Saturday, February 28

My Mommy, My Friend


(No, we’re not celebrating Mother’s Day. That occurs on the second Sunday of May – that’s May 10 this year in India and a whole lot of other countries. Still sometime away. Ya, International Women's Day is round the corner - March 8)

A mommy can fix things, from boo-boos to dinner,
She’s caring and sweet, and a good tucker-inner,
She thinks you’re an angel, whatever you do,
Coz she’s loving and wise, and a special friend, too.
MY MOMMY MY FRIEND!

I gifted my mum a poster that reads the above around 4 years ago. She still has it hung up on her wardrobe door.

I sometimes wonder if she’s the mum or am I?! I mean, she does fix the dinner, but I take care of the boo-boos (whatever they may be). She’s caring and sweet, but it’s me who tucks her in daily. Angels – neither of us is one, so we’re even. And last but not the least, she’s loving and I’m wise, and we’re friends...

I miss her. She’s
traveling yet again...

She was in Hyderabad Feb 13-18, then she was in Goa, and now she’s off for her sister’s son’s engagement... Three trips in less than a fortnight. In Marathi, it’s what you call tichya payala bhovraa aahe (indicating someone who’s always on the move).

She’s my only family, and I need her like I need no-one else. Though we didn’t gel too well until I was past my teens, she sure has been an awesome mum all throughout. She’s gorgeous, a great cook, a fantabulous singer, lively and kiddish, tolerant and sweet... She’s just too good, man!!

(I’m not just saying that coz she’s my mum, and all find their mums terrific. Nope, I’m actually saying this coz I mean it. Dil se... )

(Of course, she can get on your nerves when you’re in a darned sick mood, but then that’s excusable!! Also the fact that she is a cleanliness freak, and can irritate you with her constant sermons on the benefits of a healthy diet.)


Here’ some cool lines Ranu sent me the other day...

The Images of A Mom
4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE - She doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either!
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE - Mom's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, there's no harm in sharing.
35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

So I was telling you how meri and mummy ki recently jamne lagi hai... It was the same cock-and-bull story initially where I never tired of announcing that mum loves my brother more (a claim that everybody except my mum support). However, with the same candor I now declare that she loves me more than anybody else in the world. It’s just that she’s afraid to show it. My perpetually-scared mother, who is always out to please others – be it her elders, peers or servants.

I had a rough childhood, trying to protect and shield her from all those around her. But this probably was coz hers was far tougher. She was the first of 4 girls in a row, so her dad wasn’t too pleased. (As if it was she who brought about all those female infants after her.) She was sent off to live with her grandma in Madhya Pradesh (MP), which was perhaps a blessing in disguise, coz she spent her early days in a palatial home with cultured relatives.

However, she got distanced from her own family, and c’mon, someone else’s family can never quite be your own. Though she harbors lovely memories of her youth with her cousins, she could have done without the strict upbringing of her nana-naani, maami and others. Fate... Can’t fight it...

Married off to the youngest son of a rich MLA, her troubles were far from over. A husband who was still studying and lived with his brother and bhabhi, left her no choice but to place her Psychology gold medal in the cupboard, and get down to the housework. Wish I was there then... I’d have made sure she did something more worthwhile...

But hey, I’m not trying to show off my mum as a martyr. True, she could have had a better married life if her spouse was supporting and caring, but then, she could have done something herself, too, rather than making an excuse about her helpless conditions...

All I want, is for her to be happy. She enjoys
traveling, cooking (good for us!), listening to the radio, worshipping the lord and watching TV (her fav serial is Balika Vadhu on Colors - it's a different kinda soap; better than the crazy saas-bahu ones; poor Suguna - she was dying to get married, and now her groom's dead...)

Have a good journey, sweetheart, and you're not going out anywhere for the next one month.
BY ORDER.

Love you, Mom!
Anuja Beti urf Anju urf Anjali urf Bitiya urf Bitti... (and 100 more)

Friday, February 27

Birthday Bumps!


Hi!

I came across
this site when I was researching for the Feb 18 post, and then obviously could not resist looking for my own birthday horoscope. Human tendency.

However, it’s not just coz it’s astrology. It’s about the particular date you were born. Not a common category for the entire month. I’m sure that would appeal to a lot more people. (At least it worked for me.)

My date of birth is the 9th last day of the 7th month. (Stop calculating – that’s July 23rd)

(I said STOP calculating. I’ve counted, it’s correct.)

The 22nd and 23rd of any month is a very inconvenient date. Why? Coz it falls under either this or that sunsign, depending on what brackets a particular astrologer chooses. This results in the birthday boy/girl becoming a “cusp” and needing to check both the signs to arrive at a passable reading for him/herself.

I’m a cusp of Cancer and Leo – a horrible combination (as I always say). On the one hand, such a person has the typical Cancerian moody temperament; on the other, he/she can’t help dominating others. Craving the limelight, being touchy, independent and protective, are other dispositions of the July 23 individual.

Simply put, the person is in a constant state of conflict, caught between two options that are both partly preferred.
(Which kinda explains the numerous confusions and dilemmas in my life.)

But enough about my pet hypothesis. Here’s what “How Stuff Works” says about my date of birth.

July 23 Birthday Astrology
by Jill M. Phillips

Leos (?!!!) born on July 23 love being the center of attention. (I just said that, didn’t I?) They have a pleasing personality (ahem!) and a good sense of humor. (You bet!) Whether it is a personal or a work-related project, these men and women are always prepared.
(That’s right, plus we’re diligent and we absolutely NEED feedback.) (Hint hint.)

Friends and Lovers
Now this is interesting... July 23 individuals are friendly and sociable and have the heart to transform a frivolous relationship into a deep and satisfying friendship. (This does create trouble sometimes when I get attached and the intention isn’t mutual.) They like to romance a love interest with old-fashioned style. (That’s SO true!) They believe in keeping the romance alive in a longtime relationship or marriage.
(Heaven protect those who cannot match up to our few million expectations. We can weep a hundred tears, and wreck the partner’s peace of mind.)

Children and Family
July 23 people love their family and remain in close contact with siblings, parents, and other relatives. (Conditions apply - provided the family and kin is worth contacting.) In love matters, they often marry and start a family at an early age. (I’m past 23 and unmarried yet; seems like “early” is a relative term.) They make excellent parents because they combine lessons learned in childhood with their own instinct. (Hey, I’m gona be the best mom in the entire universe! Right, Jia-Jai-Dev-Ria?)

Health
(I have a toothache, eye-ache and body ache pretty often these days, by the way. Never told ya.) There are few healthier specimens on the face of the earth than July 23 people. (Oops, wrong timing! But, I don’t fall ill too often. Touch wood!) Their boundless energy and enthusiasm for life infuse their whole being with a sense of specialness and vibrancy :-) They love to look good - but health is even more important to them.
(Umm, not too sure about that...)

Career and Finances
July 23 natives often experience their career success early in life. (That’s right, folks.) They are generally lucky where money is concerned and have the potential to make, and lose, a great deal of it during their lifetime. (I hope the “make” is much larger in volume than option 2.) One of their few faults is a love of gambling.
(???)

Dreams and Goals
(I’m clueless about my goal myself, so I hope this gives a pointer. Dreams, aah – you’ve read about that before here.) July 23 people never stop working toward their goals. Although they may change direction, they start out waiting for that brass ring to come around, and when it does they grab for it with enthusiasm. (Correct so far.) Although career success and financial security come high on the list of goals for them, higher still is a desire to obtain the respect and love of those they care for. (Bang on, again.)

The article ends with a list of things July 23rds should adopt and evade. Namely, espouse constructive change and a happy heart (whatever that is), and avoid being too analytical and looking back. (There’s nothing else I’d like to do more, but ineffective hitherto.)

Eager to go check out your own birthday astrology? Here the link ...
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/horoscopes-and-astrology-channel.htm

Enjoy!!
Princess

Thursday, February 26

Tum Ek Paisa Doge...





Toh Do Aur Dena Padega...

This post was chosen as the top post by BlogAdda for its Spicy Saturday Picks collection. Check out here!!


Hi,

I need to confess something.
I’ve not entirely kept my promise.

The one where I said I’ll
try to address the god inside every body as I speak to them, and not hurt them. I haven’t wounded too many folks recently with my words and acts, but there’s a class that has repeatedly been at the receiving end when I decided to let go of my considerate self.

The beggars and tramps.

You see them at every signal and communal location.

Whatever their own chronological age, they almost always have an infant in one hand, dressed in tatters, a fake and beseeching expression on the face.

As we eat or talk, these vagabonds come outta nowhere and eye your food in the most disgusting manner.

The baby in their arms, with a dripping nose and a ragged doll in the hand, looks at you as the elder pesters you to pass on the morsel. Grrrr...

They touch you with their grimy hands, and purposely try to vex you. Ugghhhh...

This may remind you of Jamal and his clan in
Slumdog Millionaire or the novel Q n A by Vikas Swarup (You must have heard the movie has won 8 Oscars! Cheers to you Boyle, Rehman and the gang. Way to go!!)

However, my post does not come in response to their movie or their victory. This subject has been in my mind a long time now... Just didn't get an opportunity to write...

The national symbol of Indian crossroads, there are a few that try to earn their dime by performing their talents, antics and acrobatics. Some sell flowers and car accessories. Like the boy I saw the other day. He was selling a bunch of wilted roses in the scalding heat, walking barefoot on the blistering road. Someone spat at the signal (a reminder that you’re in India) and the boy didn’t even look down as he coolly walked over it. The bystanders cringed. The boy didn’t even notice.

I remember Akshay on FC Road while I was doing my bachelors at Fergi. A smart and bindaas vagrant, and a favorite with all those who spent their waking hours at joints on FC. Regulars like us knew that while he was awesome with the ladies, he could throw world-class tantrums! He hurled abuses and while initially the youngsters used to laugh at being called “asshole” and “fuck off”, I wonder what their reaction would be now...

(As my mum says, babool ke beej lagaoge, toh aam kaha se aayenge... How thought-provoking!)

Foreigners used to melt as he acted cute and begged with his puppy-face, they handed him a crisp 500 rupee note for his nautanki. We used to joke that the kid carried with him more money than any of us at any moment in time... I heard he even took to drinking later. But, the few times that I’ve ran into him near FC, he always seems to recognize me... Dunno where is now. Hope he has walked more constructive avenues.

The point being, I don’t really know where the nation and these beggars are heading. Majority of the people being below the poverty line, what will they do if not beg? It’s better than becoming a thief or criminal...

Let's be honest - I don’t have the solution, but I sure know that this community is irritating and annoying, and that’s what most of us feel about them. NGOs and volunteers are doing their bit about their education and upliftment, but how far is this really effective in creating a better life for them? We all know teaching a man to fish is better than just passing him one. But, do we really have enough jobs for everybody, ex-beggars included? (Given the current global meltdown, the bestest of chaps are rendered jobless. What more can I say?)

I’m worried about our future. And more so, coz I can’t see any change in the scenario anytime soon. I cannot even visualize one, for that matter...

Get out those thinking caps, and set your grey cells working, readers. Just handing over a couple of pennies and clothes isn’t really cracking this.

Sincerely,
Anuja

Wednesday, February 25

Viva Carnaval!!


Hi people!

I’m
back from Goa, having seen the funky carnival and gorgeous dolphins and lovely beaches. Traveled through hell on Friday and Monday, and spent two lazy days in the every-holidaying state. (Posted my blogs in advance so you dears won’t miss me! See, I care!!)

To give you a peek into our itinerary – there were 7 of us crammed into a 5-seater Innova (and the driver of course, a lanky, passive fellow with menacing and thunderous ringtones on his cell-phone). So, you can imagine how it was to journey through roughly 1300 kms of W-shaped ghats and highways for 4 days.

Going to Goa by car is permanently struck off from my list of must-do-agains, and I firmly recommend that one travel by flight or train and hire a local vehicle for sight-seeing and transport. Shuts out all your body pains and logistics-related worries.

The Friday of the 20th seems to have been a wicked day (though the one before that was Friday the 13th) as we encountered quite a few troubles. First, we left late, thanks to my Abba who reached from outstation the same morning, and yet went shopping and chore-hopping. As we’d planned to have lunch on some highway dhaba, we were all famished and the car chose exactly this time to declare a puncture.There were no good restaurants around, so we cooled our heels in a nearby shack.

Hardly had we sat in the repaired vehicle and gone a few miles than Udayan Raje’s clan decided to announce a Rasta Roko campaign as their leader’s rally had been lathi-charged by policemen. What the #^%$*&#^%... Harassing innocent, unaware citizens seems to be the way democracy functions in our country, but I’d
better not say anymore coz the government has now imposed restrictions on blogging and decided to regulate the venting of opinions on the internet. Guess this concept of selective democracy gives all freedoms to the lawbreakers and attempts to rein the helpless civilians.

So, there we were, stuck coz some illiterate and loutish villagers threw boulders on the highway and refused to let vehicles pass. When finally two policemen arrived on motorbike, the folks fled like goats in front of a lion. 20 minutes gone waste. When we finally moved on, we found no mood or place to halt for a meal, hence, went on our way. Snacks finally happened at Karad at 6 in the evening, and then dinner at 10 at Sawantwadi. On reaching the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) guest house in Vasco close to 1 am, we were ready to collapse into bed as if there was no tomorrow.

The suite was beautiful – it had one huge hall and a pleasant bedroom, both with balconies and all required fittings. We found the presence of two pots in the same bathroom as weird - one western, the other Indian-style, but we realized it was for those who found one particular style difficult to use. Obviously, that didn’t stop us from hypothesizing about how this idea could save time (as 3 could use it simultaneously), space (to handle recession concerns) and promote family bonding (as the family can not just eat, even shit together)!

Enough about travel and lodging, here’s the lowdown on the Goan festivities. The Carnival happens every year as a major tourist attraction in Goa at different locations (Panjim, Mapusa, Vasco, Margao this year). A culture started by the Portuguese, the celebration has the legendary King Momo coming out on the streets to flag off 4 days of merry-making and masti. This takes the form of a parade with several colorful floats and dances, where enthusiastic Goans don masks and make-up to entice and entertain their global guests.

IMHO, the carnival isn’t phenomenal; it’s just a different kinda experience, worth watching once in a lifetime. The energy of the participants has you clapping in joy and the preparations are extraordinary with varied themes and messages right from terrorism to food, animal kingdom to daily life and occupations. It gets monotonous and tiring after a while, especially coz there is nowhere to sit and few refreshments at hand. You can get decent pictures if you’re perched atop a tree or building (most people were) and you can easily make out how much Indians love foreigners by the way the procession bows to involve and include the non-Indian folks.

The next day had us going on a government security launch to tour the devious-now-and-welcoming-then waters and view dancing dolphins. We saw quite a few, so elegant and cute. Unfortunately, you can either take snaps or watch them awestruck; doing both together only serves to mess up your activity. Anyhow, you can freeze memories on the camera, not capture the experience in emotion and richness what your eyes see.

Thereafter, a drive to the beach through the lanes and coconut groves showed us the real Goa, even as we said hello and hugged the waves at the exquisite Colva seashore. The pretty white sand and blue water reminded us of Maldives and I did what I’d never done before – paragliding! Wheeee... Flying in the sky with a motorboat tugging you over the sea, hanging from a parachute... Multiply your biggest joy by 1000, and that’s how you feel...

If you’ve seen Goa once, you won’t enjoy touring it again. The churches and temples can get dull and avoidable. All you feel like doing is lounging around on the beach, drinking whatever it is that you drink (chilled beer or
coffee, mocktails or cocktails) and just gazing out at the never-ending, mischievous waves.

Prawns, fish, chicken and eggs – I ate everything in Goa, and enjoyed it. My biggest “Aaha” moment came when my bro dutifully and lovingly removed the scales and bones from the Bangda fish for me to eat. (I’m terrible with bones – be them in fish or chicken; now you know why I always order boneless!) I watched fascinated and vowed to put this in my blog – how two truculent siblings were reunited over the Bangda...

On the way back, we stopped at my uncle’s in Kolhapur for our Mahashivratri faraal. Goddess Mahalakshmi (remember
the Kiranotsav story?) chose to grace us with her easy and delightful darshana, that many were left yearning for due to long queues. Besides, we were in luck, coz this day is the only one in the year when the upper Shiv temple is also unlocked for devotees. Venkatash Balaji Prabhu Govindaaa... Thanks, Lord! (For two more top-secret reasons.)

Looks like I’ve recounted everything in a fast forward way. Shall upload the photographs soon so that you can actually see what I’m talking about.

Until then!
Love,
Princess

Monday, February 23

The Life of Karna


There’s some stuff which I feel compelled to share with you. Remember I said, Bheeshma and Karna led dreadful lives? Though I elaborated upon Bheeshma, I didn’t talk about the latter. Bear with me; he more than deserves this space...

Karna’s is sucha cursed life! He’s the offspring of Surya and Kunti so to say, but he lived like a sutaputra (son of a charioteer) all his life,
unaware of his true identity. At each stage of his life, he met a hundred setbacks and affronts. When he attempted and succeeded at overcoming one challenge, there were always ten more looming ahead...

When he was young and eager to learn, no guru was ready to coach him coz he was not a kshatriya. In desperation he sought Parashurama, and lied to him so that he would be accepted as a disciple. He was an excellent student, with all the bearings of a grand warrior. Good news, eh? The story’s not over yet...

One afternoon, while his guru slept in his lap, Karna was bitten by an insect. The sting drew blood, but Radheya (=Karna, son of his foster-mother Radha) did not move else his teacher would be disturbed. When the blood touched Parasurama, he awoke and realized that only a kshatriya could have withstood such pain unflinchingly. Scornfully, he cursed Karna that he would forget his teachings when he needed it the most... Whatta reward for such valiant dedication!

The trauma didn’t end there. In his forlorn state, Karna happened to kill a cow that he thought was a wild animal. This act made him the despondent recipient of yet another curse – the owner exclaimed that he, too, would die defenseless, just like his cow had.

Words once said cannot be taken back, and the past cannot be changed. Karna decided to put these incidents behind him, and travel to Hastinapur to display his excellence at the weapons and astras in the Kuru court. There he was snubbed and denied a chance, again coz he was a sootputra. This was just one of the many occasions when he was slighted by the Pandavas and the Kuru elders. He had only one ally – Duryodhana.

The Kaurava prince came as a blessing in the life of the unfortunate Karna. He declared Radheya king of Anga, and always supported and trusted him. Even when Karna held Dury’s wife’s hand while playing a game, Dury did not for a moment suspect him or his intentions... That’s friendship! The same amity was displayed by Karna when he battled and won kingdoms for Duryodhana, and when he fought on his side in the Mahabharata.

Despite knowing that Duryodhana was supporting evil and the war was a lost cause; inspite of the fact that he now knew he was related to the Pandavas; Karna fought on the side of the Kauravas as he could not abandon his only and truest friend at this crucial hour, when he needed him the most. All his life, noone but Dury had believed and loved Karna. How could Radheya forget that? How could Karna ignore his generosity and favors?

So much misery and injustice all around - Karna attended Draupadi’s swayamvara. He possibly would have completed the task and won Dro for his wife, had she not surprised him with her gross dishonor of his pedigree. Krishna, too, was no saint – He informed Karna the truth about his birth and identity, but he did not inform the same to the Pandavas.
(Else the war would have never happened! The Pandavas would have happily included Karna, their eldest brother in their fold, and handed him the reigns of Bharatvarsha with pleasure and joy.)

Karna, who had more piety and veracity than Dharamaputra Yudhishtira. Karna, who was a hundred times better than Indra’s son Arjuna at archery and warfare. Karna, the epitome of benevolence and merit. A marvel reduced to nothingness by the games of fate...

Karna vowed to fulfil every command/request asked of him at noon. Kunti and Indra exploited this superbly. Kunti was promised that 5 Pandavas would always remain (meaning either he or Arjuna would stay alive along with the other 4, not both together). And to Indra, Karna gave his golden kavacha-kundala, bestowed on him by his father.

However, as warned by his Sun dad, Karna asked Indra for his Shakti in return. He wished to kill Arjuna with it (even after he knew their true relation), but Fate had never befriended him and Luck always sided with his rivals. Krishna sacrificed Ghatotkacha to the Shakti as Karna had to destroy the remarkable rakshasa in any which way. And now, none could change what kismet had ordained – the murder of Karna at the very hands of his own brother Arjuna...

I am not saying Karna is flawless. He ridiculed the Pandavas and Droupadi during the game of dice. He participated in the disgraceful slaying of Abhimanyu. However, is there anyone who is spotless? Even the symbol of truth Yudi lied once to kill Drona. Krishna played a million tricks to achieve his ends. Bhishma watched quietly as the Pandavas lost everything... Everyone erred, but none was punished as brutally by destiny as Karna...

Apart from the fights, hardly ever has Karna been mentioned in a good light in
Menon’s Mahbharata. So, I was thrilled when I saw an entire page dedicated to him! One full page where Krishna praises Karna for his strengths. Kaleje wich tthandak pey gayi...

There are so many more stories about this warrior that are worth sharing. You can check out more details on google and
wiki (which I have used in some places for reference while scripting this post.)

Peace be upon him! And may no body on earth ever have to undergo such wretchedness...

- Princess

P.S : It's been a lengthy and intensive post... So, I'm gona give you guys a break tomorrow! Come back the day after for something different and exciting!! Cheerio!

Saturday, February 21

And then the fight started...

It's been a week since Valentines, and after wooing your partner, here's the perfect mail for you guys to laugh together...

(Psst Psst... You’re gona love this, men!)

(And women who are able take a joke, and can appreciate wit.)

A series of harmless incidents, that finally cause the world war in the house...

Warning : Please don’t do this at home!! If you do, don’t tell your spouse where you got your clever ideas...

*****


My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels.
She asked, 'What's on TV?'
I said, 'Dust.'

And then the fight started...

*****


My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.
She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 100 in about 3 seconds.'
I bought her a weighing scale.

And then the fight started


*****

When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive.
So, I took her to a gas station.

And then the fight started...

*****

My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion.
She kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.
I asked my wife, 'Do you know him?'
'Yes,' she sighed, 'He's my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn't been sober since.'


'My God!' I said to my wife, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started...


*****

My wife was standing & looking in the bedroom mirror.
She was not happy with what she saw and said to me, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'
I replied, 'Your eyesight's perfect.'

And then the fight started...


*****

I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Kingfisher for $14.95.
Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95.
I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.

And then the fight started....

*****

I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?"
It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation.
"Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said.
So I suggested, "How about the kitchen?"

And that's when the fight started...


*****

When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed.
But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first : the truck, the car, e-mail, fishing, always something more important to me.
Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.
When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors.
I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house.
I was gone only a few minutes.
When I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.
'When you finish cutting the grass,' I said, 'you might as well sweep the driveway.'

And that's when the fight started....

*****


Enjoy the weekend!
Princess

Friday, February 20

Khabari Lal ki Khabarein - Part II



There were several more khabars that I did not share yesterday, hence the sequel.

You don’t mind, right?!! Cool...

Cool is SO not the word I would want to use for the latest range of Bru Cold Coffees. I bought one called Bru Ice Cappuccino Mochaberg, and it was yuck! The horrid aftertaste and watery flavor had me gulping the first half of the glass with my taste-buds on dead mode, and the remaining half was gratefully drained in the sink. 15 bucks down the drain... Not that their hot range was phenomenal either... Better stick to the
tried and tested coffee shops for your cuppa.

By the way, hear about my latest addictions. Two things, and incidentally, both start with S – Saunf (fennel seeds) and Szechwan Dosa (that’s correct, wasn't a typo. I did mean Szechwan Dosa). I’ve had the latter like... twice in the last 5 days... and am crazy about it! About saunf, well, I’m ashamed to admit – I’m ruminating like a cow all day...
Baby, I’m addicted, I’m out of control...

(Also eating vada pav regularly these days, but not at the addiction level yet. Shall let you know.)


Yoohoo! The Goa carnival is here! I think I’m going for the fete this weekend, with family. (Waise toh merriment and celebrations happen for a week, and I’d so love to experience it all, but kambhakt office mein chhutti nahi milti. The downside of being an employed professional.
Envy you Mom!)

Speaking about Goa, here’s the update from filmdom – Freida “Latika” Pinto (who shot to fame with her Slumdog Millionaire/Crorepati debut) has ditched her secret Goan husband post her million dollar hit. The price of success...

Other Indians dreaming of triumph are Mohammed Azharuddin and
A. R Rahman. The Indian cricketer is all set to join the Congress, and the master musician has 3 Oscar nominations! Fingers crossed for you, Rehman! Not too tough a task for you given your easy victory with the Golden Globe award and the BAFTAs (the British equivalent of the Oscars).

Ready for some news away from the motherland?

The Italian minister has suggested that rapists should be castrated, and I am in complete agreement with the gentleman. (I don’t know if this will actually take effect, but it’s unfair if one gets off easily after committing sucha heinous crime.)

The other update comes straight from England where designated kissing zones are set up near train stations to reduce congestion and make the place more efficient. Smooching is banned at the drop-off points as it was noticed that drivers pull up with their traveling partners and lock lips even as the rest of the traffic gets blocked. How considerate!

Which brings me to my favorite-st topic : traffic! (Check
this and this and this and more!!)

I’ve observed two traffic trends – one is, keeping the indicator on when one has no intentions of turning, and actually turning without any indication. The other (which applies to pedestrians as well) is not looking at the oncoming traffic whilst crossing the road. Obviously, the rider on the right of the law and lane has nothing else to do than watch out for these majestic, wandering souls.

Hey, I did not tell you about the latest restaurant I visited - Govind Garden. The place has been there for donkey’s years, but I never quite got there to have a meal. A major landmark in Pimpri, the place is pretty popular with families and students from nearby educational institutions. The location and spread of the place is decent, and they even have a swimming pool (with a cute wooden bridge) to boast of.

The waiters are eager to please, and simple in a way that city waiters will never quite grasp. However, that doesn’t stop them from serving tandoori rotis that are like papads with gaping holes in the centre. The captain beckoned us to occupy a table near the swimming pool “specially for couples, with a candle in between”... but that didn’t look as romantic as it sounds, so we chose a more “family” spot, with proper lighting and furniture. (He even suggested the “posh” part of the restaurant, where the charges were extra, but who cares about A/Cs when one’s starving?!!)

Thankfully, the half Chicken Handi we ordered was worth the wait, and more than sufficient for two. I must say, the chicken was better than any I’ve tasted in a long time. The only glitch was that the mosquitoes ate twice as much of me as I did of the food... Not a bad place at all...

A brainwave to end this post - I think the concept of sulabh shauchalays (roadside toilets) should be abandoned. Or at least building entire structures is a bad idea. Those that pee in the open expanse are happier that way, and those with a little shame and nationalism make sure they relieve themselves on the outer walls without actually stepping inside (don’t blame them! The stink is suicidal.) We could save quite a bit by just constructing one huge wall... The men would enjoy that, I’m guessing...

Cheerio!
Princess

Thursday, February 19

Khabari Lal ki Khabarein



You read about updates on the media in a recent post. Now that those are outdated, here is some more fresh maal...

Does the name Abhijeet Sawant ring a bell? That’s right, he was the first Indian Idol, who launched his own music album not too long ago. (Obviously a dud, dude.) After failing to secure a firm footing on the music scene, Mr. Mohabbatein Lutaunga is now making his film debut. It’s a movie called “Lottery”, and there are two pretty damsels who are also aboard this launchpad. (No points for guessing the fate of this movie.) Incidentally, one of his dialogues in the movie, translated into English is – when fate knocks on your door, don’t complain about the noise... (Enlightening. Which is why there is no hulla-gulla about this production.)

I’ve spoken before about
Lola Kutty and her brilliant General Knowledge show on Channel V. The Mallu babe goes about the country asking people some seemingly simple stuff (WOWOWOW... 4 s’s in a row! Isn’t that called “alliteration” in Figures of Speech? Grammar learnt in school sure stays forever!)

Astonishingly most folks on her show can’t answer, and often times, me neither. Here are a few that I saw on a recent show... (Ready to test those grey cells?) Who’s the youngest MP in India? Who’s our current Home Minister? What’s our national fruit? What’s the second largest religion in India?
(The first is obviously Hinduism.)

The answers (coz I hate unfinished and ambiguous stuff) in the order asked : Milind Deora, P. Chidambaram, Mango, Islam (not Muslim, fatheads!)

I also saw an interview that funny Ms. Kutty did with AB junior and Sonam Kapoor for Delhi 6. (I hope you know the name is so titled coz the pin code of Chandni Chowk is Delhi 110006. Of course, the movie isn't really shot there, impossible to shoot among the hustle and bustle.)

Also learnt some facts on MTV Dance Crew (where Uma is now teaching Anusha to boogie on Thriller by MJ). I found out that Michael Jackson, the king of yesteryear and inspiration of many, debuted when he was 11, and he has won 13+ awards (including the Guinness award) for being such an amazing singer-dancer-entertainer. Hats, off! Aaauuuuuu... (Not the Shakti Kapoor wala... Though this one, too, needs to be accompanied with a pelvis thrust, with one hand on the
you-know-where.)

A very heartbreaking news for all you guys - The stuff that your fantasies are made of, is now officially married. Salma Hayek. THE Salma Hayek has married her French sweetheart, who is the father of her year old daughter. Best wishes!! And cheers to Tara Sharma, now 4 months pregnant. (I just hope her kid doesn't inherit mamma's voice. Cackle!)

That’s that about TV. Speaking about books... I’m still at the Drona Parva in the
Mahabharata; got tons to do besides reading. (Ya, studies plus other chores at home coz mum’s traveling yet again, and so are bro-bhabhi.) I’ve reached almost the end of this section though, and now, Karna takes over as Senapati of the Kaurava army after Drona dies.

Other updates... I know this sounds crazy, but I need to go shopping. (I mean after all my
rant about 70 tops and Ts and over 20 salwar suits, whoever thought I’d want to step inside a clothes store and spend a dime!!) But I should. It’s high time I scrapped the stuff I haven’t worn in 2+ years.

I keep thinking I’ll get an opportunity to wear them sometime or the other, but that isn’t happening. Better I give them away, and get clothes more suited to my current needs. Emotional attachments to be placed on the back-burner coz there are sales on everywhere.
(Unfortunately, that’s not much use coz the stuff I like is either not on sale, or the discount is negligible as compared to the atrocious price. Darn!)

Sad, na... But what’s sadder is that I went to the loo at Symphony and
Zaha and the one Q on my mind was - WHY don’t people FLUSH??

I haven’t told you about Symphony before – it’s this restobar/restaurant bang opposite Kiva (which you know is my
favorite wine and dine place behind E-square). I went to Symph a decade ago with my family and hated it, but when I went the last 2 times with friends, it was a chill-out place. Great music, exciting menu. The crowd and pricing could be better, but that doesn’t stop the establishment from being over-occupied on weekends by students and professionals alike.

Anyway, the point is, people need lessons in hygiene and good living. If only everyone would read and follow
my post on cleanliness, the world (or at least India) would be so much better to inhabit or visit...

Power of the blogosphere, unleash thyself!!

In reverent prayer,
Princess

Wednesday, February 18

This Day in History

We spoke about drinks and foods (once and twice) and tea... And now what?

I’m afraid you fellas will think that all I have on my mind is something to stuff down my throat (which is not altogether untrue, by the way)... But hey, I’m going to talk about something different this time.

“This Day in History” - in other words, the significance of Feb 18.

While the unrivaled Wiki forms the crux of this research, I’ve also googled various other sites to bring you these statistics, facts and figures. Enjoy!

February 18 is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (that’s the internationally accepted civil calendar). This indicates there’s 316 days to go until the end of the year (317 in a leap year).

While today is a Wednesday, Feb 18 last year was a Monday, and a Sunday before that.

Cool so far, eh? Look below to know the important events, birthdays and death anniversaries that coincide with this date. There’s a hundred things in this category, but to save time and space, I’ve chosen those that we shall find familiar or interesting. For a complete list, you can look here.

Important Events:
3102 BC - Epoch (origin) of the Kali Yuga. (Whatta coincidence that I’m reading the same period in Mahabharata at the same time!)
1797 - Trinidad surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby. (I dunno much about this, but I have an Abercrombie top.)
1814 - The Battle of Montereau (which resulted in the victory of the French under Napoleon Bonaparte against the Austrians).
1885 (Now this is something I know!) Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published for the first time. (We 1985-borns are exactly a century younger to darling Huck.)
1901 - Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the British House of Commons.
1911 (Finally something about India...) The first official flight with air mail in Allahabad, British India; Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivered 6,500 letters to Naini, 10 km away. (Yippee!!!)
1913 - Raymond PoincarĂ© (don’t ask me to pronounce that!) became President of France.
1929 - The first Academy (Oscar) Awards announced.
1930 - Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto. (Smart man; he also discovered several asteroids and studied UFOs). The same day, Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow, both, to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft, and to be milked in an aircraft. (Check out an entire page on this!)
1932 - The Empire of Japan declared Manzhouguo (better known as Manchuria) (slurp –I love manchurian!) independent from the Republic of China.
1969 - The Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 disaster, all aboard killed.
1979 - Snowfall in the Sahara Desert (southern Algeria) for the only recorded time in history. (!!!)
1983 - The Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington (said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history).
1991 – (No list is complete without bomb blasts) The IRA exploded bombs at London stations.
2000 - Stjepan Mesić becomes the second president of Croatia.
2001 - FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison. (!!)

Birthday Bumps!!
Horoscope for Feb 18 – These Aquarians are dedicated to the art of perfection. They can transcend the mundane trivia of everyday life to become something special. They not only attract controversy - they thrive on it! Quiet and introspective, they have what it takes to become emotionally self-sufficient. When challenges come their way, they bear up stoically.

Happy birthday to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486), Queen Mary I of England (1516), French writer Saint-Pierre (1658), Sri Ramakrishna - Bengali saint and guru of Vivekananda (1836), George Kennedy (1925) and John Travolta (1954).

Deaths
Peace be on the souls that died this day...
1546 - Martin Luther, German religious reformer (born 1483)
1564 - Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian artist (b. 1475)
1851 - Carl Gustav Jakob Jacobi, German mathematician
1895 - Karl Abs, German professional wrestler (I’m wondering if he gave the body part it’s name...)
1995 : McAfee (Is this something related to computers?)
2008 - Sir Richard Knowles, British politician

And of course... Holidays and Observances
Gambian Independence Day (They became independent from the UK. Cheers, folks!)

So, well, quite a few things learnt there!

Amazing how much more there is to every single thing that we take for granted!

Until then...
Anuja

Tuesday, February 17

Nothing Billu About It...

I’m not quite sure what happened on or after Feb 14th with reference to the Pink Chaddi buddies, but here’s what Times of India quoted on D-day (aka V-Day) : Perhaps never before has underwear played such an important part in Indian cultural history. The “Pink Chaddi” campaign, launched by the Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose Forward Women, has attracted hordes of members — the number has touched 34,032 and still counting — making it one of the most popular sites these days.

Well, teme one thing, mates - Who decides what is Indian and un-Indian? Is democracy and freedom of expression a myth, something to decorate our constitutional charter, without understanding or adhering to?

I’m outraged at these goondas parading around spreading terror as “moral police”. Uneducated, ruthless rascals - are they equally tyrannical at their homes with their daughters and wives? Or is this honor saved only for those that are outside their control? I feel sorry for their depraved upbringing and decadent principles. They flaunt their so-called patriotism and aspire to protect “Indian” dignity by molesting and inhumanely assaulting their own country-mates! I wonder how fair that is... And how Indian, too...

However, one positive outcome of such mawali behavior is that the youth has finally decided to stop lying low, and actually do something against injustice and mistreatment of self and the larger community. They acquired their perfect, civilized medium in the form of the blogosphere and world wide web, which was hitherto used primarily for chatting and loafing. Apart from the Pink Chaddi crew, there are a hundred many individuals and groups airing their opinions and seeking support. (Remember I told you about this
gentleman who invited people to the Taj gates to protest against the Mumbai attacks?) Finally, learned people (who are cultured as well) have found a way to raise their voice with sophistication and humanity. Cheers to that!

You must be wondering about today’s title. The reference - I happened to watch the recent SRK movie – Billu (initially titled Billu Barber) over the weekend. The verdict – Mujhe Budbuda ka (non-jungli) Billu bahut pasand hai.

You must have heard tales of Krishna as a child, and how he had this impoverished childhood pal Sudaama, whom he loved with all his heart. The very same story that you heard then is now made into a full-length movie; Sahir SRK Khan as the charismatic superstar, and Irrfan as the poor naai (=hajaam) who cuts hair for a living. The story is about how these two langotiya yaars meet serendipitously and are reunited by fate.

SRK is his real self in the movie – right from his humble interaction with the simple villagers to his pride at being the superstar he is. (Did you hear he had his 7th surgery yesterday?) The songs are quite frequent, but they’re not repulsive. The movie belongs to Irrfan, who easily charms the audience with his self-esteem and integrity. The rest of the cast is pakka Priyan – the same folks as Malaamal Weekly, Hulchul and the rest. Rajpal Yadav (the official brand ambassador of Roopa Frontline!!) and Om Puri are wasted in the movie, and the heroines with item songs breeze by amidst appealing choreography and fascinating sets.

The movie is by no measures a must-watch in the cinema hall, nor can I say you should watch is on DVD, for that matter. It’s strictly OK. If you care more about your popcorn cravings than the actual screenplay, go for it.

Moving on to an important announcement!! Say hello to the newest kid on the block, a recent addition to the “crazy-about-the-radio” brigade... Taadaaa!! Mommy dearest!! I was stunned the other day to see the music system in her room, and she perpetually walking to it every 2 minutes to change the frequency or raise the volume. A Ghanta Singh fan, she doesn’t tire of repeating how old songs are unparalleled in rhythm and lyrics even as she tries to sing new songs in her own style. (Drives me crazy. Blame the perfectionist streak.)

Hey, another piece of news - I bought a brand new Nokia 3110 – not a very fancy
instrument but suits my budget and requirements fine. SMS is a challenge currently, coz Moto and Nokia have different typing styles (the space button, send and clear functions, etc.) Wasting quite a bit of money when incomplete messages get sent erroneously, but I’m trying... Yippee! New phone, new phone!! I miss you already Moto darling. Your sleek, slim style will forever remain on the top of my admiration list!

Gotta go; competency mapping calling!

Love,
Princess

Monday, February 16

One Line Humor


Hey sweethearts!

Didcha like the previous forwards (
this and this) I shared with you? Here's another one... So that you start the week with a laugh, and the work-week sails by... A list of some tremendously witty and funny lines.

Quite a few (50% actually!) are on love and marriage, but does that need any justification?!!

Enjoy :-)

[1] Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.
[2] Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.
[3] Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband!
[4] I believe we should all pay our tax with a smile. I tried - but they wanted cash.
[5] A child's greatest period of growth is the month after you've purchased new school uniforms.
[6] Don't marry the person you want to live with, marry the one you cannot live without, but whatever you do, you'll regret it later.
[7] You can't buy love, but you pay heavily for it.
[8] Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
[9] Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
[10] Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she'll take it anyway.
[11] My wife and I always compromise. I admit I'm wrong and she agrees with me.
[12] You're getting old when you enjoy remembering things more than doing them.
[13] Saving is the best thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.
[14] They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak!
[15] Man: "Is there any way for long life?" Dr: "Get married." Man: "Will it help?" Dr: "No, but then the thought of long life will never come."
[16] Wife: Darling today is our anniversary, what should we do? Husband: Let us stand in silence for 2 minutes.
[17] It's funny when people discuss Love Marriage vs Arranged. It's like asking someone, if suicide is better or being murdered.
[18] There is only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it.
[19] There is only one perfect wife in the world and every neighbor has it!

Have a wonderful day!
Princess

Saturday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Lets celebrate LOVE!!

As you shut after your eyes after a long day,
A smile stays on your lips;
Coz you know someone’s thinking of you,
Someone who loves you to bits.

As you awake to the chirping birds,
You brim with hope and joy;
Coz someone has been dreaming of you,
Someone who charms you with every ploy.

As you tread through your busy schedule,
Actively or with stealth;
You feel so prized and special,
Coz someone misses you with every breath.

Someone who wipes your tears,
Even before they touch your cheeks;
Someone who through right and wrong,
Cherishes your memories for keeps.

That someone is your messiah,
Your reason for living on;
That someone sticks with you,
When all the others are gone.

When you win, someone’s prayers are answered;
As you dream, someone encourages your desires silly;
For you to have a smooth path,
Someone scales terrain rough and hilly.

For your warm embrace and love,
That someone yearns day and night;
Someone flooded with a million torches,
Call you the guiding light.

(As you read these verses now,
If in your mind’s eye you see;
A caring face and tender heart;
Guess who that might be!)

Call out to that someone,
And cherish that someone needs you;
Someone who, to save you from blistering heat,
Like the cool breeze blew.

If you let that someone leave,
You’ll regret it forever;
Coz angels come by once,
And may not return ever...


Happy Valentine's Day!!

And a joke as I say goodbye this week....


Happy weekend!

With love,
Princess

Friday, February 13

Media Reports

Time for updates on the media channels - TV shows, movies, newspapers and other bric-a-brac.

The latest episode of
Roadies was crass. The money task was eating a variety of Rajasthani delicacies and holding in your potty after ingesting julaab ki goliya and multiple glasses of water. The immunity task was balancing matkas/matkis on your head and walking a given distance under different challenging conditions.

Paulami (the stupid retard who's the eldest on the show - she's 28!!) was chosen as the most undeserving Roadie, and she did a mighty good job on this task; Bobby (the Delhi babe with the bouncy mane) who was similarly tagged couldn’t do even one round properly (blame the shabbily tied pagdi). The one who finally got kicked out in the vote-out was altogether a different person – Nauman. Reason – his friendship with Tamanna. Politics, politics everywhere. Check their website for more!

On the movie front, Dev D. has received horrible reviews all over. No surprises there. Abhay Deol needs to vent his acting talent in better realms. I was wondering whether to watch Marley and Me, and She's Just Not That Into You. Courtesy Jennifer Aniston, but not too sure. Maybe I should wait until Billu Barber (or just "Billu" as supposedly some community revolted against the term Barber being used in the title).

I read in the papers “What’s Your Rashee” stars Harman opposite Piggy Chops, and the latter plays 12 characters in the movie (one belonging to each sun sign). In fact, after Harman’s Victory faced a shameful defeat at the box office, he was actually going to be thrown out of the film. But, he’s still there...

Rashee... That a nice name, na? One of my friends has named her daughter Rashi; I suspect it’s coz her beau is Ravi and she’s named Sheetal. (It’s my mum’s hobby to reverse unusual names – and in this case, it becomes “Sheera”; that’s a common sweet in Hindu households!)

This friend incidentally belongs to Hyderabad (a city which is going to be mentioned twice more in this post), and the city that invited me thrice in the same year more than 8 years ago. My dad’s cousins stay there, and theirs used to be a huge joint family. (
English tip – “used to” indicates something in the past, which doesn’t exist anymore; in this case, the family is now divided. Pity pity.)

So, well I met this girl on the train on my way to Pune, and we became friends. We have never met after that single time, but God knows how we’ve managed to keep in touch despite that. We never forget each other’s birthdays and (her) anniversary, and even if we speak after ages, the warmth is still genuine and massive. Serendipity...

The other 2 things about Hyd – as I told you last time, there are
weddings there which I’m going to miss. And the other - I read in the Mirror that a Hyderabad engineer was murdered in the US, and nobody knows the reason why or how. Is this the plight of any citizen there, or only coz he was an Indian? Food for thought.

The
Pune Mirror has also reported its usual bizarre stuff – about a woman who loves her 38KKK size bust and Mel B (aka Scary Spice)’s insatiable sex drive. (As if the silly sexpert column wasn’t titillating enough!)

And of course, the page 3 hodgepodge : how Aamir and Akki are avoiding and talking crap about King Khan (the Badshah SRK). Hey, have you heard that Aamir’s 3 Idiots, that is based on Five Point Someone, will release sometime around Christmas next year? He cites the reason for this decision - his last two films (TZP and Ghajini) that released the same time did miraculously well. How superstitious!

(Amir, your movies will do well no matter when you release them, coz you’re a talented actor, and your stories are always unusual and interesting. Another credulous story is that Rani Mukherjee is leaving her bungalow, coz she thinks it’s unlucky for her...)

As if that silliness wasn’t enough, there’s the “Trendspotting” space in the newspaper. Here, the nuttiest of people wear their stupidest attire that is ridiculously overpriced, and are labeled “chic”!! Hee hee... Pagal-panti ki hadd hai yaar!!

What’s sure not funny is that India is now being touted as a destination for “slum tourism”. Hell, folks! Why can’t you see our development and strengths? See our monuments, see our education and business locations. Why do you choose to ignore all that and focus on our poverty and filthiness instead? The
Danny Boyle movie is only the manifestation of what most westerners think about our country. Let there be a worldwide awareness campaign on how our “third-world” nation is budding. Indians of the world, unite!!

Indian women are now uniting for an entirely different, but very appropriate cause - the Pink Chaddi Campaign. To express horror at the Mangalore pub incident, this is the brainchild of a very brave lady. (Heaven protect her.) She has urged people from all over to send pink underwear (new, used, old, tattered, any) to the Shri Ram Sena folks - the selfproclaimed religion-protectors and morality-diffusers. (I hear they are thinking of gifting sarees to those that send them their unusual parcels.) This mud-slinging match is no concern for the goondas, but I am anxious for the participating ladies. May the lingerie team win!

Let’s end this post on a good note(s) :
1. Potter creator J K Rowling has been included in the French legion of honor.
2. The Forbes rich list now has a new entrant – Mr. Sunil Mittal (though my God-sasur Lakshmi slid a few positions). The Ambanis have climbed the ladder, despite their losses due to the recession. Cheerio!
3. Zakir Hussain has won the Grammy, and Bhimsen Joshi the Bharat Ratna.

Wish you luck, too!
Princess

Thursday, February 12

Ajnabee Apna Sa...


You think you know him one second, and then he feels so distant, hostile and impersonal.

His laughter’s the sound of the waterfall. It comes from the depths of his heart and resounds like a million pearls bouncing off the tiled floor.

Anything new interests him. He’s enthusiastic, quick to learn and adapt.

His face glows when he smiles. His tanned features and genuine, eager demeanor strike a chord with young and old alike.

He spoils your mood with amazing ease. He scalds with his blunt, insensitive words. And then tries to make up for it by being extra sweet. And irresistible.

He chatters when the topic is over and keeps mum when the topic is on.

He loses his temper at the drop of a hat. He can take hours to get back to normal. IF he wants to get back to normal.

He forgets what he was saying if someone else interrupts. And then he can’t stop thinking about what he forgot.

His eyes twinkle when he laughs, so bright and cheerful, you can see your image in them as clearly as if they were mirrors.

His hatred is potent, destructive and alarming. He’s reckless and skeptical about most things in life.

When he walks, it’s with a purposive and rapid pace that reeks of discipline and agility.

A master of disguises when he talks. Bihari, Southie, Australian, Punjabi, Marathi, Marwari – you name it and he can be it. Dev Anand, Salman, Shahrukh (whom he loathes coz I adore him!), Sunil Shetty, Anil Kapoor, Amitabh Bacchan, Nana Patekar – he can make you laugh until you beg him to stop. (Actually he doesn’t stop even then. Until I make an ugly face and turn to ignore mode.)

He praises and pampers. His appreciation is universal and impartial (unfortunately). Be it his boss or a laptop, a friend’s wealth or his roomie’s intelligence. His genuine admiration tingles, coz there’s not a hint of disdain or envy.

He doesn’t like to plan and he doesn’t like to wait. But he loves fantasizing about future events and rejoicing over plans-in-draft.

His insightful and dreamy notions astound (coz you don’t expect him to be so imaginative and sentimental) and then delight you.

When he wants something, he wants it. Be it a whisky shot, or his keys or your word.

His charm, wit and keen observation don’t miss the tiniest details.

He detests it when someone orders him around, but he’ll put up with it if he really cares for you and your preferences.

A good rider with tremendous control, he hates back-seat driving and involuntary pillion body reactions.

He smiles when he sings. He is either famished or overstuffed. His two fav topics? Potty... and potty.

He can read my mind and see through the walls I build for everyone (including myself).

He won’t touch elders’ feet to seek their blessings. It’s not in is culture or nature.

He’s loving, protective, unwavering and emotional. He can write heartrending prose and poetry and he likes baby-talk.

He cannot dance, but he’ll accompany you on the floor so you don’t feel lonely.

He can make you feel special with his small, thoughtful acts and words. He accepts mistakes after fighting over them. With surprising humility and affection.

He hates to wake up early. He’s conscientious about cleaning his room and clothes.

Thanks to him, I got the crazy habit of sneaking milk powder at office. (The
tea vendor verdict was probably coz of this.)

He loves to spend the limited money he has with startling ease and insensibility.

His touch is warm and reassuring. Makes you feel complete and safe. He tries his best to accomplish all that I command or desire.

The tears in his eyes can melt the devil and the fire in them can burn the toughest mountain.

A wonderful companion, a sweet and caring friend, a jolly and courageous pal, an honest and dependable mate.

When you close your eyes, you needn’t worry coz you know he’s watching you and will protect you no matter what...

... And it’s been 15 months since I know him today...

Wednesday, February 11

This Valentine’s Day...

Welcome, readers!

Anuja (aka Princess) isn’t just here to rant about her life, thoughts, wishes and experiences. She cares about you, too.

Here are some tips for all you innocent and simple people who don’t know what to do with your partners this Valentine’s... Straight from your in-house relationship expert...

(You’re welcome; how sweet of you to call me your knight in shining armor! Sniff sniff.)

IMO, there’s too much hullabaloo about this day. Too much money is spent and too much showbaazi (=show-off) happens. Why would anyone need a single day to express their feelings to someone they love? Love is to be celebrated every day by caring for each other in the simplest ways!

But hey, I’m not against Valentine’s. In fact, I detest the fear and anxiety that the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) create in the minds of the youth wrt this day. (Whatever happened to freedom of expression and tolerance for others' wishes and preferences?!!)

I understand that though two people love each other, they don’t often get to show it thanks to busy routines or pressing priorities. And so, when this one occasion comes, it’s not to be missed. Even if it means shelling those extra bucks and taking out time from other activities. And not just romantic love, this is also for your friends, family and others. Mind it.

If you’ve read
The Secret by Me, then you already know a little about courting your girlfriend. Flowers, thoughtful gifts and mushy care can get you from zero to hero in a matter of minutes. Ladies, the same goes for you. Don’t expect that only your man will flatter you on this day; you need to pamper him as well. After all, you love and want him, too, right?

Flowers, cards, gifts, meal and movie - easy enough if you have (or can arrange) the cash. Just a visit to Archies, Greetwell, Odyssey or any other gift shop, and you’re done with the presents. Throw in a film, romantic dinner and long drive, if you wish. There are also a few parties in town to celebrate - albeit on the 13th, as the 14th is a fiasco-prone option.

Tips for the meal - choose one of your partner’s favorite restaurants (if you’ve been there umpteen times before, then opt for a new location where you’re guaranteed of a good experience). As far as the movie is concerned, it could be any – one that you’ve seen and enjoyed before, a new release, a comedy or a romantic. (The watchword every where is "partner likes/dislikes/preferences".)

(Even if it means a South Indian flick on kaala jaadoo / jadoo-tona / black magic, with garish picturization and silly dubbing, loud gestures and stupid dialogues. A small sacrifice to see your mate laugh like a baby.)

No sweat there. But, what if you don’t have the money? No problem. Don’t make this an excuse for not doing anything worthwhile for your loved one. Truth be told, the things you do with minimal money but with your own effort are much more precious and joyful. Like a hand-made card with your own verses, or planning a small treasure hunt, or including the gang to do something memorable for your lover.

As they say, it’s not about what and how much you give. Your feelings and intention is more important. Go back to the place where you first met, or where one proposed to the other. Relive your memories and life together. Let sweetness drip from every word and each action. Leave bickering and criticizing for another day (not the very next!), forget the bad moments... And watch your love come alive again...

I hope I’ve said enough for you to plan something real nice. Let me know how it goes...Before I wind up this post, let me to share with you a few funny statements I read when I went gift-hunting to Archies. (A gift for my bro-bhabhi’s anniversary last week, smart-pants! Haa...)

There were these coffee mugs with witty inscriptions, a few of which I’ll quote here :

Leadership – They don’t respect you, they don’t fear you. They just plain hate you!
Ambition – The journey of a thousand miles usually ends in the middle of nowhere!
Compromise – Let’s agree to disagree coz frankly, you’re too stupid to understand my point of view!

Hehehe...

Note - Please don’t gift the above to your lover... There are tons of other coochie-poo paraphernalia to choose from!

Sincerely,
Princess

Tuesday, February 10

New HR Policy - Brilliant!!

You're gona love this!!

You've read my letters (
this and this) ... But here's one today that's not from me...

This is one of the forwards I received quite sometime back, but saved thanks to it's crazy laugh-generating quality. After a very emotional I Believe, it's time for some fun! And here it is, in the form of a letter the darling HR folks wrote to their employees... (Not sure whether this is fact or fiction; given the recession, people and firms can fall to any level!)

Enjoy!

Dear Staff,
Please be advised that there are NEW rules and regulations implemented to raise the efficiency of our firm.

Transportation:
* It is advised that you come to work driving a car according to your salary.
* If we see you driving a Honda, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.
* If you drive a 10 year old car or public transportation, we assume you must have lots of savings therefore you do not need a raise.
* If you drive a Pickup, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Lunch Break:
* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy.
* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
* Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take diet pill.

Annual Leave:
Each employee will receive 52 Annual Leave days a year. (Wooowww!)
They are called Sunday.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor Medical Cert as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Toilet Use:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilets.
* There is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the cubicles. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the door will open and a picture will be taken.
* After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.
* Subsequent pictures will be sold at public auctions to raise money to pay your salary.

Surgery:
As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.

Internet Usage:
All personal internet usage will be recorded and charges will be deducted from your bonus (if any) and if we decide not to give you any, charges will be deducted from your salary.
(Note: Rs.20 per minute as we have 4MB connection).

Just for the record - 73% of the staff will not be entitled to any salary for the next 3 months as their internet charges have exceeded their 3 months salary.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience.

Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice day. (!!!)

Smiling yet?!! ;-)
Have a great week!

Love,
Princess

Monday, February 9

Plan by Chance


Wana know what I've been up to over the last couple of days?

Apart from my daily routine (which basically includes work, read, sleep, eat, TV, chat, pseudo-study, blog, and other knick-knacks), I’ve done 3 different things last week. All unplanned and fun. One was attending the NHRD meet on Friday at Le Meridien, the other was visiting Optimos, and the last was going picknicking with my parents' gang!!

You remember I told you about the
last NHRD session I attended? Well, the one last week was about a dissertation on Assessment Centres done by Nidhi Dhanju of Infosys. Frankly speaking, I wasn’t too energized by the time it ended; I had higher expectations from the discussion and interaction. The networking wasn’t too great either, business-wise, for the simple reason that there were a lot more consulting firms than corporates, and I ended up unnecessarily parting with too many visiting cards coz there were several representatives from the same organization.

The other event had me jumping in joyful anticipation. I visited my ex-ex-company : Optimos. (Mentioned it a few times when I spoke about
memories and my jhola and my list/range of professional experiences) It’s been 3.5 years since I quit, and I continue to have a basket of recollections of my times there. Haven’t been there since, though I continue to be in touch with my ex-colleagues.

As I climbed the first couple of steps, I was actually anxious about the kind of atmosphere I’d see and the welcome I’d receive. I already knew there were only a handful of people left there that I knew, including my direct manager and a few others. However, that didn’t stop me from shivering and smiling till my cheeks explode. The way my manager greeted and spoke to me was super-special, and it didn’t feel like I was returning after 40+ months.

I could go on for ages, but it may not seem very interesting and exciting to you. Like how I visualized our ex-security guard Bhagwan standing up to say hello to me (and only me!), my sense of detachment when I saw the change in geaography and population, yet my feeling of belongingness when I sat at Roopa's desk chatting away and laughing at an average of 8 times per minute...

Well, steering to the final activity - it's been ages since I went for an outing with my family. I always manage to find an excuse to avoid going out with them. Why? Maybe coz I don't enjoy myself too much (could be my imagination) or coz I've more masti stuff to do elsewhere with other folks.

Whatever the reason, if I ever say yes to such plans, it causes tremendous hue and cry, surprise and amazement among everybody who knows me! Which is exactly what happened when my parents asked me if I would want to join them to Morgaon (roughly 70 kms from Pune, close to Saswad-Jejuri). There is a Ganpati temple here, one among the 8 Ashtavinayaks, and there is also a Mayureshwar abhayaaranya (=sanctuary) closeby where you can sight chinkara (a kind of deer), peacocks, wolves and other creatures.

I said yes coz I had nothing better to do, and the agenda sounded like fun. Having been on an African safari, the mentioned jungle drive seemed like a joke; we barely saw a few deer and that too at quite a distance. Obviously, since there was hardly any greenery there, and local farmers were making a din. But, the temple was nice; I even got a modak there!

All in all, a good week.

Valentine's day is approaching. Ready with your plan to woo your partners and profess your undying love yet again, lover boys and girls??

Have a good week!
Princess

Saturday, February 7

I Believe...

Hiiii....

I've been talking about myself and reality, a little too much these days. So, I thought for a change, I'd publish some of the wonderful and poignant forwards that I keep receiving from all around the world. You may seen some of them before, but do bear with me; the others deserve a chance to see them, too...

This one, titled "I Believe" is about the simple lessons in life. Really touched my heart, and some actually moved me to tears. So simple, so true... Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(Thanks for sending it to me, Ipsita.)

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.

(This resonates with what I wrote once about stress and conflicts in relationships.)

I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is,
They're going to hurt you every once in a while.
And you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.

The same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...
That it's taking me a long time
To become the person I want to be.

I Believe..
That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...
That you can keep going,
Long after you think you can't.

I Believe...
That we are responsible for what We do,
No matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude,
Or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be do,
When it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...
That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing...
And have the best time.

I Believe...
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down,
Will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them
And less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken,
The world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
But, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find Out a secret.
It could change your life.
Forever.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same Thing,
And see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of Hours,
By people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give,
When A friend cries out to you -
You will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life
Are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...
That you should share this with everyone you believe in...

I just did.

Thanks for reading... Thanks for being with me...

Love,
Princess

Friday, February 6

Letter Series : A friend in need...


You remember I wrote about my Activa last time in the letter series?

This time my letter goes out to a friend... A peer, to who I’d like to say the following things, but either never have, or have and been unheeded.

Hi sweetie! How you doing?

No. I don’t want to hear that you’re yet again pursuing your love-hate relationships with 3 different guys, even as you find 2 others charming and exciting, and another who cares more about your pooch than he does for his own mother...

I mean, quit it, babes! Kab tak yuhi ladko ke sahare jeeti rahegi? Aaj isne yaad nahi kiya isliye dukhi, kal wo kisi aur se milne ja raha hai isliye pareshan... And it’s not as if you really love any of them!! I know it’s great to have someone who cares for you, and waits on you hand and foot, but there’s more to life than just having a guy around you!!

I’m a fine one to talk about this subject. After all, I call myself Lonely Princess, and am perpetually fretting about people and their weird mannerisms. But hey, remember how they called us twins in class – the batchmates as well as the prof? Hehe. Whatta laugh we had...

My twin feelings for you are those of sadness and anger. We started off as “potential best friends”, and everybody around us saw our chemistry and camaraderie. I don’t know what happened later; maybe my having any sort of expectations from you wasn’t OK with you. No sweat. As far as I know, I was certainly a good friend to you. Guess you were looking out for something else.

You chummed up with another pal, and I was fine with that as well. However, I sure didn’t appreciate being called upon only to resolve your love issues and relationship concerns. I’m amazed you yourself didn’t realize how selfish you seem then. I have no qualms in counseling you and being there in your tough times, but heaven knows how many times you just walked off with others when I was alone and in need.

Anyway, I haven’t written to you merely to vent my exasperation and sorrow. I think it my duty to steer you to the path of seriousness and constructive behaviors. Your mum isn’t in either her pink of health or age, and it’s time you understood your responsibilities. Going to pay the bills and accompanying on health check-ups, aren’t the only duties you have as a daughter.

You shared your family crisis and financial status with me on a couple of occasions. I have wondered more than a hundred times how you can afford to have those glitzy meals and luxurious auto rides. Wake up, girl! You need to take control. You cannot waste your best years in this endless pursuit of men. I do understand if that’s a part of your leisure and stress-busting activities, but you cannot let that dominate you and your life! The last I heard from you, was you crooning that you want to get married and have babies with your ex-guy, who called up that day after ages... I mean, WHAT DA HELL?!!!

You have lost complete focus. You are good at studies, music, literature and a host of other things. Find your calling, woman! You have a great network, and you make an effort to help people and maintain relations with them. (I sometimes think you’re two-faced and conniving, as also short-sighted and egotistic, but I don’t know if others share my view, or whether I’m mistaken in my inferences.) Any which way, the point is, you really need to do something concrete in order to relieve your mom and reach someplace in life. You cannot while away your time till your last breath.

I wish you’d see I’m your well-wisher, and I’m not as bad as I’m meant out to be. We have LOLed through college and we’ve had a few tiffs, but I care about you. Assess your dreams, capabilities and responsibilities, and then if your soul permits you to carry on this way, I have no worries. It’s your destiny, and no one but you can decide where it will lead you.

I’m there if you ever want me...
Take care.

-Anuja