Friday, October 31

Now what shall I name this one??

(And lo! That's a title itself! Serendipity!)
To My Prince Charming...
(A blank verse, my first such attempt, where there’s no rhyme, but where I could pour my sentiments without worrying about how the words need to be twisted and how the lines need amendment.)

If only I had you,
With who I could be free,
With who I could share everything, Without being judged or rejected...

If only you were with me,
At times when I was low,
When the world was against me,
And I needed a hand to hold, A chest to hug,
A shoulder to cry...

If only you were mine,
In joys and sorrows alike,
When words were superficial, inadequate...
When togetherness was the only way of experiencing life,
Those moments irreplaceable, unforgettable...
Living the moment, feeling each other’s emotions...

If only we were meant to be,
Shattering the walls that keep us apart,
Love as deep as the ocean, trust as high as the sky, need as huge as the galaxy...

If only wishes were horses, And I belonged to you,
I’d give up on everything else,
If only I had you....

Updates...
Well well, went to High Spirits in KP (heard twas rocking and chill and what not). Unfortuntaely, after my rendezvous, it’s renamed Low Spirits (Sorry Arjun and Nitesh, but just two cute guys at the counter versus terrible seating, music and service just don’t strike a balance!) The next restaurant on the list is our very own Shravan on FC Road. My favorite veg joint so far, I had an awful confrontation there yesterday over the service and food. (I did enjoy eating American Chopsuey and Paneer Chilly after ages, leme not hide that fact).

I think customer service is a concept alien in Pune, where patrons are beggars and hosts are choosers. These people just don’t need customers! You must have heard of Pune’s shaan Chitale Bandhu that will shut doors on your face even as they are winding up and refuse to let you purchase 20 kilos of sweets though you may traveled 20 kms to get there! Shucks...

Goodness is a myth. This is a tried and tested premise (from yours truly, who else?!) People who seem good and sweet and generous almost always have hidden intentions. (Of course the intentions maybe to look altruistic, but that's STILL an intention and aim.) So, don't worship anyone. Just understand how they function and what they pursue. You'll be in safe hands.
Fashion and Golmaal Returns released, and I’m looking forward to watching both. I’m not reading anything at the moment as I want to take some time off before I start on the epic Mahabharata.

Rest is best. Ttyl buddies!

(All those lucky folks who are still celebrating Diwali vacation, I hate you...)

TC
Anuja

Thursday, October 30

Unfinished Business... and a Finished Book

In books, time flies. (In real life too, it does, at times. In movies, more so.)

(Back to my first statement)... In books, time flies. Years go by like a breeze. I’ve finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (refer
this and this). And the read was anything but a breeze. There have been such radical highs and lows, that one moment you’re rejoicing and the next you’re knee-deep in tears.

(GRRRRR!!!! Kick me, someone!) Back AGAIN to my first statement – time F***ING flies. The twins were just-borns on page 15, a year old on page 75, 13 on page 173 and 24 on page 309. But, that’s still a decent pace I guess... In movies, they grow up in a matter of minutes, seconds even! Especially while running... (Keep your kids from sprinting too much if you want them to be babies for sometime, folks! Hehe...)

But, they’ve a story to tell after all, and a plot to share; can’t waste time and reels or pages on paltry details about one’s meals and motions. I read somewhere that most of us have a story inside us to tell, and some have more than one. Fortunately or unfortunately, each one of us thinks so. (Which is why my blog exists in the first place, so I’m not complaining!)

The twins have grown, the elders have matured further. A brilliant contemplation by the author is that some incidents become the defining moments in our lives. And we keep searching for other moments with comparable substance and importance to substitute that one snapshot. Try as we might, we fail... Reminded me of Adler’s theory in psychology that I’d studied at M.A. How the earliest memories we recall are the ones that are most crucial in our lives. I found this quite similar to the life script concept in
Transactional Analysis (TA). And so many converging theories cannot be completely untrue or rubbish. Period.

The secret of the abandoned child was under wraps until almost the end of the book, when the doc suddenly and shockingly died on page 325. I thought the secret was buried with him, but the nurse visits his widow to tell her the true tale of that crazy night when it all started.

Everybody hates the doc for holding back this truth for so long. All detest and abuse him. But, somehow I felt a deep sense of anguish, empathy and pity for him. All he was trying to do was protect his loved ones from pain. And this is what he gets in return for his care and thoughtfulness. A riveting reflection in the novel is that, sometimes the very people we want to keep away from pain and grief are the ones we hurt with our protective efforts. Moral of the story - We should not attempt to set everything right, nor should we impose our judgments on others.
As said before, people think differently about different things and events. Lets accept diversity and respect individuality. Food for thought. And another tidbit - Things we take for granted in our life are the stuff that someone else’s dreams are made of. So, be thankful!

I gobbled down 80 pages on Diwali day. A very intense 80 pages. I cried coz the doc died. I cried coz his son and wife hate him, not accepting or realizing the fact that he loved them so much. I cried coz amidst all this setting, it was finally he was the saddest and loneliest. I cried coz this is what happens in all our lives so often. Words unspoken, emotions unexpressed, conflicts unresolved – we carry so many things with us to the grave, and then there’s no way to set it right. We think we have forever to live, and then time rushes past us, and we can do nothing to hold it back....

Heard “If tomorrow never comes” by Ronan Keating? You must... It’ll show you how there are some things in life that you shouldn’t put off for later...

I know giving away your own daughter and lying to your family about it isn’t a sacred act, but I guess it’s identification that I’m feeling. Watzzat? It’s a defense mechanism where you start identifying yourself with a particular character in a story. You feel that person is exactly you, and his life is just like yours. The parallel ground between the doc and me being, we’re both very protective and we’ve led hard lives, so we put ourselves at risk for the ones we care about. And they hate us in return. And we end up miserable and forlorn. Life is sucha a mystery. People are such puzzles. God’s really a master sculptor and writer.

I had to take a break as I reached the 11th last page. I just couldn’t go on. The last chapter was where the family reaches an agreement, where the twins are reconciled and they move on to their own lives. And the end.

Finito.


- Lonely Empathetic Princess

Wednesday, October 29

Post No. 70! And another Diwali gone...


Hola!
So how was the vacation, people?! Had fun? Had your fill of delicacies and socializing and relaxation and fireworks and fun? How’s it being back at work? (Lucky you bank employees who have a holiday tomr and most of you who have a holiday today for Padva... Envy you!)

How’s it knowing there’s no holiday after this until December?! Not-so-sweet November, eh?!!

(Eeks, did I just drill a hole in your half-sunk ship?!!)

My vacation has been inundated with Diwali sms-es and visitors, sweets and crackers (I didn’t burst any, but that sure didn’t stop my neighbors!) Two days of frenzied activity. I met
my long-lost friend who I didn’t expect would call... And I carried off ethnic stuff as if I was born in them. (Quite surprising for folks who’ve known me personally for ages, I know! Coz I hardly wear salwar suits and when I do the dupatta’s missing, and the churidar/salwar could also be substituted with a more comfortable pair of jeans.) But you know what, I actually like dressing up! All those jewels and trinkets, finery and glitter – I find it all very alluring. Getting ready is fun when you know someone is gona see you and notice all the effort that has gone into being what you look at a moment in time. When you know your attempts will be appreciated. Else, it’s a waste of time... Just like the popular song in Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke says – जब तक न पड़े सजन की नज़र, सिंगार अधुरा रहता है... घूंघट की आड़ से दिलबर का...

(Hey, transliteration's cool, eh? I mean the Hindi script that you see above... What technology, man!)

And another watch-word... Very important... When someone dresses up, it’s civil (and anticipated) to compliment him/her. And then, it’s mandatory to return that compliment. However one actually looks... What’s the harm in making someone feel good?!!!

I come from a typical, contemporary, middle-class family where it isn’t unusual to use worn-out pieces of cloth in the kitchen to mop grime. Until recently, I was accustomed to seeing old napkins, torn vests and frayed towels for varied purposes like wiping washed utensils and cleaning the table after meals. But I was not prepared for what I encountered the other day. I washed my hands at the kitchen sink after popping a slice of apple in my mouth, and I asked mum for a cloth to wipe my hands. (I suspect I have OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; I hate any kind of dirt and I keep washing and smelling my hands a thousand times a day. But more about my idiosyncrasies later.) I turned around and looked at what she was holding out to me – a sock. I mean REALLY! A sock?!! I’m never gona forget this my entire life... A SOCK, for heavens sake??!!!

Life's a song for me; I find a song in everything I see. (Doesn’t mean I’m gona write one on this sock-story. That would be grosser than the act my mum committed!) But, I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. Probably since the time I was 8 or 9. And the title of my first published poem was Life At Home. It found a place in the Pune Times “Budding Poets” section of the Times Of India newspaper – then the No.1 daily in Pune (I dunno now, there are so many all claiming to have the highest readership).

It was a pleasant surprise one morning, when I was in the 5th standard, as I woke up and opened the newspaper (as usual the city section first flinging away the main paper). There was my poem, complete with my name and a pleasing sunrise clipart. As if that rapture wasn’t enough, a cheque landed in our mailbox the next day gifting a cool 100 bucks to the “talented poet”! More than my parents, my Uncle-Aunty (more popularly known as Abba-Ammi) were thrilled. (They have always taken my wins and achievements with more excitement than my parents, and also encouraged me to explore myself. Thanks guys! All credit to you) So, they blew up the piece in the paper and laminated it, and promptly stuck it on the wall in their hall. Ammi still claims it’s my best ever... And I smile in embarrassment as I recall the babyish, apparent lines about fighting and making up at home. (Wouldn’t want to be caught dead with it right now...)

Well, this victory sparked off a series of submissions and publishes (publications?!) and cheques. Abba had said he’d publish a book of my poems, but that never happened, and most of them are still sheltered away in the yellowing pages of my childhood Dear Diary(s). The poetry writing continues, however, and that is what you glimpse fairly often on this new outlet that I have – Blogging rocks! Hope this has a lengthier and lucrative tenure...

TC buddies!
Lonely Princess

Saturday, October 25

Happy Diwali!

Hey buddies!
Betcha missed me!
(PLEASEEEE say yessss... Oh pleaseeeee!!! Sniff sniff... I knew it all along!)
So, the festive season is here, and there's faraal (= the special delicacies associated with Diwali) doing the rounds... Tidy up, mate, the festival of lights is here!
Marigolds all around, in hues of orange and yellow,
Joy in every heart, and hope in minds mellow.

Hawkers on the streets, and shoppers in a rush,
Sweets of all shapes and colors, gifts rich and lush.

Greeting cards and reunions, not a moment dull,
Happiness from every quarter, over dreams and hopes mull.

As new wishes rise, throbbing pains die,
Children do the jig, and old folks sigh.

A bonus for everybody, and a holiday for all,
All and sundry merry at this yearly windfall.

Fireworks in the air, and sparklers in the heart,
Amid unity and love, evilness ripped apart.

As smiles fill the air, discriminations subside,
Diwali’s for the affluent, Diwali’s for the deprived.

As Rama returned home, darkness evaporated,
A million lights shown, and brightness dissipated.

Dress up in latest fashions, and deck up in jewels pretty,
Forget your petty worries, cherish the delights in your kitty.

Pleasure is our pal, say goodbye to grief and fear,
Happy Diwali, everybody; wish you a prosperous new year!

Here’s wishing you all a brilliant Diwali! May all your (decent) dreams come true!

My gift to you?
A looooooooooong weekend! (I’m of from today till the 29th!)

I’m sure you want to know what I want as a return gift... I’m very intuitive (
being a woman...), you see?!! I could have a list delivered to your doorstep in about a week, but for now, a comment on the blog would do! Thanks a ton!

See ya after the holidays!

Cheers!
(Did I hear a sign of relief??!! Must be the breeze or something....)

Hugs & kisses!
Anuja

Thursday, October 23

Gender Benders


Women are smarter than men! Why? A woman’s best friend are diamonds, while a man’s best friend is a dog!!

(Don’t you look at me like that, this ain’t my brainwave! Read it in the Pease couple’s paperback.)

Do you know kids are born without a sense of identity and the gender identification comes only after a particular age? (refer Developmental Psychology) That is why you see infant boys playing with dolls and crockery. Later, when society drives them into the “men” and “women” mould, then kids start doing “guy things” and “girly stuff”. Yet, the basic patterns remain the same. Girls go hush-hush and discuss menstrual cycles, boys share pubertal secrets and fantasies. While the first couple of years in primary school are spent in keeping away from the opposite gender, the high school days are replete with dating and getting cozy with the other. Crying isn’t for men, and aggression isn’t for women. But both engage openly or subtly in them.

I
told you I’d share some fascinating facts about men and women (courtesy: Why Men won’t listen and Women can’t read maps by Allan And Barbara Pease). I’m so conscientious and sincere, na?! Thanks...

So, here are a few interesting things that the book discloses (to those who are unaware) and supports (to us folks who knew it all along) :-


- Women think aloud; if a woman is talking to you a lot, she likes you but if she’s silent you’re in trouble!
- Men hate advice and love advance notice/agendas
- When a man is silent, it’s easy for a woman to start feeling unloved.
- 90% of prisoners are men (the author doesn’t say whether that means women are rarely criminals or they don’t get caught!)
- This one’s my favorite! It’s good to be a man coz you can eat a banana in public without being embarrassed, and its good to be a woman coz you can cross your legs without adjusting yourself!
- Sex - women need a reason, men need a place.
- If a woman is unhappy in her relationships, she can’t concentrate on work. If a man is unhappy at work, he can’t focus on his relationships.
- To prove his love for her, he climbed the highest mountain, swam the deepest ocean and crossed the widest desert. But she left him. He was never home.

I could tell you tons more (principally some overwhelming and hilarious sex facts!); but we need to get on. I promise some more juicy / handy stuff for ya guys in my next post!

And now for the news updates. (Darn, this is getting to be a regular column!)

You must have heard of Raj Thackeray’s arrest. I wouldn’t want to comment on it overtly and explicitly, but I’m sure we all know what our first reactions were. Apparently, they were considering keeping him behind bars till Nov 4th... Hehe, as if! He was let off yesterday and the Marathi manoos celebrated this event with zeal greater than Diwali!

The next bit is about the global financial crisis.
After Jet Airways, it’s Yahoo now that’s sacking people... It never struck me how far-reaching consequences certain events can have. Bhabi was complaining that Vodafone is losing a lot of customers as employees are being fired and obviously their corporate telephone connections are being revoked. This is how the entire puzzle of life fits together! Everything in harmony, all pieces of a single jigsaw. Vary one unit and another changes... Thank God there’s unity there at least...

And to end with a few laughs...
Last night I lay in my bed looking at the beautiful stars, the moon and the sky...then I thought... where the hell is my roof?!!!

First the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, and then the suffering...

Merry Christmas, Enjoy New Year, Happy Easter, Good luck on Valentines, Spooky Halloween & Happy Birthday. Now bug off and don't annoy me for the next 12 months!!!!

Wife: Why are you home so early?Husband: My boss told me to go to hell.

Q: Why are Egyptian children always confused?A: Because after death, their daddy becomes the mummy.

Said to a railroad engineer: What’s the use of having a train schedule if the trains are always late?Reply from the railroad engineer: How would we know they were late, if we didn’t have a schedule?!! ;-)

And check out his amazing post if you love the way Bengalis talk!
http://biprashish.blogspot.com/2008/10/alphabetical-bengali.html

Keep laughing people! See ya!
Princess

Wednesday, October 22

She will be loved...

“Hello?”

“Hey, hiiiiiii!” (excitedly)

“Appuuuu?”

(the excitement dying down) “Anuja Rathi”

“Oh shit! I’m so sorry. I’ve got a new cell-phone and there are no numbers saved on it.”

“That’s OK. Happy birthday.”

“Thanks so much, dear. So how are you?”

“Good, and you?”

“I’m fine.”

“So you in Pune?”

“Ya, came down for my birthday. I was suicidal, so my boss sent me down to celebrate.”

“I thought you were having fun at work.”

“Ya, fun gets monotonous at times.”

“Good for you! So how’s everything?”

“Fine, fine. I’m getting engaged in December. "

"Congrats! So, what does he do? How does he look?"

"He's a s/w engineer. He looks like a rapist in those cheap B-grade flicks...”

Thus went the conversation with my soulmate of college-days, who’s been absconding for the last 2 years... I wonder if she had called ME in the first place, or was she just calling to check whose number a birthday message had come from...

So, the news is she’s getting engaged in a month's time and then married sometime next year. I’m happy for her, and we seemed to connect as the chat went on to the 17th minute. Bonding over the telephone, sharing the separate lives we had lived over the last 24 months. Making plans to meet, asking about each others’ families and jobs. I was happy to have spoken to her. When next? I dunno. Will there be a next? I can’t say. I’ve long stopped trying to cling to people I adore and need. Humans are like sand in your hand; the harder you shut your fist, the lesser sand you collect. I’ve let them fly away like birds. Those that want to come back, I’m still there where they’d left off. Always available for those who need me... I don't believe in closing doors. Ain't life too short for that? Aren't pains, worries and guilts too numerous already?

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter has taken a melancholic turn. The doc’s so bugged with life and guilt that he has immersed himself in photography as a hobby. The wife’s sleeping around with a balding about-to-be-divorced fella. And the son (now 16) has taken cognizance of both the above facts and turned to music and drugs as a respite from his wretched domestic life. The abnormal twin is doing fine, or rather as well as any exceptional creature. As member of the “Upside Down” society (what a queer, cute name!), she and her surrogate mum are coping with life. A twist came when the doc and the runaway nurse meet after almost 15 years. But it didn’t materialize into anything too dramatic or remarkable. As the family is falling to pieces, some lines by Edwards hit home hard :

- No moment is single/disconnected/independent by itself, each moment is one among a series, and each instant has a million different interpretations, depending on how one is feeling about something at a particular moment.
- Sometimes it is best to listen quietly as someone is speaking. Savor the moment. One wrong word (or any interruption, for that matter) may ruin the moment forever.
- (Kids with Down syndrome) ... Quicksilver children... slow to learn, but change moods with lightning speed...

I wasn’t too miserable when I was reading the lines, though. “Temptation” was keeping my spirits above the threshold of depression. Managed to get some chocolate stains on page 222. (Which is my cue to let you know that I’m 130-odd pages away from my next read!)

My aunt has got a new pet, or rather two. One goldfish and another something else that I don’t know. Got the news from my mum who visited them on the weekend. I haven’t seen them yet, but I hear the playful pair are placed in an elegant fish bowl near uncle’s creaky, old gramophone. My first reaction was “Time to gift her a cat” (Hee Hee Hee. WICKED!!! See them horns?!). But, no. I’m gone do nothing of that sort. What I’m gona do is pop in sometime and say hi to Deviprasad and Hariprasad (That’s what my mum has christened them.) Any idea how you identify the gender of a fish? Coz I’m wondering about DeviP and HariP. Poor dears (if they’re the same gender and both straight)!

And two more Qs! Can I ask you, kind buddies, for some help, please?!
- What’s a metatag?
- What’s an RSS / RSS feed?

I know I could google it; but ...

(The invincible BUT again...)

Take Care!
Anuja

Tuesday, October 21

Film-fare

Hello Readers from around the globe!

(My
Feedjit Traffic Map tells me there have been visitors from several metros of India, the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Hawaii, and other places. )

I love movies. I’m a complete addict. I just HAVE to watch 2 movies in the cinema hall per month (minimum). Ok ok, I admit, caramel popcorn does make the endeavor more palatable, especially if the movie is a pale of garbage... But nevertheless, I’m a born movie-buff. I love to laugh and I love to cry and I love to get scared. Which basically translates to my favorite genres – comedy, romance and horror (no Ramu, haven’t forgiven you yet for your disastrous
Phoonk). Action and philosophy-laden movies don’t entice me to the screens. (Unless someone else is paying for my seat and popcorn bucket.)

So, for the benefit of all you folks who stumble here and love Bollywood movies but don’t exactly know what to watch, here’s my list of must-see’s (interspersed with a few Hollywood movies that I just couldn’t disregard).

You can take it for granted that this list is going to be extremely biased (which essentially means that I’ve missed out Deewar and Mission Impossible and other blockbusters.) However,

1. I’ll try my best to consider a broad opinion.
2. I’ll try to keep it brief.
3. I’ll try to pick a few, and I’ll try to pick the best of the best.

(Pls bear in mind that I was born in mid-1985 and that I prefer certain movie categories and that I’m human – I CAN forget to name some movies inspite of liking them!)

Enough commentary... On with the catalog!

A – Andaz Apna Apna (Amir-Salman rib-tickler), Aaina (Juhi-Jackie melodrama)
B – Bhoot (THE diva Urmila), Black (Rani-Big B superhit)
C – Chhoti Si Baat (Amol Palekar comedy), Charlie Chaplin (world-best actor)
D – Don (old one starring Big B), Daddy Day Care (Will Smith comedy)
E – Ek aur Ek Gyarah (Govinda-Sanju slapstick jodi)
F – Fifty First Dates (Hollywood romantic comedy)
G – Golmal (old as well as new, both fun)
H – Hera Pheri (the crazy trio – Akshay, Babu-bhaiya, Sunil), Harry Potter (Goblet of Fire’s my recommendation, but the rest are fine as well)
I – Ishq (funny, romantic drama)
J – Jab We Met (as above – a Kareena-Shahid must-watch)
K – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (grand superhit *ing King Khan, Kajol, Rani )
L – Lagaan (Amir+cricket+British revolution=taaza maal), Laurel & Hardy (need there be any introduction?!)
M – Munnabhai series (Sanju-baba & Circuit at their best), Mummy (exquisite sets & expert direction)
N – Nayak (Anil Kapoor’s contemporary best ever)
O – Omkara (Shakespeare’s play Bollywood-ized)
P – Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya (Salman-Kajol-Arbaz romantic comedy)
Q – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (old Amir-Juhi blockbuster)
R – Rangeela (comedy love triangle *ing Urmila, Amir, Jackie)
S – Saathiya (Vivek and Rani in bitter-sweet chemistry), Spiderman (enchanting effects)
T – The Terminal, Taare Zameen Par, The Little Rascals, Titanic (none need description. All the best in their own ways...)
U – U, Me Aur Hum (Kajol-Ajay in a psychological, passionate flick)
V – Virasat (Anil’s heritage)
W – Waqt (Big B-Akshay rocking jodi)
X – Xorcist (ok, I cheated - it's Exorcist, but doesn't make too much of a difference...)
Y – Ye Dillagi (love triangle – Kajol, Akki, Saif)
Z – Zanjeer (yaari hai imaan mera...)

Your comments, additions, agreements and objections are most welcome. I claim to be no expert; this is my personal listing and rating, be it imprudent or prejudiced.

Which brings me to the last word (Or the last paragraph, rather).

Dostana looks good! The trailers are attractive, Piggy Chops is looking charming, and I’m hoping Aby Baby and Johny Boy manage to convert their off-screen friendship into on-screen dhamaka and turn this movie into a laugh riot. And Karzzzz... (And zzzz... And zzzz...) The movie has been declared another one of His Himeshness’ narcissistic and gibberish productions. So much so, that as I was listening to the radio and “tandoori nights” came on air, the electricity bid a not-so-tearful adieu.

My turn now.

Adios!
Anuja

Monday, October 20

Growing up

Hi!

Good weekend for you? Fine for me. Of my
to-do's. what did I do? Hung out at GB (German Bakery, KP) and then MG. Bought two kick-ass dresses for super-sexy prices. (Checked out several overpriced rags and tatters in the teeniest of shops/boutiques; thank God for all-year-round discount malls!) A hair-band, colorful and pretty. The bangles weren’t looking too appealing on me (which kinda disappointed me, but then my pal reminded me of my blog post where I’d said everything doesn’t suit everybody. How judicious and kind of him. Sniff...) Also saw a delightful Sikh procession on MG, some celebrations of the Guru Granth Saheb. Punjabis are a vibrant and energetic lot!

I can’t help but wince when I hear someone’s from the Merchant Navy. The rationale being I’ve had quite a few friends in that field, and all of them more or less are birds of a feather, which gives me enough corroboration to group them all together as immoral individuals. Of course there are exceptions. There was this guy, my window to this turf (then rare and startling) who seemed a sincere and seedha-saadha Hindustani chhokra. But he confessed of having seen nude women doing vulgar dances in foreign bars and he also described in dirty detail about some uncouth games and activities they do there. Anyways, they earn good money and they visit lovely places abroad, which seems to justify the months they stay away from home and family.

So this other friend called me up the other day, and as I was saying, all birds of a feather, he was telling me about his girlfriend (that he changes every few months, sometimes weeks). I don’t know if this gang-bang thing works for them, but I know the same woman was being dated in turns (I hope!) by the entire guy-group. He found it very unsettling when his ex started going around with his friend in another city. I had to remind him he wasn’t serious about her in the first place, and besides, why mourn over a crush gone away? There are new ones waiting for him in the nation’s capital. Which seemed to soothe him. And then it was chitchat as usual.

I know for a fact that it’s not a guy or gal thing to fret over spoilt/lost love. Gone are the days when we could say that a woman’s love is for real and for ever, and guys are out to do timepass and masti with the gals. I’ve seen guys that have loved with all their heart and passion, and I’ve seen gals who have twisted guys around their little finger making them run around viciously. I’m not advocating or siding with either. But...

(The invincible BUT)

But... you sure cannot deny that a woman is more mature than a man her age. Which is why in India, arranged marriages almost always take place between a guy who is elder to the girl by a couple of years. (NOW you know!)

Women DO have a sixth sense. And as a very great person (I dunno who, but m sure he/she was great) once said – God can’t be there for everyone, so he made a mother... Intuitive and caring, patient and helpful. And every girl has a mother inside her. Which is why mothers, sisters, daughters are concerned about their sons, brothers and fathers. As my mum related to me last evening – our maid refused to let her daughter work in anyone’s house as a sweeper, her exact words “Main karungi, meri beti nahi karegi”. We’re very sure if it had been a father, not only would he have sent his daughter to work as a maid-servant, but also pinched away her earnings to fritter on booze and gamble. Maybe social and economic status affects men’s living and philosophy. But a woman is always a woman, anywhere, anytime.

Have you read Men are from Mars and Women from Venus by the Pease couple? It was an interesting book. Also the sequel - Why Men don’t listen and Women can’t read maps. I found myself smirking quite a few times, and also nodding earnestly more than a couple of times. Especially about how women analyze each and everything and men tend to ignore all that doesn’t involve food, sex, sleep and cricket/football (will share some facts in the subsequent posts, if you are interested). Maybe that is why when anyone wants to really TALK, he/she gets a woman to LISTEN and advise. After all, as Aby Baby said in Hum Tum – men may have stronger muscles, but at things of the heart, they can never equal women.

(Shucks, m sounding so biased about my own kinfolk! Sorry guys. Very unintended.)

And some personal experience: A girlfriend who chats for hours with a man, not giving a pennyworth’s thought about his telephone bill, is adored by the man who has nothing to say to his wife, and yet erupts when his wife suggests they should hang up instead of wasting money on holding on mutely. A boyfriend waits patiently for his girl who’s decking up for hours, but for his wife, it’s a “we’re leaving at 8 sharp so stay ready”. Everything about a lover (man/woman) is admired, and everything about a spouse is detested. (Check “Saathiya” or “Chalte Chalte” from Bollywood for further confirmation)

Why? Why do people (not just any one gender, I’m talking about both) change after marriage? Why do opinions not remain the same after tying the knot? Why do we so often hear that shaadi ke pehle baat aur hoti hai...? As I read somewhere, in a love marriage, the love ends when the marriage begins. Is that really true? And does love really grow in the minds and hearts of spouses tied together in arranged marriages or is it just a sense of unavoidable togetherness that has to last forever? Does sharing end after a love marriage as partners know all about each other and have nothing more to discuss? Or does a helpless and passive acceptance become the norm for couples in arranged marriages? Food for thought.

And here I stop again, with no idea where I started and no clue how I landed up at this end! Sometimes I feel I need that mask-kinda thing tied to horses’ faces that prevents them from looking away from the designated path.

But then is life really that exclusive and clear-cut?

On that note,
Muaaaaaaaaahhhh!
Anuja

Saturday, October 18

Jhanda Uucha Rahe Hamara...

I’m feeling very patriotic। Maybe coz I saw this cute video on You Tube... Check it out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5phDlQIOfls

So, honestly guys and gals, how many of us know the National Anthem by heart? (For those who don’t, take a hike people! Ye video wali bacchi se seekho kuch... Shame on you!)

As I’ve shared before, there’s this
school next to my office where each day they conclude with a recitation of Vande Mataram. I was trying to recall the lyrics of Saare Jahaan Se Accha the other day. I could only recollect one para – Purbat mein ho agar hum, rehta hai dil watan mein... Samjho wahi hume bhi dil ho jaha hamara...

Sad, eh?! I learnt it and 20 other nationalistic poems and songs in school. But now, I hardly remember any. What’s your opinion on Value/Moral Education in schools? And what do you think about screening the National Anthem at theatres? I think both are interesting measures to inculcate discipline and ethics. How far they last? Anybody’s guess...

So the news is that Jet Airways has fired over 1900 employees stirring the MNS into action (updates say they have been reinstated). The global financial crisis has hit organizations big time, and effects are already evident on the share market and other sectors like software and tourism. Outsourcing companies may have a reason to rejoice as they could profit in this period. The Indian Government has announced that Indian banks are safe, so your money’s not in danger (noone’s gona let you know when disaster strikes, so keep praying). Stay updated (don’t depend on me; I don’t read the newspapers or watch news too often! Find out and leme know as well!)

Another piece of news is that Mr. Narendra Modi has said that voting will be made compulsory, and people are venting their ire and discomfort with this statement. Hello?! I thought democracy was all about voting and choosing your own leaders! How does your NOT voting help the nation any? I just don’t understand what humans want...

Saturday today... Weekend time... I want to go to a pub, get smashed and dance like there’s no tomorrow. I want to take a vacation and go off somewhere where I can relax with a book, and watch the waves sipping on coffee and thinking a million deranged and irrational thoughts. Absolutely no disruptions in the form of phone calls or acquaintances.

But here I am, and I know I will do nothing of either sort. I will be the good gal who goes to M. G. Road, has a coffee, chats up with friends and returns home in time for dinner. How rightly do they say : Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere!

And finally, a fascinating tidbit from the useless knowledge widget that you can see on this page: Athazagoraphobia – this is the fear of being ignored or forgotten. I think I have it. And the fear of lizards. And also the fear of dirty animals, be it dogs or cats or whatever. And the fear of being embarrassed. And the fear of failure. And... I’m getting to be your regular hypochondriac. Shut me up, folks!

Ba-bye buddies! Happy weekend!

Lonely Princess

Friday, October 17

Wardrobe Chronicles

“Clothes make a man”

(And they define, classify and distinguish a woman.)

Who you are is determined by what you wear. And we can see this in our daily lives. People who command second looks are most often those who dress well, even if they look like a spoilt plum. (Of course, I’m not talking about the men here; they look at any and every woman who is not invisible. However she may be... And however she dresses... But women, aah, WE know what suits and what doesn’t. At least most of us do. And that is why most men take us shopping... Even tho they wouldn’t want to go shopping with us!!)

Why men take women shopping? Well, usually coz we land great bargains and get the best stuff. We don’t go merely for fancy trends and latest fashion, but we actually USE our brains to ensure what will look good on a particular body type and personality structure. It’s pretty scientific. And besides we have tremendous stamina to visit 10 shops before finally deciding that the blue shirt in shop no. 3 was the finest of the lot. (It goes without saying that we blow the $5 we saved in a quick snack later costing $25. But don’t we deserve something for having spent our precious time, energy and intellect on u?!! How particularly ungrateful! Ughhh...)

And why do you think women DON’T take men shopping? (Unless they need masculine vitality to pay the bills or give a hand with the luggage). One, you guys start fretting right at the second shop (had it not been for us, shopping malls wouldn’t have existed!) Two, you can do little besides nodding your head at things we pick up and ask for opinion. Three, when you actually muster the enthusiasm and let go of your indolence to move around and choose something for us, its so distressing that we can barely manage a sheepish shrug at your ludicrousness. Four, your leering at sexy clothes is NOT helping our shopping targets. Five, you cant stay away from your cel fone as u wait even when we try on just 8 dresses looking for the “perfect night pajamas”. Six... oh I cud go on and on and on. But the point is, when we ask u to go shopping with us, we’re actually doing u a huge favor. So don’t have any misconceptions about the entire episode.

Now that my guy-bashing for the day is done, leme share with u that what looks good on one doesn’t suit the other. And sometimes something just suits NOBODY. There’s no point in spending a bomb on that silly polka-dotted shirt coz Hrithik looked cool in it or that tattered asymmetric yellow gown that Aishwarya wore with panache. Hell, they’re gorgeous, and hell, they are on screen where anything looks fabulous! I mean all magz and tabloids hav long screamed their lungs at having that “little black dress” in your closet. Which I’ve done very well without for the last 20 years. (Even before that, when I was 3, I dint have no black dresses, little or otherwise.) And no regrets! You know what looks good on u. Or rather, what you feel good in, feels good on u. As long as the confidence is in place.

My picks for anyone and everyone who’s interested – Black isn’t the only color in the world. Go ahead and experiment with all hues and tints in the rainbow. I’m not recommending saffron at work, but you cant go wrong with violets and greens. Formals look good on young guys and the right accessories make any lady look classy. Don’t forget the footwear; people often judge others on the basis of what they wear on their feet. If you’re wearing Hawaii chappals, no Armani’s gona make u look impressive. The watchwords are clean and ironed. Not jus the clothes, even the body inside them. A few must-haves, if you must, then I’d say a good pair of jeans (not necessarily branded but certainly something that befits your assets), well-fitting T-shirts and floaters/sneakers for the casual wear. For official occasions, stick to shirts and trousers, and if women aren’t comfortable in them, then salwar kameez in soft colors without the zari and heavy work. And please, for heavens sake, NO DANGLERS AT WORK! (Men, danglers are the mile-long earrings that women wear in their ears forgetting that they should end near the ears also.) I mean at parties they’re ok, but u needn’t be a typical Ramola Sikand (some sidey K serial star on Star Plus that I cant recall right now).

What I need right now are some long tops and Ts (my older ones are bearing the brunt of the festive season and being trashed), decent nightwear and a good pair of jeans – preferably blue. Also some accessories for the hands and hair. And ya, a good stole/mini-shawl for the approaching winter. That about winds it up. Short list, eh?

Hey, I had a haircut! Was bored of the old long hair look, and wanted a change. It looks nice... (As if anything wouldn’t!)

Trust this helps!

See ya soon.

Love,
Princess

Thursday, October 16

Household Hassles


Itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki khaahish ki hai, ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milaane ki saazish ki hai.

Kisi cheez ko sacche dil se chaaho toh saari kaynaat tumhe usse milaane mein jud jati hai.


Its true...

I’m super excited! My blog’s getting noticed, and people from far and wide are commenting and connecting. Thanks a ton, folks! Love ya all...

And psst psst! Simply Marry – a marriage portal has requested my post –
Shaadi Ka Ladoo for their website in the bridology section. Yippee!!! Fancy the editor skimming thru my 10-odd disjointed posts to scoop out the relevant record! I’m so honored and glad... Here’s the link : http://www.simplymarryzine.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=20&Itemid=96

Of course, I’m still nowhere in the Blogger blogs of note archives (doesn’t matter anymore coz I heard bloggers on the network for over 5 years haven’t met this goal either. Which clearly indicates there’s sum jhol... India’s not the only one buddy. Internationally bhi hota hai nepotism.) But I sure am enjoying all the attention! Quite a Leo, eh!

So my brother dint tell mum he had the day off. Big deal? Yes. Coz his wife knew and my mum dint. Also coz he and his wife planned to lunch together and my mum dint know about that either.

The point being that my brother adores my mum (or at least used to, before he got married). There was no secret about the fact that he worshipped my mum. So obviously, he shared everything with her and gave her the lowdown on things he would never ever tell anyone in the world. Obviously Maa returned his affection with fervor and they were a pair (much to my agony and frustration). All until now. He’s been married for around 20 months now, and suddenly there have been too many things my mum doesn’t know about. I know the guy’s settling down now with the wife, so this rift will only increase with time. Pretty much like when my mum married my dad and dad shifted his priorities from his mum to mine. But come on, mom’s clearly going to be hurt. It wasn’t as if she was stopping either of them from spending time together. She just expected to be told in advance... I’m on her side. I’m her daughter. I’ll stand by her. When she’s right I’ll protect her. When she’s wrong I’ll also protect her (but don’t suppose I’m gona let her off; she’ll hear from me.)

Why does this happen? Why does an absolute stranger become so important that one can forsake his own blood and kin? And this isn’t directed to anyone in particular, readers. I mean everyone. Be it a friend or boy/girlfriend or spouse. Even I have turned my back on my family several times as I pursued my love for 3 years. I have lied to them and fought with them as I painted the town red with my friends. All the time I regarded them as my adversaries, out to ruin my fun and happiness, and outsiders were my saviors and ideals. Now when I look back, I see the truth of it all. The concern behind my parents’ harsh words and their fear for my safety. The plans they cancelled coz they had to attend to me and my needs. The pain they must have felt when I spoke back to them or did something against their wishes or likes. All the freedom they had given me, all the things they had never got in their childhood and youth but made available to me – I took it all for granted, and demanded more, more, more. Young blood. Half-understood world and scantily-scrutinized people. Rose-tinted glasses and huge impossible dreams. Argumentative bile and silly notions. Inane comparisons and shallow, senseless teenage norms.

Now when the lovers have gona away, and friends have faded, my parents are what I have left. Coz they didn’t leave me.

I fear to think about my fate had my parents disowned me. I’m an absolute blot on the Marwari community. Having done it all, right from modeling to traveling in secret to going for parties and getting sloshed. I said I was living my life, and I wouldn’t get these days back again. But what about them? They could not live their childhood due to meager resources and strict rules, nor their youth due to societal pressures, and not their current age either coz now the kids have grown and it is they who dominate the scene.

Such is the state of all Indian couples by far that got married in the 70s and 80s. Those that adapted to changing times and values continue to live life satisfactorily. The rest cease to enjoy a moment of bliss. I guess this is why American kids move outta their houses away from their families so that both can enjoy happy lives without encroaching on the other. Familiarity breeds contempt. Distance preserves relations and peace. Detach and carry on, with emotional baggage and expectations your life will only give heartache.

But where am I heading? Did not have this in mind as I embarked on this post. Destiny I guess. My hands and brain get a mind of their own once I start thinking about my blog. There’s so much to say and so much to share.

Anyways, leme wind this up with a heartfelt apology to my parents and all you other parents out there, too. We, as kids don’t realize how much we wound you. But we don’t intend it. We actually love you; it’s just that we have some ends in mind that contradict with your views and hence, the chaos. We know you want our good. But after you warn us once, leave us to our fate. We’ll only end up hating you for smothering and restricting us. Once we suffer for what we do, we’ll be more mature and obedient. Our aches pain you, but we need it. We deserve it. And the practical self-gained knowledge.

I have more than a few ideas about how I’ll bring up my kids. But time will tell what actually happens and how my beliefs change. By the way, I haven’t shared the names of my babies with you! If it’s a gal – Jia. If a boy – Jai. Another gal? No worries - Ria! And a guy again? Dev... Sounds good? Short and sweet... Another name that I love (don’t think I’ll be wanting to have any more after I have 4, so u can adopt the name for your litter!) – Abhimanyu. (Nope, haven’t started the
Mahabharata yet, but the name’s been on my mind for quite a while).

(Oh oh, you dropped in here a li'l late - the name's taken now! Breaking news! Congrats, Puch! You get to keep the name for your kid! Take a bow, boy! Take a bow!)

Take Care!
Lonely Princess


P.S. : Now that you folks have already reached here, you obviously know I've changed my blog's url to http://anujarathi.blogspot.com/ . (It was initially http://life-lonelyprincess.blogspot.com/) Someone very smart told me it was foolish to not have your own name in your blog url. So, I took his advice and changed it. Hope my readers don't stray away coz the old link doesn't pull up!! I'm right here, guys. Ain't going nowhere...

Wednesday, October 15

Being a woman...


I mentioned last time I was ruminating over pregnancy. Not mine (ain’t married yet, tho I know marriage isn’t a prerequisite for getting pregnant)... And nor anybody else’s. Jus chewing over the pros and cons of this state...

It’s all about how old you are. I think when you’re younger, you most often think about boyfrens and affairs and mush-mush (who proposed to whom and what my boyfren gifted me on valentines) stuff. When you step into the golden years where your hair’s salt-and-pepper streaked - tho I’v seen this happen to the youth pretty early these days - all you wonder about are your younger days and the current whims and flaws (flatulence, irritation, et. al) of your spouse. At my age (when most of my peers and agemates are at various stages of getting married, already married, having a baby, and so on), I have experienced my fair share of love and fights, togetherness and loneliness, joys and excitement, sorrow and frustration (u get the point, don’t u?!) All part-and-parcel of growing up in a city like Pune. And now, what’s next? Even as my parents have started looking around for me, I duno jus how keen I am to get married. At times I feel it’s high time I tied the knot. (God knows how much I need a separate room of my own!) And at others, where I see marriages failing and marriages ruining the happiness of those involved, I feel I should consider skipping this episode. But well, one cant stay alone all one’s life, so marriage is bound to happen. To someone. Hopefully sweet and patient. My astrologer said 2009-2011 is the phase when mere haath peele honge (=literally means my hands will be yellow, but don’t worry I’m not catching jaundice or anything, it’s a standard line in India indicating that a woman is getting married)... So be it...

I duno why but I sometimes feel the desire to have a baby. If things had been right, I’d be playing with my niece now, and my maternal pining would be sufficed. To jus keep lookin at the pretty thing and noting all its expressions and actions with love. To hold it and feel responsible and protective. To pat it to sleep and feel complete. To consider its needs way more important and urgent than ur own. To go shoppin wid glee and come bac wid armloads of toys and clothes with nowhere to keep them as the house’s stocked to the limit... Ya, I aint forgettin the fact that there are sleepless nights and irritating wails and shrieks. But no pain no gain, see?

Offo, here I am talking about the subsequent stage when I started out to discuss the previous phase... The Q being - is pregnancy more beneficial or unfavorable?

I kno khandan ka chirag and carrying on the vansh are important concerns. But apart from that, how good is pregnancy? You wake up feelin grouchy and tired. You look fat and untidy. There are so many things u cant do and there are so many things u cant wear. Why the **** do ppl get pregnant??!!!

But well, ur skin starts glowing and ur hair looks lustrous and copious. People fawn over u and u can make the strangest requests in the world which are fulfilled right away! (Remember Salaam Namaste’s Ben & Jerry ice-cream saga?!) U don’t menstruate for 9 months (DO U F***ING KNOW HOW GREAT THAT IS?!!!!) and well, u dnt hav to worry about housework and stuff...Shop to ur heart’s delight, eat wat u pls and jus stay happy... Exercise and walk around doling out smiles by the dozen, and bask in all the love and attention... Wowwwww.... Sighhhhhhhh ...

Honestly, nothing is ourely good or only bad. There’s a good in every bad and a bad in every good. The theory of the Yin-Yang. My favorite Chinese symbol. It depends on what aspect you embrace and accept. What you choose to see and what you decide to detest. I bet if you sat down to pen all the incidents and circumstances in your life, you’d come up with the positives and negatives by the dozen. Jus a lil bit of thot, and the gates of enlightenment open up to you and divulge secrets and practical philosophy.

And finally, its all for the best! As the Big B also agrees, if you get what you wish, good. If you don’t all the better coz God will ensure you get the best... By da way, he was in the hospital on his bday (Oct 11). Duno what’s happening there, but I hope all’s well. The biggest superstar in Bollywood; we wudnt want to lose him so soon! (As proof of his undying popularity, the count of the comments on his last blog post as of now is a whopping 3900!)

Food for thought : When in a fight, getting angry and ignoring are the worst ways to handle the situation. These temporarily-enticing strategies, useful when avoiding the topic at hand, do not crack or calm issues in any way, instead it makes both parties feel frustrated and lost. Besides, the topic doesn’t end there, it returns to haunt you and worsen relationships. Until it meets its rightful resolution. Fortunately or unfortunately, life doesn’t give up like us humans....

What rocks! – Having a secret admirer!

What sucks! – Fake laughter

Hope u guys aint suffering from midweek crisis!
Cheerio!
Anuja

Tuesday, October 14

Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai

Hi,

Life’s not too great. A few smiles squeeze out a hundred frowns and a million tears in return. Such is life. Unpredictable and unalterable. Yes, I know I said you have a choice to turn it around, but right now I’m too weary battling it to actually devote extra effort to modify it.

On the home front, I feel my family could do without me (which is a dreadful sensation). True friends are scarce, and there’s nothing to look forward to. Living one day after the other, breathing from one evening to the next. Just moving on, coz in life, you cant stay stagnant. If you’re inert, you’re as good as lifeless. But isn’t direction as important as the pace?

I cant believ any1 truly loves me, more than anything and anyone else in this world. And so, m in constant pursuit of evidence to prove the opposite. Much to the annoyance and frustration of those who really love me. I feel terrible later coz I know m bein mean and insecure, but I jus cant seem to let go of this temperament. I crave love and praise in all possible forms, and I cant bear my partner to get complacent and take me for granted like a sack of potatoes. Dats jus me, I guess... I need someone to be so utterly devoted to me, that I’m the centre of his/her universe... Someone who adores and admires, cherishes and (damn, I might as well say it!) WORSHIP me at all times! Wat-da-fish, I deserve it! I’m SO gud (=perfect)... Y wud ppl not like me? I’m intelligent, caring, resourceful, smart, mushy, pampering, stylish, gud at social and domestic stuff... (Well, m more honest than modest!) Yes, egoistic and hard to pls, but jus HOW not-do-able can that be?????

EXTRAORDINARILY.

I agree...

Anyways, enough of my crybaby-talk.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is progressing beautifully. Alternate chapters are dedicated to the couple with the normal child and the nurse with the abnormal infant. The poignant developments in the book managed to take me further down from my recesses of depression. Hell, I could be as famous (maybe more!) than Prince-in-the-ditch or other babies in rat-holes, in a few days if I continue with this phase...

Another inducement has been sumthin dats huge and brown, wrapd and well-hidden yet imaginable and attractive. It’s tasty, its bumpy, and it’s tough to let go. Excitin and SO wantable! A perfect companion for the MKD (Memory Keeper’s Daughter)... Watcha thinking, perverts?!! I’m describing the Roasted Almond “Temptation” chocolate bar. Good lord!! ;-)

Hey, this is something I must share with u... In the
book, the writer also brought to the fore the useless norms that we tend to follow as a society, under the guise of etiquettes, inspite of knowing how exasperating and tiresome they can be. When people are relocating someplace or when they are recovering from an illness, others think it their duty to go say hi. Which is quite possibly the last thing the hosts actually wish. In their frenzy of activity with not a second to spare, they are trying to get on with their work, but when guests arrive, they end up wasting precious time in entertaining them and narrating stories that have been repeated to another set of visitors who jus left... Ask me how irritated I used to get when my mum or uncle were in the hospital, and there was this endless stream of well-wishers (!) who had all the time in the world to dress up and wear lipstick and nod their head at the formal offering of tea/snacks! Grrr... Thank Heavens hospitals don’t have knives and bamboos flung around, else I’d make sure a couple more rooms were filled...

By da way, is
pregnancy more advantageous or disadvantageous?

Why I’m asking this? Come back for more!

Send me a ladder someone; need to get outa this abyss.

Lonely Deadpan Princess

Monday, October 13

For Better or For Worse


I’ve finally decided.

This purple top has to go.

It needed a lot of objectivity, a lot of strength to finally come to this verdict. After all, I’ve had it for a better part of almost 5 years. If I recall correctly, I bought this at a corner shop near FC at a 150 bucks or so. I loved the color, the simplicity, the cute yet trendy look. But time waits for no man (or woman), and nor does growth. What looked like a small (and sexy) inch of innocent tummy peek-a-boo has now become a shameful exposition of my assets. Out it has to go, and this week itself, lest I change my mind.

My
wardrobe’s stuffed with clothes. In fact, it’s spilling over, and I haven’t worn half the clothes more than thrice. (Quite Veronicesque - courtesy Archies, eh?!!) Every Diwali my mum insists on cleaning up our abode (Goddess Lakshmi doesn’t venture where thr’s filth and garbage, so get ur act together and start dusting ur den pals. Dontcha want sum money?!!)

While my mum merrily prances around emptying and re-arranging the furniture, cupboards and everything that can be scrubbed and washed, I give myself a pat on the back even if I wipe off the dirt from my study table (used for all purposes except study) and my clothes-cupboard (mum mopped up the book-case remember? One chore less for me! Hee haa haa...) So well, this Diwali I’ve resolved to lighten my closet. Which spells an end for the dresses I’d kept for so long, hoping against hope that I’d get a chance to wear them once somehow, somewhere! High time I accepted that sometimes some things that just don’t fit after a certain period are nothing but baggage that need to be vacated asap afap (as fast as possible). Ba-bye dear green salwar suit that I wore on just 2-3 occasions. Adios my lovely T shirts and tops that carried me thru my junior and senior college days at FC. Farewell my beautiful, comfortable pajamas (that are so blissful although they are tearing at the seams with relentless use!) Goodbye to you all, and may u rest in peace...


Saw a hilarious show on MTV; u mus hav heard of MTV Fully Faltoo... It rocks man! They've made amazing spoofs of ChakDe, Tare Zameen Par, Sarkar, Dhoom (the orginal as well as the sequel), and Rock on among others. Besides, they have an equally side-splitting Awards show where they choose the best among the worst. Tee hee hee... Love your se poemnsa humor folks!

And finally, some news you can use (or rather, news you COULD HAVE used had I informed u earlier.) Madame President Pratibhatai Patil was in the city the last 4 days for some tour or sumthin. Which is y cops were acting so diligent and sincere (NOW u kno!) And also, ICICI bank was in trouble over the weekend as the share market took a tumble and its shares rated 1500 plummeted to 300 bucks. Customers were flocking to banks and ATMs to widdraw their money and close their accounts. Some patrons even got sms-es frm the directors saying funds had not been used in international development, and hence, the bank was safe and thus, the money was protected and in no danger. Well, watever the truth, everyone was scared. M waitin to hear the updates...

An eight-liner to wind up this post...

Do I hate the world?
Or does the world hate me;

Are my rules too rigid?
Or the world too free...
I wana be sombody else,
And see how things work;
In things I deem vile,
Is there some hidden perk?

Leme kno if u know...

Until then!
Lonely Princess

Friday, October 10

Guess who’s bac...

I realized I had stopd breathin.

The emotions of the characters had become my emotions.

The pain of labor.

The controlled confidence and detachedness of an important duty.

The joy of childbirth.

The confused contempt of a complication.

The anger and perilous dejection of helplessness.

The reckless urge to protect our loved ones from sorrow and pain.

Such is my power of the
Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, that m reading at the moment.

The first 40-odd pages, and you kno u got ur hands on a master-storyteller...

I’ve struggled to stop reading lest I finish the entire novel at one go. An absolute winner. Kim, I salute u and ur tremendous thinking and writin skills...

The book tells the tale of how a doctor delivers his own abnormal infant, and not havin the heart to hurt his wife, he sends the baby off to an institution, saying the baby was born dead, but the twin, a bonny boy, is fine – hale and hearty. While the mother grapples with the loss, the nurse takes away the baby to raise as her own, without the doc’s knowledge. What finally happens is anyone’s guess. But the book is nuthin short of marvelous... I’m loving it!

So buddies! .... Guess who’s bac, guess who’s bac, guess who’s bac... Tada-daaa-daaaaaa!

(Me, who else.)

Coz I’m slim shady, yes I’m da real shady...

(Hey, m not slim anymore... I used to b like pretty much in-shape bac in B.A., but now I can c dis extra pound of flesh on my tummy, which isn’t quite so yummy when I luk bac on my modelling pics... Sigh...)

Wasup people?! Life treatin u fair? (Or square?) Greetings for the festive season!

I had taken a mini-break (not for pleasure, unfortunately) but coz sum1 who matters affronted my blog, which directly translates to insulting me. So, I thot I’d stop writin, but then I thot WHAT THE F***?!! I enjoy bloggin and those who wish to read can read, those who don’t, well, what’s callin u here? I cant stop doin thins coz others don’t like them! Its MY life... And I’m livin it once... And I’m gona live it mighty well, even if it offends sum1 who cant see that words are worse dan swords... I’m not forcing any1 to comment or respond to my blog, and nor am I writin to pls anybody...

Havin said dat, a huge load’s off my chest... (Pretty much like tying a black doll at entrances that wards off evil spirits.)

What am I doin these days? Missin bloggin! What else? Nuthin, boring life. Of course m reading n spending time wid family, but nothing exciting on the cards. Surfing’s no fun, work’s boring, and so is evrythin else. What’s pushing me on? The thot of the weekend, and Dorabjee’s frappe in bucketfuls. I wudn’t mind some marshmallows and caramel popcorn, some shoppin and some traveling. But, sumhow everythin’s so drab and dreary...

Fortunately or unfortunately, the city is not going thru the same mood palette. Did u hear about the bomb hoax at Fergusson College? After Symbi, how cud apna Fergi stay away fro the heat and attention?! Turns out the incident was not sucha tasteful affair, and sabke armano pe sambhar phir gaya... The CYG activities and preparations are in full swing in the city. I sneaked a glance at the mini-carnival they had runnin around the entire town on Dassera day. Pretty cute! But m half wondering whether this squad’s conspiring to harass the innocent public. How else wud u explain an invisible barricade bang in the centre of S.B. Road - the expressway of the city, and that too when the streetlights were as good as absent?! I almost had a crash myself, and the very same day I saw that while a 100 policemen were milling around near Tilak Road, not a soul budged when the very next signal gave up its functions...

I recently read the Big B’s blog. Does he write it himself? Every single day? Incredible... His English language skills and depth of thought had me spellbound. Not dat I dint expect it, but well, I sure was impressed. Plus almost half a grand comments for each post! Whew... Its tough bein a celebrity... And one as BIG as the Big B, colossal task!

Forgot to tell ya, I tasted crab for the first time the day I went to
Barbeque Nation. Tasted like wet cotton, and looked like it, too! And finally, finally, finally, I set teeth on Yana’s Macaroni Satellite sizzler. Sabar ka meetha phal wasn’t an apt idiom here, coz I dint enjoy the dish as much as I had on previous occasions, despite waiting over a month!

The weekend’s here. Havin a midweek holiday is sucha blessing! The week seems to shrink and each day becomes more bearable as one dsnt hav to wait too long for the sacred twins Saturday-Sunday. So wat if I hav a half-day on Saturday? Sumthin’s better than nuthin... And finally, its all for the best!

TC fellas! C ya soon!

Love,
Anuja

Tuesday, October 7

Nutty Natters

Its pouring elephants and camels... And I’m a nervous wreck! The lightning’s scaring me to death, and the din of the showers is masking all other sounds. Is this the phase of October heat, or is it the onset of the winter, or is this the pent-up fury of the monsoons? (Whoever’s singing the Raag Malhar, take it ez buddy. U’ll bring the city down!)

Thanks all u people for ur kind and dreadful remarks, suggestions and criticisms. The blog’s grown, I’ve grown, and as I heard somewhr - Watever doesn’t destroy me only makes me stronger...

I’m learning, life’s teaching me a million things. Do I seem wiser? I’m eatin a lot of walnuts these days... (Said to improve the brain, u dumbheads! Go, get some rite this instant! You need them more than I do...)

I saw Kidnap over the weekend (“Kidnaeep” in the Hindi script). And I wonder y I even saw it (It got an awful rating in the Sunday newspaper)... (Walnuts don’t work in all areas at all times, I guess)... Courtesy Sanju baba? He’s a dud in the film. For Imran Khan? Aamir mus b contemplating suicide being uncle to dis pokerfaced punk. Enticed by Minissha? She does titillate the audiences wid her cleavage-revealing dresses (or “undresses” to be more precise), but she only made me yelp wid disgust at her horrendous dialogue delivery. Cud it b for Vidya Malawade – the smart young goal-keeper frm ChakDe who poses as the angry, independent mom to an equally young daughter? She manages to retain a constipated expression on her face throughout the movie (jus like v managed to emerge frm the movie theatre alive). Maybe for the unknown-but-expected plot? A young boy rashly sentenced to imprisonment for an unintended felony seeks revenge from his wealthy, successful detractor. How? By kidnapping his daughter, and making him run around like a crazy chimpanzee doin weird antics. Point noted. Sanjay Gadhvi said he wudn’t hav made the film had Sanjay Dutt refusd to act in it. I’m speculating wat made Sanjubaba say yes to this catastrophe... Was he lookin at dis as a comeback vehicle? He mus hav been in a state of delusion at the time he signed this one... I’m wonderin wat will be Urmila’s fate whn her Karzzzzzzzzz (...and some more zzzz.... Himesh’s remake of the golden Rishi Kapoor hit; anodr fiasco in the making) and EMI (a multi-starrer that sounds promising) hit the screens...

I went thru some interesting episodes related to
vehicles and traffic this week (so, wats new, u claim?!) Everything. Coz after getting caught and fined for an expired PUC certificate, I got a new PUC widout even havin my bike checked for the purpose/process! I sincerely went to the petrol pump PUC stand and obediently forked out 30 bux to the guy wielding the PUC slip book. He finished filling the pretty green slip, and handed it over to me. I was waiting for him to insert that pipe (or whatever) in my bike’s silencer (or whatever, who cares about the goddamn jargon!) but nothing doing... He walked away and left me standing astounded, amused and a tad annoyed. Where is the country heading, folks? Now I know how the furiously irritating kinetics, tempos, buses and trucks manage to get off despite of the clouds of smoke billowin outta their vehicles that mask, plaster and layer riders’ faces...

Another observation was the ultra-cool method to identify and prove unruly two-wheeler parking... In old days, the scene went like this - The snazzy blue truck, conspicuous in its unfussiness, hurtles to a stop near the offender’s bike parked outside the designated area. The team inside (probably the most efficient, hardworking and earnest employees in the world!) jumps out even before the vehicle has stopd, and wid marvelous ease props the bike up to get carted off to the nearest police station. Now the process is the same, except for one small change. One of the blue men video-shoots the location of the bike and the nearest white line boundary, recording the obviousness of the rider’s folly and the necessity/appropriateness of the tow-away action. It looked remarkable as the rest of the team waited patiently for the shooting to be done, and got bac to business!

A funny thin dat hapd was after picking up one bike, the team was debating and contemplating wat to do wid anodr lawbreaking scooter. But dat’s exactly wat contemplating means - u never know which direction the tide will turn... A young boy who was about to rejoice his witty behavior when asked if he was the owner of that oder scooter, had his smart grin wiped out as the team took off wid his vehicle aftr sum heated thinking and discussion. (Guilty, my lord! I could’ve prevented this had I called out to him and told him he was parking outside the border. Naseeb apna apna)

I finished
Six Suspects. Vikas Swarup, pls stop writing, take a break, and return whn u hav sumthin fresh and appealing in mind. Of the 470-odd pages, I enjoyed less than 50 pages in the book (those dat spoke of the actress and her diaries). The scheme builds up well, but the end is an anti-climax. Turns out it is the reporter who actually fires the terminal shot, but most of the characters are either accused of the act, or they believ in their own role as the murderer. I am so infuriated that way the book has ended! I expected much better... Anoder 500 bux down the drain... Anoder one-book wonder proclaimed and hailed and forgotten...

Looks like this post is nuthin but izzat-ka-bhaji-pala (or izzat-ka-kachra, in simpler terms) for the mentioned entities/topics. So, leme end here before I do any further damage with my political impropriety... Can’t get on the wrong side of people so publicly!

On a positive note, I’m now listed on Indiblogger, so hopefully I’ll get more hits and comments ;-) JK (Jus Kiddin, freakos! Havnt u got those walnuts, yet?!)... It’s a great forum and its amazing to c so many Indians bloggin away to glory! Also, started Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Gobbled down 20 pages, and leme tell u its fascinating! Absolutely un-put-down-able. The literary style, the moving words, the engaging narrative. I think m gona enjoy this one... 401 pages in all, 381 to go... What’s it about? Shall tell ya next time!

Asta-la-vista baby!
Anuja

Monday, October 6

Mad(e) for each oder...

Further to our previous tête-à-tête on Marital Bliss (Shaadi Ka Ladoo), I hav been thinking how to add to dat 20-something list widout seemin too snobbish and demandin (!) And here are a few more pointers... Which I’m sure you’ll nod with...

Possibly the most crucial requirement in wedlock (and the most difficult, at times) is faith. You want your partner to believ u at all times (provided u hav a reputation in truthfulness), and you want him/her to support you in all your senseless and bright ideas/actions. Itna bharosa, itni pehchan, ki even wid eyes blindfolded, ur partner can guess and predict ur current and future behavior. Couples wid this kinda understandin invariably join the ranks of the happy and contented. Aah, its sooooo relievin and exhilarating to hav sum1 trust u so much!

Further to dat, u want your spouse to stand by u (even when u wrong), to pose as ur shield when the entire world’s against u (which more often dan not, is ur own family). Each one desires someone who treats ur respect as his/her own, and would not bear to c u belittled in anyway in public (Tho he’ll yell and brag about it till he hits d grave!) I kno the "do jism, ek jaan" statement sounds too dramatic and filmi, but its true! No1 can survive alone and fight all his/her fights alone... At the end of the day (and even during it), you need someone to rest your tired (and empty) head on... and jus release a HUGE sighhh.... Hushhhhh... (Not the Ramdeo Baba one, people. His pranayam therapy gives me the jitters!)

A life-mate who can make up for ur shortcomings, and manage your weaknesses with empathy and care, one who does not target your weak points and painful nerves (what’s the English version of dukhti rugh?), someone who may not share your likes, but lets u talk on and on (and on!) about your fav topics (and the jackpot is if he/she REALLY listens!)...

A spouse who knows when enuf is too much (wrt teasing) or too less (wrt ice-cream), someone who knows when sumthin’s hurtin, and doesn’t force u to either cry or laugh it off... jus lets u b, widout any pretensions or facades...

A lifelong friend who knows fights cant b avoided forever, yet does not put in dat extra effort to incorporate such exchanges in daily life. One who dsnt fight to WIN, but to resolve issues - clearly, the target is issues and behaviors, not opportunities for character assassination and accusations and complaints (dat usually start wid “you always” and “you never”)... A sane individual who recognizes dat putting off conflict-resolution and sleeping over an argument can only multiply and boomerang a hundred-fold...

And leme not forget, a couple who can laugh wid eachoder, and AT eachoder... As also a couple who can cry wid eachoder, and FOR eachoder...

Huhhh... Amazin how the words flow when one’s feelin committed and animated! I’m not sure whether these qualities flow as lucidly in the lives of wedded pairs, but these sure are some steps dat each one of us (married or not) can take to nurture better relationships. It’s tough (whoever said life was easy?!!) but then wats life widout a challenge, and wats a challenge widout someone to hold your hand?!

Find that someone, and if you already have, cherish him/her...
The lonely know how much they fret in solitude while putting on a phony “Singles Rock!” grin in fronta others...

I’m there...
Always...
All ways...

Lonely Princess

Saturday, October 4

Personality

An academic topic today, coz m not in the mood for incoherent, humdrum baloney...

(Okay, I used the synonyms from Microsoft Word... so wat? Better than saying “the usual, disconnected nonsense”! Need some variety even in the vocab, yaar!)

Those of you who have come here for fun n frolic, pls excuse this post... Can’t get too predictable, u know... Hence, the diversion....

So, what do you comprehend when you hear the word “personality”? What characteristics do you observe/evaluate? Temperament? Style? Physical features? Mannerisms? Attitude? Or something else?

Psychology defines personality as the consistent and unique pattern of thinking, feeling, behaving (which basically means that a person has his/her own systematic, distinctive and enduring set of traits, that affect how one perceives the world, what meanings one finds and how one applies them).

Few in this world wouldn’t like to know more about themselves. However much we know about the self, we are always willing to listen to more. (That’s how the astrologists, palmists, and us psychologists earn our bread... and butter... and jam... and cornflakes even). A host of tools, free and at a fee, are available on the internet and in the market to achieve this end. While the authenticity and accuracy of the free online tools can be doubted, we can still arrive at a reasonably discounted picture of the self from these instruments. Each has its own terminologies, theories, applications and psychometric properties. While a comprehensive study can give a thorough portrayal, the simple jargon-free analysis is gud enuf for the curious layman. Bear in mind, however, that no personality is good or bad. Each has its own peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses. You can just understand yourself, appreciate the positives, and attempt to change things in yourself that may not be as you want them.

Obviously, personality is too broad to be understood holistically with a single instrument. So, there are different tests and tools that focus on varied aspects of this concept viz intelligence, leadership style, achievement motivation, etc. Some of the most popular ones that describe/sort individuals are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), 16 Personality Factors (16 Pf), NEO-PI-R / NEO-FFI (Personality Inventory based on the Big Five Model), etc.

The MBTI by the mother-daughter duo Myers-Briggs is based on Jung’s personality theory. It has 4 dimensions: Extraversion – Introversion, Sensing – Intuition, Thinking – Feeling, Judging – Perceiving, that combine to form 16 personality types, each person can belong to one and only one. I am an ESTJ, which basically means that I am conscientious, practical, dependable, objective, outspoken and self-confident. (Ahem, and all u thot was I was a narcissistic, egoistic, no-gooder!) I find the MBTI highly relevant in a variety of contexts (not just coz my employer is a huge MBTI fan, but also coz personality expressions become highly predictable in different situations from this perspective). One tends to feel comfortable with people belonging to the same type, but wider avenues can be explored and accomplished by interacting with other types.

The 16 Pf by Cattell gives 16 factors that are basically adjectives applying to personality. When these 16 factors were judged to be overlapping by some geniuses, they came up with the PEN model, which had only 3 factors – Psychoticism, Extraversion, Neuroticism. Both these tools have separate questionnaires, and distinct interpretations.

A better means was desired (sort of a middle ground as 16 factors were found too many and 3 too less), and that’s where the terrific Five Factor Model by McCrae and Costa made a grand entry. It gave 5 dimensions - Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness - thus called the OCEAN model, which are further divided into 6 facets each (like Openness is described in terms of Feelings, Ideas, Aesthetics, etc). While the NEO-PI-R is a lengthy inventory giving a broader description, the NEO-FFI is a condensed version that is fast and easy to administer, score and interpret. I took the latter at M.A. level and I was found to be exceptionally high on C, high on O, E, A, and low on N.

Of course, there is the very simple Type A and Type B distinction, that asks if you are constantly on the move, a short-tempered and committed perfectionist or are you laidback, easygoing and flexible. The former is Type A (Not surprisingly, I had a phenomenally high score there!) and the latter Type B. Health issues are a concern with Type A as they are always stressed and prone to problems related to blood pressure and heart disease. God save me... (Anyone teachin meditation out there?!!)

The FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation of Behavior) by Will Schutz - a very famous and popular tool in corporates and counseling - talks about what are our interpersonal needs, how we handle our relations, and what features of our behavior dominate in relations. Inclusion, Control, Affection are the 3 dimensions, further classified into Expressed and Wanted. Any dyad (teacher-student, boss-employee, couples and so on) can enhance their relationship taking the help of the FIRO-B. Even in groups (family, friend circle and teams), this proves highly beneficial.

I seem to be going on forever! Yet, I cant help mentionin a test dat I took recently. Based on the theory of TA (Transactional Analysis), it’s called the Transactional Styles Inventory for the General population (TSI-G). As the name indicates, It takes into account the transactional styles of people, and identifies their dominant and back-up styles; whether OK or not-OK, and from which specific mode of the Parent or Child. (Will explain in detail later if anyone’s interested or you can always Google/Wiki). I ranked Innovative - OK creative child, and Problem Solving - OK adult. (I’m pleasantly surprised! I was afraid I’d be documented not-OK Adapted Child!)

Finally, a word on the Indian theories before I end. Most instruments we use in India are adaptations of western tools. (I don’t know why. I know for sure Indians aren’t falling short on the grey-cells. Maybe there aren’t enough people, or maybe people don’t venture into such intensive endeavors, maybe resources and finances are low. God knows....)

The Triguna theory, probably the most renowned till date, explains that each person comprises of 3 gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The words are self-explanatory in the way that Sattva is helpful and simple, Rajas is active and fun-loving, whereas Tamas is lazy and anti-social. Depending on which guna is present in more quantity, a person has a particular composition and disposition. I am correctly rated high on Rajas, coz I’m ambitious, a connoisseur of good food/luxuries, and I enjoy life!

I hope I have been successful in givin u a glimpse of the vast arena of personality. Misinterpretations and erroneous depictions, if any, are to be excused; I have merely tried to condense my understanding of the different psychometric instruments and introduce them to the laypeople. Doing my bit to further the awareness of psychology and self... Bhavnao ko samjho! ;-)

Trust you found this useful! I certainly derived pleasure from sharing this. If its too heavy and boring for you, do leave your comments so I know. Explore yourselves! Enjoy....

Cheers!
Anuja