Tuesday, March 31

Khatam Kahaani

Not just friendship, all entities – alive or non-living, concrete or abstract – exist for a purpose. This includes people. And gods that are born as humans. I read how Krishna died a few days ago, and it broke my heart. How Gandhari’s curse took effect and wiped out the Yadavas from the face of the earth. How not even God is spared by fate.

If you remember,
Krishna was cursed that he would see his own clan kill each other as the Kurus did, and he would wander alone. How this came to happen was that Krishna’s son Samba was cursed by rishis (coz he and his friends played a prank on them) that he would bear an iron club that would destroy the Yadavs. Balarama tried to avert disaster by demolishing the tool, but destiny carries it off to the final site which the clan visits for a picnic. (You may have guessed that this locale was suggested by Krishna himself.)

Balarama takes the form of Ananta (the white serpent) and enters the sea, renouncing the earth. Helpless Krishna overcome by kismet participates in the carnage of his own sons and friends with the ill-fated weapon, and wanders the forest alone. When he lies down, ready to embrace death, a wandering hunter named Jara shoots his pretty toe with an arrow made of the same club fragment.

What an unbelievable yet concomitant sequence of incidents! How else would you explain this – Gopal, who was blessed by Durvasa muni that his entire body except the soles of his feet would be invulnerable to all artillery, was shot on the thumb of his foot?

(Hey, I read about a fabulous Krishna temple at Guruvayoor in Kerala; I want to see it. And ya, one must-visit temple is the marvelous Velankini mandir at Vellore. I visited it when I was on my college trip, remember?)

That’s how Krishna died. The greatest Baasuriwala (=flute-player) of all time. The one who became God thanks to his penance as a mortal bramhan. The very same Narayana who was promised numerous boons from Shiva, including one that said that if ever Shiva and Krishna battled, the latter would triumph.

The most enlightening bit of the story was when Arjuna helps transport the Yadava widows, elders and kids to another land as Dwarka was going to sink. (It will rise again when the Avtara decides to visit the earth once more.) Arjuna and his entourage were attacked by a group of bandits (Abhiras) and he failed to protect his entourage. The same Arjuna who fought and defeated so many eminent warriors single-handledly could not hold up the petty thugs. Why? Coz Krishna wasn’t there with him anymore...

Thus ends the Mausala Parva, and begins the Mahaprasthanika Parva where the Pandavas decide to relinquish the world too. (I don’t want to finish the book, I don’t want to finish the book!) The Panch Pandavas, Draupadi and a little brown dog set out towards the Himalayas to try and enter heaven in their mortal forms. Not an easy task! Dro drops out first coz she loved Arjuna more than the others, followed by Sahadeva who was proud of his intelligence. Then falls Nakula due to his conceit about his good looks, and then Arjuna because he was arrogant about his archery. Bheema, who loves his food and strength, is the next to go, and Yudi climbs into heaven alone with his unusual companion, who is actually Dharma deva, come to test him and his compassion and righteousness.
(Abhi kitta test? Khudka beta hai na, bas na phir!)

After this is the Swargarohanika Parva, in which Yudi sees several people in the heavenly darbar (including Duryodhana) but his brothers and wife are nowhere to be seen. When he questions Indra about it, he is led into a horrid place that stinks and reeks of torture. This illusion is Yudi’s punishment for having
lied once in his life (to kill Drona, remember I told you?)

I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but whether you go to heaven or hell depends on your karma. (You don’t have to be an Einstein to guess that!) But here’s something Einstein wouldn’t know. You first go to the place where there is the fruit of the fewer Karma. If you’ve sinned a lot, then you go to Paradise, reap the rewards and then shift to hell for continuous and never-ending torture. Conversely, if you’ve done a whole lot of good, and lesser paap, then you visit Hell for your ill-doing and then move to an eternity of swarga-waas.
(Hence, all the Pandavas including Yudi went to hell first for a few minutes, and Dury stayed in swarga for the same time.)

The book finally bids adieu to me (and to you as well, coz I’ve shared so much of it here with you readers. Hope you enjoyed it!) The final chapter is called Phalasruti and I’m going to quote some lines part-verbatim and part-modified coz they’re so essential and touching...

As long as the earth lives, and the sun and moon light the sky; as long as there is even a spark of goodness in men’s hearts, the legend of the Mahabharata will be told in the world. It is a sacred epic – the tale of truth, and all those who read, listen or speak it will have their sins washed and heart made pure. They will come to the blessed realm of Mahavishnu and experience eternal bliss...

Shall be glad to see you there, people! Until then, enjoy your time on earth, and make sure you do more punya than blunders...

Love,
Anuja

Saturday, March 28

Sazaa–e–Chinchpokli

“He’s getting married.”
"WHAT?!!”
"He called yesterday, said he was getting married later this month.”
Silence.
Long silence.
"You feeling bad?”
"I don’t know why this is making me feel like crying... It’s not that I love him or anything, and I know my agreeing to be with him for life will bring nothing but disaster... He's a great guy and everything, but we've just moved too far apart now... Still... It bothers me somehow..."
"I know what you mean, I myself am feeling horrible.”
"I’m surprised I’m sad! This was bound to happen someday or the other, and yet... Me feeling this way... Stupid, right?”
"Not at all... It’s like you start considering something your own, and then even when you don’t use it, you feel no one else should either.”
"Ya, that’s exactly what it is. Its crazy but I always thought he’d never marry before me, if you know what I mean...”
"I thought so, too. But I guess he will move on, can’t wait and stay like that forever.”
"Hmmm... Part of me is guessing this is a joke. You know April Fool’s is just around the corner.”
"I don’t think this is joke.”
"I don’t know. He sounded pretty serious. The details he gave were flawless.”
"I believe this is the truth.”
"Heyyy... why you crying?!!”
"I don’t know. But look, you’re crying as well!”
"Hehe. Now ain’t this ridiculous? What were both of us expecting?!!”
"Are you OK?”
"Ya, I’m fine. The instant I cut the phone, I felt a little dizzy and lost. Couldn’t see or understand what was happening, couldn’t focus on anything... But, I’m ok...”
"Get his kundali. Let’s just check...”
"Hullo? He’s getting married to someone else! He loves someone else!! And now...”
"Call him, let me wish him.”
"Nooo... Forget it... This is something like Sazaa-e-Chinchpokli - a dilemma where no solution is completely optimal!”
"He's a nice guy..."
"I know... I really am not sure whether this is a joke or not. He often does these crazy things to entice me so I panic and take some action that prompts our interaction. But, he sounded so honest..."
(Hug)
"He invited me for a get-together sometime next week. A few friends, his new mate, a small party of sorts. I said I won’t come...”
"Hmm... Will you be fine?”
"I’m ok.”
"I’ll be back.”
"Sure. No problem.”

Wheeee.... The breeze blew over the mountains and dashed against the apartment walls. What a respite from the tepid afternoons...

Beep Beep.
“3 days to go... April Fool.”

Thursday, March 26

The Friendship Volcano

I’ve often felt miserable coz I don’t have a comforting companion, a jigari yaar with who life looks absolutely brand new and hopeful and livable every single day. A lifelong chum who is a great friend – nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve seen friendships around me blossoming and ending, but the contentment of having an understanding, lifetime chaddi-buddy has evaded me. Someone you meet and befriend when you’re a tiny tot (or maybe a little older), and with whom you continue to share the same camaraderie ages after the first day you met... "Ah we’ve known each other for decades, we’ve been best friends since playschool”... Something like that, you know...

But hey, you can’t change that.

I thought I was the only lonely one in my part of the globe, but looks like it isn’t so. I’ve seen several folks who were best friends once and then drifted away over petty reasons, folks who became thick as thieves within a day of seeing each other, folks who managed to strike a chord with everyone yet hung out as a single, unattached person. The world is full of all kinds of people...

I wonder why people get attracted to each other (as friends, I mean). I’m thinking what is it that brings them together and keeps them together. And I’ve been speculating a long time. Hadn’t read the
Mahabharata before this, you see.It’s amazing how I’m managing to find so many answers and so many truths in this saga, that I’ve been always seeking as a child and adult.

Having finished the Aswamedha Parva (where Yudi conducts the Ashwamedha Yagna to wash the sins of war) and the Ashramavasika Parva (where all the elders retire to the forest to lead the last phase of their life), I'm now about to start the Mausala Parva (Book 16; 30 pages to end the Mahabharata!! A yippee and a sigh... I'm gona miss these days and learnings!)

In the previous sections - the
Shanti and Anusasana Parva - Yudi gets rid of his grief and guilt and accepts the throne of the Kurus. To be an able king and a just ruler, Yudi requests knowledge from Bheeshma who lies dying on his unusual bed of arrows. Amongst other topics discussed, one is about friends and friendships. Read on...

Yudi asks how one can choose/identify a friend, and how long friendships last. To this, Pitama replies that an individual is valuable to others when others can benefit by him. Human needs are varied. So someone may be liked for one quality and another for another feature.
(For eg. you may befriend somebody coz he/she is attractive looking, and another individual for his/her study skills, and yet another for his/her social network.)

Like-minded people often become friends until the time their affections change. (Something like “birds of a feather flock together” till they reach a particular destination, and then fly away or live separately.) Friendships last as long as they serve some purpose. And this is a rule, not an exception. When the reason is over, the friendship also ceases to exist.

(I know this sounds very dismal and selfish, but please argue with the one who uttered this, not me who’s merely sharing it with you.)

Somehow this paragraph brought me tremendous tranquility. I understood why despite my best of intentions and gestures, people I look upon as good friends do not stay too long. Why those that chatted 2 hours a day are now no longer even on scrapping (on social networking sites) terms, and why those that met daily do not even have a second to drop in an sms or ring.

I used to marvel at how Abba is still on such excellent terms with his peers in college and school. I thought it is our generation to blame - a mass of transient, self-centered characters who use each person as a stepping stone till they get to the next higher rung.

(Which is what is hapenning in MTV Roadies as well - now Samrat is voted out, and that leaves Sufi, Naomi, Polo, Palak and Natasha. Twas an exciting episode - crocodiles and rugby and what not!)

I am not saying friendships are manipulative relations, nor has my need for good friends diminished after this reading, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself anymore for being a lonely soul. I’ve understood that just like the guru chooses the disciple, in the same way, the one who is meant to be a companion shall enter your life at the right time. And there is no way you can expedite this process by thrashing about wildly.
Tthand rakh... hona hoga, toh ho jayega...

And the final word ...

Attachment leads to sorrow, and relinquishment to joy.

This is something I personally advocate. I’ve noticed that when I get too emotionally involved, I start expecting too much, and it hurts each time. The minute I decide to let go, and not let that person affect me, I feel a sense of serenity come over me. Almost like a sanyasi... And it’s so wonderful!! Until the time the cycle begins again...

Ugghh... Hate these vicious circles... But the unfo sure helped :-)

Trust this eases your doubts, too!!

Adios, and best wishes for Gudi Padva (Hindu New Year) tomorrow!

-Princess

Tuesday, March 24

Kaam-a-Kaaj-ee (Kamikaze?!!)

Hey!

Most of you must have read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (and the other sequels). Wana know the Seven Habits of Me?!!

1. I can be an expert at guiding and counseling, but I can also be a terrible listener in love with the sound of my own voice.
2. I shop anywhere, but I won’t eat at tin tappar bhojanalays and never-been-there-before tthelas.
3. I look up each time the sky rumbles as an aeroplane passes, but I sometimes purposely ignore or feign disinterest when someone is trying hard to convey a message.
4. I pride myself on my forthrightness and independence, yet I need a soul-mate who I can run to when a small worry, joy or sorrow is on my mind.
5. I get hurt at the slightest of things, and I remain calm in the toughest of waters. I cry buckets in silly emotional movies, and somehow the tears never quite dry up despite facing the same life situations and callous people innumerable times.
6. If there is tons to accomplish, I want a break. If I’m on a vacation, I want something to do.
7. I won’t think twice before I spend money on expensive and unnecessary luxuries like marshmallows and hookah, but I will look at the rickshaw meter as it adds up every rupee to the fare.

Now whether these are effective or not, that’s an open forum for discussion. But, that’s me... And I’m ok with it :-)

I’m
back from Lonavala; the LnT program went delightfully well. The corporate MDC (Management Development Centre) is a grand place and its awesomeness had me spellbound – lush green and cosmic lawns, refreshing lotus ponds, well-arranged learning halls, spotless and comfortable rooms and dining hall... A complete 10 on 10.

(The food could have been better, though, but I’m not complaining. The service and courtesy of the staff more than made up for it. Way to go, people! Take a bow and keep it up!!)

Wish I could go there for a relaxing vacation, but I think they cater to only their own LnT BUs (business units) and other companies that are looking for venues to host their training/development programs.

Speaking about our sessions, they were super fun. I observed and conducted a few activities that I hadn’t before; the team was a group of brilliant engineers who accomplished every task we set for them. Of course a few people commanded more of my attention than the rest...

A young sardar who looked deceptively silly (I donno how most of them manage to give that look so convincingly!) but was a bundle of laughter once he started speaking – his Punjabi accent, booming voice, shrewd and quick sense of humor, twinkling eyes and domineering attitude. I loved the way he assumed control and guided everyone successfully and respectfully.

A man who resembled a gorilla with his cheeks, nose and ears bursting out of the dumbfold we provided for an activity... I'd dismissed him as a dumb character, but respect dawned when I came to know that he was an IIT-passout! How human perceptions change within seconds, na?!! ;-)

A bunch of young lads who kept cracking clever jokes that kept the team energetic and entertained.

A woman who seemed to have a uphill story of her own... And the counselor inside me was drawn to her instantly...

A man who irritated me with his “Bezically” (=basically) and interminable, lackluster sermons.

A man who kept picking his nose constantly... (Eeyuckkk! How can you do that so calmly and un-self-consciously in public?!!)

And well... others special in their own different ways... and a few forgettable ones, too...

To cut a long story short, we had a great time, and the group enjoyed themselves too as they gained insights about themselves and their teams. I learnt quite a bit about the MBTI and Appreciative Inquiry (AI), and most importantly, these 2 days served as a change from my usual routine and usual folks. Cheers!

I'm amazed at how I eat like a giant when I'm out on such programs and off-sites. Looks like all the fresh air and running around really does me good. My mum would be so happy to see me wolfing down rotis and rice, snacks and fruits! All without any prodding or requesting!

(Another piece of news is that I drew an apple - an imperfect one - by my standards this time, and the boss didn't complain or comment, so I'm guessing she was content with it. Hushhh!!!)

The two days flew, and now comes the drab part - we’re shifting our office premises, so there’s a whole lot of packing and filing that needs to be done. Will connect with you whenever I can.

Hope you doin well!
TC!

-Anuja

Friday, March 20

Aayi Re Khushi


Somebody very dear to me brought to my notice that I am adept at describing my sorrows, and I wax eloquent when it comes to my despair. Amazingly, I’m not as garrulous and animated when it comes to my joys and fun... Ahem.

As much as I would like to refute and deny this statement, I’m sheepishly going to admit that this is indeed true... But hey, I’ve already shared with you that
I find sorrow the most write-worthy of emotions. Somehow the words just flow when I think about loneliness and distress. Can’t help it. Blame the Cancer traits of moodiness and emotionality coupled with clarity and lucidity!

Anyway, to endorse the fact that I can describe my joyfulness, too, here is this post...

I made some
awesome, awesome tea for myself the other day after I went home from work. Usually, my Maa makes garam adraki chai for me and hands me my pet tumbler as I prop my legs up on the sofa and watch reruns of Friends, Roadies or Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma. On this fateful day, however, she was out, and I dreadfully needed a cuppa to soothe my body, mind and soul. I stood by the adage “Apna haath jagannath”, and was rewarded with a concoction that was perfect in terms of quantity, ginger-flavor, and sweetness. Cheers!!

I’ve actually considered cutting down my intake of tea and coffee, aerated drinks and other stuff that could affect my dental cavity filling of resin (a kind of plastic). My dentist says the resin filling is personalized to an individual’s tooth color, and it changes hues after a while thanks to our eating and drinking habits. While I’m not particularly fond of all the colas, I sure enjoy a Pepsi at the movies and a Mountain Dew with pizza. The rest of the times, it’s Maaza or Orange juice for me... But how the hell can I do without my daily dose of chai...??!!! Not happening, buddy.

Moving on, the next bit is about the
GMAT. I have this gut feeling I’m gona do pretty well on the test. (Don’t ask me why, I really don’t know, and my revision can by no means be judged exceptional or extraordinary.) So well, that’s another reason to rejoice, and I’m working towards completing the official guide soon.

Put your hands together to applaud the deadly diva who scored a massive 28416 on
Snake!! That’s a whopping three times of my previous high score! Rigga-ding-ding-ding... Yiipppeeee!!!

Well, was about to forget the bestest of things that occurred this week. I went for an excellent and unplanned lunch with my dear pal, and the meal was terrific! It’s been ages since I had GOOD chicken with complete merriment. What used to mar my experience over the last few months were the chefs at local restaurants and my dental health. But with the
irritating tooth outta the way and a competent cook to fulfill my fantasies, I guess there was no way my goal could not be attained. Cheers to Sibi, and cheers to Avees!! (This place is located on Karve Road near Kalmadi High school, and I swear by their Roti and Butter Chicken!! Great quantity, great taste!!)

Too many good news-es... You wouldn’t mind if I shared something off-topic, would you?!

Two ugly lizards have migrated from god knows where to our kitchen at home. Each time I go to get a drink or a munch, they are hanging there upside down, peering at me, watching my every move. Another one has moved house to our office. Grrr... Psyches me out! What the hell do they want?!! Can’t they just mind their own business and stop glancing at me dangerously?! Crazy creatures...

I have a phobia of lizards, and I ABSOLUTELY hate them. Was stuck for 3 hours as a child in the bathroom with 3 lizards scattered around the spot – one on the door, two on the adjacent walls. Whichever direction I moved or tried to make them move, I was the one who was jumping in anxiety and horror. Hate hate hate them.... Ugly, repulsive beasts... Black or white, they’re all disgusting and creepy...

(I've also discovered a weird clapping sound in our balcony at home. It's highly sinister - a gigantic lizard? A musical mouse? A drunk squirrel? Something else? Thank God I sleep in the other bedroom...)

Lets end with some trivia:
Sneezing – I read somewhere that sneezing causes some brain cells to die, and I recently learnt that it also causes your heart to skip a beat... Which is why people say “Bless you” when someone sneezes. Of course olden tales say that a sneeze was somehow related to evil spirits...

Men enjoy whistling while they pee – I’m not sure how the two functions are related, but I’m guessing the joint implementation is highly enjoyable. Whatever works!!

Happy weekend, fellas! I'm off to Lonavala for an LnT program. Shall let you know how it went! You take care and have fun :-)


Love,
Anuja

Wednesday, March 18

Stories Galore

Oye dost-log!
How’s it going?!

Me doing fine, finished the
Shalya Parva, Sauptika Parva and Stree Parva in the Mahabharata, and simultaneously working on GMAT as well. Bought a new book – Barron’s TOEFL for self-study. Tayaari major types hai, but actual padhai kitni hai... Now that’s a good Q!

Speaking about the Kaurava-Pandava war, Shalya is now dead, so are Uluka, Shakuni and the rest. Among the Kauravas, there remain just four survivors – Duryodhana, Ashwatthama, Kripa and Kritavarman. When the Pandavas discover Dury healing his wounds under the Dwaipayana lake, they challenge him for a final bout that would conclude the war, leading to a single victor. Thus follows the gada-yuddha (=mace-fight) between Dury and Bheema.

This section is an amazing piece of drama – the foolhardy nobility of Yudi, the description of the combat between the two mighty cousins, and the verbal duels amongst Krishna, Balarama, the Pandavas and Duryodhana. Dury is felled by treachery (just like all the other great warriors in the battle). As usual, it is Krishna to the rescue, who reminds Bheema of his oath by slapping his thigh. The only pure thing about this is, that dying at Samantapanchaka, Dury is bound to attain a place in heaven. Thanks to Gandhari's boon, and Balarama's choice of location. The minute Dury dies, Sanjaya's miraculous vision that helped him relate every detail of the war to Dhritarashtra, is gone.

The Sauptika Parva, a mere 25 pages, tells how the new commander appointed by the dying Dury - Ashwatthama (Drona’s son) gets a wild idea from a white owl - to attack the Pandava camp in the night when they were not expecting it and were least prepared. To avenge this brutal and horrific act, when Arjuna and Ashwatthama loosen the Bramhasirsa on each other, Vyasa and Narada stop them, and as the latter cannot call back his astra, it destroys the wombs of all Pandava women. Krishna curses Ash that he would live until the end of the kali yuga, see a Pandava king (Parikshit) rule the earth and roam friendless and alone, with his forehead gemstone stripped from him.

This is followed by the Stree Parva (again just 20 pages) where Gandhari curses Krishna for causing the maha-yuddha, and says that the Yadavas will kill each other and Krishna will die a lonely death. The way Govinda accepts and rationalizes this is truly smart! Also how he protects Bheema from treacherous Dhritarashtra, when the patriarch wished to kill his nephew by clasping him tight. What creates giggles is the way Arjuna runs to escape Gandhari's vision, when her blindfold slips while crying.
(Yudi's toenails are burnt black coz she has so much power in her virgin eyesight, that she relinquished when she married Dhri.)

Now comes the Shanti Parva and Anushasana Parva - combined and condensed into 35 pages from the original Ganguli text of a 1000 pages. 130 pages to end this saga...

The other day I called a friend’s mum who trains students for English competitive exams. I wanted some guidance and tips to tackle the TOEFL, a necessary test to determine English language competency in order to study abroad. While I was told the test is no big deal, I am pretty anxious about it; it looks vast and intimidating.

I expected the friend’s mother to tell me a few things about the best way to study and approach the exam. What I heard her say, was her rates for coaching – a cool 12-18k for just about 20-24 hours.
(So much for business-mindedness! Weighing each word and parting with the least possible info is sure something we need to learn from these people.)

(This kinda reminds me of an encounter I had with her daughter once 4 years ago. We were planning to go to some education fair at the Taj Blue Diamond, and she offered to take her vehicle. I was a tad shocked by her generosity, until I realised she wanted me to pay her 50 bucks coz she had filled fuel worth 100. Sala auto se 30 rupaye lagta!! Nonsense... Chindee chors...)

(I'm not naming communities here, but take a hint... Dare you say Marwaris! Marwaris excel at bargaining, but they don’t shy away from helping their own kind.)

Anyways, I straight went to Landmark and purchased Barron’s guide on TOEFL. I’m hoping this will sort out my apprehension and help me score well on the test. At the moment, I’m recuperating from the stress that was created as I flipped through the pages to get an idea about what I was in for... Whew... Tough work...

Hey, ye toh bataya hi nahi... I met this girl last week – an ex-school-friend’s girlfriend – who is a student of media and research. She is doing a study on Indian bloggers and their blogging habits. I felt quite like a celebrity as I answered her questions sipping on a coffee ;-)

So, here’s the deal – any of you desi bloggers, 18-40 years old, currently active on the blogging scene - if you’re willing to invest a little bit of your time and help my friend, do write me a note. I’m sure she’d appreciate it. All you need is a voice-chat connection (she needs to record what you say, authenticity-sake) and spare time on your hands. She has said she will keep the identities and responses confidential, and the study is solely for academic purposes.

Hey, I managed to catch Roadies last Sunday. I missed the one before that, so I was a little lost to see Bobby, Kiri and Sandeep replaced by Gurmeet (aka Palak), Nauman and Sufi. Tamanna is voted out. NOW the competition is fair and honest.
(Of course, Palak on screen is a rape on the eyes and ears, but so is Paulami.)

Have you seen the new and absolutely brilliant DLF IPL ad? “Kabhi 100 karod logo ko ek saath ek hi cheez karte dekha hai? Ek desh, Ek junoon”... Crisp, effective and energetic. Mind-blowing advertisement. Also mindblowing is the fact that nowadays TV channels are airing the latest and hittest movies barely weeks/months after their release! I caught glimpses of Fashion and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na on Sunday.

A news for you people – I’m planning to blog less frequently. There is no single reason for my decision, it’s just been on my mind for a while... I’ll drop in a line now and then, and I may resume my daily rants with the usual gusto when my heart misses you!

Doesn’t mean I’ll forget you... I promise... You won’t either, right?!!
Be good :-)

Adios!
Princess

Tuesday, March 17

The Price of Love



“Roar”, said the demon,
"I’m going to imprison you,
Neither friends nor family can you see,
All you shall have here, is me.

With me can you talk,
With me you’ll live alone,
I promise I’ll make you smile,
And to wipe your tears, I’ll do all that’s pure and vile.

But no one else can you call upon,
Though you command all that your heart wants,
Except for other humans, coz I can’t share you,
You’re too precious, too pretty, I can’t let you go.

I can’t risk you enjoying with another,
And refusing to return to me,
And even if you do, your heart will not be mine,
And I’d die rather than see you unhappy...

No! You must remain in this cage, this golden cage,
And I promise to keep you satisfied.”

"Ok”, said the princess,
"I love you, and I recognize how much you love me,
I don’t need anything else, except to be here with you.”
Alas, the foolish girl,
So innocent and short-sighted.

Life is funny and weird,
And our needs and desires even more so...
What seems so right one moment, looks ridiculous at another time,
And what one so deeply craves, turns out to be a curse.

"I miss my home”, the dainty lass said,
"It’s been so many weeks,
I want to see those that loved me,
And knew me much before we met...
I shall be back in a day’s time, I promise
Let me go, and I’ll return soon.”

The demon trembled, not a whisper escaped his lips,
After all, how long can one hold the clouds, the wind, the river...
He knew this would happen someday.

How could he refuse her, the one he lived and breathed for,
"Just a day”, she murmured, “A day, and not a second more.”
His eyes glistened with unwept tears
As he held her close, and felt her warmth,
He couldn’t let those drops flow,
Coz his princess’ last reflection was in them.

His heart wailed as he nodded,
“Ok my sweetheart,
I am your slave and I must obey.”

When one wishes something,
How fruitful is it to refuse?
Isn’t thinking it and doing it nearly the same?
Wouldn’t it sow the seed of sorrow and hurt?

"I love you,” he uttered, “always will”
Her hood fluttering in the breeze,
She disappeared over the horizon.

A day passed, and the princess thought,
"I guess another won’t hurt.”
And thus a week flew.

The princess enjoyed her new company,
Though she missed her crazy lover,
"I’ll surely leave tomorrow,” she kept telling herself,
But aren’t promises made to be broken?

She thought of him each day,
And how he worshipped her,
As the new month drew near,
She realized life wouldn’t be the same without him.

"I must go,” she said,
As her family bid adieu,
With arms open she flew,
To embrace the one who could die for her,
Or kill if need be.

The castle echoed her calls when she spoke his name,
She ran all about looking for her lover,
Until she reached the dungeon dark.

There sat the demon,
His lips curled in a moan,
"He died the instant you were beyond sight,” sighed a friendly stork.
"He asked me to wait till you came, so I could give you this.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks,
The princess unfolded the note,
"I love you, always will.
And I can’t bear my heart that beats without you...”

- Lonely Princess

Monday, March 16

Creepy crawlies

This post isn’t about bugs and insects.

It’s about another species of creeps. Read M-E-N.

(Sorry guys, I ain’t on your side this time. I know I wrote about fun stuff on
gender benders before, but you gotta excuse me this once. Will make it up someday...)

Note : This post is entirely on the masculine gender and how troublesome they are. If you have any problems with the said topic, please stop reading this and explore the rest of the blog. Thanks.

P.S. Note : I also know there are exceptions to everything, and I’m not denying that. So, if something looks objectionable to you women (and the guys who are still reading despite the above warning), I sincerely apologize.

I’m not writing this post coz men constantly feature in my list of irritating issues; you know I often say they’re much better than women as buddies. However, more than a few times now, I’ve come across other women who are losing their calm and joy thanks to the men in their life.

A fellow blogger is hurt time and again when her male companion seems distant and uncaring. A woman I know goes out of her way to keep her husband and son happy, but cries each night coz their heartless, uncalled-for behavior stings her. A lady who is independent and brusque in the face of the entire world cowers as her husband throws silly tantrums. A young man hates the way his bro-in-law mistreats his sis and niece...

The above statements are not fictional or imaginary. Nor are they my personal instances. I have met thousands of men in various roles (friend, father, husband, colleague, son, brother, uncle, teacher, student, and so on), and 80% of them think they rule the world, that all feminine folk are their slaves and/or inferiors. I could count on my fingertips, the men I know who respect their wives, support her dreams against the world and take any nonsense that she offloads. The women don’t have a choice, but to do the above. It’s their dharma...

Whether a woman is a working professional or a housewife, the man expects her to tend to the house and family, despite her challenges and troubles. (Which I don’t object to, but that doesn’t mean the woman has no right to sit back and relax as she watches TV after a hard day at work.) Men desire royal treatment, that the woman be home before he gets there, that there’s a
steaming cup of tea ready for him as the woman stands near him and enquires amorously about his day.

A woman always behaves as a mother, a man is forever the baby. Boyfriends or dads, brothers or uncles, a female cares for them at any age as if they were children. All she asks for in return, is to be loved daily and pampered once in a while. You give her a roseleaf, and she’ll present you a bouquet of blood-red roses that she plucked as the thorns pricked her.

A woman bargains at ever shop and counter to save your money, but she never haggles in her love for you. That is the one thing that is perfect and pure. She maybe a teenager, an adult or a wrinkly granny; but she knows what her man wants, and she’ll cross a hundred mountains to be there for him. That’s devotion.

She hears things the man neither says nor knows himself, and takes every care to see his pain alleviated and his mind at peace. Her way of loving is asking questions and talking about things that are a part of her man’s life and routine. The men hear the questions, but ignore the feeling behind them. And then they yell, criticize, and wound with their scalding words. What does the woman do? Cry a few tears, and make rash promises to herself that she forgets the moment her man holds and cuddles her.

Left alone, a woman can fend for herself and those that depend on her, all her life. A
widowed man remarries the very next month. Girlfriends and married women abused by their partners stick on for the relation to survive. But men can’t bear it if their girlfriend laughs long and loud at a guy-friend’s joke.

Remember
Luck by Chance? The girl celebrates the guy’s achievement, but the guy doesn’t care about her ambitions. He puts himself first and foremost. The girl risks her mum’s wrath and infamy by creeping into the room of the guy she loves. The guy doesn’t miss a chance to cozy up; his ambition is greater than his morality. When sad, guilty, or lonely, the man wants his woman near him, sympathetic and loving (heaven protect her if she concurrently happens to be glad about something in her life.)

A guy expects his girl to forgive him a thousand times, and still doesn’t hesitate before hurting her the thousand-and-one-th time. The girl knows him inside out, like he himself doesn’t (and if he does, he doesn’t accept).

When her peace, joy, desires go down the drain, she still bears no ill will, but knows it’s time to end what’s hurting. Long after the two part, she cherishes the fond memories and doesn’t wash dirty linen in public. She seems to have moved on physically, but mentally and emotionally, she still carries her man in her heart until the end of time.

At least 80% of them do.

The rest, well, they’re showing how men and women are equals in every way...

Time’s are changing... I’m not saying all women are sabhya Hindustani naari either. I’ve heard, seen and experienced that the fairer sex can be as ruthless (sometimes more) than the males. But hey, this post was about men, awrite... Shall write about the other side of the coin the minute tolerance levels run out!

Until then!
Princess

Saturday, March 14

Alco-Horoscopes (contd...)

Heyloooo!

Ready for the remaining list?

What your sunsigns say about YOUR EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR AFTER YOU GET DRUNK!!

LIBRA
"I'aam jushtt a shocial drinkerrr," slurs Libra, "it's jusht that I'aam so damn shocial." Libra loves nothing more than to party, mingle and relate to everyone. Whether dipped in favor of Good Libra (with Insta-Frienddevice set to "on") or heavier on the Evil Libra side (they are little instigators when bored), the Scales can really work a room. Charming as they are, Libras are notoriously lacking in self-control, however, which can get them into all sorts of trouble -including wearing their wobbly boots waaaay too early in the evening, flirting with every man/woman in the room or even blacking out the night's events entirely. Oops!

SCORPIO
Don't ever tell Scorpios they've had enough, for they'll smirk at you and quietly but intentionally keep tippling till they're hog-whimpering drunk, out of 100-proof spite. Scorpios like to drink, and screw you if you have a problem with that. Most of them seethe sauce as something to savor in itself, and not as a personality-altering tool - though if depressed, self-loathing Scorps seek total obliteration. But generally, they're fascinating drinking pals, brilliant conversationalists and dizzying flirts. They also remember everything - especially what you did when you were blitzed. Only drink with a Scorpio who likes you.

SAGITTARIUS
Saggi’s when buttered, will spill all your secrets and many of their own. Tactlessness aside, Sagittarius is just plain fun to drink with. This is a sign of serious partying (what else would you expect from the sign of Sinatra, Keith Richards, and Anna Nicole Smith?) They're the people who chat up everyone in the room, then persuade the entire crowd to travel somewhere else - like a nightclub, or a playground, or Cancun. Good-natured hijinks are sure to ensue (including a high possibility of loopy groping; spontaneous Sag is a brilliant booty call).

CAPRICORN
Capricorn is usually described as practical, steadfast, money-hungry and status-thirsty. No wonder they get left off the astrological cocktail-party list. But this is the sign of David Bowie and Annie Lennox, not to mention Elvis. Capricorn is the true rock star : independent, powerful and seriously charismatic, not too eager to please. And if they make money being themselves, who're you to quibble? But just like most rock stars, they're either totally on or totally off, and they generally need a little social lubricant to loosen up and enjoy the after party, especially if they can hookup with a cute groupie.

AQUARIUS
Aquarius and drinking don't go together that well (except for water, that is). They have an innate tendency toward know-it-all-ism, and if they get an idea while sizzled, they're more stubborn than a stain on stone. If they're throwing a party or organizing an outing, however, they're too preoccupied with their duties to get combative - and they make perfectly charming drunks in that case. Fortunately, they're usually capital drink-nursers. They also make the best designated drivers (if you can get them before they start raising their wrist). Aquarius is fascinated by drunk people and capable of holding interesting conversations with soused strangers while sober.

PISCES
If you're a Pisces, you've probably already heard that you share a sign and an addictive personality - with Liz Taylor and Kurt Cobain. Not only do Pisces like to lose themselves in the dreamy, out-there feeling that only hooch can give, but they build up a mighty tolerance fast. Who needs an expensive date like that? On the other hand, they're fabulously enchanting partners, whether in conversation or in crime. With the right Pisces, you can start out sharing a pitcher of margaritas and windup in bed together for days. The phrase "addictive personality" can be read two ways, you know.

So, how true is this, folks?!! Leme know...

Cheers!
Princess

Friday, March 13

Alco-Horoscopes


We spoke about cocktails in a previous post.
And I told you about
birthday horoscopes in another one.

Now, here’s both of them together!

We have all done it at some point or the other - eagerly checking for personality pointers, under tags like animals, colors, numbers and what not... THIS is sure different!

What your sunsigns say about YOUR EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR AFTER YOU GET DRUNK!! ;-) Enjoy!

ARIES
Aries like to party and sometimes don't know when to call it a night. Their competitive streak makes them prone to closing-time shot contests. They're sloppy, fun drunks, and they get mighty flirty after a couple tipples. Getting Aries people drunk is a good way to get what you want out of them, should other methods fail. Aries can become aggressive when tipsy, but they will assume that whatever happened should be forgiven (if not forgotten) by sunrise. They can be counted on to do the same for you - so long as you haven't gone and done anything really horrible to them last night.

TAURUS
Taurus prefers to drink at a leisurely pace, aiming for a mellow glow rather than a full-on zonk. A truly intoxicated Taurus is a one-person stampede (the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop) who spills red wine on white carpets and tells fart jokes to employers. A drunk Taurus is gregarious and it is extremely amusing to drag him to a karaoke bar when intoxicated.

GEMINI
Geminis can drink without changing their behavior much - they're naturally chatty and short-attention-spanned. They can amaze you by conversing with finesse and allusion, then doing something to belie an extremely advanced state of intoxication, like puking in your shoe. Gemini's possess the magic ability to flirt successfully (and without causig offence, very tricky!) with several people at once. They like to order different cocktails every round - repetition is boring - and may create a theme (like yellow drinks : beer, sauvignon blanc and limoncello) for their own amusement.

CANCER
Cancer is a comfort drinker - and an extra wine with dinner or an after-work beer can be extra comforting. Like fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces, Crabs must guard against lushery. Cancers are brilliant at ferreting out secret parties and insinuating themselves on VIP lists. In true Hollywood style, Cancers are never really drunk; instead, they get "tired and emotional" (read: weepy when lubricated). But there's nothing better than swapping stories (and spit) over a few bottles of inky red wine with your favorite Cancer. The sign also rules the flavor vanilla, and you'd be adored if you serve up a vanilla vodka and soda.

LEO (That's me!!)
Leo likes to drink and dance - they're often fabulous dancers, and usually pretty good drinkers as well, losing their commanding dignity and turning kittenish. Of course, they're quite aware they're darling - Leos will be Leos, after all. They generally know their limit, probably because they loathe losing self-control. When they get over-refreshed, expect flirting to ensue - perhaps not with the one they came with. But Leo's not the type to break rules even when drunk, so just try to ignore it and expect a sheepish (and hung over) Lion to make it up to you the next day.

VIRGO
Cerebral Virgos are compelled to impose order onto their binge. Their famously fussy quest for purity could lead to drinking less than other signs, sure - but it could also lead to drinking booze neat, to sucking down organic wine or just to brand loyalty. They rarely get fully shellacked - but, oh, when they do! Virgo's controlled by the intellect, but there's an unbridled beast lurking within, and they let it loose when walloped. It's dead sexy (and surprisingly unsloppy). As one Virgo friend used to declare, "I'm going to drink myself into a low-level of intelligence tonight." A toast to the sub genius IQ!

Time out!! Sorry fellas, you gotta come back tomorrow for the rest!

As they say, sabar ka meetha phal ;-)

Raise a toast!!
Princess

Thursday, March 12

Karma and Holi

Namaskar, dear friends!

How you fellas doing?

I’m doing pretty well myself, thanks... Had a great Holi as I played with color after almost 3 (maybe more) years. Abandoned the fun coz I hate the after-effects! For one, you need to scrub till your skin is sore, and plus, there is always a water shortage on Holi day, which is a holiday for one and all!! Everybody goes back to work the next day looking like a new species of the monkey family...

However, I’m looking as human as ever today, coz I had a wonderful oil massage before the masti, and so, despite a hell lot of color being smeared on me by friends and family (and naughty boys out for a chance!), I did not have to rub and cleanse beyond what I do every routine day. Thank heavens for that! And also for the plentiful water available for us to polish up.

Hey, water reminds me – wasn’t the rain yesterday nothing short of a miracle?!! I mean, whoever heard of a shower in March?!! The first monsoon usually strikes in June sometime... The seasons are going bonkers; I hope this doesn’t affect the mango harvest. Other crops and farmers must be suffering... God, what the **** are you upto?!! (Oh sorry, forgot it’s actually we humans who are screwing around with the environment. Not fair of me to expect you to set things right when we mess them up so lividly.)

I watched Outsourced on Star Movies last night. The actor still looks as silly and the actress as ugly as they last did. I also managed to watch the entire first episode of MTV Splitsvilla, where “Love is War”. Apparently the concept is that there are 9 young men and an equal number of dames, and now they’ve chosen a king and queen amongst themselves. It is this royal couple that needs to be impressed by the others, so that they escape the dumping zone and progress into the show. Makes a shitload of sense! I mean, if you’re already crowning someone “king” and “queen”, what’s the fun? Why give them all the power?!!

Let’s see what happens next. I’m sure there’s an intelligent, fore-sighted brain behind this. (There was a woman from Pune in this show as well – Swagata; she’s already booted out. Poor gal.) I wish I could’ve caught Roadies. The trailers show Palak back in the contest (dunno why, dunno how... I hate her!!) and looks like she did very well on the riding-the-crazy-bull task.

Hey I have a new high score on Snake Adventure mode – 8961... Yippee! The new game I began a few days ago is now presenting a score of 9957... I’m breaking my own records!!! Cheers!!

Silence the cheers... Karna is now dead, and everybody mourns the demise of the greatest warrior on earth. Arjuna kills him with the anjalika arrow when he is battling his sunken chariot wheel (as was destined), and Duryodhana is in pieces. Bheeshma tells him Karna’s true lineage, and Dury marvels at what a great friend Radheya was... Yet, when Kripa warns him that now when no exalted soldier breathes on the Kaurava camp; now that Bheeshma, Drona, Karna and Dussasana are sacrificed; Dury should try to make peace with the Pandavas, the latter refuses, saying - “The dying man doesn’t relish the bitter medicine that can cure him”... How exquisite! How true this is, not just about situations, but also for relationships...

Now starts the Shalya Parva (section 9) in the Mahabharata. This part is merely 35 pages long, where Duryodhana dies and the gory war finally ends.

I’m currently going through John Adair’s Effective Leadership and Management series at work : finished the books on decision making and motivation, and now on the leadership guide. We’re preparing for a first-time-manager program, and I’m anticipating a lot of work, learning and fun.

About the GMAT, I’m done with revising the Critical Reasoning and Sentence Construction parts in the official guide. Now doing Data Sufficiency (ughh... its SOO boring) and then Reading Comprehension (not fun either). Also checked out TOEFL info online. Am I overconfident when it comes to English, or is it really quite easy?

Remembered my inlingua days when I was going through the grammar review in the guide. Especially the time lines to explain tenses. Man, I love English... And if there’s something I love more, it’s teaching English!! The interactive way, of course...

Here’s some new pronunciations that I checked out recently, thought I’d share it with you... Like everything else :-)
- “Vowel” is not "vaa-wuhl" as I used to think; it’s “vouhl”, like “foul” (sounds ridiculous if you ask me!)
- “Paparazzi” is not “papa-raazi” like we all say it; it’s “pah-pah-raatzi”.
- “Potpourri” which I voiced just like it’s spelt, is “poohpoori”... Crazy, eh?! I thought my boss was mistaken when she said it that way, but turns out she was right and I was wrong!!

Enough for the day! See ya tomorrow... Gotta go to the dentist again today... Mammmmaaaa....

Take care
Lonely Princess

P.S : By the way, I've heard Karma and Holi starring Sushmita Sen and her ex-Randeep Hooda is a terrible movie, so save your money. Will let you know if there's anything good coming up... Chow!

Wednesday, March 11

An Impatient Patient


Happy Holi!!

Here I am... One tooth less than I was last week... Had a tooth extracted on Friday, and I must admit, it’s not as terrifying as it’s made out to be...

I was peeing my pants thinking about the amount of pain I’d have to undergo as the dreaded dentist pulled and poked at my pearly whites (ahem!)... However, I was in for a pleasant surprise, as the tooth came out pretty quick and easy, and the pain was nil after the first 3 minutes when he injected the anesthetic.

I hate the dentist... I mean not him/her personally (in fact, dentists are often very good-looking and sweet-natured!) but it’s just that their work, while being extremely important, is also excruciatingly scary. Do you think they like peering into people’s smelly, decayed mouths?? Eeyuck... Not my
cup of tea, for sure!

My cap-less, root canal-treated tooth had reached the acute pinnacle of decay, and I knew I was in for trouble when my jaw started aching in the beginning of last week. Got no one to blame but myself for bringing this issue so far. But, Mr. Prashant Vanarse gets a 10 on 10 for doing a neat job of the extraction. Take a bow, boy!

This young lad answers your queries patiently and politely, and sprinkles a little bit of humor to make your interaction as pleasant as possible. (What sure helps is that he looks like the cute-boy-next-door, and he keeps boosting your courage.) He’s the awesomest person in the world if you need to say goodbye to your dentures.
(Not that I’ve had too many done, nor may I ever have to go that way, I pray...)

Hey, I don’t mean to embarrass him if he ever happens to read this, so let me move on to another entity now – God!! Such an aesthetic fellow... Whoever would plan to have the teeth roots look so pretty and appealing!
(I tried to google some pics for you to see, but none is as beautiful as the original... Sorry, mates. You gotta see them yourself. The delicate way in which the shapely roots come down to lodge into your gums... Wow!)

God also helped me counter the pain and trauma. I don’t know why my body tends to shut itself up against medical intrusion and my limbs and muscles refuse to loosen up when they perceive any physical invasion. I shiver all over, even after the treatment is finished; thank god for those robust chairs with strong arms...

But hey, I’m a good patient. I’m very obedient and I ensure I laud the doc for a job well done. I talk to him before and after the treatment, and I whole-heartedly praise his work and my alleviated aches. I also ask a lot of questions, and I don’t know whether that is good or bad, but it sure helps build the rapport... If I can make him feel nice and proud, it’s something he more than deserves...

I remember my visits to the eye doctor. As a victim of myopia (short-sightedness), I started wearing specs in the 6th standard, and I can vividly recall how jubilant I was when I realized I could now see clearly over a distance without being
mocked by my peers. This ecstasy was nowhere comparable to what I felt when I tried contact lenses for the first time. As tears streamed down my cheeks, I kept screaming “Doc, you’re an angel... I can see! I CAN SEE!!” (As if I was blind earlier...) The sweet guy that he is, even his eyes grew moist at my emotional outburst...

It’s been a bad year, as regards my health. I’ve had a constant head and eye pain throughout this period (I’m guessing they’re related), and my complaints about body ache have also significantly increased. I also need dental treatment (apart from what has already been done), and need I mention I’m STILL petrified and anxious...

FYI, hypochondriacs are people who keep thinking they have some illness or the other at any given time. My aunt’s (bua) one, and my dad’s another. (Runs in the family, I think.) They enjoy being unwell. A visit to the surgeon makes their day, and any physician who pronounces them fit and fine is sure to have lost a client.

Me, I’m not a hypochondriac by a long shot. That is not even the last thing I’d be in my life coz I hate being ill. In fact, even when I am truly ailing, I make it a point to hide my weakness and pretend as if everything’s ok. I dislike sympathy and medicines, and I find nakhras in this area irritating. What’s the fun in showing the world you cannot resist diseases, and you’re weak?!!!

I’d rather be healthy and jumping, than surrounded by people who are pitying and advising me. Not only does it cause inconvenience to all, it is very annoying for the person him/herself to be at the mercy of another.

Take this as my public declaration, readers – please help me end my life if I happen to contract an illness that is all pain and no hope. Whoever wants to die poked and tortured to breathe a few more days or weeks? Euthanasia is not approved, it’s considered illegal, but if it can happen for animals, then it is more than recommended for humans who can talk and share opinions and preferences!

Love you, guys...
Until I die, and after that, too...

- Lonely Princess

Tuesday, March 10

Fear Has A New Address


(No, not coz the festival of colors is here, and you need to watch out for sneaking eyes and peeking hands ready to douse you with rang and gulaal.... Best wishes for Holi, readers!)

Read this anonymous letter I found the other day.

Me frustrated. Me donno what to do. Me think I kill myself. Or I just die. I do no want to live. Nobody like me. Nobody need me. All think me bad person. Me care for people, people do no understand, people fight. Me get angry. Me hurt people. My life no good. Me no trouble no one still people no like me. Me brave and stubborn. Me also blunt and intelligent. So many say me good, me reach success, me capable. But me no happy. Me alone, me sad. I donno fault. How can all world be wrong? No. Me wrong. Me end life. Me got no guts, so me live on.

Interesting, eh? Especially the last line... Do you need guts to kill yourself, or do you need balls to survive?

I guess it’s that split second where you are so depressed and frustrated, that you muster all your valor to sacrifice your life. If that second passes, you’re never gona be able to do it again. So, in a way, death and life – both need courage. (Though of course, if anyone suicidal were to approach me, I’d say that suicide is for cowards, and one ought to live on to fight and overcome challenges.)

Eager to know your thoughts on this, friends and readers. And on the following points, too...

Like why a woman in power is subject to prejudice and contempt for no real reason. Why a divorced/widowed woman is looked down upon by society more critically than a male. Why a female who flirts and sleeps around is called a bitch, while a man doing the same is considered nothing abominable. Why when enjoying sex (which is logically and in reality the privilege of both genders), a woman is expected to be coy and her sole duty in bed is to satisfy her man, regardless of her own pleasures and needs. Why a woman who commits a crime evokes horror, while a man in her shoes gets the “chalta hai” gesture.

WHY??

Society assumes several things about a woman, and expects these assumptions to hold true whatever the case may be. Given the superior education, exposure, lifestyle, family and upbringing. How fair is this?? Who decided it to be this way? Why are we still falling prey to this bias? Is gender equality only a myth? True, the topmost positions in the world in all areas are held by men (and I congratulate them on that), but why cannot we tolerate vices in females, too?!! We’re all human, right?!!!

Time to cool down... So, leme tell you about how I spent my weekend. It was a good Sunday after ages (guess Women’s Day clicked for me!) I shopped for
tops and tunics, watched a movie and went hookah-lounging. (My darling Scooty also got serviced, so she all sparkling and happy.)

The film I saw was 13B – Fear Has a New Address (hence the post title) starring R. Madhavan and Neetu Chandra. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the movie rated quite high on the spook factor (akin to
Raaz 2, and way better than the cataclysmic Phoonk). The storyline falls short of being termed outstanding, but it is thankfully not typical like all those black magic stuff. What happens here is that Maddy’s family moves into an apartment where another close-knit, cheerful family was horrifically murdered. Crazy things start occurring, like the milk curdles each day, the pooja room cannot be furnished, the lift doesn’t work just for apna Maddy whose photographs are always distorted, etc.

A little too repetitive in the beginning, the plot unfolds as a serial starts auto-telecasting itself and the saas-bahu loving women in the family get addicted to it.
(Remember Amar somebody who became famous as Mihir Virani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi...?? He plays the key character in the movie soap. Mighty clever of the casting director!)

To cut a long story short, the dead family members ki aatma is discontented. Though their spirits aren’t bhootiya and scary, they make sure that Maddy understands there is some major gadbad in the house. As their life unfurls on screen, the Maddy family starts experiencing identical incidents – some happy, some tragic. Finally, the hero finds out who bludgeoned the original khandan, and through him, the dead folks avenge the criminal.

I’m tempted to disclose the suspense, but I’m a good girl so I’ll spare you guys. You should go and watch it to get some goosebumps... (And some naughty, sexy yet non-sleazy banter on the Kama Sutra!) My rating – 3/5. Good job, cast and crew! (Good caramel popcorn, Inox!! AND good Jumbo Chicken, Burger King. Slurp slurp...)

A special note on Madhavan... It was wonderful to watch him on screen after ages. I still think of him as RHTDM ka adorable Maddy, or as Subbu in an old serial called Ghar Jamai (used to be aired on Sony, if I recall correctly.) He is very cute and believable as Manu (aka Manohar) in 13B, and he can pass off as endearing what would be jeered if done by someone else (like clinging to the TV and weeping). The rest of the crew doesn’t have too much to do, but the inspector who plays Maddy’s friend also presents fine acting skills.

Oh ya, I also tried the Cadbury Bournville. The TV and print ads were exaggerating exactly how phenomenal this chocolate is. I agree it's good for dark chocolate lovers, but hey! It ain't the heaven the ads promise!! Frankly, I'm disappointed... Not buying you again, buddy... At least not for myself... (and at 95 bucks, not for anyone else either!)

Cheerio!
Princess

Monday, March 9

A Woman

Yesterday was International Women’s Day (March 8), and here’s a tribute to all the great ladies around the world...

A forwarded mail that I received last week, and vowed to put on my blog for its directness, simplicity and honesty....

The original slides were from Funspirations (whatever that is), so I’ve just copied the content out here for you folks... Enjoy! And learn to respect....

THE WOMAN

When God created woman, he was working late on the 6th day.

An angel came by and said, “Why spend so much time on that one?”

The Lord said, “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?”

"She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food.

She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart, and she must do all this with only two hands.”

The angel was impressed.

"Just two hands? Impossible... And is this the standard model?!

Too much work for one day... Wait until tomorrow and then complete her.”

"I will not”, said the Lord. “I am so close to completing this creation, which will be the favorite of my heart.”

"She cures herself when sick and she can work 18 hours a day.”

The angel came nearer and touched the woman.

"But you have made her so soft, Lord.”

"She is soft”, He said, “but I have also made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.”

"Can she think?” The angel asked.

"Not only can she think, she can also reason and negotiate.”

The angel touched the woman’s cheek...

"God! It seems this creation is leaking. You have put too many burdens on her.”

"She is not leaking; it’s a tear...”

"What’s it for?” asked the angel.

The Lord said, “Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her suffering, her loneliness, her love and her pride.”

This made a huge impression on the angel. He said, “You are a genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvelous!”

Indeed she is!!

Woman has strengths that amaze men.

She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions.

She smiles when she feels like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy, and laughs when she is afraid.

She fights for what she believes in, she stands up against injustice. She doesn’t take “NO” for an answer when she can see a better solution.

She gives herself so her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctor if she is afraid. Her love in unconditional.

She cries when her kids are victorious. She rejoices when her friends do well. She is glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or neighbor dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life.

She knows that a kiss and a hug can mend a broken heart.

There is only one thing wrong with her...

She forgets what she is worth...

Pass this on to your lady friends to remind them how fantastic they are.
Pass it on to the males you know. Sometimes they need to be reminded.

Happy Women's Day!!

Love,
Lonely Princess

Saturday, March 7

Born Free

Hi,

Did the title remind you of Elsa, the lion? It was a wonderful movie - Born Free, and the sequel Living Free.

A poem this time... Coz each one of us here is Born Free... And deserves to live happily...

Another blank verse (incidentally,
the last one was also on love, though it was merrier ...)

Enjoy!

When I said I love you,
You said “I know”.
I doubt it...
Do you really?

I don’t know what makes me think,
I know love better,
And though I respect and cherish yours,
I don’t see the same mirrored.

So, what?
We are two different individuals,
We can’t be the same!
Funny, we thought we were, earlier...

It hurts me, this distance and detachment,
But being together was not the paradise we imagined.
As my sacrifices and feelings go unseen,
My soul remains incomplete and tarnished.

Fools fall in love,
And it is idiotic still to let the loved one know,
Exactly how much he/she is needed,
Though that probably is the first thing that is noticed.

You doubted my commitment and loyalty,
And frankly, it’s better that way,
Yet I hate the surrounding hypocrisy,
Which makes me adhere to your rules anyway.

Those that receive a grain of rice,
Rejoice till kingdom come,
The one that commands a sackful,
Fumes why his hunger is insatiated.

A thousand ways to show I care,
A thousand acts of love,
Yet I’m left with this empty hollowness,
That I’m failing, I’m still falling short, I’ll never be what you want.

I know what I felt for you,
I am aware what I feel still...
Some things are meant to be forever,
So what if people are blind and cynical?

Fly away, go... Just go...
Find what makes you happy,
Leave me with my loneliness,
At least the wounds will fill up some day...

- Lonely Princess

Friday, March 6

What’s on TV?


You might have read / heard this famous quote that I caught on Discovery Travel and Living : It’s good to have an end to journey towards, but it’s the journey that matters in the end. (Just thought I’d share it with you...)

Did you watch the latest episode of
MTV Roadies? It was by far the bestest one until now. (Actually, all the contestants are so thhakela and pakela, that any amount of effort by Raghu, Nature Baba, Danger Debbie and their crew is rendered futile.)

However, this one was different. After irritating Dev (thankfully) got kicked out coz of his over-smartness, it was Roop’s turn to be voted out. The remaining 9 Roadies – Polomi (wonder how she survived this long), Samrat (looks the most promising and deserving, but politics will kill him sooner or later), Bobby (cool Delhi-ite), Kiri (crazy chinki), Natasha (grr... sucha galling female – she’s made too many enemies too soon), Sandeep (the head behind the plots), Tamanna (I like her guts, though she has a constant frown on her face), Pradeep (lukda-sukda scheming Sikh), and Suzy (Pune gal who is no more on the show) – journeyed to Silvassa and had to wrestle each other for immunity. Nats and Samrat won, and here comes the brainwave – the twist in the tale - you either get immunity or 2 lacs cash : What would you choose?!!

The task was archery, and both failed (I don’t know genuinely or intentionally) to hit the target which Rannvijay (watta cutie he is!) effortlessly marked. Result – both immune, and Suzanna had to leave. The rest are now packing their bags for Australia, and Raghu has warned that the things they will be doing there will be outrageous and extraordinary. I’m all geared up!
(FYI : Due to the change in time zones, the show will now be broadcast on Sundays at 7 instead of Saturday.)

(You are welcome.)

What's happening on MTV, is that the
Dance Crew show is over, and Splitsvilla is kicking off its new season soon, which that crazy adorable dude Nikhil Chinappa will be hosting. There are 9 men and 9 women this time, and I'm wondering what the concept will be... Watch Baalika Vadhu on Colors for a lot of rona-dhona, coz they're showing all the last rites of the dead groom... The way they've picturised it is really heart-rending and tearful...

Talking about the TV, did you check out the Sajid Khan-Ashutosh Gowariker argument at the Star Screen Awards? I am not too keen on all these award functions and TV shows, so I didn’t know about this until a socially-aware friend told me about it. It was uber cool!! Full danga-fasaad...

Thank God for the internet. I quickly googled the fight, and viewed the clip on Youtube. (Wonder whoever in the world has all the time to record and upload this stuff, but whoever it is, sure helps disseminate the info! Thanks, webbers!) I even read about the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan on the web news portals. If it weren’t for these sites, I’d be left clueless and unaware about everything that’s happening around us.

Be it surfing for work-related research, or staying on top of the news flashes, the world wide web is my savior. I don’t even have time in the morning to glance at the newspapers, and whoever can watch Aaj Tak and NDTV for news all day?!! Times of India online gives me the pleasure of reading a newspaper, even as Google news gives me other reports. And I must say, I enjoy this online customized version more than the hard copies we get at home. Typical Gen Y-cal, eh?

Didn’t give you folks a detailed review of the movie
Delhi 6 coz I didn’t go for it. I heard awful evaluations that made me want to skip the torture. I anyways am not crazy about Abby Baby (though I enjoy his freestyle dance and humor) and I find Sonam very unattractive, so wasn’t too tough a decision...

The film is about the Monkey Man story that rocked the country capital some years ago, and the Hindu Muslim riots that occurred thereafter. The songs are pretty cool, though – Masakkali, the title track Ye Dilli Hai Mera Yaar, Gendaphool... Very distinctive beats. India ki shaan -
Rahman at work again, what else can one expect?!!

I was checking out the upcoming movies on
this site and I’m wondering why half the movies are being made... I mean it takes no genius to predict that the movies will be duds. Of this list, I’m sure to watch Big B’s Alladin, Dulha Mil Gaya, 3 Idiots and Munnabhai... Maybe even 13B, Main aur Mrs. Khanna, Taalismaan and Alibaug... But Horn OK Please, Himesh’s Kajraare, Jai Veeru and Jail? Jeez... Some people got tons of time and money to waste... Count me out!

Hey! I’m pleased to tell you, readers, that
the friend I wrote to a while ago has landed a job as a counselor with a reputed institute. She now stays busy throughout the week, and I hope she has better things to think and agonize over than men, guys and males.

Right now what’s getting very worrisome for me is the fact that I’m glued to my
new Nokia cell phone, courtesy another S addiction. This time it’s the game Snake III. I love the Adventure mode, where there is plenty of food, obstacles, time limit and you need to cross a certain stage before the gates open to the next level. My high scores so far are 375 in Classic, 505 in Custom, and 4994 in Adventure. Yippeeee...

Time to run. Be back tomorrow... A very special poem ready to be posted...

Love,
Anuja

Thursday, March 5

Beautiful Day

She walked past the toy store. A song on her lips. Her hair bouncing with every step she took. It was a beautiful day.

Hey best friend had just hung up on her. Another silly argument. There was nothing she could do about it but wait. It would blow over. They could never stay angry at each other for long.

Jeez. this was just like the stupid fights she read and laughed over in her teenage novels...

She reached the bus stop. Number 54 was nowhere in sight. She checked her watch. 15 minutes to get to work.

The florist smiled at her as she stood waiting. He knew she loved flowers. She eyed them every morning and evening. "Might as well buy a bunch for myself", she thought. Those pretty multihued ones in red, pink, yellow. They made her feel alive...

A coin rolled away.

As she stooped over to pick it up, the bus breezed past her.

No worries. It was a lovely day. She’d just walk the few blocks to work.

The coffee bar was full at this time of the day. Rush hour. A chocolate bar would be just as nice, she said. She looked over to the grocery shop with the CLOSED sign. No problemo. Later.

Beep beep. 1 new message.
Hey baby, wana go dancing tonight?

Crazy Brad. Did he really think she’d go out with him?!!

Tap tap tap. Thanks for the offer. Some other day, perhaps... Yumm, what an aroma! Someone was baking coconut cookies...

Beautiful day.

She looked up from her cell-phone. An old lady was standing on the pavement with an armful of shopping bags.

“Hello, Aunty! Need a hand?”

The woman smiled. Relieved. She held her hand as she scooped up all her bags and walked slowly across the road. “Rickshaw!”

“There you go, Aunty. Oh, and you can have these as well. Have a good day!”

The woman beamed as she looked at the flowers. The auto drove away. It was an amazing day.

Cars halted at a signal as she crossed the town square. A young biker skidded to a stop, landing into a puddle. Three bold droplets on her new beige trousers. He looked at her sheepishly. “That’s ok... Ride safe!”

Nothing could ruin her perfect day. She walked on.

Aah, the jewelry store. She always paused here to take a look at the displays. Sparkling sapphires and dashing diamonds. Enchanting emeralds and ravishing rubies. Ornately carved and set in gold, silver, white metal, platinum...

An old man sighed near her. She smiled at him. “Got two rings, dunno which one to take.”

She looked at his hands. Two radiant pearls. “Umm, that one’s prettier. And she can wear it everyday!” He smiled at her. “She’ll love it.” Wave.

Sucha brilliant day...

Tring tring. “Yes, Mamma.”

”Beta, there’s a rishta for you. Handsome boy. Wealthy family. They’ve sent the pictures and kundali.”
“OK.”
“You at work?”
“Walking down.”
“What happened to your vehicle?”
“Ran out of fuel.”
Papa ne petrol nahi bhara na? Kaha tha maine unse....”
“Maaa... It’s ok, I’m almost there.”
“OK. Take care baccha.”
“Love you Mom.”

A hoarding announced the launch of her favorite author’s new paperback. She’d check it out on her way back home. She loved going to the bookstore.

Handsome guy! Smirk. Mum looked at every boy as a potential suitor for her daughter. Parents!

“What about love?” a friend had asked.
“What about it?”
“Will you love the guy your parents choose?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?!”
“I loved once, I’m not sure anymore...”
“So?”
“So nothing. Let fate decide for me.”
“And what if you find love after you marry?”
“That’s a chance I’ll have to take, sweetie.”

She reached her office complex. She grinned at the watchman on duty. He blinked back at her suspiciously.

It was a beautiful day.

-Lonely Princess

Wednesday, March 4

Ultimate Truths

Salut, ladies and gentlemen!!

Bahut serious business ho chuka... You more than deserve what's in the offing today...

Laughs galore!!

Another forwarded mail... A must-share! Enjoyyyy....

- Whenever I find the key to success, someone changes the lock.

- To Err is human, to forgive is not a company policy.

- The road to success... Is always under construction.

- Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but if you think again… neither does milk...

- In order to get a Loan, you first need to prove that you don't need it.

- All desirable things in life are either illegal, expensive, fattening or married to someone else.

- Since Light travels faster than Sound, people appear brighter before you hear them speak.

- If at first you don't succeed? ... Destroy all evidence that you ever tried!

- A bread that you have buttered will always fall buttered side down.

- Anything dropped on the floor will roll over to the most inaccessible corner.

- If you reach the bus stop early, the bus is late. If you reach the office late, your boss is early.

- Once you have bought something, you will find the same item being sold somewhere else at a cheaper rate.

- When in a queue, the other line always moves faster, and the person in front of you will always have the most complex of transactions.

- If you have paper, you don't have a pen. If you have a pen, you don't have paper. If you have both, no one calls.

- Students, if you have bunked the class, the professor has taken attendance.

- You will pick up maximum wrong numbers when on roaming.

- You shall wait for a tring (doorbell/telephone ring) for ages, which will always happen the minute you get undressed in the bathroom.

- After a long wait for bus no.20, two 20 number buses will always pull in together and the bus which you get in will be more crowded than the other.

- If your exam is tomorrow, there will be a power cut tonight.

- Irrespective of the direction of the wind, the smoke from the cigarette will always tend to go to the non-smoker.

Kaisi rahi?!! Uncanny
, na?!

Keep laughing!

Love,
Princess

Tuesday, March 3

Kacche Dhaage

I don’t know if I’ve told you about this guy who keeps sending unsolicited forwards, but here’s a very interesting thought he sent the other day – It's a wise man who lives with money in the bank; it's a fool who dies that way...

My neighbor expired on Friday (
remember I told you it was a bad day?) I wouldn’t have been too shaken if the circumstances hadn’t been so dramatic.

He was a lovable chap, roughly around 56-58 years old. Always dressed in his long chaddis and a white banian, he sat watching TV with the door wide open in the evenings. Whenever we used to walk up to our flat, he used to smile and say hello, not bothered about his attire or posture. I also remember him as he returned from work, straddling his daughter’s rickety yellow scooter. Quite a merry man...

The circumstances I’m talking about are this... He and his wife have two daughters, both married off happily, one abroad and the other right here. While the daughters have a few years between them, both of them happened to get pregnant and deliver a baby girl on the exact same day, a few hours apart on different parts of the globe. While the mother went to tend to the elder one in Canada, the dad stayed with the other daughter and her grandma in Pune.

Thanks to the internet, they shared experiences, feelings and pictures, and were due to meet soon as both new mothers had completed their interlude. His wife landed on Saturday dawn, but she was a few hours late to say a final goodbye to her husband who departed Friday evening. Massive heart attack. His local daughter says he was over excited to see his wife and other daughter. I wonder what his thoughts and emotions were...

Life is so unpredictable. Senior folks past 80 continue to live like
death has forsaken them, while youth and middle-aged people have their lives cut short by fate. Is this fair? Is this how it was always meant to be? That while we are anxious about road mishaps, people die at home without a flutter?

I've heard so much bad news last year related to babies and pregnancies... I wonder why
destiny is playing such games. Have people really erred so much??

I hate to think of this, but somehow bizarre facts get connected. Neighbor uncle died when my family was traveling to Goa. The last time Goa was mentioned was when another neighbor went there with her newly wedded groom for their honeymoon. While playing at the beach, he fell prey to a freak accident and lost his life...

The next time I hear of Goa, I’m going to pause and ruminate...

(Just like I do whenever I hear “Hey Ram, Hey Ram... Tu hi mata tu hi pita hai...” That was the song that was going on when I went to offer condolences at a family friend’s demise. How things get associated...)

Blood relations are sometimes not as strong as relations of the heart, which is often why friends and neighbors rank higher in the priority list versus relatives. Maybe that's why their misfortune and deaths affect us more...

Or perhaps they are, that is why I see siblings as thick as thieves (is that simile right?) who dote on each other and are not hesitant in declaring their eternal bond to the world.

Also a boss who doesn’t let her teenage son walk 1 kilometer to the school alone. The car plies up and down to lug the brat, even as the boss orders another’s child to ride alone 20 kilometers in the dense traffic all week for some work.

Even if the family is bickering away day and night, one cannot bear even a finger raised by a stranger on his/her family member. And that’s what makes it all the more special... (I don't quite know how a spouse who comes in a few weeks ago can be obeyed meekly by the guy who yells incessantly at his concerned parents, but that's how it's meant to be, I guess...)

Well, I don’t know where I’m heading, but now that this post is so all over the place, I might as well put all my thoughts in...

How can
people be so irresponsible and immoral? I know of this girl engaged to a guy studying abroad, and even as she professes her true love for him, she keeps another’s bed warm. There is a guy with retired parents and two sisters of marriageable age, and he doesn’t spare a thought as he squanders all his earnings in wine and fun. A guy gives up his job before he gets another one, and he’s chill, sitting at home, unruffled about how things will shape up.

Each person is a different individual, with his unique temperament, ambitions and principles. That is why we end up in conflicts. Coz one’s laziness is another’s concern, and one’s life is voluntarily not his own to live and direct...

I have a Q - Why don’t people christen their babies Shoorpanakha and Kansa? Coz they were evil. OK. How come they don’t call their babies Ghatotkacha or Seeta either? They were good people. True, they led hard lives, but then it ain’t right that kids are named
Karan – you do remember I spoke about his terrible life sequences, don’t you?

Thank you for reading.

Have a safe week!
Princess

P.S : Hey, fellas! There's some GREAT news that I MUST share with you!! BlogAdda has selected my
"Tum Ek Paisa Doge" post on beggars as its top post in the category - "Spicy Saturday Picks!" Check out this link :) http://blog.blogadda.com/2009/02/28/blogaddaĆ¢€™s-spicy-saturday-picks-feb-28-09 And here's the seal...



Cheers!!
Love,
ELATED Anuja

Monday, March 2

Suno Mahabharata ki Kahaani

I told you I was at the end of the Drona Parva and I’ve finally finished it. There’s now about 220 pages to go before I can place this book back on my shelf after an exciting and memorable read.

You know Drona was the guru of the Kauravas and Pandavas, and his favorite sishya was Arjuna, though his own son Ashwatthama was also an excellent warrior. However, in yuddha (=war) there is no relation and no memories. Only fighting your best is your real dharma. And if dharma bids you to tell a teeny-weeny lie, then it ain’t fully wrong either. (Though Yudi WAS punished for this. Later later.)

Drona was blazing on the battlefield. He was a brahmana, yet the Kaurava Senapati fought as if he were a kshatriya which was not his true nature. He embraced adharma and loosened massive astras on common soldiers. To rein him, the only way was to tell him about his son’s death. And the fib was told. By Bheema and none other than the great Yudhishtira. Prompted by Krishna, Dharma deva’s son told this one and only lie in his lifetime. And thereafter, his chariot, which always stood a palm’s length above the ground, hit the earth and became like any other normal ratha.

When Arjuna blamed Yudi for killing his teacher, Yudi said something that reminded me of my own philosophies in life; he said, “I wouldn’t have done it, if I was to regret it later.”

Life is too short for regrets, buddies. Just live life the best you can, and make sure whatever you do, that’s what your antaraatma (=inner soul) tells you.

Hearing about the perfidious way in which Drona had been murdered (Dhrishtadyumna beheaded him when he put down his weapons and sat in dhyana), Ashwatthama went berserk. He invoked the narayanastra to annihilate the entire army. Vishnu’s astra, the greatest in the entire universe, wreaked havoc on the Pandava legions. Once again, Krishna had to save the day. The astra could only be subdued if it was worshipped. All the soldiers and warriors who fought against or resisted it were burnt to ashes...

Govinda told them all to lay their artillery down and prostrate themselves to the supreme of all astras. Bheema, the crazy kid that he is, refused to bow down, and continued fighting. What occurred was a comic series of events. Just imagine this. Krishna and Arjuna jumped outta their chariot and ran to the Vayuputra. They wrestled his arms from him, and forced him to the ground... Watta fearless and quick-tempered fellow! But just as sweet and caring...

Thus ends the Drona Parva, and now Karna becomes the commander. What a war this has been! Bheeshma fell on Day 10, Drona was slain on Day 15... I’m not sure if the remaining part of the book will be as engaging as it has been uptil now. Fingers crossed!

I’m thinking about what book to read after this... I asked you folks about Stephenie Meyer but doesn’t seem like anyone’s read it. I’m looking at a list of good books that Landmark recently recommended in its newsletter. A few of them are : Eunoia, Enchantress of Florence, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sea of Poppies, The End of Mr. Y and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Leme know if you find them fascinating... Or any other...

Hey hey hey, the tough task is done! I’ve uploaded our Goa snaps. There were close to 330, and I had a monstrous time trying to edit, delete and order them. Have brought them down to a more reasonable number, and also put in some captions so you know what I’m talking about! Here are a few of my favorites!!

The first is an amazinggggg snap (I dunno who took it!) on the waves, the next Colva beach, after that a pic from the Carnival parade, then a teeny-weeny glimpse of the dolphins (try hard!), followed by another parade picture, and the last is a photo of the Rathi khandaan (who I keep talking about so often) - Anand bro, bhabhi, me, mum, dad, Abba, Ammi...



You can check out more on this link - http://picasaweb.google.co.in/anuja.rathi/GoaTripFeb2009?feat=email#

Feel free to circulate and comment!!

Cheerio!
Lonely Princess