Wednesday, July 28

Psycho Babble

Most of my undergraduate study in Psychology spoke about how childhood years shape an individual. How what a person experiences in his early days (first five years, to be precise) leave a lasting impression on the way he thinks, feels, behaves till the time he dies.

So, go back to your earliest memory, and that will hold a clue to something significant in your life.

Mine would be when I was about 6 or 7, and I answered a call from some important dignitary from abroad. This gentleman was amazed at the way I took the call – my language competency (English), my polite and professional tone (even at that age) and my responsible deportment. He conveyed his appreciation to my Uncle (Abba) and I was praised to the skies. Till date, neither he nor I have forgotten this incident. I guess that this shows that I perform my duties sincerely and aim to be valued. And it’s true – my life revolves around being praised for things that I do and say. Ask anyone in my life how I crave for feedback about the smallest of things and how I feel lost without acknowledgement and appreciation.

However, that’s still a very late experience. Try coming up with something you went through when you were maybe 3 or 4…

Another incident I could share with you would be when I was locked in a bathroom with 3 lizards. I was at my mum’s place in Jabalpur, M.P. and while the rest of the family was watching TV downstairs, I tiptoed up to the bathroom to take a leak. Barely had I shut the door and perched myself on the pot than I noticed a huge lizard on the door and 2 others on adjacent walls. Now picture this – I couldn’t pee coz of the lizard’s proximity to the flush tank, and I couldn’t get out because one of the hideous monsters was straddling the door knob. My scariest moment ever. And since then, I’ve got a phobia, a dirty hatred and disgust for the vile slithery devils. Anywhere I see them, I’m bound to do a hop-skip-jump and scream and cringe and freeze in helpless agony.

Ughhhh… the thought itself is sickening.

So… back to my subject for the day - How a baby’s first five years determine his development and life course…

Now this can be said in complicated terms, but I’m gonna KISS – Keep It Short and Simple.

Reinforcement plays a major role in defining a person’s habits and behaviors. Any action that is followed by a pleasant consequence will be repeated, and any that is succeeded by a negative consequence shall be ended. Ever wondered why children cry and throw tantrums? When they do that, their parents or others fulfill their demands in a bid to pacify them. And so, whenever the kid wants anything, he tends to utilize the same method and get his desires satisfied fast and easy.

Yet, I have seen some folks hit their babies when they are already crying and upset. I’m not very sure how that helps, as the baby only bawls louder and someone else rushes to his rescue!

Why am I talking about this? Hey, there’s a cute infant in my family, and I want to see him grow up and become a happy, contented individual. Not someone who is manipulative or cranky or unsure about things in his life and attitude. So whenever my mum tries to make things extremely tough for him, I find myself taking a mature stand and planning reachable targets for him. When he seeks attention and asks for sympathy, I talk strictly with him (not that he understands any of it) and ask him to mend his ways (which obviously he doesn’t). I know it’s too soon, but I’m not taking any chances.

When you look around at the people in your life, you observe that some are just too pessimistic, some overly competitive, some timid beyond limit and some nasty and boorish. Get talking to their family about their conduct as a child. You shall be surprised by how it relates to their current disposition. About how a person always wants his way as his family never said no to him or taught him to consider others’ feelings and needs. About how a girl enjoys getting men up close and then turning them down just to reinstate her misguided sense of worth and attractiveness. About how a person always needs to prove himself because he was never taken seriously as a child… It’s not funny the stories that you will hear and the secrets you will unravel…

And you thought psychology, counseling and therapy were funny activities for recreation and making a quick buck…

More later.


Tuesday, July 20



Kasa kay?

Nope, not that I'm scared of the MNS fellas or anything. Their Bandhs and other announcements really don't scare me. Instead, they only make me cringe with disgust. Brute force can win them fear, not support.

Whatever... that's really not wha I wanna talk about today.

Gotta give you some quick updates.

One, I am not really keen about football, but thanks to the enthusiasm displayed by my friends and colleagues, I was drawn into it without my personal desire. Sports was never really one of my passions, but it's fun watching people as they argue and support their respective teams. Of course, Oracle Paul became quite a rage in the market when he started predicting wins and losses. Must go check out what he's gotta say about my life and story ;-) If an octopus understands football, he sure must be aware of our trivial lives and details!!

Moving on... I watched Milenge Milenge... and oh my god, was it the biggest mistake ever in my life! The movie is horrible... and that's an understatement. why do people make movies, I wonder. Is it just for the heck of it, or do they truly want to make a point - be it regards the plot or their own ability to make cinema. This film was supposed to be released 5 or 7 years ago, and obviously it looks stale and badly done. Both Shahid and Kareena look unglam and dreary, and don't even ask me about the story! Destiny ki taang tod di in logo ne! I mean what sense does it make that you ask someone who loves you to reach the same floor in a building or search for a book at an old store just to see if you're made for each other?!! Rubbish... Utterly ridiculous... One hour and fifty minutes down the gutter...

Leme gargle and come back... MM leaves a bad taste in my mouth...

Yeah, so... The other thing is... I forgot...

Got it! I saw this sexy Volkswagen Beetle in Pune the other night when I was returning home from work. Wish I had one... It was sexy and cute at the same time!

I miss my Momma :-( She went to meet an ill Uncle last week, and he expired a day before she was supposed to leave for Pune. So, she has to stay there till the 12th day. Shucks... Home's not home without her... I just don't feel like being inside those 4 walls with the other folks... The baby's an exception of course! The cute darling that he is...

Hey, one of my close pals (whom I've never met till date!) has got through Stern (NYU) and I'm sooooo happy for him! If you remember, I'd applied there myself for MBA but I was denied admission. He's so definitely smarter than me!! And I wish him all the luck... Way to go, Denis! Make us proud boy!!

Here are some status messages that I've updated on Facebook over the last few days - should give you a fair idea about what I've been thinking...

* Anuja Rathi feels loved, valued, respected, supported, appreciated, cared for, cherished, needed, liked, adored, envied, wanted and blessed! ... (This was because I really thank the Lord for the life I'm living now. I've had some tough times in the past, and I am so grateful that times have changed... Thank you everybody, for making me feel this way!)

*Anuja Rathi misses swimming, clubbing, traveling, reading, and hanging out without time constraints... (This was because find just 2 holidays in a week too less, and I wish the weekend was as long as the week! There's so many things to do and so little time! I've practically stopped reading coz I can't find the time, and whenever I go out or engage in some activity like chilling out with the gang, there's always the clock ticking at the back of my head. Gotta spare some time for the family too else I'll get kicked outta the shack! Bless the Almighty though, I've got a wonderful, understanding, patient and accommodating family. yet you can never take these things for granted!)

And then there are some others about the desserts I wana eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner... and how I grappled while helping my nephew sleep at 2 am after I returned tired from work! It was worth it, though, when I saw him breathing softly in his sleep and sighing... Gosh, how I love him!! And about the desserts, well, I've had some amazing chocolates at Brugge (Dhole Patil Road, opposite Madhuban) and Chocolate Story, The deal is, for my wedding, instead of the guests bringing shitty gifts that they themselves wouldn't use, I'm gona ask them to get me bouquets from Brugge :-) You're invited too, ladies and gentlemen! Just keep the above in mind...

And hey, its my birthday on the 23rd, so I'm gona give you guys all a treat! Just visit Malaka Spice (Koregaon Park) on Friday, order your food, and get free beers!! You're welcome, darlings ;-)

See ya later, then!



Thursday, July 15

Explore and Stun Yourself !!

It never ceases to amaze me that there are all kinds of people in this world.

People who are genuine, people who are not, and people who think they are but are actually not.

People who ponder and articulate, people who don’t mull and don’t express, and people who think and feel and don’t verbally / directly convey.

People who are nice, selfish, funny, simple, fake, generous and those who are plain confused.

Damn, where does God keep all his molds and casts? Even with every human having 7 lookalikes around the world, I bet none of them are identical in their mannerisms and attitudes!

Point noted. But how would we know what an individual is like?

Do we judge him by the way he behaves? Or by the way he pretends to behave?

Do we judge him by his clothes and speech? Or by the way he treats things and people around him?

Do we judge him by what he says about himself? Or by the way he sends out vibes and impressions?

No child’s play, eh?

And then to obscure issues, people behave differently with different people.

Which brings me to today’s topic for reflection.

I noticed that a guy who is quite decent and likeable when alone, suddenly sprouts wings in front of this female who hardly talks to anyone else but him. So, when I meet him alone in the corridor, he’s all nice and friendly and willing to talk, but the moment this chic is with him on a break or in a meeting, he closes up and stays accessible only to her while acting smart and making others feel unwelcome.

What’s the trip, fella?

And it’s not like he’s trying to woo her or anything. He says he’s got this girlfriend back home that he lives with and plans to marry. And this dame that he acts funny with, is also aware of that. Yet, the coziness and comfort that they share, which though enviable, is certainly a little awkward and fishy.

None of my business, right?


Just thought about it, so thought I’d share.

But hey, that does not mean I’ll veer away from the impressions topic. I am not afraid to say that I’ve often made mistakes in judging people.

(Don’t give me the bulls**t that you don’t judge people. All of us do. We may not say it out loud or even to ourselves, but we just form an opinion and sooner or later confirm/modify it.)

For example, I thought this lady was cold and hateful. Turns out that she’s really a wonderful person, completely trustworthy and sensible. On the contrary, this other woman that I considered warm and adorable, has proven herself to be despicable and vexing.

I could give you so many illustrations where individuals with funny and sordid reputations have been excellent friends and human beings. And also situations where those that we trust and expect from, turn us down and startle us with their self-centeredness and undependability.

What do I say… It’s quite an interesting exercise to try and understand how people are and how it relates to what they portray...

No such hassles with me though. I am what I am, and those who understand that have an easy road ahead of them. Those who don’t, too bad… for them… and for me, coz it bothers me when people have misconceptions or wrong impressions about me.

It’s wonderful knowing yourself, and being in touch with your emotions and expectations. Trust me. There’s not one dull moment, nor is there any confusion around anything that you want or do. I realized this while I was at the lab in ISABS. When the facilitators told me this, I could scream with delight. To be appreciated for being able to think and feel, and for being able to accept and express that directly without facades is a beautiful experience. It’s enlightenment, nothing less.

So, how are you?

Or shall we say… WHO are you?

Explore yourself!

Friday, July 9

But Why ... No One Knows...

My eyes wander to catch a glimpse of you in the most obvious and unlikeliest of places.
Why? When I myself asked you to never show me your face again?

I gear myself up to see you sitting at my doorstep, waiting for me as I come home after a weary day at work.
Why? When I clearly recall screaming at you to leave me alone?

You’re always on my mind for reasons merry, sad, nostalgic and naughty.
Why? When I tried so hard to erase you from my head and heart?

I was repulsed by your misbehavior; I threatened you to stay away.
Why then do I sometimes still miss you, your companionship and love?

I wanted to forget that you exist, I vowed to block everything that reminded me of you.
Why then does your memory only grow stronger by the day?

Love happens once, now that couldn’t be true…

A million times over, I fell in love with you.

You hurt me, and apologized.

I hated you and forgave.

I admired you and you praised me.

I loved you with everything I had, and you showed me you cared.

Where did it all go?

I sit down and think…

And you know what… it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Time heals us all, and time makes things better.

I can never forget you, but I can now think of you without agony and abhorrence.

There was a person I loved, and he loved me back.

And then, we just didn’t work out…

A zillion feelings and incidents,

Encapsulated in less than twenty words.

Capturing details and experience that wouldn’t be forgotten in two hundred years…

Thank heavens for poor memories and thank the stars for resilience.

And thank love, that can wiggle in and out of your life.

Giving pleasures of a lifetime and desolation for eons.

Yet seeming new and amazing each time it happens…


Saturday, July 3

Peace, People and Places

It’s a wonderful life!

Yeah guys, I’m Anuja (aka Princess) and I’m happy.

Work is good, and I’ve got used to the routine at home. So basically my acceptance of things has made my life more pleasant and me more congenial.

I enjoy being at work –learning and doing various tasks, meeting new people and getting to know them better, and discovering facets about me I didn’t know existed or I knew but didn’t get opportunities to apply. It’s like my life was waiting for IBM... I realize that I am fairly good natured (better than most other people). I recognize that I am a wonderful team-player, when it comes to work or play. And I understand that this is just the beginning and life is only going to get better…

I haven’t forgotten the times when I was sad and stressed owing to bad relationships in my life and issues at work and home. Everything seemed to be wrong and my life was plummeting into the deepest abyss of frustration and hopelessness. I cannot say things have drastically changed, but Providence has modified some situations and my attitude has corrected the rest.

With IBM came change – a lot of new realities and opportunities. My adaptability I possess was aptly tested, and I scored a fairly decent grade. While the novelties settled, I made up my mind to put my foot down and let go of some bonds that had become chains. I don’t have to stand up and fulfill others’ expectations and care for their needs at the cost of my own joys and desires. I am content, and I think things haven’t been this brilliant in ages. Not that I don’t get a little low now and then or that I find everything perfect, but I’ve learnt how to cope with it. And let me give credit to individuals around me, who at least as of now, appear to be friendly and hassle-free… letting me be what I am, without pretense or fear of misjudgment.

Of course, there are people who find me childish and/or philosophical just because I express my feelings truly and immediately. I am sensitive, I am aware, and I my emotions flash clearly over my face. So, if I am excited, I’ll jump around like a bouncing ball, and if I am hurt/sorrowful, I’ll go into my shell and leave a void in any space, unintentionally making those around me uncomfortable. I am a Cancer after all, and my moods can either raise spirits or a put a damp cloth around the entire civilization.

However, I shall not disguise my feelings for any reason whatsoever. As they say in psychological terms, I can use all 3 ego states of Transactional Analysis (TA) and I would like to continue doing that. Why be a Critical Adult when it’s time to rejoice like a Free Child? Why operate from the Adult state when the situation requires you to be a Nurturing Parent? I don’t have to throw my weight around or appear all snobbish and controlled to be taken seriously. As long as I complete my obligations, I am free to choose how to behave. And as far as people’s impressions and evaluation are concerned, I care a rat’s a**.

Nazar na lagana mere khushi aur originality ko, yaaron!

You know, I’ve been meaning to share this with you for a long time, but somehow never got a chance. Its talks volumes about the hypocrisy of folks you consider gems and genuine. And it hurt me tremendously. Told you I am touchy, and the fact that this was unforeseen only made it that much harder to digest.

So, it goes like this. When I was being hired by my current employer, my ex-boss was to be called for my reference check. I’d already informed him about this and he gushed, “Sure, go ahead, I’m very happy for you, career and growth must be taken seriously” and other blah-blah. I thought he was an honest man, and I didn’t expect to be taken for a ride. Hence, when I was about to quit, I made sure that all my duties were complete and the handover was done well. Bad endings are not my style… And I really wanted to keep good contacts with this boss of mine - I’d always respected his gregariousness, network and knowledge.

Imagine what I felt when the IBM HR called me and said this person had given a negative ref check! Shattered would be an understatement. I mean hello, wasn’t backbiting a trait of us woman? The boss was frustrated because he knew he couldn’t retain me, and he recognized that their training division would be a goner without me. There was no way he could stop me from pursuing my dreams, development and satisfaction; so he tried to mess things up for me. To no avail though, coz his negative feedback did not deter the new employer from hiring me. However, I was disappointed, and so so annoyed. Even hurt. Such shameless two-facedness! Humphhh…

And here’s the cherry on the top… When I went to collect my relieving letter, this freak had the audacity to proactively come up and tell me that he had got a call from the background verification guys and he said everything was fine... People are such a**holes! Double humphhh…

I didn’t say a word. I just looked at him, and nodded. I don’t know why I didn’t confront him then or even now. I just didn’t see the point of raking up a discussion. Now I hear he’s left the firm himself. God bless him.

Maybe I’m getting more mature and objective. God bless me.

And may God bless you all.


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...