Wednesday, December 29

Hyderabad Calling

Kyaaaa bol re yaaaaron?

Ismail Bhai kaisi baate karre the malum?!! Charminar pe baitthe uno :-D

Recognize the dialect and tonality? …

For those who have been to this city, and watched The Angrez, it’s an easy one.

Hyderabadi.

(Angrez is one of my all-time favourite movies, an absolute laugh riot and a certain recommendation - unless you’re the toffee-nosed, snooty types who only appreciate things that are high-class, polished and pretentious. Bah humbug!)

I was in Andhra Pradesh for a week in December. (You may not have realised my absence since the blog kept updating itself due to write-ups posted in advance.) I’d gone to Hyd for the advanced phase of my human process lab; the next step of the ISABS Basic I’d attended in Goa in May 09.

I’d tremendously enjoyed and benefitted from the BLHP (Basic), and obviously my expectations from the ALHP (Advanced) were high. Unfortunately, while my trip was great, my lab experience was all right, not extraordinary. Of course, the week was totally worth it, considering I got to meet some interesting people and listen to some enlightening revelations and analysis, plus the food and stay at the outstanding Novotel hotel and my reunion with cousins!

You might recall what I’d shared with you from my Basic lab days. In the Advanced, I did tackle some issues that were bothering me, like why I feel the need to be felt special and wanted... like why I want people to like me and invite me in their groups/activities be it tea breaks, planning meets or recreation... Didn’t get the answers, but showed me a few paths that I can try and decide upon. Along with the observation and assurance that this need of mine isn’t strange and unique to me, but extremely normal and commonplace :-)

I also acknowledged that I'm blessed and other people have troubles that far outweigh my meagre everyday concerns. The lab sensitized me more than touched me... And also earned me feedback that I didn’t quite agree with, but chose to stay with and explore...

Some of you might have switched off mentally coz what was written above sounded like Greek or Latin. For those of you who are clueless about what a human process lab is - it’s a T-group process where you are the element that is put inside a “laboratory” to experiment with your behaviour and others’, and see how you react to other elements. It makes you aware of your own needs and behaviour patterns, and the impact of those on yourself and others. Sounds complicated, but it’s super interesting. At least the Basic is what I’d personally recommend to everyone alive. Go for it. More info here… http://isabs.org/winter2010.pdf

About the location, whew! The hotel I stayed at was a beautiful multi-star near the airport. It had a marvellous buffet replete with 20 salads, 20 desserts and an equal number of main course dishes and cuisines. A little glimpse? A variety of cheese and breads, smoked salmon, chicken salami, tenderloin and lamb, prawns, potatoes, corn, cottage cheese, pasta, risotto, delicacies cooked Italian, Chinese, French, South Indian, Punjabi and Mediterranean style, pastries, chocolates, ice-creams, Indian sweetmeats, puddings and pies, mousse and eatables with names that I can’t remember let alone pronounce!! It was terrific - my dessert portions were thrice the size of my main course consumption, and I absolutely loved meal times :)

After 6 days of the lab (and 11 meals, 6 breakfasts and a Papaya body polish later), I met my cousins and spent a day and half with them. Watched the movie Tron Legacy (which doesn’t deserve to be viewed in 3D though the film is quite exciting), bought a pair of gladiator sandals and enjoyed an amazing Death by Chocolate Pancake at a place called Chocolate Room that serves everything from choco-shakes to choco-pizza and chocolate fondue. I polished off an entire double pancake with choco-chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate ice-cream, and that's a lot considering I often pick at my food... This place in Himayat Nagar is a must-visit for anyone that loves this divine brown creation!!

The return trip from Hyderabad to Pune was a nightmare. A complete letdown by Jet Airways. They first cancelled my direct Hyd-Pune flight. There was no other option with them or any other airline so I had to opt for a connecting flight the next day. I wasn’t complaining; I got an extra day to spend with relatives. What sure wasn’t amusing was that Jet rescheduled this other flight for the first leg rendering my second leg (Bombay-Pune) useless. I had to run around and book myself on an Air India flight which I thankfully got coz I reached the airport way before time.

Of course, I missed meeting some friends for who I'd come early in the first place. But that's destiny... You can’t have everything planned and going right all the time... So I somehow got to Bombay, spent 2 hours in the Jet lounge and reached Pune. I’m going to avoid flying by Jet in future, and would advise others the same.

That’s my story, and a lengthy one at that (though I still haven’t touched upon half the things I’d like to share in detail!)

Pune’s friggin 6 degrees celsius right now! It’s unbelievable. I spent Christmas with my sis-in-law and nephew in Mumbai, and mind you, that city doesn’t know what winter is. Hyd was ok, cool and comfy. I wonder how much colder Pune’s gonna get! It’s nice though… The chill… Colorful sweaters and mufflers… Steaming chai and warm blankets… Hot showers and cosy sunshine… I love winters!!

The icing on the cake? An award at IBM :-)

(Won the GEM award for Going the Extra Mile by motivating and engaging the employees with my initiatives and driving performance. When I thanked my manager for acknowledging and appreciating my work, she turned around and said, “Thank YOU Anuja for being in the team and doing what you did!” My mind was numb and body shivering with exhilaration – to be recognized in the first 6 months in a mammoth company with team members far senior to me in knowledge and experience – spellbinding!!!)

Thanks for your best wishes, all.

Thank you God… Love you!

Stay with me in the new year and for ever...


- Princess

Wednesday, December 22

Baby I'm Addicted...

This goes out to most boys (and some girls, too) who drink for any and every reason, any and every day.

Why do you drink so much?

What is it about alcohol that is so irresistible and makes you so desperate?

It’s ridiculous.

Honestly.

I won’t deny the desire and pleasure of a drink now and then when you’re very stressed of extremely happy, or you want to celebrate a particularly significant occasion in your life.

But drinking coz you can afford it and drinking coz booze is available is downright stupid.

And the fact that you can’t control yourself in the presence of alcohol is disgusting.

I’ve seen more than a few folks who drink almost every single day for no other excuse than they’ve been to office or they have nothing else to do. Guys get together after work and lounge at someone’s place with bottles of beer, rum and whisky maybe because it makes them feel cool, or could be because they believe that it is essential. A day without alcohol makes them feel incomplete and bored. As if they’ve wasted one day of their life. Now how wise and exciting is that?!

I can fathom a few logical reasons for drinking (if any reason for drinking CAN be termed logical). One, it’s just something you do when you gang up with a bunch of friends/colleagues. (As if just sitting around munching on snacks and listening to music isn’t happening enough.) Two, it’s a-given that guys drink whenever they can, so this agenda doesn’t require any planning or discussion. Three, people are addicted. Either truly or they believe they are. In my opinion, it’s more psychological. “I’ve had a hard day, and I NEED a drink.”

And of course, when you drink, you sure NEED a smoke…

Why am I getting so worked up about it? Well, simply put, it ANNOYS me.

What’s with drinking everyday ya? Or every alternate day for that matter? Or every weekend even?

So fine you drink one day coz you feel like it. Fair enough. And then you drink the next day coz a colleague wants to drink. Nonsense! And then you drink the day after that because one of your team-mates got promoted. Haa! The next day it’s someone’s birthday, so a drink is in order. And obviously, you catch up with friends over the weekend or visit a new hangout, or your girlfriend wants to go partying …

Loser!! Get a grip on yourself. Whoever said that booze available is booze that needs to be drunk?!! Whoever said you can’t say no? Why the hell do you think that if you refuse to drink, someone might get offended or ridicule you?

I seriously don’t understand.

I mean, you’re educated enough to know that you are making yourself dependant on this poison. You might convince yourself that you’re not addicted but your actions and emotions speak otherwise. If your will power cannot hold you back from regular binge, then dude, you gotta serious problem. Indulgence is one thing, overdoing it and being unable to control yourself – deep shit you’re in, mate. And what sucks is you don’t even realise or accept it.

You’re screwing your own health – physical, mental and emotional. You’re jeopardizing the life of others who depend on you – your family, whether born or unborn yet. And how fair is that?

No… I do not believe you when you say you know what you’re doing. I do not believe you when you say you are in control. Drinking more than twice a week and more than 4 times a month, is a grave concern. And if you can’t stop yourself, lord save you.

Stop calling your girlfriends, siblings, spouses and parents nags just coz they care for your health and ask you to refrain from drinking.

Stop thinking you’re cool and drinking is a way to prove that.

Stop supposing that there is no better way to enjoy life. Recreation and rejuvenation has better modes than this ugly habit. Exercise. Watch a movie. Hang out at a club or park. Pick a hobby. Play cards or chat with relatives and friends. Learn how to dance or speak a new language. Do something creative. Find ways to make your loved ones feel special. Do all the things you miss out on coz you waste half your breathing time making merry after a bottle of booze.

Life is much more than a high, buddy.

Quit the alcohol. Kick the pot. Chuck the cigarette.

It’s not worth it, trust me.

Why am I saying all this?

Coz I care.

And you know I do…

I hope you care for me, too…

Be good!


Princess

Saturday, December 18

Washroom chronicles

Hey there!!

I wrote about Wardrobe Chronicles 2 years ago…

And this time, here’s a sneak peek into the woman’s private zone…

Are you excited yet?

Well, if you think what’s so great about a woman’s lavatory, think again.

(In fact, if you DO think that there’s nothing special about a woman’s restroom, it’s all the more reason for you to read this post. Brush up on your GK, dude!! Dobara mat poochna!!)

For women, a washroom is not merely a place to freshen up, but an essential part of living… If walls had ears, the restroom walls would have been a part of the Guinness World Records for holding the most secrets…

Women crying.

Women gossiping.

Women sniggering.

Women discussing latest fashion.

Women reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

Women experimenting with new looks and make up.

I haven’t mentioned half the list yet…

Now do you see?

Now, again you would think why I’m sharing all this with you non-members of this private and beautiful zone. Am I not a woman who loves this space? I do, which is why I’m showing you just how important and exciting this place is…

Why else would a woman excuse herself to go to the washroom the minute she steps into a home, restaurant, office or club?

Men don’t do that, do they? At least not the (comparatively) macho ones that I know…

So, women obviously sit on the pot as they chat with their friends and boyfriends, either bitching or whispering sweet nothings.

Or they could be wailing coz their boss shouted on them for something that was frivolous (according to them). Maybe a boyfriend giving them grief. Or coz they were feeling unwell and some supervisor acted rude and insensitive. No dearth of reasons to cry – we’re women after all!

The powder room, as it is also called at times, is a must visit for any woman who enters a pub or workplace. (Or anywhere for that matter, if one lives in Mumbai – the sweat and muck, yuck!!)

Staring at themselves for hours in the mirror. Curling their already curled (or straightened) hair. Lining their eyes with mascara for the tenth time in 10 minutes. Painting their already shining lips. Peering at marks (both visible and invisible, real and imaginary) on the face and elsewhere. Adjusting accessories or the dupatta or the t-shirt… And once all of this done, staring at themselves from top to bottom again – a quick check to see if everything’s in order.

Being a woman isn’t an easy job, fellas! It’s a lot of hard work…

And I bet you don’t mind when you see the great outcome that steps outta the washroom. Worth the wait, right?

The venue is also a breakout zone for a gang of giggly girls who want to catch up on lost time and updates. Like who’s dating whom, who fought with whom, what’s the masala in the work world and movie world.

I know this is taking it too far, but once I even saw a girl sipping coffee as she chatted up her pals in the washroom! Takes the cake, eh? LOL.

Well, well… Women who are taking offence, pardon me. But I honestly don’t understand the concept of wasting time in the loo. The loo is meant for a particular purpose, one that I often finish in less than a minute. And when I see chics spending a good 15 minute break at work in the loo… It kinda surprises and amuses me.

And we laugh on…

Cheerio!
Princess

Tuesday, December 14

Who's Loss Is It Anyway?

I’m a sore loser when it comes to losing people.

I HATE ending relations. I wail and I flail and I make life difficult for myself and the person involved.

(Of course, considering that most people these days are quite business-like, detached and impersonal, they do not experience the same trauma that I do. Fair enough. We’re not created equal, and thank god for that…)

Amazingly, despite the innumerable times that I’ve lost close and not so close friends, I’ve not turned numb to this phenomenon yet. Each time it happens, I experience the same amount of grief and restlessness.

As most ladies would readily agree, it’s tough being a woman.

However, the one time when I truly regret it is when my guy friends fall in love with me. I used to be a tomboy (still am, in a few ways, and proud of it!) and I continue to share excellent rapport with all my guy friends as well as the girls. Yet, when these very chaddi buddies tell me they’ve fallen for me, the chemistry goes to the dogs and life becomes all topsy-turvy. Nothing’s the same again. Unless of course, both of us bounce back and understand and accept the other’s desires, decisions and emotions.

It’s not funny how relations change when the dynamics of love and infatuation force the doom of your camaraderie and oneness. To cut a long story short, it hurts enormously when someone you believe to be close and “apna” disowns you owing to a romantic interest that you do not reciprocate.

Of course, there were other times when I was left feeling alone and miserable. Like when a very close friend (two actually, both girls) abandoned me and went away for goodness knows what reason. They’re both back with me now, but I can’t begin to tell you how enraged and lost I felt for the first few months without each one of them.

Then there was this other guy who said he loved me. And then he went back to his hometown, not even bothering to keep in touch, or say goodbye.

And this other friend, who …

If I start counting the number of people I’ve lost this way, I’d turn 60 and still be counting.

Umm… Ok. That’s an exaggeration. Maybe not 60…

The point being, I get really attached to the people in my life. And somehow, I believe that I matter to them, too. So, when they move away from me without a sign or twitch, it hurts. Hurts real bad. I want to hold them like a rowdy baby, shake them and ask, “What the hell happened? I thought you were my friend? How can you just go away like this?”

They look at me like I’ve lost it.

Maybe I have. How come they don’t feel a pang of sorrow and loss?

Are they so out of touch with their emotions? Are they so strong and hard-hearted as to not feel any despair? Did I never matter in the first place for me to expect such a difference in their lives?

So what really troubles me is not the fact that they choose to not be in my life anymore, but the fact that they think their life can be intact (and maybe better off without) me.

Call me egoistic, but that’s the truth.

I realize that things were a lot different a few generations ago when people who did not meet each other for decades, still went out of their way to be there for their childhood mates and acquaintances. My uncle and his friends for instance. They studied together in the US, and when they see each other, sometimes after 30 years, they talk and behave like they saw each other just the previous day.

The warm generosity and unassuming openness is like a slap in the face for someone like me who stays in the 21st century and frequently interacts with individuals who know they each exist in others’ life for some temporary reason or agenda. Be it school friends, college buddies or work allies, we’re programmed to being best pals when we’re together, and then smoothly roving our own paths when fate brings us to the crossroads.

Without bothering about keeping in touch with those that we spent most of our waking hours with not so long ago, we go our lonely ways and become faded memories for each other, remembered with mirth, horror or apathy.

Nothing’s permanent, said the Lord in the Bhagwada Geeta.

We live it every day.

At least most of us do.

And I’m not one of them.

I seek to get back in touch, and I forgive with the intention of reliving the beautiful past.

Happens sometimes. Fails at other times.

I shrug and walk away; at least I tried.

But I never forget.

It’s the least I can do for someone that made a mark in my life.

You all have.

And I shall forever remain indebted.

Thank you.

And please don’t go away :-)


Cheers!
Princess

Thursday, December 9

Rosesh ki Inspirations

No doubt you know what I’m talking about.

The brilliant, entertaining and one of a kind – Rosesh Sarabhai, and his mind-blowing poems. Compiled from the show Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, that was aired on Star One not so long ago.

Some of his “choicest” creations, assembled from the net and memory… Enjoy!

In the living room of Sarabhai's, Hogi Saahil Bhai ki sagaai,
Agley mahiney, Priya Bhabhi phuli na samaai.

Momma tum sabse pyari, Tum bin jaise main raaste ka andha bhikhari,
Blessings daan me de do, Thodi mamta tumhari, Momma ho momma ho.

Ek Common Man Ko Mili Hai Pari, Jaise Chikoo Ke saath Ho Strawberry,
Aage Aage Mummy Aur Piche Piche Daddy, Jaise Tom And Jerry.

Ghanan ghanan ghanan ghanan, Badalo se aaye pehle surya kiran,
Daaton ke liye dant manjan, Aur pet ke liye kaayam chooran .

Hawa mein hain khushi ki aroma, Jeet gayi momma, jeet gayi momma,
Say hi to happiness and tata to trauma, Jeet gayi momma, jeet gayi momma .

Jelly giri zameen par, To awaaz aayi PLUP PLUP!
Baccha usme haath maare, To sunai deti hai THUP THUP!
Jelly par kabhi fungus na lage, Uska swaad kabhi bhankas na lage,
Agar bachaani hai hume hamari country, Toh jelly ko banana hoga pradhan mantri .

Tumhe samjhe toh mujhe bhi samjhana,
Kyu hai mera jeevan itna khokla,
Jaise koi baasi aur sada hua khaman dhokla.

Popat Kaka ki atma ka Popat ud gaya ud gaya ud gaya rey...
Shristi ke sajjan haath se popat jud gaya jud gaya jud gaya rey...

Humpty dumpty sat on the 'gaadi', Gaadi pe baitha tabhi aa gayi daadi,
Daadi ne kaha aaja mere paas, Kyuki gaadi pe baithna is just so middle class.

Pud pud pud pud ubalta paani, Paani mein uble chawal ki jawani,
Jawan hokar chawal sajayenge thali, Seene se lagayenge daal kali kali.

In the bathroom of Sarabhai, hogi Monisha bhabhi ki pitaai,
Rakhti hain apna ghar woh ganda, jaise dal makhani mein paneer pasanda.

Momma ka bday karein celebrate, Age hai 53 but u look 28,
Monisha bhabhi ne banaaya hai khaana, Jise hum sab karte hain hate.

Tugduk tugduk tugduk
Momma ne bola Rosesh Ruk ruk ruk ruk ruk ruk,
Maine peche dekha, Look look look look look look,
Momma ne mujhe di ek horse riding ki,
Book book book book book book.


And the TOP CLASS POEM… Teen pair wala kutta…

Yeh hai teen pair waala kutta, Isko kabhi bhagaana nahi padta,
Susu karte waqt use pair uthaana nahi padta.

Haha! Just how awesome is that…


One complimentary poem by
Kachha Kela during poetry session: (This one;s my all time favourite – just like the Hips Don’t Lie joke)

Main Lukkha Hoon...

Duniya chahe meri puja kare,
par, Main lukkha hoon.
Bhale meri burayi na koi dooja kare,
par, Main lukkha hoon.

Mujhe raaj gaadi pe na bithao,
Nahin raja kabhi banna mujhe.
Mujhe mehngi cheezein nahin chahiye,
Jo mango le lo, de do gaana mujhe.

Stay safe, be happy.

Watch out for some more laughs…

-Princess

Saturday, December 4

Still Together...

How do I feel when I am with you?

Lovely.

Complete.

Protected.

Special.

Content.

What do you do to make me feel this way?

At times, something.

Most of the times, nothing at all.

I just feel that way coz I love you and I can sense your love if not directly experience it at a given moment.

I just put my head on your shoulder and I forget all the worries and sorrows in the world.

Cuddled in your arms, I hear your heart beating against my palm, and time comes to a standstill.

I can’t stop smiling as I look at you coz I’m struck by the fact that I love you like crazy.

And I think of the way you look at me, and I know you love me too…

Isn’t it beautiful, this thing that we have?

So what if we fight? So what if there are times when we can’t bear each other? So what if we’ve often contemplated going our separate ways?

We’re still together… Still going strong… (Just like Shania Twain said…)

You have the power to make me feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet, and you can also make me feel stupid and helpless. I effortlessly label you a complete jerk, and my trust in you can help you move mountains.

If not love, what is it?

You get me flowers I love and gifts I don’t like, I give you chocolates you relish and gifts you don’t find stylish enough.

We’re both learning. We’re both growing. As individuals and a couple. And there’s tons more to come. A zillion more experiences in the wings, waiting for us to embrace them and come out stronger.

Closer.

Inseparable.

The simplest of things that I do with you become my most cherished moments. Something as routine as making tea to making love. The way you tease me and I poke fun at your mannerisms and habits. The funny things we say to each other in fights and tricky situations… It’s all so adorable.

Unforgettable.

I love you.

Will it last?

I think so.

Relations die. Love never does.

So what if you irritate me by acting silly? So what if I stress you by asking for more than you think you can do? So what if we want to pull out each others’ hair for crazy reasons?

We’re still together…

And I know we can live through this.

Isn’t that what love is all about?

True, things won’t be exciting all the time. There will be times when we think we’re better off alone.

But are we?

Am I?

Not when I think of the beautiful memories you’ve given me.

Are you?

(You’re definitely not, if you ask me. You’d wreck your life if you were allowed to do your own thing.)

I can visualize our perfect life together. Where you don’t drink every day, and I don’t have to nag about pending chores. Where you don’t feel lonely, and I don’t feel detached and forgotten. Where we both know that we’re meant to be. Happy and faithful. Together. Till death do us apart.

It won’t be easy. Nobody said it would be.

But together we’ll do just fine.

Trust me.

(And mend your ways before I flog you!)

Love,

Princess