Thursday, August 30

A wanderer's fantasy

(This poem was conceived as an entry into an Indiblogger contest : one that promises a trip to Melbourne, no less!! And if that does not sound worth it or exciting, then you MUST visit this website : www.visitmelbourne.com/in )


Founded in 1835,
Hey you can call me naive!
But I'm going to Melbourne soon,
And I'd need facts to stay alive.

As I step out of the Tullamarine,
An airport so huge and fine;
I marvel at the City of Literature,
The street art as rich as full-bodied wine.


Unravelling the numerous charms,
Hidden in the city divine;
The aura and versatility,
Enthrall the body, heart and mind.

Struck by wanderlust,
I "shuffle" through the Melbourne lanes;
Having my fill of the Australian cultural capital,
My fatigue and boredom wanes.


A lively, ambitious teenager hoping to study further,
I held Melbourne inspiring and dear;
(Did you know Cate Blanchett, Rupert Murdoch
And Kylie Minogue were born here?)

A hop, skip and jump,
On and off the free City Circle tram;
The Docklands and Cooks' Cottage,
Gift me memories unforgettable and glam.

Melbourne Aquarium whisks me away,
To the waterworld and kingdom of swim;
Level 88 on Melbourne’s Tower Eureka,
Seems more incredible than a crazy whim.


My highest flight of fancy ain't a match,
For balloon flights teasing the clouds,
The greeter's service makes me comfy and welcome.
I feel one with the jovial crowds.

As I think of home and family,
The "Indian" River Lagoon strikes a chord;
Lookout areas that transport me to paradise,
And causeways ingenious and broad.

Chinatown, gardens, spa, events and zoos,
Melbourne's got it all;
Eat, explore, shop and make merry,
I rejoice until I fall.


As my reverie ends,
And I ponder when and how,
Indiblogger and Visit Melbourne whisper,
... It's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!


Cheerio!!
(With fingers crossed as hard as I can...)
- Princess


Monday, August 27

Angels and Demons


Too often, I am accused of being stupidly optimistic and foolishly positive about people. 

"Naive" - they call me. 

I forgive too easily, as I want to give people a second (and a third and a fourth and hundredth chance....) 

That it all happened unintentionally, that it was a mistake, is my confident assumption. No matter what evidence might reveal. 

I've always believed that people want to be good, and being good is the natural thing to do. It is THE way to be, as a first choice and inclination, for everyone without exception. Going by that logic, I suppose that people will think well of each other, help each other in times of need, talk highly of each other and not want to or act in a way that will either mentally hurt or negatively impact anybody else. 

I trust human beings will be good as far as their volition is concerned. It is only in extreme or unfortunate circumstances that they would behave in a "bad" ( = abnormal) way. After all, isn't being nice easier than being unpleasant? 

Unfortunately, more often than not, I am proven wrong. 

Most people are selfish. Several are evil. They want to see people fail, not succeed. They want to spread pain, not joy. 

Being "human" takes more effort and will-power than being demonic. Being a bi*ch is so much more simpler than being an angel. Thinking bad of someone, talking shi* about somebody, acting in way that impacts people's growth and image is a victory for people who feel better when someone else falls flat on their face, their efforts wasted, their esteem destroyed. 
  
Honestly, I don't know what it is about people that makes them want to be mean and wicked. 

It is beyond me why somebody created by God would want to be devilish. Why when you can't spread happiness, you would wish to spread sorrow and hatred. 

Don't trust me? Look around you. 

People will laugh when someone slips and falls, but few will rush to steady or help him. 

Where there are posters, you will see people scarring the faces of men and women or writing profanities. 

Gossiping is more about what people have done wrong than what they have done right. 

In times of difficulty, fewer people will agree to help, fewer still will volunteer. But the number of people who will wait and watch in the wings, looking for an opportunity to pull that person down a few pegs, 

Conniving idiots, the bunch of them. They obviously were not brought up in an environment where peaceful co-existence reigned supreme. That they need to wreak revenge on the world and inflict misery on everyone who dares to smile must have been their lesson numero uno. To wipe bliss from the face of their earth is their ultimate target.

Who said demons have horns?

Human beings lost theirs somewhere in evolution.

Only the physical way. The mental sickness endured.

Be good, folks. I implore you.

If you can’t help someone, at least don’t hamper their growth, harmony and progress. You don’t know how the other person is suffering, what his story is, what he is going through. Don’t add to his woes if you cannot multiply his peals of laughter. Attempt to make life simpler for others, not complicated or woesome.

Spreading mirth is the most powerful thing in this world. Goodwill goes a long way and makes possible the most bizarre wishes. You never know when someone’s passing blessing makes your heartfelt desires come true.

And if it feels good then, then you need to let the circle continue. One good turn deserves another. Make someone else’s day, make someone smile. Wipe someone’s tears and give someone a caring shoulder to cry on or an empathetic ear to vent. You shall receive more than you bestow. Not a bad deal at all…

Every single day, I come across an individual who treats the human race with overt and hidden violence. Every other day, I also encounter people who believe that being good is their dharma.

Takes one to know one. We’ve all been good, we’ve all been bad. The point is which being prevails within you?

What is being good, you ask? Anything that takes the burdens off another person and makes him smile, even if for a moment. If you can predict that someone will be hurt unfairly and unreasonably by your word or action, hold that thought and scrap that deed.

After all, there is nothing as tangible as the curve of the lips and the wetness of tears, whether held or flowing.

What’s your good deed for everyday going to be?

Spread the love, luck, laughter. You shall be repaid manifold. It doesn't matter from which quarters. What matters is that the good shall rebound to you.

And you needn’t wait to go to the next world for that. Heaven is here, so is hell. Depends on what kind of people you meet and most importantly, what kind of person you are…

Cheerio!,
Princess

Monday, August 20

Mera Ghar, Mera Aangan

What’s in a name, said Kalidas.

LOL.

All right, all right. Before you hit the panic button and call to inform me about this typo, let me accept that Shakespeare said it.

But hey, what’s in a name?!!!

Everything.

And I’m not just talking about adding an extra “K” or dropping the “E” from your name. The numerology business, albeit beyond me, still does not compel one to abandon an age old name and accept a new one, hopefully with a new and desired identity.  

I’m speaking about the entire name. Your tag. Your personality maestro.

Care to disagree?

Why else would Kareena Kapoor flip on hearing the name “Ranchhoddas Chanchad” in the super-duper-blockbuster Three Idiots?

It’s funny how certain opinions accompany certain names.

Would Rajeshwardas in the 21st century ever want to be called respectfully with his full first name?? (Quite a mouthful anyway.) I’m 200% sure he’d jump and stick and hold on tight to the pet name Raj (naam toh suna hoga….!!)

Talk about places for that matter. Deccan is hep, but Sambhaji Nagar….??

Yeah yeah, that’s what the Marathi manoos of Pune renamed Deccan as!

(The name didn’t catch on though, obviously and fortunately…
Imagine – I am going to sambhaji Nagar to catch a movie, dude!! Ewwwww…)

Thoughts and ideas flow into my mind as I revel in an amusing predicament.

The excellent house I’ve moved in and made a home, is in a fantastic society in a great area very close to my workplace and super convenient in terms of facilities and proximity to all important, upcoming locations in Pune. The view is gorgeous, the ambience is delightful, and the vastu is perfect. It's paradise on earth.


Just don’t ask me the name of the locality.




Okay then… it’s Tingare Nagar.
Happy?!!!
:-(

It’s a disgrace. Makes me feel like I’m living in a chawl with huts and hovels around me.
My husband is bothered no less by this fact. In fact, my father suggested we address our address as Adarsh Colony and not TINGARE NAGAR.

So, the other day, when asked about my whereabouts and residential details…

“Where do you stay now?”

“Near the airport.”

The chap wont give up. Typical.

“Where exactly?”

“Adarsh Colony”

“And where’s that?”

Grrr…

“Near Vishrantwadi”

“Ohhhhhh… Tingare Nagar????!!!!”

“(If you must.)”

The last sentence (as you might have guessed) was expressed mutely, but definitely not in good humor.

I’m used to it now, though. Time is the best healer, and the marvellous abode certainly makes up for such small nuisances.

Tingare Nagar, it is :-)

Home is where the heart is…. !!!

Call it what you may. To me, it’s my love nest.




Cheerio!
Anuja

Tuesday, August 14

Customer Jaaye, Par Sale Na Jaaye...



"The customer is always right" is no more the rule of thumb in service.

In fact, each day dawns bright with a new and novel way to show the customer just how stupid, dumb, unreasonable, demanding, disrespectable and unwanted he is. Simply put, he's more an inconvenience than anything else. 

At least that's what it appears like.


Tired, grumpy faces. Repetitive questions. Dripping sarcasm. Unwillingness to listen or understand. Refusal to assist. Innovative ways to deny help. That's the new definition of customer service in the 21st century.

It's revolting. It's pathetic. It's unacceptable.


What can we do about it? Nothing.


Coz customers can be lost forever, but one has to protect the sale : The new mantra of service.


Or at least that's what is evident.


I'm not writing this based on one incident. Indians are a forgiving, adjusting and tolerant species; we're used to being disrespected and ignored. It wouldn't be unfair to say that we totally expect it, and are surprised if anything else comes our way. So, for me to sit down and write about it (that too when I barely get time for myself or my hobbies!), is a big thing.

Max in Phoenix (Pune) has become my pet destination of sorts. It has pretty decent variety and the prices are quite attractive. No wonder then, despite the horrible customer service desk, I still end up going there to shop for a few kurtas and tops now and then. Being a woman who loves to shop often and economically, one has to put up with some compromising situations.


My last visit to Max had me fuming over this one nasty salesman who sits at the billing desk like it's his father's grocery shop. He's unhelpful to the core and obnoxious to the hilt. This I observed over a period of three to four minutes when I was deciding whether or not to buy some garments that the display said were on sale but actually weren't. The annoying jerk would give me no time to even make up my mind, and my questions about the prices of the said garments were as painful and irritating to him as a mother's queries about a teenager's night out.

 
I've rarely (if ever) felt this unwanted. Being a peace-loving person, I thought I'd let it go. I very well know what I deserve in terms of service, and I am assertive enough to ask for it. But one look at this guy and you would understand that it would have been an effort wasted. He wasn't even worth a discussion or appeal.

Having bought an extra kurta that I didn't completely like but did not want to reject for fear of being humiliated by this sick salesman, I returned to Max hoping to meet somebody who would offer me a more welcoming approach and co-operative assistance.

I can't say I did. But anyway, as I said, our expectations were low. So, we were happy when one of the guys said that it was okay for us to exchange the kurta. I pranced around, and set my heart upon a pair of ballerina sandals that struck me as comfortable and elegant. (Now I realise they bite!! Like salesman, like footwear. Ahem....)

We retraced our steps to the billing counter and I joined the queue that had the same person at the head who had said we could get the garment exchanged. I could do with one argument less. But as luck would have it, by the time I got to the desk, this guy was replaced by the same jerk that I'd met last time. He glanced at me, and I could feel the ends of my neck pricking. Negative vibes were never so concrete.

As he went about punching things on the machine, and dropping a few words to his colleagues at the neighboring counters, he managed to slip me a "Are you sure this time coz it will not be exchanged again". I wanted to smack him and say "No, I'm not sure and I plan to return to exchange this soon again".

Surprise surprise. What escaped my lips was a pleasant smile and a "It's all right".

I've certainly become more mature, I must say.

After all, what can one do when a sale is more important than a customer???  

Until we meet next.... Beware of cranky sales-folks !!!

- Princess

Friday, August 3

Real Ever After's


“He cant make you laugh, he cant make you cry… Looks like he hasn’t touched your heart yet.”

I always remember this lovely dialogue from the Bollywood movie Bluffmaster (starring AB’s baby and Piggy Chops). It’s true. You cant be happy with someone who cannot impact you in a way that makes you react.

You can survive and co-exist, yes. But live a passionate, lively moment, no.

And if not, then what use is it being with that person? Aren’t you better off alone?!!

Whoever said they’ve never fought with their partner / spouse is kidding you for sure. Or maybe their relationship has not reached the level where they totally trust and know each other. They are probably still in the initial, formal stage where they are quietly unsure or politely tolerant of everything that their partner says, does, wants or thinks.

Akhilesh is a wonderful guy and a great husband. He’s terrific simply coz I love him, and he’s a gem coz he loves me like few other people dream of being loved and fewer still actually are.


Do we fight?


Of course we do!!

(Though we both wish we wouldn't...)

And real bad fights, too. Our single-minded focus is on hurting each other and proving exactly how much each one of us is suffering and putting up with.

(Funny bit is, we end up smiling now and then even while the argument is on coz we know we are both bull-$hitting about being frustrated, and we are both still as madly in love with each other the way we were when we were dating.)

(Actually, more than that.)

You cant expect things to be the same before and after your wedding. You cant expect to be okay with everything about your partner. Being life partners and soul mates does not guarantee that the both of you will like and accept everything about each other. It does not mean finding the perfect person, or someone just like you. It means being able to understand your differences and not just live with them, but also make life more compatible and the differences less stressful.

It does not mean not fighting. It means approaching a situation with maturity and patience, and coming out of that situation knowing more about your partner and yourself.

Too often, we target the individual and not the behaviour.

Too often, we refuse to keep our mind and heart open.

Too often, we jump to conclusions and generalizations.  

We want to believe that the other person is out to change us, that that person is trying to control or command us, that he or she has changed into a hideous devil whose sole motive is to ensure that we are not happy and free.

If only we listen, if only we trust intentions, if only we accept and imbibe …

Then, there would be no fights.

Pursuit of happiness in the true sense of the phrase.

To reach that level of understanding and compatibility – that is my aim.

To give my husband a happier and contented life – that is my desire.

To see him laugh with abandon, and cry with joy…    

To give him these moments and live my life with him to the fullest…


< Sigh >


What’s a few fights anyway?!!!

The making up is totally worth it.

;-)


Cheerio!
Anuja