Friday, November 28

Colorful cocktails

Sounds exciting, eh?!!

I’ve always spoken my mind on this blog, and this time, I’m trying something different, something objective and factual. Like I’ve actually done some research on the internet, to get you these photos and definitions. Gime a pat, buddies!!

(Of course, I can’t keep my gifted life, exceptional mind and talented tongue shut for long, so don’t fret; will lapse into my personal rant sooner than you think!)

First the research – For all the drinks you’ve guzzled till date, I bet you don’t even know what the term cocktail stands for, as in, literally. (Even wikipedia was quite confused and the etymology only spoke about cocks and their tails.)

So, here is the definition - Originally a mixture of distilled spirits, sugar, water, and bitters, the word cocktail has gradually come to mean almost any mixed drink containing alcohol. A cocktail today usually contains one or more types of liquor and flavorings and one or more liqueurs, fruit juices, sugar, honey, water, ice, soda, milk, cream, herbs, bitters, etc. Cocktails are made with gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy, or vodka.
The page goes on to report the earliest description (New York, 1806) of this
“bittered sling” - an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else."
Quite an exposé! But on no account untrue. Nothing like a tiny peg of a hard drink to make irritating persons tolerable (a large one will even make them seem congenial!) and render courage to demure folks.

(Now you know why
married men drink so much... Giggle giggle!)
Alcohol helps you throw caution to the winds, it makes you feel like you have no need to fear vulnerability and vanquishment. You see the world as a brand new place; a happy space, where everything looks agreeable and reasonable. People cease to bother, anger, scare or upset you. You realize all humans are not be shunned, hated or criticized. Everything seems right, and what isn’t, you get the strength to either disregard or accept it for what it is. And move on with a chuckle. (Check my Jaipur jaunt!)

A sense of confidence, greatness and generosity grow in you. You aren’t as piqued and petty as you usually are. A win-win every way!

Don’t misconstrue me. I’m not advocating drinking, nor am I supporting those who fish like a drink (I mean drink like a fish)... I know how irritating it can be when someone in the family or friend circle drinks too much too often. I am just sharing my views about how this cocktail contagion is not so bad when you have a decent dose of it on those rare and special occasions.

Back to research! The first "cocktail party" ever thrown was allegedly by Mrs. Julius Walsh Jr. (May 1917) in Missouri. Apparently the party lasted one hour, after which the guests moved on to the buffet spread. Can’t quite compare that to the full-fledged, "spirited" parties of today, eh?!
I hope you know cocktails vary in their ingredients from bartender to bartender, and from
region to region. Two creations may have the same name but taste very different because of differences in how the drinks are prepared. (Which is why my “Sex on the Beach” looks orange in one restaurant and pink in another lounge. But, I ain’t complaining! As long as it meets its purpose...)

I could share a galaxy of instances with you about my encounter with crazy concoctions. Be it the “Waterfall” I shared with Sibi at Kiva, or the Fire and Ice I tasted with Dips. The tequila and wine shots with Sumant, or the B52 and Margaritas with the inlingua gang. The straight vodkas at Optimos, or my nascent days with beer and buddies.

(I am sure you now think of me as a pakki bewdi, but heck, (or shall I say "hiccc!"), as I always say, I can either be honest or modest. Not both together! And I AM a responsible, mature adult. So, I know my drinks and the right times, places and company to have them with. So, rest assured! And thanks for caring...)

Thanks, really.

For being here...

Come back next week for some more fun! I'm of for the weekend!! Yayyy...


Thursday, November 27

Whatta Thanksgiving!!

It's getting really cold in Pune, and I'm enjoying it! It's fun wearing woollens and jackets and stoles and mufflers that have been stacked up all year. What's not so great is getting up in the mornings for work, but that's nothing new, is it?!!!

Work's borrrrrrring... I'm SO sick of
business development, that I can't push myself any further towards attaining those silly sales goals single-handedly. I'm really looking forward to a trip this weekend - will blow the cobwebs from my brain and rejuvenate me, my tumbling spirits and emotions.

Heard about those firings and blasts in Mumbai last night? Whew, scary. Especially coz my bro's in Mumbai. The local trains were suspended, and apparently the schools, share market, banks and other offices are all taking the day off for safety sake. I just can't understand what these crazy terrorists want. And I'm infuriated coz the Govt is acting like a helpless pawn. Far from being proactive and effective, we're not even good at reacting efficiently. News-channels claim there are more than a 100 still held hostage by young men in jeans, apart from the 100-odd people who died in the 11 attacks in South Mumbai, including the Taj - the WTC of India.

I've given up on this topic. I know nothing's gonna come out of it. We're always gona be this way. Retiring and terrified, nonchalant and incompetent. We are adept at harassing our own citizens, but we're complete losers when it comes to giving the nation a good name and sturdy frame. We are experts at dirty politics, yet we can't even fight back with those who are playing the same game and causing havoc. I think dealing with terrorists can wait; let's sort out our politicians and bureaucrats first...
Apologies for the outburst. Let's talk about books to calm me down...

Hey, one of the attacks happened at Leopold's. That's a cafe in South Mumbai, and it rung a bell coz I've read about it in Shantaram... (For some beautiful lessons, read
this and this and this. Great book!)

About the
Mahabharata , here's piece of info - the dwapar yuga belonged to the kshatriyas and the kali yuga belongs to the shudras. So, possibly one way to explain the wealth and comfort of the business tycoons could be that they are the higher and purer folks of previous ages, and they are enjoying a good life thanks to their previous karma. The others who are suffering, could be the lower ones who have not done so well before, and they will now rise in revolt and do something to annihilate the entire community. And poof, end of this age. Pop goes the weasel.

By the way, here's the latest - India was slated to be the next super power in 2020. Rumors say this has been preponed thanks to the current global crisis. Well, I don't see how useful that is for me, as that doesn't spell an end to our
salary worries...

I don't seem to be able to think of anything to share today. Have a few drafts saved up , but don't feel like posting today. Take a break, fellas. Will be back fresh and chatty as ever tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!
(Thanks to the Almighty we are all well and hearty, and for the million ways in which we are luckier than others...)

Love always,

P.S : Hey friends, there's a new buddy in the gang! Pls say hello to dear Bandru who lives under my Shelfari on the left :-) He's a mighty cute and energetic chap! Oh, and he says he loves you all! Now whatta fine guy... No monkey tricks!!

Wednesday, November 26

The Art of Reading

I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book - Groucho Marx

Me and Groucho don’t converge on our sentiments to the T (hell, I really like
watching TV!) But I sure think reading is one of the best things a man can do if his life is to be identified as complete... As I always say, a man with a book is never lonely.

(I don’t know how I can contradict myself so openly when I say I love books and yet I call myself “lonely” princess. But that’s just me – an avid exponent of the break-the-rules-and-put-logic-to-shame family!!!)

A bookworm since times immemorial, I worship my books and am forever seeking to add
new ones to my collection. My Shelfari widget on this page will give you a peek into my real bookshelf at home (yeah the same one that my mum ransacked during Diwali and dusted as if it was the asylum of all nasty vermin on earth).

I must thank my mentor on this note, the person who introduced and invited me to the magnificent world of books – Mr. Subhash Rathi, better known as
Abba (thanks to my brother’s childhood lisp). If it weren’t for him, I doubt I’d have been such a paperback aficionado. Thanks, Abba! Owe you one...

When I was younger, Abba used to suggest books to me, stories that he thought I’d enjoy. As time flew and he got busier with other responsibilities and hobbies, I stuck to this pastime religiously. Now, it’s often me in the recommender’s role. And it’s such a great feeling! Almost like a guru-dakshina! He seems to share my choice of books, and he’s now glued to the
Palace of Illusions (POI) that I couldn’t stop raving about when we last met.

Some of my fav reads and recommendations for you? Grab a pen!
Prisoner of Birth by Jef Arch – a very recent bestseller, about revenge and relationships
- Godfather – THE classic of the century, made into a film in both Bollywood and Hollywood, but can a movie EVER beat or do justice to the book?
- The Omen – a mighty good movie if you can’t sit patiently through this excellent thriller
Palace of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni at her best with this tale of the Mahabharata from a woman’s perspective
- The Secret Garden – one of my childhood reads, so simple yet profound and touching

Five is a good number for starters, and I could tell you more if you have the passion and perseverance. I often try to enlist people close to me in the readers’ guild. My latest success has been
Mr. Sibi Venugopal (you can see him as a follower on this page, and he appears frequently in the comment section). Thanks buddy, way to go!! Keep it up!!

Back to Abba and me... The other day, I had a bet with him about the POI. I pride myself on my memory, (and that too, when it’s about the name of my favorite favorite author, there’s just no giving up!). He said the name is Chitra Lekha Banerjee Divakaruni and I kept reiterating vehemently that there’s no Lekha in her name. I’m SO sure he’s lost! Not only did I check her other books that I possess, but also her website. (I’m bemused as to how he’s still fervently arguing that he’s correct... Maybe just a bait to meet me coz we don’t get to meet too often since both of us have demanding schedules.)

So, the point is, we were at loggerheads on this issue at a family dinner, and someone happened to ask what we were talking about. When we related this, I heard a smirk. Apparently, Mr. Anand Rathi (better known on this page as my bro), found it exceedingly comical that we were disputing over a writer’s name.

(Are you waiting for my comments on his impudence and idiocy? All I can say is, he’ll never know the obsession that resides within us booklovers about the habit of reading, our books and the people connected to them – whether living or fictitious. It’s God’s wish that the power of words and irresistible pull of sentences be denied to him. And I can only pity such a mortal.)

Reading is sucha pleasure, one that I can’t wholly describe in this post that doesn’t illustrate my facial expressions and hand gestures. I can spend hours reading, engrossed in the plot and characters as if I was breathing the same air as them, feeling their emotions and experiencing their lives. I’m sure you, as dedicated readers of my blog, feel the same as you read. Be it a blog or a hardback, a short story or an epic, a comedy or a biography, whatever the language, whoever the author. Reading is our coke, our grass, our ecstasy. It is the blood in our veins and the smile on our lips. Leave us alone, and we’ll be fine in the company of a good book... The images on TV can never equal what our imagination can dream and capture...

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter - Thomas Helm

dread ending a book that I’ve enjoyed reading. And once the plot strikes a chord with me, I tumble into endless sessions of relishing every word and page. A hypnotic spell that often spells an early finish to most of my books. And hence, I need to ensure I keep a hold on myself as I begin a new one! Re-reading is pleasant, but it can’t give you the high that a completely mysterious, fresh climax offers.

So, if you really want to live life king/queen-size and you are fed up with the fast-food culture, then Dr. Anuja’s prescription reads : Regular and devoted reading.

You’ll see how a single person can lead several magical lives simultaneously, and how inconceivably larger than life, life actually is!!

On that note, leme tell u, I've completed around 300 pages of
Mahabharata, that is around 1/3rd of the book and the major section of the Adi Parva (the first and the biggest of the 18 parvas or sections of Vyasa's epic).

Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 25

Puneri Predicaments

There are questions that have one and only one answer, and there are several questions that have the same answer.

For example :
Question : What is the thing you despise most about Pune?
Question :What is your worst transport nightmare in Pune?
Question : Why does your mood often get ^%#$& while traveling in Pune?

The answer : Autos / rickshaws.

(Why specifically Pune? Coz in other cities like Bombay, they are one of the most helpful and decorous species. In villages and towns, they are sociable and encourage negotiating over fares. But, in Pune, they are the uncrowned princes and emperors. Monarchs that live life on their own terms, and dictate others’ lives, too.)

They are tyrants on the roads, abusive and reckless, doling out dirty looks by the dozen. Dressed like cool-dudes, one leg up folded on the seat, chewing tobacco or betel leaf, and spitting around (not caring who’s near or behind and who’s clothes are getting soiled with their spit), maneuvering the vehicle like DC’s super-cool sports car. (DC = Dilip Chhabria, who else? Don’t teme you haven’t heard of him!)

In terms of nakhras, they outdo the
fairer (and the not-so-fair) sex! What with their jazzily decorated vehicles, that are furthermore adorned with funky lights and massive garlands during special occasions and festivals. Some play loud disco music or romantic stuff of the 80s and refuse to turn it down or off (as if the music is the fuel!) and signs that read “don’t touch meter” (as if I’ve got nothing better to touch!), “carry change” (now that I’m not contesting or opposing) and much more.

I don’t care if you think I’m biased. I don’t care if you say there are exceptions who are polite and cooperative. I’ve read in the papers that some return cell-phones, valuables and money to customers. Not having come across any myself, I have come to the conclusion that the entire genus exists to fleece customers. (Of course, there are some that are friendly and chatty, but they also share the same objective wholeheartedly.)

Rude, ill-mannered, cheap fellows who keep watching women in their strategically-positioned rear-view mirrors. Insolent freaks who form long queues at auto-stands but refuse to go to locations you want, unless you pay extra. (For your info, once an auto is stationed at a stand, they are supposed to go wherever the passenger commands)

Or they refuse to go anywhere at all and direct you to their peers and stand-mates, as if you’re asking for charity or a free ride.

They purposely take long routes and fool newcomers to the city. Chiefly at stations and downtown places where someone or the other is bound to require and request their services.
They need to fill fuel exactly at the time a customer is seated inside, wanting to get to his destination asap. (The meter is still ticking on, and the waiting charge obviously is borne by the silly, needy commuter.)

Not that they charge less anyway. The auto driver strategically quotes the fare a couple of Rupees above the correct tariff, by rounding up the number to the next higher figure. If you’re one of those informed folks who advocate justice and don’t mind haggling, then heaven be with you! The driver will look daggers at you as if you have committed a grave mistake, and then seek revenge for your direct albeit inconvenient expression. In a very uncomplicated, scrupulous way. “Chhutta do phir!” (= Gime the correct change then!) Topic over.

So, I have two simple recommendations for you when you intend to use an auto in the city:
1. Carry the tariff card (For your info, this formula also works in Pune – meter reading*8+2).
2. Carry enough change, almost 10 rupees to be on the safer side. (Even is the fare is Rs.18, you may end up paying 20 bucks. I’m ok if you’re fine with it!)

But even these wont help when you’re looking to travel after 9 pm. The kings of the roads deem it right to start asking for half returns!

(Half return = at odd hours, whatever is the fare upto the passenger’s destination, the actual fare is 1.5 times that as the auto may not find a new commuter and end up wasting fuel and time, so a humane response to an inhuman being’s troubles).

Legitimately, the half return charge is to be levied between 11 pm and 5 am. But “strike when the iron is hot” is the pet saying of this community. In the bargain, it is we who end up lighter in the pocket or on the weighing scale, while the auto drivers rejoice. Each day brings a new bakra, so no worries for them...

I have two funny incidents to share about them, but well, its time to say goodbye!
Watch out for the sequel!


Monday, November 24

Weekend by Chance

A very unplanned and unexpected weekend... Whoever said self-made plans work out?
I struck gold over the weekend – a discovery that you'll surely appreciate... Women honk for business, men for pleasure. How did I arrive at this premise? I haven’t really gone the hypothesis-testing way, but it sure is a validated statement. Shall explain in detail some other day. For now, ruminate!

The news is out! Yyuuvvrraajj (whatever the spelling is!) is a super-duper flop. (Folks like Zayed Khan and Tusshar Kapoor should just take a hint and spare us such torturous enterprises.) But even the others, save Anil Kapoor, have not managed to please the audiences. I anyways hate
Sallu, (I think besides looking and sounding stylish, he’s a dud at everything else – acting, life, or whatever). So I ain’t too disappointed. The trailers of Rab ne Bana di Jodi are looking good, Haule Haule and Dance pe Chance are splashed across television screens (seen the cute way SRK boogies in the latter?!!) and I think the movie will be good. Time will tell...

Went shopping with mum after ages. (Ain’t it amazing the way we tend to ignore people who are important to us? We conveniently sideline them and their little joys for the sake of temporary, more exciting activities. Which end finally and leave you down in the dumps...)

Nope, we didn’t buy anything too sizeable; a few odds and ends. But most importantly, mum was happy coz we spent time together, just the two of us, and in turn, that contented me. Indeed, the best things in life are free... Like the company of the one you love...

(What you do with that togetherness then decides the necessity of the Mastercard.)
Ahh. the good news is that I'm doing a pretty decent job of not repeating my clothes very frequently. Cheers!

I read a few funny articles in Pune Mirror yesterday (you may also be interested in this and this). Japanese men are now buying bras. And so, lingerie companies have latched on and sunk their fangs into yet another unusual venture – bras specially made for men! What’s coming next?!! God save the world...

The Sunday TOI makes for an interesting read, especially the quotable quotes (I know the term is Reader’s Digest-ial, but pardon me for that!) Here’s some :
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are – Anais Nin.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves...

(I have taken the last one quiteseriously; if I don’t change myself and a few aspects of my life now, you’ll soon be reading my obituary in the very same newspapers I talk about here...)
Shashi Tharoor has written a very optimistic review of Slumdog Millionaire – the movie based on Vikas Swaroop’s novel Q & A. I’m really excited to see it!

And the news that has really frustrated me, is that the same silly guy who won
Roadies by fluke has managed to win Bigg Boss 2 as well!! I mean, *&^#%*^#*... Luck really favors some!

Well, we seem to be going on and on about films and filmdom. So, here are some other updates – I went to this place called Sigree, where I tried my long-awaited liqueur fantasy – Bailey’s Irish Cream. (I duno why an ex-colleague spoke so highly about it. To me, it tasted like butter toffee ground and mixed with milk and poured over ice in a
fancy glass. Is it alcoholic? I didn’t think of it one bit as intoxicating.) Anyways, the food was OK, but the ambience and service was excellent. Very few places in Pune would boast of good service, so I must give some extra credit to this restaurant. Predictably, it cost a bomb to order just one starter and one curry with rice. But, everything comes at a price. So, in all, a fine experience. My rating – 6 on 10. Which is pretty good as hotels go!

There is something else that deserves a 10 on 10 – my experience at Croma. This electronics mall not only has a superb setup, but the range of goods they have is marvelous! I swooned over their dazzling LCD and Camera collection. (Need to buy a digicam soon; I’m dying to take pictures of nothing in particular and post them on my blog for you to see!) And ya, I also need to buy a
cellphone for myself. Ya ya, I know I said my Moto’s going good, but... it’s become old... and there’s some weird khar-khar sound that comes when I’m chatting... and the hands-free isn’t working too well either... You understand, right?...


So, my November and December paycheck are booked. I’m not gona see a penny of either. Better cut the expenses!

A different weekend.

A different life.


And it’s all for the best.


Saturday, November 22

To be or not to be...

You’re a deadly drug, one I’m better off without,
But I’m still attracted to you, my brain’s in a rout.
I still want to know you like me, I need to hear your voice,
I seem to be entranced, it looks like I have no choice.
You brought nothing but trouble,
Yet I enjoyed every moment,
The exhilaration I felt,
Obliterated the frustration and torment.
The mystery that is you, I truly can’t comprehend,
Your life’s in ruins, still towards you my fantasies tend.
My heart skips a beat, when I hear your name,
It's definitely not love, but it also ain't a game.
What IS it, I ask myself, time and again,
Your mesmeric hold over me, I hate and disdain.
I know you feel something when you think of me too,
But what ended abruptly, I can only imagine and rue.
I often miss those days, and in their memories I brew,
I hope you read this, and I’m sure you’ll know this is for you...

Friday, November 21

Teachings nobody taught


I know I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I'm
missing the rain... But that sure wasn't an invitation to the scary lightning and ferocious thunder that lashed Pune yesterday evening! The wind was pretty welcome, though, and so was the coolness that lasted through the night... Anyway, back to the theme for the day!

Ever wondered how things we aren’t taught in school or college are of greater essence and significance in life?

(I mean it’s not going to hamper my existence if I didn’t know who Shivaji or Marx were. Or whether the capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou. Or how good one is at geometric corollaries and chemistry.)

Of course, these may in time become your careers and then be useful to your role in an organization and society. By no standards, a matter of life or death! There are a host of things that are definitely more relevant and essential in our daily subsistence.

We did have moral/value education, environmental awareness, sex education and work-experience at school. However, nobody ever recommended or addressed the other vital day-to-day functions.
What do you think should be a compulsory subject in school?
In fact, I asked this Q on LI in late 2007 (have reopened it in case any of you wish to reply on that platform, the link is :*4CMA%2Evpf_2748864_0_pXm*4_name_*2_Anuja_Rathi)

I'd say : Cleanliness and presentable-ness.

We are all cultured, well-behaved, educated and civilized people. The masters of the living world! The brainiest species! How is it then, that we forget basic hygiene and etiquettes???

No, I’m not just hinting at
irritating, overtly crotch-scratching men and women wearing absurdly long danglers and jazzy, suggestive attire at work. I’m talking about all of us. You, me, our neighbors, colleagues, friends, travel-companions, even strangers and the like.

Here are a few fundamental things you should remember, if you’re a responsible, mature human being; whatever your caste, age, gender or economic/social status. (If you already do, then kudos! Salute to you!)

If you go to college, office, clubs or any other public place (which basically means that you step out of the house and are expecting to meet and interact with people)...

You MUST make sure you’re tidy : A clean shave for the guys (and the ladies, too, if need be), bathed and scrubbed look alongwith washed and ironed clothes for both genders

Ample body talc / deodorant, used generously at regular intervals if necessary, so that neither you have to undergo the inconvenience of sitting with wet, smelly clothes, nor do people around you have to wrench their noses in disgust.

Ensure your hair (from anywhere over the body) do not fall around and mess the surroundings. Especially after you have your bath or freshen up, make sure the bathroom is hair-free and lather-free.

PLEASE do not eat raw onion or other stuff that smells after eaten for breakfast or lunch. If you can’t resist, then carry a powerful mouth freshener or toothpaste with you. It’s awful listening to someone who stinks of oily vegetables or meat. If you have a incessant bad breath, then please visit a dentist. Else be prepared to be avoided, ridiculed and criticized.

After you visit the washroom, leave it in a sanitary condition. Especially the womenfolk - even the sophisticated and erudite ones. I advise turning around and looking at the pot once before you leave the loo. If you don’t like the look of the partly-flushed toilet paper, then obviously the next person is going to detest it, too.

I’m sure you could come up with lot more if you sit down to think about it. For starters, lets all pledge we’ll do something at least about the 5 above. Not too many, not too time-consuming, and undoubtedly uncomplicated...

(I’m sorry if this post hurts or offends any of you. But I’m sure we all agree how much these things matter. More than a few times we cannot speak it out to the people concerned for fear of hurting or insulting them, but then, it only reflects on their upbringing, common sense and community responsiveness.)

Ahem. Curtains down.


Thursday, November 20

Nayee Taazee

Heylo lovely people!

Today's post is about updates, updates and a few more updates.

At work, we completed the survey we were sweating over last week, and presented it to the mngt folks. It was a tedious process - subjecting the data to all kinds of mathematical functions and analyzing it wrt various categories and slices. Now that it's done (not quite, coz my silly colleague goofed up and we need to do some rework, but anyway), I can't help remembering the effort we put in for our
college survey, and how delighted we were when we got an Outstanding grade for it! Cheers! Hope this organizational survey brings more business and erases our salary worries!

What is also very evident is that my boss has taken a keen interest in inviting me for most client meetings. She apparently wants to "nurture" me and help me "grow", and I'm hoping this works out for the best! I'm learning... and I'm enjoying the respect and involvement :-) Touch wood!

Spoke about
Pune Mirror a few days ago. Here's the latest - A Chinese group in the city says Pune has beautiful girls... (Tell us something we don't know, mates!) Hehe. So much for modesty! But well, I can be honest or modest... Take your pick!! Another article described in minute details how the cops chased and caught some dukkar-chors. We really seem famished for some action else pig thieves would not command an entire page, that too the very second one! And finally, another amusing one - in a Bihar fair, a vendor sold four samosas for a cool 10 grand! (He had to refund 9,990 when the foreigners complained, but watta pleasure for him - those precious 10 minutes!!!)

UTV or some channel is showing
Race next weekend - the 29th to be precise. I'm looking forward to watching it. As I shared in my review, the movie isn't as exquisite as it's rapid and stylish. But a good watch on a Saturday evening if you're at home and have some popcorn/munchies handy!

bro has returned from a vacation in Goa, and he's got back gigantic bottles of whisky and vodka. I'm salivating at the presence of Magic Moments Lemongrass & Green Apple, and pulling my hair at the prospect of watching the men in the family sipping away as I watch them helplessly... (That reminds me, some condom company has come up with a new Green Apple flavor; what's this new fixation about apples, anyway?)
Each day as I open my cupboard, I see the Tarot deck glaring at me. This hobby that I fervently pursued last year has now taken a backseat as the novelty has worn off and there are other things that are keeping me occupied...

Speaking about my cupboard, here is the craziest of the updates for the day. Can you guess HOW MANY
tops/T-shirts I have in there? 70... Freaking SEVENTY... (Not counting my kurtas and salwar suits, skirts and other ethnic/western wear.) I couldn't believe my eyes as I counted them. One fine day I decided I should arrange them so that I could see them all the same time and ease the attire-decision-process for the day. Out tumbled a few of my fav tops that I had given up for lost, but which had actually been pushed behind by the new ones... Akin the memory displacement theory we did at M.A level. Gosh, I need to do a better job at not repeating the same stuff in a month, if not two months!
Have completed around 175 pages of the Mahabharata. Cruised through Ekalavya and Drona's encounter, Duryodhana and Bheema's hostility and have reached the part where Karna challenges the Kaurava and Pandava princes in a duel. I feel so sorry for the poor lad; it's as if he was born for nothing more than pain and suffering. His birth was Kunti's way of testing a muni's boon, he was reared by a rath-driver (hence called sutaputra and Radheya) and he was turned away by rishis who refused to be his guru coz he was not a kshatriya. When he finally became Parasurama's disciple, he was cursed to forget all that he had learnt when he needed it the most coz he had lied about his caste. Disheartened when he returned home, he was cursed to death by a muni whose cow he killed by accident. I mean, WHY HIM??? By far, he is one of my fav characters for his mental strength and moral tenacity. But well, Fate just doesn't side with some people...

I'm not feeling particularly enthusiastic about anything these days. Shows in my blog, doesn't it? Guess midweek crisis has afflicted me. Lets join our hands in prayer and hope the weekend comes soon...

Until then...
Lonely Princess

Wednesday, November 19

The idiot box

I love watching TV.

I don’t get too much time to engage in this hobby as most of my day goes at work. The time I’m home, I’m either glued to my
books or the phone or playing cards or bickering with family or other mundane stuff.

And of course, the times when I am dying to get my hands on the remote, and dad’s gazing at the dipping stocks and share prices on CNBC, or bro’s glaring at WWE or a movie, or mum’s viewing her stupid family soaps... (Bhabhi’s a relief that way...Till now at least! Touch wood)

Aaaannd how can I forget our picture tube’s screwed up, so half the time, we have to watch a single lightning bolt on the screen that refuses to give way to the actual reels. Feels like we’re back in the pre-TV era where transistor and radio were THE sources of entertainment and indicators of wealth and luxury. (Mum's found a way out though; she hits the TV's ass as hard as she can with anything she can lay her hands on - pillows, even a chappal the other day... had me in splits!)

So, in short, I watch the idiot box when I’m free and the TV’s in working order and the family’s got other things to do.

(Conjunction premises in Logic classes at undergrad sure drove me nuts, and now this is the new way they have managed to pervade into my life and haunt me further.)

Some of my favorite channels are Discovery Travel & Living, Cartoon Network, SAB, Pogo, Star World and Zoom ( the order that they appear on our Akai at home).

And of course the Music Channels – MTV and Channel V. And the movie channels – Star Movies and HBO. (Which basically covers up the entire kitty of popular channels. I’m so impartial and lovable! I know...)

Discovery Travel & Living has long been one of my favorite channels for the simple reason that they know what the audience wants to watch. The title itself is outstanding, and the cherry(s) on top - the wonderful locales and brilliant themes. Be it Hell’s Kitchen or Cover Shot, Nigella’s feasts or Project Runway, Indian Rendezvous or Finest Hotels in the World. They also have some special series where they showcase unusual and must-visit beaches, casinos and other places (check out what I wrote about their show on
toilets sometime last year). Kylie Kwong is one of my beloved characters and I adore her accent and quick, passionate movements while cooking. (No wonder that I watch her re-runs with ardor and diligence.)

Cartoon Network is fun when they are showing all those cute cartoon-y stuff. (I can’t seem to relate to the heavy-duty and hi-tech animation that they show in Pokemon and other action-packed programmes. I mean aren’t cartoons for kids? Aren’t kids the ones who are small and sweet and simple? Why convert them to tecno-gizmo-freaks in their tender years? But, whatever sells!) My fav shows are Tom & Jerry - the original, not the T & J kids version, and also Richie Rich and Popeye. I can sit back and relax and keep my brains in standby mode as I laugh out loud and get entertained by the familiar and endearing and adorable characters.

SAB – An Indian channel that stands for Sri Adhikari Brothers, the group that owns it. They are a laugh-a-thon and all day long you can see stories that are more or less similar and jokes that make an attempt to make you laugh. The wit and timing in most of their shows is admirable. Especially Yes Boss and Office Office. Taarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashmah (or something equally ridiculous) is a show that's fully faltoo, too!

Tadaa! Pogo time! A delight to watch courtesy :
1. Takeshi’s Castle - JJ’s rapchik commentary and Japanese nutty acrobatics leaves you guffawing.
Hole in the Wall - full timepass - good for displaying ur smartness and pearly-whites
3. Oswald - the cute, friendly octopus with a pet dog (and a daisy, tree, dragon and penguin for friends), and a trillion petty situations as major challenges that he solves as he sings his ridiculous, non-rhyming poems.
4. A host of children’s movies alongwith all those tales that we read as kids (Bheema, Ganesha, Akbar Birbal, and so on)
5. Rob’s creative show where he teaches and displays his art and craft

Star World needs no introduction. My picks? Friends, My Wife and Kids,
Your Moment of Truth, the Ellen Degeneres show, America’s Got Talent, to name a few.

Why Zoom? For gossips and updates. For style and interviews. Reminds me of this crazy Rakhi Sawant show (where she in her seduced, make-husky voice) questions her celebrity guests and doesn’t let them answer...
MTV and Channel V are great for channel surfing purposes and to catch the latest movies and songs. Plus some very comical and witty fillers – like Bai, Lola Kutty, Fully Faltoo, Simi Girebaal's talk show, Style Check. Roadies, contests and Splitsvilla were popular shows a while ago. I hear a few of them are starting new seasons - Get Gorgeous and Roadies and Splitsvilla. (I wonder why so many youngsters are out to make fools of themselves so publicly!)

HBO and Star Movies show great movies every once in a while. Some of my other picks:

- Who Dares Wins on AXN (with a muscular, cute-smiled host and a sexy, heavy-busted hostess; as usual the theme was copied and a show made with Akki in the lead role minus the woman anchor.)
- Star One recently wrapped up its Sarabhai series, which tells an amusing tale of a family with a high-class couple and their low-class bahu and 2 sons, one adorable, the other plain stupid and irritating.
- CID on Sony, the detective series with the inimitable Shivaji Satam.
- Koffee With Karan - another talk show, but much more fun coz of the chemistry KJo shares with his celebrity guests

Sony, Zee, Star Plus have lost their sheen and charm. Besides them, there are a zillion channels in varied languages – Punjabi, Oriya, Bangla, Kannada, Gujarathi, and so on. For the news channels, Aaj Tak has all these sting operations that range from crap to utter crap; NDTV is more informative and sensible. And of course, to learn good English, my sincere recommendation to all my students at
inlingua was to watch English news channels like the BBC. (The articulation and intonation is WOW. I still learn from them and swoon in amazement...)

Quite a documentary, this! It's TV time, folks!

C ya later...

Tuesday, November 18

A li'l Happy and sooo not GAY...

Blogs tend to influence each other. Majorly. You see one person writing about something, and then invariably, voluntarily or involuntarily, the same theme tends to seep into your writing and thinking. Overtly or subtly. And for this very reason, I make sure I don’t read anyone’s blog before I have made my post. Ditto for answers in Linked-In Q & A section. Bloggers and writers, take note!

So buddies, we’re halfway through November, and I can’t believe this year’s gona end so soon! Feels like I celebrated New Year’s just a month ago! I stopped making resolutions ages ago, but if I had one to-do on my list this year, it was to
travel abroad alone. Hasn’t happened in the last 11.5 months, and now the odds are next to nil. Probably next year... Fingers crossed...

I managed to catch
Dostana over the weekend. (It is now confirmed that the Times is paid for its movie reviews coz this bucketload of shit has been given 3.5 stars by the reviewer.) Jus coz u rope in stars and biggies from d industry, jus coz u showcase hot bods and exploit name, charm and charisma to the fullest, does NOT mean u can make disasters like this and trick cinema-goers into putting up with this claptrap. I mean I had my expectations harnessed when I learnt the movie was a KJo production (I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the very forgettable KANK yet). But I was certainly not geared up to have KKHH (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) flung on my face and Kal Ho Na Ho (KHNH) dished out to me in cartloads. Just how far and how long can you bank upon your handful hits and wins?

Watsit about anyway? Recollect the small “Kantaben” sequence in KHNH? Well, that has been puffed and blown up into a full movie. Needless to say, the few laughs that we had on gay-ism in KHNH completely evaporate in this drama where John and Abby pose as homosexuals to hire Piggy Chops’ apartment in Miami. Apart from the breathtaking locales and stylish apparel, there’s little to look out for, as the songs are too many and the plot too predictable. I seriously think Abby Baby’s gay, the way he played the role so effortlessly and realistically. And I honestly think Bobby Deol (yep, he’s in the movie, too; the guy who finally wins the dame in the love square) is worth much more in the fillum-world than he has commanded till now.

The caramel popcorn and Pepsi was not sufficient entertainment either, so I’m rating this movie one star = extremely miss-able. (You can still go if you are looking to lighten your wallet and not have equitable returns.)

Speaking of the Times, Pune Mirror is definitely more reliable (the reviewer captures my dreadfully honest opinion.)

I think the entire paper is well worth the cost. They have these interesting sting ops and annotations, polls and discussion boards alongwith rewards for readers and contributors, fascinating articles on science and discoveries, relationships and celebrities. And a goofy sexpert column that I read for kicks... Ahem, classifieds and matrimonials, too.

A few articles in Sunday’s edition that I’d like to share and comment upon...

What are your views on mercy killing or euthanasia? We all know it is not allowed for humans, but there is no such restriction as far as animals are concerned. I think we should legalise this act. Why prolong pain and misery if there is no hope for somebody?

Another legal prohibition is abortion among Roman Catholics. I mean how much sense does that make?? I am no authority and I respect all religions, but I fail to grasp the rationale behind this decision. Birth control may not be a pressing issue at the moment in countries other than China and India, but this does not mean one is forced to have children one does not want!

Another article was about a transgender getting pregnant soon after his first delivery. This is exasperating! Why can’t we let nature be? Why do we HAVE to mess with it and prove our bogus and ephemeral supremacy? Cloning generated heated debates and sex-change also came under the hammer for different reasons. I don’t know whether I am plain old-fashioned or whether my streaks of innovation are inadequate. But one thing I’m sure about, this isn’t going to lead to anything pleasant, desirable or agreeable.

Time to wind up! Do leave me your comments so that we can share views across the world.

(A very warm welcome to visitors from Uganda, Chile, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Pak, China, Sweden, Macedonia, Japan, Serbia, Norway, Netherlands, Skopje, Malaysia, Germany, Australia, the UK, the US and India, of course!)

BTW, after
Simply Marry, it is now (check comments section) that has requested to put my blog link on their page. I have accepted and it’s time to wait and watch what happens next!


Monday, November 17

Saa(W)an and Saa(J)an

Pretty cloudy today, aint it? Quite a picnicky feeling, and sucha waste to be indoors working away on the comp, seeing the same old, boring faces!! Quite jealous of my elder bro who took off in his Swift at the crack of dawn for a vacation in Goa... Sniff sniff, some people have all the luck in the world!!!
Here's a poem that's been on my mind (and in my draft folder) for quite a while... It's about the rains, and the weather today gives me a perfect reason to post this today...

Barsaat : Ek Ankahee Baat (= Rains : An untold secret)

A single thought on my mind...
I miss the rain, yes I do,
Never thought I’d say this,
I’m sure you miss it, too.

When the showers struck hard,
I yearned for some sun;
I was tired of them then,
Now I’m missing the fun.

Running for shelter,
Seeking bus-stops and awnings,
Watching the sky for clouds,
Noon, evening and mornings.

Riding in the rain,
Getting soaked like a duck,
Pulling caps and jackets closer,
Getting dirty in the muck.

The cool breeze that drizzles bring,
The heavenly scent of the earth,
Watching children dancing in the rain,
Their squeals of bliss and mirth.

The pitter-patter of the droplets,
That strike the window panes;
Reminiscing about times gone,
Ostensibly cursing the rains.

(I know my birthday’s in July,
But that’s just one reason;)
Though I say I don’t,
I think I really like this season.

I’m not asking for 12 months of rain,
Nor do I think I’ll cherish it when it arrives (!)
But the truth is I miss the monsoon now,
And I’m confessing before the sensation dies...

Sometimes, relationships also follow the same path and process... Na???

(Think about it... And see the parallel in the lines above...)

Have a wonderful day!

P.S : Sorry, Sourav, nuthing new for you today as you've already read this when I posted it erroneously... Punishment for not commenting on my last post!! ;-) Come bac tomr for some fresh new maal!!!

Saturday, November 15

Forgotten Fantasies

My mum’s forgotten how to cook like an angel. (I duno if angels can cook, but well if they could, and if they could do it well, then my mum sure would be in line with them; but as I said a moment ago - she's forgotten how to cook like she did earlier. Back to the post, minus my digressions...)

My dad’s forgotten he’s not a vine that is decreed to a life dependent on another entity. That his life is not merely one to enjoy selfishly and procrastinate.

My brother’s forgotten he’s not just a husband, but a son and sibling as well.

A friend’s forgotten he’s supposed to grow up and assume responsibilities.

A neighbor’s forgotten how pretty silence is.

The winter’s forgotten to arrive.

People have forgotten their blogs.

That love is the greatest gift of all, is forgotten.

That money is not forever, and that money is not the only solution, is forgotten.

Authors and directors have forgotten their originality and power.

Terrorists have forgotten the beauty of peace, unity and humanity.

Governments and politicians have forgotten they’re meant to serve their countrymen.

My eyes have forgotten they’re supposed to rest at night, and not just stare into nothingness and cry.

My hair has forgotten it is supposed to stay on my head, and not snap like there’s no tomorrow.

My lips have forgotten that they used to break into a smile for no reason ever so often. (They have also forgotten they aren't used to chipping/chapping - watever...)

My wishes have forgotten that they’re conceived to be fulfilled.

Relatives have forgotten that I’m young. That just coz I’m reliable, independent and resourceful, doesn’t mean I exist to take care of all their problems and plans, and mine, too.

I’ve forgotten the life that I lived before. With few worries and a few hundred dreams and desires. I’ve forgotten the ability to take off without arrangements and agendas.

I think I’ve gone from 21-51 in a span of 2 years. Seen it all, done it all. Been there, done that. My spontaneity and excitement are latent like never before. I feel like a cranky septuagenarian, so full of her own learnings and teachings, that everyone around me seems immature and imprudent.

I’ve forgotten that I disregarded shoulds and shouldn’ts, that I wasn’t always dying to be a perfect daughter, employee and lover.

I’ve forgotten my courage. I watch my step and consider all perspectives with a trained eye, before every action and decision.

I’ve forgotten that I can break free. The chains that bind my freedom are imposed and retained by me. I’ve forgotten the urge; I miss my strength and passion.

I make big things happen now. Coz I’ve forgotten the little girl within...

(Ahem... Guys and ladies, dontcha DARE forget my blog!)


(Kewl :-) The baby's happy!!!)


Friday, November 14

Yours Officially

I’m doing business development at work now.
(I'm going for client meetings, too, which is pretty interesting. Met a sharp, insightful Director who shook the ground under my feet with his dazzling personality, and remained unimpressed with what we had to offer; also a receptive, cool Prof who raised our hopes and spirits by being more positive... but that's not what this post is about.)

So, as I was saying, I’m doing business development at work. And it’s not my cup of tea.

I’ve done several different things – from arranging travel to HR functions, language training to administering and scoring psychological tests and surveys, facilitating of-sites and doing basic office admin. But no, siree. Being a Jane of many trades does NOT imply that I will enjoy everything I take up and I will attain all the absurd targets people give me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a perseverant person that way, and a very diligent professional. Learning new things and meeting challenges effectively are two (of my million) strengths. And it’s true I’m good at communication and persuasion. But sales? Not my forte by a long shot...

Any way, I DID say that I would assist the company and board in whatever way possible and necessary, so, I’m not backing out. But, the fact remains, I’m not enjoying it. It’s ok as long as I’m sending out brochures and emailing people. But when it comes to actually calling them... You know what I mean, right?! Here’s a glimpse...

Tring Tring... (or some sidey caller tune! Jeez, didn't know even full-blown professionals can be so juvenile... But then,
the world has all kinds of folks...)

Tring Tring...

And tring again...

(After a few light years...) “Hello?”

Me (in my best come-here-darling-puppy voice) : “Helloooo? Am I talking to Mr/Ms. so-and-so?”

(Gruffly) “Yes!”

Me : “Hi! I’m Anuja calling from Alchemy. Is this a good time to talk?”

“What is this about?”

(I’m aching to say – Look buddy, I’m not selling you some chaddi-diapers or detergent. I’m also not offering you a loan. I just want to talk for a moment, and that too, not coz I like you, but coz my task is such. So, try and pull up your nasty face and make an attempt at being more polite and sweet. We’re all cultured, educated humans, after all!)

Instead in a cootchie-poochie voice (as if I just detected a 100 Rupee note under my chair), “Actually we’d sent you a brochure, so I just wanted your comments on that.”

Several taciturn answers ranging from :
“What sort of comments?”
“It’s good”
“I haven’t received it” (a BLATANT lie, bhagwan se darr, murkh!)
“I haven’t had time to go through it” (At least that’s frank!)

And then starts my bid to prolong the dialogue and squeeze in my request to grant us a chance to meet... Which invariably receives a response that there is no requirement at the moment coz of global/organizational reasons or that it’s a busy time and I get in touch with someone else or a simple, futile rejoinder “call me next week”.

I tell you, cold calling sucks...

I’m not badmouthing officials coz I know they have busy schedules and heavy work-loads. And I know I may not be calling them at the best of times coz they may be abroad or dealing with personal crises and concerns. Or they maybe bored and plainly NOT in the mood to answer such sales calls. I don’t blame them one bit... All I ask is civility, honesty and amiability. Not a gigantic demand, is it?

I really pity the customer care reps. (I, myself, don’t encourage them to say a word beyond who are they and what they’re calling for. And I must confess, I ain’t affable all the time either.) But I’m flabbergasted at their persistence and overwhelmed by their endurance. Talking to a hundred different (the majority grumpy) people each day, reciting the same mugged-up lines in syrupy tones... No child’s play by any standards!

So, well, sales is a SAD task. (And my getting weighed down by this task also stems from the fact that others keep pseudo-supervising me without pitching in an ounce of effort to relieve me.) It’s tough. And not having a shoulder to cry is worse.

I know this has become my regular cribbing ground, but let me tell you it’s no cakewalk to work with people who are all snobbish and senior to you - at least age-wise (wisdom not guaranteed), and no age-mate or peer to share criticisms and gossips. (The cartoons that comprise my colleagues each has his/her own idiosyncrasies, which I sure will share with you when the time arises, indicating that my tolerance levels have gone for a toss)

But well, tough times don’t last; tough people do. (At least that’s what the scriptures claim. They weren’t written by folks who never experienced challenges, where they?!!)
AND... The update is the tea vendor has been discontinued (!) The official reason is that the tea's not too good (as if they really care about us!) Yep, you guessed it - the costs definitely are way beyond the creamer nightmare... Smirk smirk!
To conclude with some food for thought : Attitude in the wrong place is called arrogance (An astute observation from the Bollywood flick Fashion)
Psst, psst - Dostana's releasing today, and I'm really looking forward tp it. Hope it doesn't go kapoot like my plans for Golmaal Returns and Fashion... The joke is that EMI has left screens in a week! Looks like people couldn't wait to see it go... Poor Urmila and Sanjubaba... Everyone's not as loyal as me!
And to everybody readinfg this - WISH U A VERY HAPPY CHILDREN'S DAY... Discover the child within!


Thursday, November 13

The great sciences of India

Haven’t spoken about Mahabharata for quite a while now.

I’m both, enthralled and disgusted with the stories and the characters. There are some like Devavrata who was titled Bheeshma by the gods themselves for being impeccably righteous and ideal in every way, and there are some that only exist in the scheme of events so that they can curse offenders who interrupt (or bless relent-ers who allow) their sexual advances and processes. And this human desire breeds impartially in one and all - right from rishis to munis to kings to gods.

(Was the Kama Sutra written before, after, or simultaneously as this epic? Wonder which inspired the other...)

Nevertheless, the book is a pleasure to read. The vast array of personalities, their diverse roles and significance, the way they are crucial to the design and coherence... It’s nothing short of incredible. Anyone interested in the family tree? (More for my benefit than yours, to be frank). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.....
Santanu – a Kuru descendant, who fathers Bheeshma with Ganga, and then Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya with Satyavati.

Bheeshma is celibate, and the other two die before they can procreate. So, Vyas is called in to father Dhritarashtra with Ambika, Pandu with Ambalika, and Vidur with a maidservant (it wasn’t planned that way, but it happened).

Dhritarashtra marries Gandhari, who is daughter or Gandhar and sister of Shakuni. Gandhari gives birth to a 100 Kauravas and one daughter (in a grotesque, puke-worthy manner).

Pandu marries Kunti - initially called Pritha, daughter of the Yadava king Soora, and sister to Vasudeva (who marries Devaki, half-sister of Kansa, and then they give birth to Krishna, who grows up as son of Yashoda and Nanda, and brother to Balarama.)

Back to Kunti. She is adopted by uncle Kuntibhoj (and renamed Kunti), and she has Yudhishthira with Dharma deva, Bheema with Vayu deva and Arjuna with Indra. Prior to this, she has Karan with the Sun god, who she abandons coz she is unmarried.

Kunti’s unearthly lovers are invited coz Pandu can’t father their kids (he can’t do ding-dong else he’ll die as he is cursed.) The other wife, Madri, has Nakula and Sahadev with the Aswins, completing the 5 Pandava husband-gang for Draupadi.

Of course, each of the Pandavas has more wives and children in due course of time.

(... Seeing that I’ve confused you enough, lets move on with the crux of this post!)

The great sciences teach us great things (beyond polygamy and desire, I mean). And these sciences also affect our lives and existence.

Do you believe in astrology? I visited 2 pandits last weekend, both learned and religious. Amusingly, both gave diametrically opposite views about my stars and planet locations.

I don’t know whether I believe in this, but I sure find it fascinating. (Heard about that study conducted by Naralikar and others? They collected several kundlis and asked astrologers, palmists and others to identify which individuals were abnormal. Obviously, the study was shunned by the target group. The % accuracy was not very flattering either.)

You do know, I suppose, that the planets affect very scientific things like our temperament and blood group and so on. Which is why kundli-matching is a BIG thing in Indian culture, particularly important occasions like weddings and other new beginnings.

I’m not too informed about the how and why, but I sure know that most folks want to know more about themselves and their future. It’s good timepass if you don’t take it too seriously, and especially if you resist obsession. I have heard of people giving up all their wealth and peace coz they are busy looking at the stars and don’t notice what’s happening under their very noses.

Now this is freaky. I don’t know how to explain this, but I heard of this guy who was told to stay away from cars one day as it could be fatal. He bunked work, sat at home, cancelled all appointments and even gave his car away to the mechanic lest he be tempted to take off somewhere. There was a power-cut, and he walked into a room to search for a candle, slipped on his young son’s toy car, fell on his head and met instant death... Just like that...

No, I’m not kidding you.

(As you recover from that shock, I’ll run a few errands. Come back later!)

Stay safe!

Wednesday, November 12

A dark (k)night

As the moon lies awake all night,
I rise to give it company;
We talk about numerous things,
As it gazes amorously at me.

Why dogs bark all night,
Why lone riders zoom away,
Why streetlights stay on,
Why stars twinkle as bright as day.

Why breaths don’t pause,
Why lovers chat all night long,
Why mice scamper through doorways,
Why snores resound like a gong.

Why quilts stay warm,
Why the radio sings on,
Why sleepers doing somersaults
Don’t fall down.

The moon was mute as I ranted questions silly,
“Come now baby”, she said, “what’s the worry?”

I smiled at the wisdom of the queen of dusk,
Her words so soft, perfumed with musk.

It was true, I admit, that I had had a fight,
A fight over egos, a fight about who’s right.
A fight coz love’s inadequate,
A fight coz trust is misplaced,
A fight coz peace and care are gone,
A fight coz affection’s erased.

That don’t mean it’s easy, that don’t mean you move on,
It means sleepless nights, and teary, ugly dawn.

As the moon hugs me with its twilight and kisses my head,
I pray to God, and go to bed.

It’s been 2 hours as I strolled pensively,
120 minutes as I weep defensively.

I still can’t sleep, but there’s something I know,
God’s with me in a million ways,
And I know there will be a new tomorrow...

Keep the faith!

Lonely Princess

Tuesday, November 11

These are a few of my favorite things - Part II

We finished till L yesterday. And here we go again...

Movies, Music and Marshmallows - Not in any order. I luv ‘em all and I luv ‘em to bits. In the movie, sitting for a couple of hours, immersed in the plot, feeling the character’s dilemmas and emotions (sans the pressure to make decisions and the anxiety to make things right). Of course, the songs in Bollywood movies can get on your nerves at times, but, one can’t complain coz that’s the USP of the domain. And music? Anything EXCEPT rock. Quite surprising, eh? It’s true. As I explained in an
earlier post. The loud beats rip my brain. And marshmallows, they’re good timepass. Chewy, cottony pieces in pretty pink and white (by a brand called Black & Gold, so together they cover up around 20 shades in the spectrum). Unfortunately, we don’t get them in Pune apart from at Dorabjee’s. And they burn a hole in your pocket. In fact, all the above do! Multiplexes charging 200 bucks for front row seats and CDs that cost a bomb! But... chalta hai, once in a while...

Nostalgia – Thinking about old times and reminiscing about events gone past is sucha pleasure! (Not when someone else just doesn’t stop yakking about “what I did before marriage” and “how popular I was in college”). Sharing lives and reflecting about how one has spent his/her years is a great way to kill time, and also to make it come alive!

Optimism – Not the stupid, unreasonable type... If one holds a positive and hopeful outlook in life, and if one has the ability and confidence, nothing is impossible. Difficult, maybe, but unattainable, uh-uh... (To be honest, I dislike pessimism more than I like optimism, coz practicality is my pet fixation. But, didn’t find anything that went with O, so...)

Popcorn. Yummm... A movie’s incomplete without one. Be it the large size or the bucket fantasy, caramel popcorn’s my pick. (Salted and cheese do just as well, too). And a coke or iced tea to wash it down. And the baby’s happy!

Quizzing – About movies and songs, books and cartoons. (Nope, not history and politics for sure.) Had an awesome time playing Dumb-charades with my MA gang during our
Vellore trip. And also when we have a party or get-together and we have all these fun games...

Reading – My bookshelf’s my pride, my passion. I love to read authors Indian and foreign. Comedy and mysteries. Fiction and magazines. Your best companion for life. Give me a good book and I can spend entire days and weeks rejoicing over its contents and style. If you’ve read my blog enough, you’d know what I mean... Hit books in the labels or search section and you’ll come across my reads and reviews in the last 1+ year. And my Shelfari bookshelf that gives you a peek of my reads.

Sleeping – Going to sleep after a hard day at work. Hitting the covers without sparing a thought to whether you’ve washed, changed or eaten. Clicking the snooze button as the alarm blasts in the morning. Not being able to open your eyes as dawn breaks and birds twitter. Wow... Bliss... Most people wouldn’t deny that some of their best slumbers have been in the theatre with the AC full blast and the comfortable seats! Sleeping like a log beats anything else you do in the day. A quick nap can refresh you and a deep slumber can put to rest all your worries and stresses. 8 hours recommended daily. Enjoy your 40 winks.... And if you need help, a shot of Karzzzzzzz should ease your miseries in no time!

Thums Up – Yes, the very same soft drink which hurts the throat. But my style is to get rid of the fizz and top the glass with peanuts. It tastes SO good, ummm.... A sip of the flat drink and a mouthful of wet, soggy nuts, sip and a bite, a sip and a bite... Cheers!

Undo – Now silly may this sound, the “undo” option is one of my saviors. There’s stuff I delete without quite realising it, and were it not for this brilliant concept, I would end up rewriting and redoing a million things. Ctrl+Z to the rescue... Ctrl+Z for me and you...

V – I’m tempted to say vodka, but I don’t like it in reality. Just as long as it gives me a high, I’ll bear with it. So, I’ll say VISITORS TO MY BLOG ;-) Love ya, pals!

Windows – (Yes, the Microsoft one, too, but I primarily meant the actual windows that you have in your homes and rooms.) It’s so lovely to stand at one and see the world crossing by. Safe in the confines of your room, you can still be a part of the action and change. The French ones (I dunno why they called French, but they’re huge) and pretty curtains are on my fav list

Xerox – Another very useful innovation. What would we do without the xerox? Right from getting notes in college to getting document copies at work, this has emerged as the most popular invention in the history of mankind. (You’re asking for references? Damn, check out the mushrooming Xerox shops in every nook and cranny. Charging anywhere between the range of 35ps to 2rs per side!)

Yin-Yang – (Webster says) this sign in Chinese philosophy, indicates the two cosmic forces of creative energy - yin being feminine/negative and yang being masculine/positive, from which everything originates, and the interaction of the opposite and complementary principles. Pretty profound, eh? Simply put, I believe there’s a good in every bad and a bad in every good... Hence, my favorite sign... Coz I’m good and I’m bad... And you can’t isolate or ignore either part of me. This is a crazy combo, buddies!

Zero-minimum balance accounts (!) – Yeah, I know this sounds funny. But it’s true. I’ve been fretting since ICICI raised its minimum balance to 10 grand from 5 grand (Not that I don’t have that volume of cash or that I fail to maintain that balance, yet...) Salary accounts and zero-balance accounts are the knights in shining armor for students and freshers as they strive to make ends meet. (The poor dears, feel so sorry for them when they are fined for not meeting the minimum balance criteria!)

And that brings me to the end of my list! I’m sure I’m gona remember a dozen other things by the time this post is published, but well, whoever said this was my last?!!


Monday, November 10

These are a few of my favorite things... Part I

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings......
... These are a few of my favorite things

(Sound of Music)

Charming poem! Though I like the above, I would still like to mention some of the MORE favorite stuff in my rant-a-thon...

In alphabetical order again. (Like the
film-fare) ... In two parts, coz one will be too lengthy... Got too many things to love, ya know!)

So, here is the first half of the list :
ANUJA ;-) Know this gal? She’s cool and funny, intelligent and sensible. She can listen to your worries and get you outta trouble. She’s a Jane of all trades, and she’s not afraid to tell the world what she wants and what she hates. A temper that rages and an ego that flares up at the smallest opportunity, she’s one of my favorite people!!

Blogging & Bowling - The former I needn’t justify or describe. It’s just ME. The latter, well, I ain’t too great at it, but I do manage to clear the aisle once in a while!

Chocolates - Being a girl... But hullo! Even men freak out on chocolates. And this guy I know is crazy about MILKYBAR... My favs? Umm, I like most Cadburies including Dairy Milk and Perk. Not too fond of Fruit and Nut coz though I like almonds, I hate raisins... And Ferrero Rocher and Lindt among the foreign ones. Wonder why Americans are so crazy about peanuts and coconut in their poisons!

Dancing - Dance like nobody’s watching. Dance like it’s your last dance. Dance to show the world you don’t care. Dance to prove what your body’s powers and worth. Be it the slow Shakira moves or the swift Govinda matka-jhatkas. If you’re Indian, you sure know what I’m talking about... Ever seen how free and ecstatic people are at weddings, celebrations and processions. Be it Ganeshotsav or Gandhi Jayanti, people will erect their massive speakers at major crossroads and dance come rain or shine. Now that’s the spirit!

Eggs – The yellow or the white, boiled or poached, biryanis or curries, I love eggs! Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande...

Flowers –
Told ya before, vibrant gerberas and dazzling roses, bright lilies and other flora. To gift to a friend or colleague, to place at the Lord’s feet. To smell, to touch and feel alive...

Glasses – (NOT my specs, puhleeezz! I respect them, but they certainly don’t feature on my “likes and loves” list). I mean the cutlery and crockery stuff. Elegant wine glasses and cute shot goblets, colorful plastic tumblers and exquisite champagne beakers. (Dunno the jargon, kindly excuse and educate!) I find them marvelous and I’m gona have an entire collection once I have my own house and showcase!

Hookah (or Sheesha) - Not good for health, but good for kicks and style! Not recommended if you’re under 18, but you sure will love this lounge-y feel and care-a-damn ambience. Try Mocha or Carnival if you’re in Pune.

Ice-cream – No explanations again! I love chocolate and mango, strawberry and butterscotch, vanilla with hot chocolate sauce... STOP DROOLING OVER YOUR KEYBOARDS, FELLAS!!! (Slurp, slurp! Gotchaaaa...)

Jokes & Juices – What did the frog order at McDonalds? French flies and Diet Croak ;-)
Hee hee. Laughs are not guaranteed, but entertainment sure is! And the adult ones, too ;-) But the PJs (an acronym for Poor Jokes, hope you know that) can be really deadly at times... Especially the silly ones that vella folks sms... And juices? Orange and Mosambi, Pineapple and Lychee, Apple and Lime. They keep you fit and they give you energy. And they’re great when you’re lounging about on your sofa in fronta the TV or at the beach watching the waves (Amazing the way my fantasy pops up in everything I desire and say!)

Karaoke – Sing as the lyrics are flashed on screen. No sweat if you don’t remember the lyrics as long as you know the tunes... Go on throaty, ugly-sounding buddies and bathroom singers! Find out which pub in your locality has a karaoke night on the cards and introduce the world to your irresistible charms! Why suffer alone???!!!!

Life & Laughter – I don’t know how people end their lives. Suicide, according to me, is a moment of extreme courage and at the same time, an instant of severe cowardice. To lose all hope and relinquish your future (which none knows what holds for you) is by far the stupidest thing on my list. I love life, and I live it once. Give it your best! No regrets... And what's life without laughter? The best way to judge a person's spontaneity and integrity is to see the things he laughs at and the manner he laughs. This will betray what you can never know by the way he speaks or behaves...

Come back tomr, wise people, for the remainder of this list!

(Admire your patience and perseverance!)



Saturday, November 8

Contemporary times, contemporary lessons

It’s laugh time, folks!!!
Mary had a little lamb... And the doctor fainted :-D
Anybody know another word for synonym? ;-)

Cool, eh?!!

What’s not so cool is that a salary cut has been announced at work. My activities, load and effort remain the same. In fact, it has become more stressful and busier than usual. It’s frustrating, depressing and revolting. I feel helpless. But what can one say? It’s the owner’s decision that’s final. I’m bonded labor. Junior in age and experience. (So what if my education and job-ex are relevant?!) What I would surely like to ask the ones in command is, is the pay cut across employees? Even the directors? (My guess is no). Besides, I’ve a thankless job. People will miss me and toil if I’m not there, but my presence isn’t assessed as crucial and insubstitutable. What a shame...

(In fact the latest on the block is that we have hired a tea-vendor coz the expenses on the creamer for making tea at work are not found "justifiable and legitimate"...)
(I wouldn’t be surprised if they started rationing out the drinking water after this.)Anyways, that and a couple of *other experiences* have led me to cull out a few lessons in life. *Other experiences* include the recent global financial crisis and its outcomes, episodes with friends and family, learnings over time, etc. Here they are :

1. I’m not the centre of the universe – people, decisions and events do not revolve around my existence.
2. Creating a place for oneself, building trust and relations needs effort. And that effort may not be acknowledged or appreciated.
3. My every condition, emotion, action and decision may not affect those I consider important.
4. Nothing/nobody is irreplaceable. People and tasks don’t wait, whatever the circumstances and consequences.
5. People might or might not understand my needs, dispositions, likes and dislikes. Even if they do, they may choose not to adhere to them.
6. To have no expectations is to have the best gift in the world.
7. I need not be top priority (or a priority at all!) in someone’s life.
8. If it needs to be explained, it really doesn’t matter what you say.
9. Just coz I like/need/love/respect someone, does not guarantee that he/she should reciprocate.
10. One always has time to do things one wants. If someone says he/she has no time, you know the activity isn’t important enough.
11. Nothing’s forever. Tears dry up, memories fade. Life goes on.

(Wah, whatta *shubh* number!)

(*My mum does most things in odd numbers, especially gifting money on special occasions like birthdays, weddings, etc. Not just my mom, all of India I believe. Particularly envelopes of Rs. 11, 21, 51, 101 and so on. So, by that tenet, we’re on track!)
(In these trying and hopeless times, I'm clinging on to any ounce of hope I can gather...)
It’s exam time for a few folks that I know (Hi Sibs, Nam and Dips!)

Be it GRE or ATKT (which indicates backlog, but I don’t know what the abbreviation means), students are gearing up with their texts and notes.

Dips sat with a glass of wine and forgot what she was to study, and Sibi has assured me he has located where his books are buried. Thankfully, Namrata seems more industrious and meticulous. But then, she was always the stickler even in BA!! Old habits die hard. And I’m all for it, Namz! All the best with your 35,000 English words. (And thanks for throwing in a pertinent compliment on that note!)

Best of luck, buddies! And don’t forget, we’re gona celebrate either way!
By the way, I saw two
men doing what they do best again today... *#^%*&^#(*%^
Luv Luck Laughter,

Dream last night

I dreamt of you last night. I know I dreamt of you last night. I don't know why I dreamt of you last night. In my dreams, you were at my...