever? This time it was Mumbai, dont know who is the next in line?

O God!! Please dont let this mankind end like this

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My day

31 years ago, I came onto this planet earth on this day - the day was Karthik Purnima according to the Hindu calendar, which also helped my mother to decide my name..

Last year was tough for me, given that I was going through a very bad phase during this time. A lot has changed in this one year. I have become more confident, strong and have built a wall around myself which makes sure that nobody can hurt me. I made a new friend who has become a close friend in a very short span of time. I met a very loving school teacher who means a world to me.

Generally my birthday is just another day with nothing happening. I also dont expect anything to happen on this day. This year it is a working day and for me its just another day.. The moment I reached office, there was a shower of wishes from all over. I was actually surprised that so many people were aware of my birthday and made an effort to wish me. My team members made it all the more special. Even my ex-team members wished me. We went out for lunch. There was a big delicious cake ordered for me. Finally a beautiful bouquet which really touched me. I have never received a bouquet ever from anyone. Though I always thought that may be someday I will also receive a bouquet, whenever I ordered for someone else..

Mom got some good pastry and other delicacies.. She gifted me a lovely sequined purse which I absolutely loved.. All in all it was a good day for me..

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back from Doon

I am back from my short and sweet visit to Dehra Dun - The place about which I have written a number of times and don’t get tire to write more. I was not born here but I have grown up here. I did my education in this place - not just schooling but my graduation as well as masters. I have spent 13 years of my life in Dehra Dun. More than what I have spent at any other place on this planet. I guess the magic of Dehra Dun grows on you as you live there. Life is easy, peaceful, warm..

This particular trip was all the more close to heart. There were two reasons to make it.. One was a friend's wedding and another a chance to meet a very special teacher - Rita Ma'm.. I could have avoided the wedding considering how hectic it was but the temptation to meet my teacher was too good to resist.. She had never taught me in the school since she was a junior school teacher and I joined the school in senior school. I got in touch with her through another good friend . I consider myself blessed to know her. She had made lunch for me. She took me on a ride way upto the Mussoorie road. Sat there and chatted with her for sometime.. Though I know her for a short time, the amount of love and support she has given me, is tremendous. She is always there for me whenever I need someone to pour my heart out to, listen to me, advice me, guide me. Anybody who knows her is blessed.

Met some old school friends in the evening and that was another time to reminiscence about the old times. Journey from Doon to Delhi was another interesting one since a school friend traveled with me. We could not stop talking and remembering about our old times and the amount of fun that we had. In some way, we all miss the days spent in Dehra Dun.. Now we all are busy with our fast moving and busy professional lives. I really wish sometimes that I could re-live those days again. Doon valley, I shall be back soon...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Doon Valley Calling

Travelling to Dehra Dun today and I am excited all over again. Cant wait to be back in those lovely mountains again, even if it is just for a day. Plan to meet a few friends and a special school teacher..
Looking forward to it..

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fauji Connection

I come from a civil background with a family involving businessmen, teachers and engineers. Nobody close in my family had served in armed forces. Given my love for armed forces, I often end up getting in touch with some officer or the other and that also through weird means.. Sometimes it will be as silly as a wrong phone call .. I have got in touch with them through all strange ways once can think of- internet, friend's friend, cousin's friend, network site, phone call, on a journey, even through blog.

Not that I made any efforts to get in touch with anyone, it all happened by chance. Strange to say that I met all kinds of people in the forces. One of the most amusing part is that I never got in touch with a Naval officer, though my brother is in Indian Navy.. They all have been Army officers. Dont know what games destiny plays and why and how do I get in touch with them.

Remembering about the experiences that I have had till now, they have not been very pleasant ones. Is it because I expect them to be overtly gentleman. Most have them have been dishonest, liars, two-timers. They dont even have the courage to accept the truth. Some would even stoop to a level of trapping you emotionally so that they can have a fun time. Given that I am a tough nut to crack, I have had some unpleasant experiences. Sometimes it has even reached to the extent of breaking all the ties with that person, heated arguments, yelling...

What I dont understand is that why do I meet wrong officers everytime. I am quite sure that this is not the case where every officer is wrong. Why do they keep spoiling the image of forces that I have. Why does destiny brings me in front of a person whose behavior forces me to think that is this the way an officer is. Then why am I so passionate about them and the profession. At the end, you feel like hitting them hard for ruining the respect that Army has.

Agreed that they are away from their families most of the times. But does that give them a right to play with anyone's life and have fun at that cost. Who is responsible for their such uncanny behavior. No doubt that now we have more girls who dont want to get in touch with any army officer. They feel that they can never be faithful. They are selfish. They simply know how to play with someone's life and emotions.

Who has given them a right to lie and make fool of others, just because they are in army. Why am I forced to believe that I should not trust any Army officer. I have always respected and loved this profession. I still do. But why do I always bump into someone who is out to spoil this image. These experiences leave me high and dry..

There was a time when I wanted to be an officer myself. But since I am not into that profession, I had thought that atleast having people of that league around will make me feel good. Not that I made any desperate efforts to find them. I agree that I have more knowledge about Army than any normal civilian would have. This is plainly because of my love and passion to know about them. I have always put this profession on a very high step and have great regards for it. I want that it continues to be there.

But one thing is definitely there. What is the reason that I keep meeting officers through some means or the other. What is connection behind it. My friend is really amused with the number of officers that I know. Sometimes even I think that how does that happen. Destiny I guess!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Disappearance

Its been crazy days for me for the past few weeks. With so much pressure on me personally and professionally, life has been a roller coaster ride.. On top of it, there are other problems that keep cropping up. I know life is like that..

A close friend has disappeared from the scene and it worries me. No messages replied, no phone calls answered. Someone who has become very very close in a short span of time. Someone with whom I share everything that is on top of my head.. Someone who understands. Someone who is not biased. Someone who has become an integral part of the life. Suddenly the person disappears from the scene. Not that his whereabouts are not known. But just that the person is not in touch.

I am trying to figure out what has happened. There is a common link between us - our school teacher. A lady though never taught me or has met me, supports me to no end. She is equally upset about this fact. I guess sometimes we are not able to handle too much of an attention from a person or too much of proximity. We need breathing space and thats what we do by carrying ourselves away from one particular person.

Right now, I am not able to handle the absence. I am restless. I am disturbed. I feel miserable. I dont know the reason. I am simply missing my friend. We got in touch through a strange way and the friendship began and was carried on. We got a chance to meet as well. Staying in different cities can be so punishing at times. Why does life brings us to a point where we dont know what to do. We dont know what the other person is thinking. At the same time we are confused ourselves.

I am sure that there is something that has gone wrong. But what is it. The silence kills me. I find it hard to take in. I am praying that the friend bounces back and gets in touch. Its needed.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wrong to be a female

Past few days have been extremely taxing on me. With a death in the family and the never ending pressure to get married has torn me apart. Sometimes I wonder, whats so big about marriage. Why cant people let someone live peacefully even if he/she is not married. Not that I am against marriage but its not a big issue for me.. I dont want to get into just because everyone else has got married.

Meeting the prospective groom, dressing up, how and what you should talk, behave, walk.. Give me a break.. On top of it, there are instruction as to what should be asked and what not. The boy does not want the girl to work after marriage, no matter if she has been all through her life. Fine. Accepted. The boy wants the girl to look after his family completely. Family has to be a top priority anytime. Fine. Accepted. The boy will provide for everything that the girl needs. Fine. Accepted. Now if the girl asks what exactly the boy does and how much does he earns, a big bomb explodes.

What is wrong if the girl wants to know about the guy's income? After all, she is going to spend her life with him and she will be dependent on him. The reason given is that being a girl, she should not ask such question. Why not!!! If at all she wants to know, there are other means to find out about the income. The girl can ask the close relatives. Why ask the boy? But why not the boy? What is the big issue about it? In the first place it is said that the girl should be satisfied, contented before taking any decision. She should think coolly and be comfortable. Now when she tries to clarify her doubts and wants to make things clear, its taken in a wrong way. Then comes the accusation: Being a professional girl, she can never understand the complexities. She is not fit for a business family. She should find someone who is professional.

All these conversations actually make a person think: is it wrong being a girl. Why every adjustment, compromise, sacrifices is expected out of the girl? Will the girl not have insecurity since she has to leave her house, her job, her family and settle all over again with a stranger and his family in his house. How is she expected to trust anyone just like that? Just because she is a girl, doesnt mean that she needs to bow down to every whim and fancy of everyone around. She has a head over her shoulders and has a brain inside it that works and makes her think. How can people accuse the girl and be so negative about her whole being a girl?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Death - The inevitable truth

Life is uncertain. And every time I see a death in the family, the belief becomes stronger. We all know that we will leave this place forever but somewhere we dont realize this.

On Sunday, I lost my eldest Mausaji (Mother's Sister's husband). Someone who had been a father figure to me. Someone who stood by us, whenever there was a need.. Someone who supported by mother in all the troubled times. Someone who always supported me and understood me. He shared all his thoughts, experiences, feelings, happiness, griefs only with me. He had the ability to draw attention wherever he went. People looked upto him for his humility, politeness, humbleness and his selfless nature to help everyone around. Never did he refuse any request of mine, no matter how silly it was. Now that he is no more, I miss his long talks over the phone, his jokes, the games I played with him.. when he lost in the cards/ludo game and how I won money.. nobody could get money from him when he lost, except for me. I am still not able to fathom the fact that he is not there. I will not find him there whenever I go to his house. Yesterday when I was watching him lying lifeless, I could not believe. It was as if he is sleeping. I can shake him to wake up. Then the never ending talks over tea, pakoras would start... He lived a royal life with the love and respect of everyone around and went away peacefully and royally. He looked like a king with all the roses, rajnigandha flowers adorning his body. I am glad we met last weekend and had a great time.

My tears dont stop falling. I wish I could talk to you one more time. That ludo game is still waiting to be finished. The house will not be the same anymore, when I come there next. I will have to stop myself before peeping into your room. There will be no one to feed me so lovingly. There will be no one who will give in to my wishes. There will be no one to who would love me so selflessly and fight for me. The house bears an empty look. You were the life of the house and its gone. You are and shall always be in my memory. I miss you, Mausaji. May your soul rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time for final verdict

Next time, after the dilemma, making compromises and thinking about the marriage, the time has come to take the final decision.. Trust me, I am scared to death to take this step. Its a life time decision for me and my whole life will be dependent on this. I have no idea what the future has to bring in for me. Like anyone else, even I also dont know what will happen.

I am not at all confident at this moment. Even after talking for the second time, I am still in the indecisive mode. And I find it very natural. I have my own set of apprehensions and fear. My independence will be gone. I will be sharing my life with an unknown person. Will I be compatible with him, considering that I am no cool person? Will I have a say in the decisions that are taken later on? What will be my stand in the family? How well am I able to accept them and how well do they accept me. For me adjustment takes a bigger stand than compromise.

They say that a lot goes from the girl's side to make or break a relationship. For me, it takes both the partners to carry the relationship further. Walking an extra mile is not an issue with me, provided I know that my partner will support me. He needs to stand by me like a rock, come what may. I need my partner to reciprocate my love, make me understand what is right and wrong whenever I falter. He should be someone; I can straightaway look upto in times of difficult situation. I want someone who knows that being a human; I am bound to make mistakes just like any other person.

I have been asked to think, think and re-think. Ofcourse it has to be a very conscientious decision on my part. I need to be 100% sure of what I am getting into. I should be prepared to forego with some important things of my life. Life will take a straightaway 180 degrees turn.. It will be completely different from what it is today, and when I say completely, I mean completely. Whatever I am doing right now, will not be there.

I am passing through a difficult time and the only support, as of now, comes from some of my really close friends. They try to make me feel at ease and I am really thankful to them.. I still think, what the chances of meeting again are. Is that a possibility? Even if I talk again, what is the probability that I will be able to decide.. I am into a vicious circle...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dilemma

After all the arranged marriage issue, making compromise - here comes the big one. Dilemma of saying a 'Yes' or a 'No'.. How do the elders expect us to decide in just a meeting and a talk of 15 minutes that we will be able to take the decision. Also when there are other conditions involved like: No work after marriage. Other conditions: Do not ask the boy about his income, no need to ask the boy about his exact nature of work even if you dont understand what he told you hi-level.

This is getting on my nerves as bad as it can get. The unending questions like: What is the need to meet the boy again? What is it that you want to talk about with the boy? Why do you want to know about his work? The reason given by elders is: We know the family, we have met them, we know about their status, they are well off.. Phew!! Poor girl.. Where does she go...

I fail to understand if the girl is not allowed even this tiny bit of independence, then why do we educate them and make them capable of thinking logically. Why do we allow them to develop themselves into a mature thinking adult who knows what is right or wrong. I dont doubt the intentions of the elders and other involved but its the girl who has to spend life with that boy. Isnt it fair enough for her to be satisfied before she decides on such a big decision of her life..

A person who has already crossed the mark of thirty is capable of making decisions that will impact the rest of his life. The person is grown up enough to be a parent yet the parental pressure. If that is not enough, comes the emotional pressure- The mediator is your well-wisher, they know what is good for you, they will find the best match for you, You shall be the happiest there, you are not in the age of making choices, the biological clock is ticking away... Comes the final question: Say a 'Yes' or a 'No'(You better say 'Yes' because you dont have a choice).. Marriage is such a big dilemma. I still dont understand how do people decide in a conversation of just 15 minutes.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Compromise

Sometimes you reach a situation in life where you have to make a compromise, even if that is half-heartedly or rather with no heart. I guess thats why it is called compromise - the middle path where you think more about the others' happiness. Though my last post clearly stated, how uncomfortable I was about getting married to someone through arranged marriage, still I gave in to the plans which Mom had made, since it was to please her...

No, nothing is finalized and I am pretty doubtful as well, like always.. But still I supported her plans or whatever she had thought. In the end I thought that atleast Mom is happy. Also I was being selfish somewhere thinking that tomorrow I can tell that I always supported in all the plans that Mom made about my marriage. I am still not convinced about the whole arranged marriage thing but am doing it out of no choice. My Mother has other responsibilities and I always that there is big hindrance because of me..

Mothers being mothers will do their best to make us happy. Like any parent, even my Mom wants me to settle down, have a family, husband, kids.. I even gave in to her plans to avoid any emotional scene or confrontations. I thought if this is something that makes her happy, then let it be. Atleast I have the final word of saying a 'Yes' or a 'No' in the end. Its a different thing that everyone expects a positive note in the end, which never happens. May be its destiny or may be God has thought something else for me.

One thing is for sure. With each of these incidents, my interest in the whole marriage affair is dying down. I may sound like a pessimistic person but this is what I feel. I am not against marriage but I need to connect with the person before I get married to him. I need to feel for him. I want to know him. I want him to feel for me. I want to know the person. For me its very important to have the emotional bonding before I get married. But the way situation has been and currently is, I am not sure of anything. I am in the state of compromise much to my disappointment and I am trying to figure a way out of this.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marriages

Back to one of my most thought about topic : Marriage. The thought also generates from the fact that I have almost crossed the right age for marriage (according to most of the people around me) and I am provoked by every second relative/friend to settle down at the drop of a hat before it is too late(as if it is not already as per them!!)..

Every few months I hear some prospective proposal coming my way to be assessed. I am not sure why, but this whole idea of arranged marriages is difficult for me to digest. How am I supposed to decide in just one hour that Yes, this is the one for me. Also its really important for me to love a person before I can decide about the next step. All the show-off associated with the arranged marriage puts me off.

So when yesterday my Mom spoke about some boy, my mind was blocked. I am not able to open myself to an arranged marriage sort of thing. I cant go through the act of girl meeting a boy from the marriage perspective. And not just that, but when the whole family gets involved and they pressurize you as to how you should look, walk, talk, behave. At that time, I simply want to push everyone away from me. I want to yell at the top of my voice: This is my life. Please let me decide who I want to spend it with.

The whole arranged marriage affair brings about a heated argument between my Mom and me. She has her point that I am getting old. You need to find someone for yourself. There is a right age for everything. You need to start the family as well later. At that point, I simply want to run away from there. I am not against marriage but arranged marriage, is I guess, not my cup of tea. Meeting a person from the marriage point of view, which has been arranged by the parents does not go well with me..

How can they expect me to like someone in one meeting and decide about the future life. Am I not taking a bigger risk by allowing myself to be ruled by someone, whom I dont even know? And the argument takes even a more ugly picture when the relatives start poking in as well- This cousin is married, that one is getting married, another one had a baby and another is expecting... You are the eldest of them all. God!! Give me a life.

Life does not end if someone is not married. It seems as if its a big crime, since I am not married till now. For me, marriage is about two souls coming together in the course of time, who decide that they want to be with each other in the times to come. They need to feel the commitment from inside and not just because they are married. The love and respect has to be there for each other. I would rather be single and happy rather than being married where we dont love each other and be unhappy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Password protected

I guess this Saturday was horrifying for me in one way or the other. First it was the bomb blast and then my mail ids. In the evening when I tried to login to my yahoo account, I could not. It happened with just two of the ids whereas the other ones were perfectly working fine.. I was scared.. Has someone managed to hack to my account.. I got worried in just a few seconds. Frantically started searching here and there, the means to get my password back.. I tried the yahoo help but it did not work. In the meanwhile, I changed all the other passwords of my other accounts and made them as difficult as possible. I even wrote a mail to yahoo asking them for help since it was the main account which I was not able to login. No reply from them. :-( I started preparing myself that I may have to create another account and make it as secure as possible. I will have to get myself register at the different sites again, not to forget about the banks and hundreds of other places where I had given this account id. I will have to inform my friends again.. Before that I wanted to try for the last time, if I am able to use the old account… and Aloha!!! I could login.. Wow.. that was some magic.. Trust me.. I had tried umpteen times before that unsuccessfully.. Its the same old password that I used and it worked now.. The first thing that I did was to change the password of the yahoo account. But now am in another fix.. The passwords are difficult and confusing for me as well to remember.. :-) Have I fallen into my own trap? Much relief that I was able to get my old account back.. Never did I feel so helpless before because of internet technology. It has over-powered me as well, much to my disappointment.

Delhi Again

So another bomb blast hit the city of Delhi yesterday. This time it was in Mehrauli area. This was exactly two weeks after 5 bomb blasts rocked the city on 13 Sep, 08. It was a narrow escape since we were supposed to be in that area but the change of mind at the last moment prevented me to be there.

Such is the impact of these blasts that we cancelled our evening program of going to a nearby fair in Gurgaon. Had I been alone, I would have still gone but the plan was with Mom, I cancelled it. Every other day/week, we hear about these blasts.. Read about them, watch them on TV, hear them over radio and then forget about it sub-consciously.

The blasts have become a part of our everyday life. So much so that it makes me sad sometimes. And it has affected me in a different way.. Everytime they go off, I wish and pray that there was nobody that I knew and was related to. Last blast was a close shave for one of my team member who was just a few meters away from the blast site. Have we become so used to them or have we become indifferent or selfish that we accept them, as and when they come.

The pictures and news shake us and move us for sometime and then we move ahead. We take life as it comes. We still go to the markets. May be that fear of being in the blast is there at the back of our minds but still we go. The spirit is still alive within us to be able to live and enjoy. May be someday we shall be to able to go out without any fear. May be.. I pray.. I wish..

Monday, September 22, 2008

Interview Again.

The other day, I witnessed a few interviews. Unlike last time where I simply saw people giving interviews, I sat there as an interviewer with another colleague of mine. The very first thing that I noticed was, how the whole attitude of the person changes when he interviews. He thinks himself superior to the other person - a particular trait I noticed in my colleagues.. While I was almost quiet through out the interviews, I watched the expressions, body language, tone of both the parties involved.

My colleague who generally sits straight with both the feet firmly placed on the ground, sat with one leg crossed over the other, trying to appear bossy and a strict person. The questions were fired. Some were meaningful while I thought about a few questions. I would not like to mention those questions here.. I am quite sure the interviewer him self did not know the answer to some of those questions and he expected the interviewee to answer.

The interviewee was quite good in his communication skills as well as he was very confident. I also thought that this person's career is in our hands as of now.. Is the person right for the job? Will he be able to adjust and deliver what will be expected of him. The story does not end here. Once he gets a clear chit from us, he goes for the second round with the Group Managers on our recommendation.

So the question is on us as well, whether we have chosen the right candidate or not.. Sitting on the other side of the fence made me realize that if its difficult to give an interview, its equally difficult or more challenging to take one.. There are cases where the person is actually on the border line and its difficult to decide whether he is apt for the job. Then comes more probing and more questions are asked. The questions range from technical to analytical to general knowledge, to get a feeling of the over-all attitude of the person. Even real life situations are given to know more about the interviewee.. At the end of the interview, while the interviewee was still energetic, I was definitely exhausted with so many questions thrown around... I must admit, it was a different and a good experience for me. I wonder from where do the questions appear to be asked at the spur of a moment!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Restless

One of those days when I am absolutely restless.. I am not sure why I am restless. My mind is not at peace. I am fidgeting with everything around me. I am missing something. I am missing the talk - the need to have someone next to me. Am I missing anyone in particular?? I dont know. But I know for sure that there is a vacuum which needs to be filled. I am not sure how and who needs to do that..

I try to find peace in the work but it doesnt help. I tried going out for a short walk, but that didnt help. My mind is constantly pre-occupied by something whereas I try to divert my focus. I am not able to sit at my seat for a long time. I am talking unnecessary and useless talks with people around me. Nothing makes sense to me. Something is definitely wrong and I am not able to decipher what it is.

I did sleep properly.. I eat properly.. Infact I eat more than the usual these days. What is it that is bothering me and making me uneasy. I have no clue but this state is definitely not good... Its made me more irritable and I want this phase to end ASAP...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wrong

circumstances are wrong
the job that you are into is wrong
the boss calls you wrong
the team members call you wrong
the client calls you wrong
the colleagues call you wrong
smile, its wrong
cry, its wrong
call, its wrong
quiet, its wrong
go out, its wrong
visit friends, its wrong
spend time alone, its wrong
watch TV, its wrong
diet, its wrong
gain weight, its wrong
talk on the phone, its wrong
be aloof, its wrong
no attachments, its wrong
no desires, its wrong
no interests, its wrong
people around you call you wrong
you realize that your whole existence is WRONG
Why are you living after all!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Life

exciting and boring
love and hate
adventurous and monotonous
experienced and new
predictable and mysterious
memories and forgetful
caring and cruel
smile and tears
crowded and lonely
light and dark
mountains and deep seas
spring and autumn
beautiful and ugly
giant and tiny
fragrant and smelling
friendly and stranger
musical and silent
spicy and bland
rocking and smooth
stormy and quiet
wise and silly

Thats how I can sum up the life till now....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Finished eight years

of working on this planet on 4 Sep.. I know.. It seems like yesterday when a young girl of barely 22 years old, straight out of college from small city - Dehra Dun got a job in Pune.... How insecure, frightened and nervous she was... There was not even a single element of excitement in her.. All that she was worried about was: how will she manage alone in that big city.. She has never been out of house before... will she be able to work in such a big organization.. Will she be able to deliver what is expected out of her? What if she fails??

That was me... Eight years ago.. I remember how much I cried when I got the job and had to leave for Pune.. The whole idea of staying away from the family was too much for me at that time, considering the situation that was... I was sure that I will move to Pune only if my Mom moves in with me, otherwise I cant take up the job... I had my turbulent times.. Even when the whole software industry faced a recession in 2001, I managed to pull through with all my hard work and dedication.. All I could see at that time was work and my chance to prove my worth... I worked in day in day out, all night and the rewards did come through...

I have changed my job just once since 2000 and that was purely because of personal reason rather than a professional reason... These eight years have taught me a lot.. I have become much more confident, stronger, mature and to an extent wise... I traveled a lot, though they were all personal trips and now I can also say that I am quite well traveled. All thanks to the job that allowed me to fulfill this dream of mine. I managed to make some absolutely wonderful friends during this journey of eight years... I made mistakes both in my personal and professional life and learnt a lot from them...

Now when I look back, I think I did more than I had ever thought in my professional career. Never had I imagined that I will move out of Dehra Dun to take up the job of a software engineer (without any professional qualification) in an alien city like Pune... When I left Pune three years back, again I thought that I will not go back to the city again.. But as fate would have it, I did go to Pune last month, though for just few hours to meet a friend..

Eight years of my professional journey seems long to me... My life has changed so much.. Friends have changed.. People around me changed their attitude... In some way, my attitude towards life has also changed.. I actually dont want anything more now.. All I have in my life is this job and pressure to work more.. Nothing more... Nothing less.. I guess, my loneliness is taking over and coaxes me to run away from work more often...

Now I need a long break from work and think and decide what is next for me.. I have reached a stage where I dont want to work anymore, atleast for sometime. Sounds depressing, but thats how it is... I wish I had that choice but I dont!! Till then I shall continue working....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lonely

Yeah yeah... one of those times when we feel lonely. You feel the need of having someone to talk to without being given advices.. You want someone to hear you.. You dont want to gain sympathy. You only want to be heard. You want someone to be there, to sit next to you, to hold your hand or simply give you a hug...

The whole world looks like a stranger to you.. Everyone who comes near you, has his own motive or reason behind it.. you feel that nobody wants you for what you are. Everything around you seems dark. You find a reason good enough to smile.. You dont want to go out. You dont want to go to work though you have had your share of break. All you see is problems with no solutions. When you find that your whole existence is at stake..

Nothing seems to interest you, not even what you always liked to do.. Seems like love is missing from your life and you want it.. The loneliness engulfs you to the extent that you want to shut yourself from the whole world.. At times you feel the need of having someone and the other, you want to be alone, sitting on a bench in the park or on a beach or simply locked in the house. Never thought that it can be so painful at times, to be lonely...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wish List

I have loved this song ever since I heard it. I hear this song at the maximum volume with me singing at the top of my voice. Very good music and beautiful lyrics. One of my favorite songs by Pearl Jam. Somewhere I find the lyrics contradictory and they make me think. A song that I can relate myself to, any day, anytime.. A song that describes me many times...

I wish I was a neutron bomb for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The Christmas tree I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence I wish I was the grounds
For fifty million hands upraised and open toward the sky

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down

I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up
I wish...
I wish...
I wish...

- Pearl Jam

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Women Bosses

The other day while I spoke to a friend about the bosses and the difficulties faced in taking leaves, a curt remark left me thinking again : Women bosses are not good. The higher they go up, more unreasonable and less understanding they are. Women are not made to handle higher positions..

I found it to be quite a sexist comment. Why do men feel that women dont make good bosses? I find it more of an ego issue rather than a performance issue. Do they find women tougher to handle or it hurts their self-esteem to accept any directions from women. In a workplace like ours where we equal opportunities are given to both men and women, its highly possible to have more women bosses than men bosses.

In my eight years of experience, I have had the chance of working with both men as well as women bosses, primarily being women bosses. Nowhere had I felt the gender bias coming in, while working with either of them. Both had their own reasons of being understanding or not co-operative at times.

I think sometimes, that in today’s times, do people still feel that women should not get the growth since it makes them less feminist. They feel women turn into hard-core machines with no emotions, feelings attached. They may try to portray themselves as tough nuts to crack simply because they dont want to give the impression of someone, who is vulnerable and can be taken for a ride.

Being a female and a project leader myself, I know how to be reasonable with my team here. Never did they feel that they cannot walk up to me and discuss any issue without any hesitation. Some of them have even gone to the extent of seeking advice on their personal matters, which I generally like to keep away from. The reason being: they found me approachable. If I had acted in a bossy way or the way it is perceived that women are tough bosses, I would not have been able to have the camaraderie with my team members.

It depends from a person to person how good/bad of a boss he/she is. Bringing in a gender quotient makes it unfair. I have personally faced problems with men bosses. I guess bosses should be just seen as bosses and not as male/female bosses when you judge them. When we give tough deadlines, that time its never taken into consideration, whether the person is a male or female, then why do we think in a different way when we work with a women boss.

Any thoughts!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holiday or busy-ness….

What happens when a supposedly called holiday turns out to be a roller coaster ride. Even 10 days spent for the purpose of a holiday do not seem to be enough.. All you have is a long list of To-do things… While you do enjoy all this, you miss that holiday mood.. Fine, office is not there but still you miss the whole holiday mood of relaxed and no rush of getting ready…

Meeting relatives, friends, endless shopping, must visit places which include a visit to the doctor as well… The best part in the whole trip turns out to be meeting some good old friends and a friend who is special in his own way and who takes out time specially for you.. so keep the other things aside… the Mumbai trip made special in its own way.. a visit to Pune to meet old friends and a good friend whom you had never met friend… Thanks for all the hospitality, care, taking me around and spending time especially when you were not well…. I am touched….

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Travel by train


What is it about train travels that excite me to no end. Trains have always fascinated me. No matter where I have to go, I love to travel by train. Sometimes I feel why do we have flights and not trains that connect the whole world.

Ask me to travel the world by a train and I am more than happy to do it.. How I dislike flights and God forbid, if I have to travel by road... But yeah the world is not connected by train all over.. Thats what I always thought it should be...

Trains - The lifeline of Indian transport.... The easiest and the most convenient way to travel. Once you are in, you sit, relax, sleep, or simply gaze out of the window and think about each passing station. Half of the stations that we pass, we will never get down at in our lives, but still it makes me think - what the city outside that station would be like, what is the culture, people, streets... I love the experience of trains passing through some small odd towns, villages where children wave at each passing by train.. Trains passing through fields, some dark tunnels, hilly sides, rivers, waterfalls, desserts... I love the whole experience of a train being pulled by a powerful engine as I bid goodbye to the station and it takes me out of that city... If I travel by flight, I will never get these experiences... All I would see is some clouds and sky..

Call me crazy or mad or insane.. But even in this tech savvy world, I prefer to travel by train, no matter how much time it takes... There are inconveniences associated with it.. May be the smell, the washrooms, but still its worth it.. I have met quite interesting people during train journeys and one of them has become a very good friend of mine and we are still in touch... I still hold the fascination to travel by Shimla-Kalka toy train and the Nilgiri toy train sometime in my life.. The plans for it are there and I am sure they will materialize considering the travel bug that I have in me... :-)

I get a chance to travel by train again today.. I had the option of going by air but I chose train over flight... Pretty excited about it.. Its the journey that excites me more right now rather than the reaching the final destination..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Drooling eyes are directly related to Monday mornings

Monday morning - how everyone dislikes them.. I am no exception. Again this is one of those Mondays where I am introspecting about Sunday and its performance. Now I have those Monday morning blues against what I had written previously. Why do I always feel that weekends pass more quickly than the weekdays. Weekends are made of less than 24 hours per day against the weekdays which cross 24 hours in a day and still they do not seem to get over...

My eyes are heavy and am drooling over the keyboard. I cant see the letters and words correctly. All I want to do is sleep for sometime and then work. Having late night on Sunday is bad... But isnt that is what Sunday is meant for. So if I dont sleep on time on Sunday, I will not get enough sleep and then I will be sleepy on Monday morning... Its a vicious circle, I tell you...

Friday night - sleep late, Saturday morning - get up late, sleep late, Sunday morning - get up late, sleep late, Monday morning - cant get up early.
If I track back, why cant I sleep early on Sunday.. Because I got up late on Sunday so I am not sleepy till late night.. Why did I get up late on Sunday morning since it was a weekend plus I slept late on Saturday night.. Why did I sleep late on Saturday - Its a weekend plus I got up late on Saturday morning... Why did I get up late on Saturday morning - Its a weekend plus I slept late on Friday night.. Why did I sleep late on Friday night - c'mon.. its a weekend ahead so naturally sleep will elude my eyes...

Sometimes I wish Monday should not be there.. After Sunday, directly Tuesday should come. Then atleast I will be at peace that Friday is not very far away.. Once Monday passes, passing the rest of the week is easy for me... :-)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The storm is here.

So all this while when I wondered whether everything is fine or is it the silence before the storm ... The thought has come true.

No prizes for guessing.. It was the silence which waited to be broken into a hurricane or a tornado, if I can use that word here... Just when I thought that things are fine, client is happy, there are no issues, the dream is broken.. Yes, yes.. it was a dream which is broken now and the reality has struck..

With some major decisions being taken in the organization, its quite scary. The kind of reviews that have happened over the past few days, the feedback given, the action steps planned out.. it does not sounds good.. another way of cost cutting. Appraisal time is not very far away. The reviews have happened in a way which has de-moralized everyone around. It has left the feeling that we dont do/know what we are supposed to. What are we here for? Have we ever analyzed the data? The basis of this, was completely on the data which is still not authenticated..

I am restless, sleepless and know not, what to do.. Everyone seems to be trying to save their part through some way or the other but there seems to be no escape. It has caused the much dreaded upheaval and currently has affected everyone including me. While I try to pen down my thoughts here, my mind is running in different directions to figure a way out this situation..

Need space

My Space - One thing that everyone craves for. No matter whether you stay with your family, friends, relatives, room mates, partners, colleagues, spouse or just alone.. We all crave for that my space where nobody is allowed to enter or interfere. I find it fair enough.

Living life so compactly with people surrounded by you all the time, makes you yearn for that space. And this is the space where you dont even want your beloved ones to enter as well.. At the same time, its extremely important that we give the same kind of space to others as well.. Others get the feeling that they can enter into your life and start interfering once you start sharing with them much more than they need to know or more than they had expected.

How much we share with them or how much do we intent to know about them constitutes the whole thing.. But where do we draw that line?? Thats the question. Once we draw the line, can we ever cross it without letting the other person feel that we are trying to get into their space. I have personally experienced that it all depends on us. We can allow people to walk all over us, enquire about us, comment about our lives, give those absolutely not needed advises only if we allow them to do so. If we decide that what we want to share and what not, the person will DARE not..

I am also not ignoring the fact that there are those nosey, pokey kinds who are always restless to know about you and the cause of their sleepless night is, you not sharing your personal life with them. Not that they are concerned about you or genuinely going to help you, but they simply want to enter your space and know about you. It gives them a high and a kind of ego boost that you share everything with them. Such people instantly put me off and make me go aloof with them even more.. sometimes to the extent that I may even stop talking to them anything about me...

When you stay with a person 24/7, it becomes even more important to have that expectation clear with them. I have known people who tend to go overboard with their feelings and share much more than needed and then repent later on. No matter how much you try to hold them back, it falls on deaf ears.. Once their whole life is an open book, they repent and find it difficult to hide those pages which were not supposed to be read by anyone...

The good way to deal with the situation could be to shut the other person up, if they try to get too pokey and make you uncomfortable. It may sound rude in the beginning but it will pass the message across that you are not sharing more than what is needed. The others need to mind their own business, the same way as we do. We do not enter into their lives and expect the same out of them...

This may not be a perfect solution but it may work out to some extent in having your own space... May be…

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Curvy???

While you are struggling with your weight problems, what happens when someone whom you respect, adore and care for, tells you : You have a great figure and those curves are to die for... And mind you, all this is said in a good sense with no other thoughts in mind..

Wondering... Wondering.. Wondering..

Hand Written!!!

How many times has it happened to you, that you have to write some important letter and instead of actually writing it with a pen, you resort to your PC or laptop.. Open MS-Word and start typing... Take a print out and send it across.. Easy and fast... Isnt it...

Well, I am also quite like that... Over the years, I have actually stopped writing with a pen.. Even during meetings, I prefer to make the notes on a notepad on a PC rather than writing them down... First it was to improve my typing speed... Now it has come to a situation that I type faster than I can write.. But the side effect is that my hand-writing has become bad from good.. and its on its way to become even more worse... I cannot hold pen properly, leave aside write...

All this while I was planning to improve my hand-writing by writing one page daily; I had to write a letter to a friend. Since the friend had limited or you can say, actually no access to internet, the only option left is to write a letter by hand which will be posted. I wrote a long letter and what a task it was...

First the search for a letter writing pad... I used to have lots of them till sometime back.. But now I had to search for one.. Once I found the pad, then the search for the right pen, which I can hold for a long time. Which will not pressurize my fingers too much and something which is an easy to write with and the ink also flows properly.. Then I realized, it would be better to write on a rough paper first.. I am not used to writing and I dont like cuttings in the letter incase I write something wrong.. This is not a wordpad where I can simply erase and re-write incase I find something not put across properly...

This actually looks like a big task to me.. I sat down to write the letter. I thought that it will not be more than a few lines since I do not have the patience nor the inclination to write big letters by hand anymore.. Once I started writing, it went on and I had to force myself to stop writing after 4 full long sheets.. The bigger size ones... Wah!! I was amazed myself... How could I write so much.. The best part was that even on those rough papers, I did not make any mistake.. There was no cutting.. I patted myself...

Now the real task was, writing it again on the letter pad.. Thats where the exam started.. It took more than an hour to write the whole thing again on a letter pad which had such small gaps between the lines.. The speed has become really really poor... My hand was aching very badly...

But I was happy at the end result... The hand-writing is not up to my best mark, but it was not bad either... I am happy that I could write a letter after so many years and that also a personal one.. Am sure the friend will be delighted to receive a hand-written letter from me..

The last time when I had written so much was almost eight years ago when I was in the college... Once out of it, writing by hand became less and less to the extent of being minimal.. From someone who got +5 in school for presenting such neat note-books and exam papers, its hard to believe that I am struggling to write a few lines... I still remember the day when my Economics register in class XI and XII was circulated among the students to copy the notes.. The teacher had got the whole register Xeroxed since he found it the perfect one to pass the notes whosoever could not attend his classes...

Now days pass by without me having to write anything with a pen.. I know this is the culprit for bad hand-writing.. To be true, I felt bad for not being able to write as I could before.. I have decided to write a page everyday to improve my hand-writing and my ability to hold the pen again properly.. Hope this helps to an extent..
While I write this post, the pen and the notebook is waiting for me to write today's page...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lull before the storm?

Offlate, things seem to go pretty well.. There is no issue anywhere. Work is fine.. Clients are fine. Boss is fine.. Team members are fine.. No major issues in personal life.. Friends are fine.. Family is fine.. When everything is fine to such a fine extent, it makes me uncomfortable.. Is everything actually fine or is it some lull before a storm??

The kind of life that I am used to living, does not have allow me to be so comfortable.. I am used to be on my toes all the time.. Its hard for me to digest that there are no issues coming from anywhere.. Everyone seems to be happy, satisfied and contented. Is it that everyone has given up on me or there actually is no problem??? Why am I being pessimistic.. I dont know... May be the amount of effort I am putting in, allows this comfort factor to come in..

I know things are fine.. Still I am restless.. somewhere in my heart I have this feeling that there is storm waiting for me and it will be a big one.. I want to be prepared for it, incase there is any... But I also know the fact that such upheavals are not known before.. You can only hope for the best but be prepared for the worst, as the saying goes.. But here the situation is that I dont know what to be prepared for... I cant foresee what can go wrong and where?? Who all will be affected and in what way?? What is it that I can do to make sure that such a phase passes calmly...

May be I am thinking too much.. May be I need to take a break...

Friday, July 11, 2008

American Accent!!!

So the angrezi or the American accent has managed to grabbed a few people I know very closely... I have a few friends staying in US... They are married and have kids... Now that the kids are grown up, they have started the school...

Was talking to one of them and she was quite excited about the fact that her kids were being educated in US... I wondered why?? What is it in US that is not present in India?? She replied that she wants her kids to talk in American accent and that can only be possible if they are educated there... oh!!! American accent... what an answer.... She thinks that her kids will be treated as 'cool' or with respect if they can speak in that accent... she really wants them to pick it up so she is going to be there for a while..

All through this conversation, I wondered what is so special about that accent. Are we not trying to project something else by talking in a different accent... If it is enhancing somebody's vocabulary, its good... But simply to pick up the accent.. This actually reminds me of people who travel overseas for some assignments for a few months/years and talk in that accent when they come back home.. It all sounds so fake and put up...

The whole emphasis on the accent was too much.. It had got nothing to do with learning proper grammar or the language but the accent.. The fact is accepted that one should talk in a proper way but specially in a way that will sound as fake will make the person appear as fake.. may be some people need that education that talking in a particular accent does not makes a person look good but talking in a right way is what is needed the most...

I may sound like who is totally against American culture but the reality is I am too Indian to accept anything else which I find is good here...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Change is constant

Something that I have learnt over a period of time. Change is the only thing that is constant in this world. I guess change always brings about something good and some new challenges as well...

I manage three clients in my office one of which is Siemens. A very demanding and tough to please client. A client who does not appreciates easily(rather rarely they appreciate) and even a small issue is blown out of proportion... A very high visibility, oldest, complex, challenging and high revenue generating client. They are the ones who will not accept even a slightest difference in what they want. Quality has to be upto the mark everytime. Most of you may think, but this is the same with every client... Aint it... No.. siemens is different... I had the same perception till I worked on it... Its like a atom bomb.. You have to be very careful with it.. Otherwise you never know when will it explode and the consequences have a ripple effect till a long time...

I have taken care of it for the last 2 years like a baby. It has been with me almost ever since I joined this office... Now the time has come to hand over this little atom bomb to another colleague... I have mixed emotions for leaving this client... A part of me is happy while a part of me is sad.. This client taught me a lot... Confidence, self-defense, motivation, challenge, handling issues, escalations... My other clients are not so complex.. Though I am getting a new client in place of this, still I dont want to let go of this...

I know I will not have the capacity to handle all the four clients together, still I want to keep it.. I am in the process of starting the transition. Needless to say, the other person is not very happy to get this.. Infact nobody wants it.. At one point of time, even I didnt want it.. But now I am used to it.. If I dont hear something from the other end, it makes me restless.. I feel something is missing.. Is everything alright or it the lull before the storm... But now the time will change.. I will actually not hear anything from them.. Nothing will come to me.. I shall miss the mails.. The fun that I had in this team.. Our ups and downs.. I am surely going to miss it..Infact I have already started ever since the news came to me...

Hope to find similar challenges as I walk along.. Adieus Siemens!!! I shall miss you...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Girl - Bread winner??

I know this is quite a controversial topic but I cant keep myself away from it.. Especially after having a long discussion on it with a friend... All the conversation started with me wanting a break from this monotonous routine... I was on the verge of saying that I dont want to work for sometime... Need a break, want to either chill at home or go on a long vacation or study further....

As the conversation progressed, I shared that this is not possible as of now.. The break is not possible.. For this I will have to leave the job and right now its not feasible for me... I dont have enough savings to support myself for the next two years without working.. The way the inflation is rising, its all the more difficult.. The friend remarked that why am I being the bread winner of the family... It went on to the extent of accusing that being a girl I should not have to worry so much about the house hold expenses... I should be taken care of and a 'male' member in the family should be doing all this... This surprised me..

I realized that this was getting too personal and I didnt want to share my personal life like this... I simply had to tell him that there is no point in arguing.. I know what I am doing and what others in my family do... I dont need to prove a point to him....

What was worth noticing was that even in these days, people think that a girl cannot be a bread winner of the family. Why not.. If the boy and the girl are educated on the same lines, then why can’t a girl support the family, even if it is out of choice... what is wrong in it?? Why cant people still accept the fact that the girl is supporting the family and she is capable of doing it. We talk about equality and then this discrimination comes from people who call themselves educated. Talk about gender bias, or a typical male chauvinist or a hypocrite...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Farewell Sam Bahadur


A couple of days back I head the sad news of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's demise... I am pretty sure that many people are not aware of him. Not until the news was broadcast and his story was published in the news papers... To be honest, though I have a great interest in armed forces, even I didnt have much information about him.. I guess, its like out of sight is out of mind...

Sam Bahadur, as he was fondly called, was the first of the only two army officer to be honoured with the highest rank of Field Marshal of Indian Army. The other one being, Field Marshal K M Cariappa. Manekshaw was one of the 40 cadets of the first batch that passed out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and earned the sobriquet "Sam Bahadur" from soldiers of the 8th Gorkha Rifles of which he was Colonel of the Regiment. His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War. Manekshaw became the 8th Chief of Army Staff when he succeeded General Kumaramangalam on June 7, 1969.

During the 1971 war, Manekshaw showed uncanny ability to motivate the forces, coupling it with a mature war strategy. The war ended with Pakistan's unconditional surrender, and the formation of Bangladesh. More than 45,000 Pakistani soldiers and 45,000 civilian personnel were taken as POWs.

He was the recipient of several honors, the special ones being Padma Vibhushan and Field Marshal.. Handsome, witty and sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Manekshaw had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery - Military Cross - right on the battle front itself during the Second World War. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got Independence.

Manekshaw believed in what he did and stood for what was right, come what may... His whole persona, sense of humor made him a favorite among his men.. He led a glorified life, created by him. He commanded the respect of not just his soldiers, but peers as well as his seniors and the all the distinguished dignitaries.

While his last rites were performed, it was sad to see that none of the three service chiefs or the defence minister or the President or the Prime Minister of the nation were present to attend, specially President being the one who is the supreme commander of all the three forces.. Such are the poignant state of affairs in our country... My small tribute to the departed soul.. May his soul rest in peace...

(With excerpts from various sites.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Musical Discrimination

A few days back one of my friend told us, how she got angry at her folks for addressing her guitar teacher as 'Master'(teacher in hindi). She told them that he doesnt come to teach some tabla that they should address him as 'Master'. Its guitar, so he should be addressed accordingly... What caught my attention was the way, tabla was addressed...

Is learning tabla below dignity or is learning guitar something very sophisticated and of high standards?? If learning tabla is so below standards, then why do we have maestros like Ustaad Zaakhir Hussain or Ustad Allah Rakha Khan... I dont have anything against guitar.. I personally like that music instrument... I have noticed this quite frequently these days. A person who is trying to learn any Indian Classical instrument is considered backwards, if I can use the term... On the other hand, if we find a person who is learning an instrument like guitar or a banjo or drums is considered, modern or cool... Why is it so?

My main point is why discrimination with Indian Classical instruments. Why can’t we accept these instruments with same dignity or pride as any other instrument of the world? Every instrument has its own importance in the music that is created or played. So why do we hold such discrimination against instruments who produce nothing, but soothing music. Or in order to become 'Yo' kinds, we ought to do these things!!!

The story does not end here. Even in my society, during summer holidays, I find families sending their kids to learn music or dance which is of any form, but Indian. Nobody wants them to learn Indian Classical music or dance in any form. Reason being: They want their child to be considered cool or modern... If we as adults don’t understand or give the importance to our own heritage or culture, what else can we expect from our future generations...

I guess something(s) is beyond my comprehension.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weighty Issues

Offlate, all my clothes have started becoming tight. If I use the appropriate word, it will be fit.. They do not have that margin which I want in my clothes. So my jeans, tops, shirts, trousers, suits have all become fit... and that raises an alarm in my head.. I have gained weight... How, where and when - I have no idea or clue. My lifestyle has not changed.. I still eat the same, what I used to before... I have not started eating anything extra...

I dont feel even a bit good about it. I need and have to lose weight and come back to what I was before.. Seeing myself in the mirror gives me a shock.. I have not received any strange looks or comments from anyone, but I still know the fact.. Where I used to eat whatever I want to and whenever I want to, is now under scrutiny. I scrutinize it myself whether I should eat or not.

I have changed my whole diet plan... No more sweets.. No eating out at all.. Rigorous exercise till I come back to my normal else.. This whole weight gain has become an issue with me.. I remember how I had gained weight when I started working almost 8 years back and what kind of effort I had put in to lose it... Again the same situation has arisen..

I am going to fight and be back in my original shape. Dont want to end up buying new jeans or tops later on....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Comparisons

Comparisons - How much I try to keep myself away from this word!! The reason being I dont like it.. I dont like to compare anyone with anyone. But the truth is that the more I try to run away from it, the more it gets closer to me and stays with me.. It comes in every form and everywhere - home, office, among friends, relatives, peers... I guess it sometimes creeps into our love life as well....

I have seen comparisons being made and voiced ever since I was a child... In school, in college, while I grew up I saw among siblings and cousins, then in my office - between managers, between team members, between friends and now I see that in love life as well.. I have somehow never liked to make any comparisons between anyone.

My opinion is that everyone is an individual and has his own individual personality. You cant expect person A to behave in the same manner as person B.. Comparisons have always disappointed me. Why cant we accept the person the way he is.. Why do we always compare him with someone else... Are we not bringing down the importance of him by doing that?

The biggest comparison that I saw recently was in someone's love life. How a friend of mine was comparing her boyfriend with her ex-boyfriend. Her present boyfriend dotes on her and does everything for her, one can dream of. The only short-coming that one could see is that he is slightly bald and dark. According to her, her Ex was really good looking and looks matter a lot.. I simply could not digest the fact that even though her Ex left her and is on his way to marry someone else, still she is comparing her present with her Ex.. It needed some amount of coaching to her, to make her realize that her present is not that bad, the way she thinks. Not that she is gorgeous or stunningly beautiful or a glam doll...

If someone ever tries to compare me with someone, I shut my ears.. I cant hear anything and dont even want to hear.. I cant be that person and that person cant be me.. So let the two remain, the way they are... I dont say that I am perfect.. I dont even intend to be... I am just me.. I dont like comparisons and dont do it myself.. I prefer to keep them away as much as possible, atleast try to.....

Friday, June 06, 2008

UK Rocks

Yes, I am back... Back to apna Bharat Desh... Came back on Sunday but have been extremely busy catching up with the pending work.

What a trip it has been... A mix of hectic as well as pleasure... I did get to see some new places, catch up with old school,office, close friends, relatives, cousins.... I managed to visit Edinburgh (part of Scotland) as well.. I wanted to see more of Scotland but didnt manage to... Atleast I have this label that I did go to Scotland... UK, as always is fantastic. The weather was not so friendly this time still I loved being there.. It rained sometimes, was cloudy or windy or chilly sometimes. Once in a while it was sunny as well. Still it did not dampen my holiday spirit...

I ate a lot, roamed a lot, travelled a lot, slept very less and most important - spent a lot. The prices have shot up like anything. The amount of money I spent on travelling is unbelievable. Though I have not kept any account of it, still am sure it must be more than the airfare.. But I am happy with it... UK has always fascinated me and this fascination grows with every visit. I wish I could spend more time in London than I did..

I did manage to take a few pics with my new Sony DSC H3 camera, which I bought from there. Did some shopping as usual. This time I had decided not to buy any gifts for anyone except for my family and I managed to stick to it. I had some of the best desserts, ice-creams, chocolates, food in UK... I visited London, Leamington Spa, Cheltenham Spa, Oxford, Edinburgh, Reading, Birmingham... Every day I had a different experience and I did meet a lot of interesting people on my every train journey...

I am not very sure whether I will be able to make a trip to UK again. I guess its too much for me to afford. May be I have to find a job there to satiate my hunger to see more of UK. But whatever said and done, UK rocks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vacation Time

The vacation time is here. Yes.. the place has been decided.. All my bags are packed.. I am ready to go. I am all excited.. geared up for the upcoming vacation of two weeks. My tickets are done.. itinerary is done. I am wrapping up the work at office to make sure, nothing needs me, behind my back.. All the gifts are bought. All the required shopping is done. Camera is packed to capture those memories.

I am all in a mood to travel the long distance. I shall be away from this heat and scorching sun of Gurgaon for two weeks. I can enjoy some nice warm weather. I shall walk on the streets, sleep till late, wake up at my own leisure... roam around, eat, shop.. relax.. visit friends, some close relatives.. away from the busy schedule of daily life..

It has been a real roller coaster ride to decide about the vacation, plan for it, and then finally pack... I have wanted a break since a long time... The daily routine has been killing and had become monotonous to the extent that I no longer wanted to work. I am sure this vacation will rejuvenate me, make me think of what I want to do further. It will also help me to connect with the life again. May be I am able to live my life all over again and love as well..

Oh yeah.. Before I bid adieus, I am going to UK similar to last year, but shall be visiting different places.. So I am off for two weeks on the coming Friday to experience the English culture..

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

पुष्प की अभिलाषा (Desire of a Flower)

One of my favourite poem when I was in the school:
चाह नही मैं सुरबाला के
गहनों में गूथां जाऊँ
चाह नही मैं प्रेमी माला में
बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ

चाह नही सम्राटों के
शव पर हे हरि डाला जाऊँ
चाह नही देवों के सिर पर
चढूं भाग्य पर इतराऊं

मुझे तोड़ लेना बनमाली
उस पथ पर तुम देना फ़ेंक
मातृभुमि पर शीश चढाने
जिस पथ जाएँ वीर अनेक
- माखन लाल चतुर्वेदी

Friday, May 09, 2008

Past, Present or Future

What affects us the most: Past, present or future? What I have heard is that past is bygone, you cannot change it. So don’t think about it. Nobody knows about future, so dont think about it. Present is the only situation which is in your hands. So make the most of it.

Fine. But how does past become past. It becomes past only after present has gone. Whatever we do today becomes past. I know I cannot change it. But I cant forget about it. Thats what drives to me to do or not to do in my present or future. Also my present is a result of what I did or what happened in the past. So how can I simply disconnect myself from the past? People who say that dont think about the past, please tell me how is it possible. If past is what makes the present and may drive future to an extent, then how can we simply ignore it. Am I not running away from accepting the truth of the past, which has made my present such?

Similarly, when I talk about present, I think about future as well. My future will be dependent on what happens in my present. If I do something wrong in my present, my future is bound to be affected by it and I am the one who will be solely responsible for it. Nobody else. My present actions will decide about what kind of future I will have. So how can I simply ignore my future and live only in present. I cannot do a task in present, without thinking about its repercussions, which will happen later. I have not seen the future but I know that it will be closely based on what happened in the past and how present is going.

I know I should not be thinking about the past to brood, but past is what makes me experienced. Past is from where I learn, imply to the present, to make the future better. All three are so closely related and connected to each other, that I find it difficult to disconnect from any of them, at any time. I guess it becomes confusing at times, whether to worry about the present which has emerged from the past, or about future which will be resultant of our present.

I dont know.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Soldiers

Ever since I heard this song, it has been there in my head. I guess, this song has made an impact on me, which will not go away.

I memorize, I walk in line
Carry my sacrifice for the sake of the millions
All night you be the light on the water
You be the pride and the sorrow
Shower your love to me there

Summer died before the rain
Unify every soul together be lonely
Ride on follow me to the sunrise
Save me the world that is broken
Nothing but love to be there

Soldiers, father and son
Were soldiers, nowhere to run
We fight or we die
For what are we livin for?
Boys never cry
Soldiers, mother and child
Were soldiers ,the meek and the mild
We stand or we fall

Never mind,dry your eyes
Youll never be far away
Forever beside me
Hold out, I will be your tomorrow
I will walk through the fire
Nothing but love to be there

Soldiers, father and son
Were soldiers,nowhere to run
We fight or we die
For what are we living for
Boys never cry
Soldiers, mother and child
Were soldiers, the meek and the mild
We stand or we fall

Im a little misunderstood
Living all the daydreams and nightmares
Dont do me no good
Im a little bit on the moon
But when the word is - you love me
No moment is too soon

All night give me the light on the water
Give me the pride and the sorrow
Showing your love to me there

Soldiers, father and son
Were soldiers,nowhere to run
We fight or we die
For what are we livinfor?
Boys never cry
Soldiers, mother and child
Were soldiers, the meek and the mild
We stand or we fall

*soldiers, father and son
Were soldiers, nowhere to run
We fight or we die
For what are we livin for?
Boys never cry

*repeat and fade
- Bee Gees

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Disconnected

I have spent more than two years in this office and I still feel like a stranger here. This has never happened with me before. I easily connect with people and can make friends. The office is very different from my previous work place. I dont know why suddenly, I feel more lonely here today. It has been the same ever since I joined this place.

There were turbulent times in the beginning, where I didn’t know the work and still I was expected to do. There was no support, no help, no guidance, no mentoring, no coaching and I handled all the escalations by myself. The work was getting affected so much that I was on the verge of leaving merely after two months of joining this place...

I came out being tough and hard. I stopped taking any non-sense from anyone. I did work according to MY way and yes it did help me to understand and deliver. I realized that whenever I let people do, what they wanted, there were problems always. The team members are young and stubborn and want to work on their own way, without realizing the importance of quality, SLAs, client relationships.

I know people only for work. Sometimes not even that. There are faces, whom I work with, whom I know, whom I recognize and whom I simply see everyday... We are three females who go for lunch everyday and this is ever since we all joined together. If we had not joined together, we would not have known each other. We three are in three different teams. But none of us have been able to find or make any friends. I find people aloof and they like to keep to themselves, or with their own group. Any new person is not welcomed. Nobody cares or bothers about anyone.

I may sound like a total ungrateful person, who is criticizing her work place, but thats the truth.. I am an alien to this place. I think its going to be the same till my last day here...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shaurya


Finally I managed to see Shaurya a couple of days back.. As it is, the movie was related to Armed forces, so I was eager to watch it ever since I came to know about it. They say that the movie is closely based on a Hollywood drama: A Few Good Men, which I have seen a number of times.

The movie is about the court martial of a young Captain Javed Khan, played by Deepak Dobriyal, who is accused of having terrorist connections and killing his fellow officer, Major Virendra Rathod. The movie is also about a lawyer in army, Major Siddhant played by Rahul Bose who never takes life seriously, until this case lands in his court as a defense lawyer. For everyone it seemed to be an open and shut case, where the accused simply needs to plead guilty. Instead Rahul Bose pleads 'Not Guilty' on the first hearing, much to everyone’s surprise.

His only support throughout the case is Minisha Lamba, who plays a journalist in the movie and is primarily responsible for bringing a change in Rahul Bose. How Rahul Bose takes the case forward, and tries to understand the motive, accused and the situation. What seemed to be an open and shut case, the reality was absolutely different from it. It brought into light the powers that can be (mis)used by a senior officer Brig. Rudra Pratap Singh, played by Kay Kay Menon. It also brought into forefront the fake encounters that happen in the name of counter insurgencies.

It brought into light some very sensitive areas of being an officer, a human being, a person's hatred against a religion, wrong use of powers or rank that you hold... There was a scene, when Javed Khan says that he is being punished for what he is. He is a Muslim so he is paying for being that. Another scene which touches you is, Rahul Bose says while remembering his father, who died a martyr's death on the border - The nation got a hero, but I lost my Father.

It brings into light the problems our Indian Army goes through, the difficult situations which the officers have to deal with, how to judge whether it is right or wrong to kill a person, to understand the motive behind why the person is like this. The movie again made me closer to our Armed Forces. How many of us, do ever think about what they go through, staying away from families for months; breathing and fighting in the most difficult situations, where even the basic necessities of life are not available.

Whatever be it, go and watch the movie for power packed performances by Rahul Bose and Kay Kay Menon. I am actually thinking of having the movie in my collection. Go, watch, enjoy and think about it..

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hindi???

Am reading a Hindi novel these days: Munshi Premchand's Godan. The novel presents a heart rending picture of a peasant called Hori and his struggle with the society, life. How he is exploited by the rich and his struggle to survive. It is one his highly acclaimed novel.

As usual, a colleague of mine asked what I am reading these days. The mere mention of Hindi novel raised her eyebrows. It was hard for her to digest that someone can read 'HINDI' novel. My reaction was even more of astonishment. Why not!! Whats wrong in reading a 'HINDI' novel. My mother tongue is Hindi and if there is something good available to read in it, then why not read it.

I generally find this behavior in today's society. Its considered below standard to speak or read anything in Hindi. They will know all about Sidney Sheldon or Khaled Hosseini or Paulo Coelho, but they would not know about Premchand, Mahadevi Verma or Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. Am quite sure, not many people remember about them, even though they did read their literature in either school or college.

Why do people find it so derogatory to read Hindi? I still remember a friend of mine who passed a remark, while we were in school about the Hindi period: 'O God! What a pain to study Hindi after studying such an enriching language like English.' Our Hindi syllabus offered a wide variety of poems, short stories, comprehensions and novels. There were students who failed to pass the Hindi exam or they copied notes from others, including mine to score marks. Still they passed such remarks about the subject.

I sometimes wonder, why dont we take Hindi in such a good stride as English. Agreed that English may be a universally accepted language. But does that mean that we forego or forget about our own Mother tongue. Living in India, still we feel that its below standard to read Hindi. Why? Why cant Hindi language be given the same importance like any other language? Is it so difficult!