Monday, August 30

The League of Wicked Women

I am SO annoyed.

Seething with fury would be an understatement.

This is why I don’t like women.

Yeah, I’ve said it before, and I say it again, I DON’T LIKE women.

I know I am one, too. That doesn’t change my objective and honest opinion.

I’m proud to say that guys find me one of them and I’m often labeled as a tomboy. No regrets or complaints there. I am glad that I am not found to be petty or bitchy like other chics. The guys can laugh with me and share things with me without being concerned about overly feminine reactions and discussions. Maybe that’s why the girls from the snob category find me weird. Coz I’m not one of them. As I said, no regrets. I’m better off this way.

Why am I on this trip today? Well, I’m extremely cheesed off, that’s what I am. This b**ch has screwed my mood nice and proper, and I can’t even say I’m astonished or taken by surprise. Always knew she was wicked, and have burnt my fingers before. Somehow I thought… (hoped!)… that she’d grown up and mended her nasty ways, but boy, was I mistaken. Once a bad egg, always a bad egg.

The gang decided to get together after eons, and I said ok why not, and we planned a dinner some months ago. It went pretty well and ended decently with promises to meet again soon and keep in touch. All’s well that ends well. Apparently not.

In the excitement of the moment and the joy at our reunion, I forgot to repay a friend a few hundred bucks. (Which I remembered the next day and conveyed I’d wrap up when we got together again.) No sweat. At least not for me, nor for the friend involved. What’s a few hundred bucks anyway? All of us are employed and earn pretty well. And we follow the system where either we go Dutch (unless it’s somebody’s treat), or we pay for each other in turns. I mean that’s the way my other groups function, so I assumed it would be similar. In any case, nobody raised a stink, so I believed everything was hunky-dory.

As I said, apparently not. This friend happened to mention this “debt” to this b**ch… Who relished this thought and chewed over it for goodness knows how long and for goodness knows what reason.

I didn’t hear about it then, which I would have preferred. Nipping misunderstanding and snags in the bud is the best and easiest thing one can do. Obviously being a b**ch, this female wasn’t looking for the straight and simple solution. She dramatized it and possibly stuffed it into every ear that would hear. And I still didn’t know about it; I don’t engage with her much. And am I glad about that now!

So, we met again, not many weeks ago. This time also, there was some issue surrounding the cheque. This b**ch haggled about, computing every drink and every dish that every individual had ordered. While the rest of us would merrily have split the bill and paid equally, she wanted to find out exactly how much she and the others had to pay, right down to the last cent. I was in no mood for Math, nor were the others, so she busied herself looking at the numbers and notes.

When the puzzle was finally solved, it turned out that I was few hundred bucks short of my actual expenditure. I didn’t give it a second thought, and offered to pay by card as I did not have sufficient cash on me. I always carry plastic money – it’s safer and more convenient. So the rest of the gang paid for themselves in cash, and I topped it with the card. Sorted.

Don’t be surprised when I say far from that. The super stinking b**ch claimed that I was trying to doctor the numbers and stack my drinks on the others. What a laugh! Wasn’t she the one who had done the calculations? I didn’t take offence knowing that it was in her nature to create and spread false stories. What certainly hurt me was when she brought up the previous issue involving the other friend.

Now this friend, I have tremendous faith in. I can’t say she’s a great pal of mine, but I’m not uncomfortable hanging around with her coz she’s direct, objective and definitely not cheap. I thought it was quite astounding that she would tell tales about the past episode. However, she might just have mentioned this in passing, which the b**ch caught on to and twisted to suit her warped schemes.

The moment she said I’d taken advantage of this friend, I lost it. I had innate trust in this friend, and so I called her to check whether it was only the b**ch or everyone else who thought that way about me. And her answer was exactly what I expected…

“Anuja, please don’t drag me into this. I have no issues at all. In fact, I told (b**ch) that she shouldn’t have done or said this to you. It was not right of her. Don’t worry, there’s no trouble.”

I said, “I’m glad you don’t think that way. However, I do intend to pay you back for whatever you spent the other day…”

She said, “Look, I don’t want any money. I have no issues whatsoever.”

… That was that..

So, basically, this is how women exploit information to make others of their own kind uncomfortable and upset. And this is not just the trait of this b**ch I’m talking about. It exists in most females - talking bad things about others and not confronting and clarifying things. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some men like that, but their count remains a handful. At least that’s what I hope. The world would collapse if the number increased too much too soon.

My question remains… Why? Why can’t we all – men and women – be straightforward about what we want, think and dislike? And if we can’t be vocal about it, then why even ponder about it and gossip with others? It’s so unfair.

There was this another incident, a long time ago, when a friend of mine later complained to another friend that we went for dinner outside when her mom had cooked for us at home. Now how the hell am I supposed to know that? Wouldn’t it have been better had she just come up to me and said that that was what was to be done. I wouldn’t have objected or fought with her over it! Women yaaa…

If I sat down to think about each of these times, I’d go bonkers and you’d start staying away from these devils. They will smile sweetly at you when you are looking, and look down at you and whisper mean stuff about you when they think you’re not. True, every woman is not like that. But beware coz most are…

Except the ones that can’t disguise their feelings and can’t lie about their perceptions. Yours truly figures in that category… I’m gona come right up to you and tell you to your face what upset me and what is the ideal thing to do to avoid criticism from others. I know no other way. Like it or not. And I’d love to be treated that way, too.

Can’t dictate and counsel everybody, unfortunately.

Hope those of you who are reading this make an attempt.

Count this as one of my good deeds for mankind – a more genuine and frank approach to life and people.


What BlogAdda has to say....
Link :

: Anuja Rathi
: The League of Wicked Women
: Haah! Have you heard of ‘The league of Wicked Women’? Anuja has this post full of fury directed on some of the women species. :) An enjoyable read. (Pun intended)

Wednesday, August 25

Unforgettable Times

Some occasions stay with you for a long, long time after they’ve actually passed.

Times when you hang out with people that you expect to be boring, and by the end of the day you’re really surprised and unexpectedly happy…

Leme tell you about one of those memorable nights. It wasn’t a party, if by party you mean clubbing and pub-hopping. A dear colleague invited me over to his place to meet his gang of best buddies and spouses. I usually don’t feel very comfortable with a bunch of people who already know each other very well. But this time, I thought I’d go as this guy insisted and promised I’d have a fun, cozy time. Turns out I did. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was told that the gang enjoyed playing cards and Uno at their get-togethers. I mean, didn’t we do that way back in school – play board games to kill time?

I was so wrong. Playing a good ol’ game of cards can make you feel de-stressed and happy. And more so, when the gang welcomes you with open arms and takes to you immediately. I loved them and they loved me right back. After the initial hesitation and introduction, we hit it off like I had been there all along. My colleague remarked that I definitely was not the same at work, where I used to behave demure to the point of diffidence. And here I was, shrieking with delight when I played a card right and yelling plaintively when the card machine ejected more than a few cards. (FYI – Uno Attack rocks! Go get yours. I’m planning to buy one soon. It’s much more exciting than the old Uno. Unfortunately, Pune Central did not have it, otherwise I’d be playing that already…)

All the people around were really genial, and my colleague’s mum made me feel a little awkward with the way she hovered around me. It was unsettling at first, but I must admit, she’s a sweetheart. His brother, too; it was almost like he was my own kid bro – the way we gave each other high fives when we were playing, and the way he was taking care of me. It just felt like home. Or maybe, better than home, coz I didn’t have to be on my best behavior or worry about my parents seeing or hearing something they oughtn’t!

Cards, music, hookah, cigarettes and booze did the rounds as did conversation on various topics. Not once did I feel out of place. Not once did I regret going. When the revelry ended, the guys offered to drop me home, and we set off, me humming a tune as usual. At the cost of sounding pompous, I should tell you that I have a fairly melodic voice, especially old songs and romantic or emotional numbers. And so, this guy asked me if I could sing for them all. Which I was more than happy to. And so, giggling and crooning, we all got to my place.

The last I saw them, they were a merry threesome singing “Ek ajnabi haseena se yu mulaqat hogayi…

Felt nice :-)

But it goes without saying that you needn’t always have a huge group to enjoy a rocking night. There could be just one or two bum-chums and you feel like you’re in the best possible place on earth.

Like when I hang out with my closest mates. It doesn’t matter then whether we have good music or not; our conversations and laughter make the place come alive. Be it at home, or be it at a lounge, be it at a park or at work, life just becomes that much more exciting coz I’m with someone I feel close to, understood by and cared by. So many times come to my mind… If I begin telling, this post will never end!! Carnival, Kiva, Dorabjee, ABC Farms, High Spirits… They bring so many memories alive…

Spending time with family is not always exhilarating – there are few topics you all enjoy talking about, and fewer activities that you mutually enjoy doing. At least with my family – they’re not really the adventurous types who would venture out into the unknown or do things just for experience sake. Yet, there are times when I really enjoy with them. At least I do with my mother. We go out shopping and giggle over silly matters, we buy caramel popcorn or butterscotch cake and hog on it as we gossip, or we go out for a ride and just chill out.
(Love ya, Mommy! Your birthday’s approaching! Hurray for the Aug 28!)

And of course those times when you cherish your solitude and tranquility. Like when I relax with a book, or watch TV without having to worry about what to do next… I hate eating out without company, but I am not averse to spending some time alone with myself every now and then. It doesn’t scare or bore me – my own company – I am a fairly interesting person, as most people would readily vouch!!

Life is full of so many precious moments.

Enjoy them all…

Kal Ho Na Ho :-)


Wednesday, August 18

Raat Ka Nasha

Some things are so beautiful.

A sunset.

A child smiling.

A breeze on a sunny afternoon.

Money in your jeans pocket when you have forgotten.

A long drive on the highway when you need to unwind.

A surprise that you always wanted.

Food cooked by mum.

A best friend’s hug.

A midnight walk.

Midnight walks. Yeah, I love those.

Not alone obviously. Unless I’m chatting on the phone or listening to music. But it’s the best with friends, and especially at times when you don’t say much, just walk together, relishing the peace and silence. Feeling the life in everything alive and inanimate, when your surroundings are fast asleep.

I remember my midnight saunters at Optimos. This was in 2004, while I was still an undergrad studying Psychology at Fergi. Optimos was my first fulltime job, and my office was initially located at Talawade, which is beyond Nigdi / Pimpri. The Kanbay campus where our building was situated had a huge stretch of land where we stretched our legs when we wanted to take a break.

This was usually around 12 or 2 am, as I was working 8 pm to 4 am. And it was as scary as it was exciting and relaxing. A mouse crossing our path and making us jump, an unknown man in the distance, the sound of crickets and lizards, some construction work going on nearby, a desolate building a few meters away… And the stories we made up and shared…

Miss those times… Miss those people... Urmeet’s endless anthology of gossip and tales, teasing and laughing with Gurpreet, coercing Sumant to give his very first musical recital only after I’d promised I’d never tell anybody (which I obviously did not keep)… Those were fun times. Miss you guys.

Now when I think of it, so much bonding happened over that half hour. The darkness shed light over our troubled minds and gave us solutions that we couldn’t come up with at our workstations. The soft breeze refreshed us and made us thank the heavens above for a good job and a good life. Midnight walks rock.

The wonderful effects of our stroll did not end at Talwade. We took this activity with us to City Mall where we moved in 2005. Though the office was close to the University, we could not loiter there, so we walked in the inner lanes and neighborhoods of Bhosale Nagar.

But that was a long time ago. Other walks that still come to my mind as if they were yesterday are the ones in Viman Nagar, Tukaram Nagar (I hope I’ve got that right), Koregaon Park and my society. And of course Mumbai, Pondicherry, Goa, and Mahabaleshwar. I really fancy walks, and the splendor of the night only makes it that much grander.

If I could, I would go for a walk at midnight every day. Maybe even for a swim. Unfortunately, there is no safe walking zone or pool in my vicinity. And even if there was, I believe there would be quite a crowd indulging in the same recreation. How I wish I had my personal ground complete with an Olympic size pool and a walking track surrounded by flowering trees. Sigh… What else could I wish for… I needn’t buy a house in Magarpatta for that now, do I?!! Not something I could afford for sure!

Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai…

For now


Dream on!

Wednesday, August 11

A rose by any other name…

He loved her.

He loved her not.

He loved her.

He loved her not.

He loved her.

He loved her not.

The petals of the pink rose were quickly diminishing.

Was it a wise idea to gauge the authenticity of his feelings by trusting the number of petals in a flower?

What if one had dropped by itself before he had handed it to her?

Too bad. That’s a chance she would have to take.

He loved her.

He loved her not.

Tweet Tweet… Tweet Tweet SMS…

Blank message.

He said blank messages meant he was thinking of her and missed her.

Of that she had no doubt.

She knew she made a difference to his life.

As had he.

But love?

Now that was a little dubious.

And if she be permitted, scary.

Love hurt, and she’d learnt her lesson not so long ago.

He loved her.

He loved her not.

Tring Tring…

“Hey babes, what you doing?”

“Nothing much. What you up to?”

“I’m missing you. Just thought you should know.”

He loved her.

And she didn’t need rose petals to prove that.


Wednesday, August 4

BPO ki Baatein

Hey there, fellas!

Hows it going?

Well, just wanted to share some stuff that I’ve come across in the past few weeks.

Umm… How do I begin? Not a topic I’m comfortable with. But it’s reality, and there are people out there who not only speak and discuss it, but also do it with ease.

When the BPO industry came to India, it created a boom in the market not just due to the fact that there was increased employability and money, but also coz with it, came a new lifestyle that people were eager to own and live. It was as fascinating as it was easy to get accustomed to; no wonder it became one of the most attractive job prospects for most youths and adults. Engineers and undergrads, folks from the merchant navy and arts background, scholars and dropouts – everybody with average and above average communication skills flocked to book their seat in this wonderful ship of dreams. The ship that promised to transport them to a haven with not only better salaries but also a better opportunity of growth and networking.

Indians have an amazing aptitude to adapt. The American / British way of living became our own in no time at all. Nikita became Norah and Suraj became Shawn, and if their competency didn’t give them away, their accent surely did. However, it was a small price to pay for such a hardworking, reliable lot that came cheap and easy. Obama’s propositions didn’t bear fruit, and India remains one of the top favorite destinations for business process outsourcing, of course alongside China and Philippines.

But that’s just the introduction. Not the crux of my post for today.

I want to share something that I found shocking. Believe you me, when I say that not many things astound me. I’m fairly ok with most things and people I see, and I tend to be objective and tolerant about several experiences that others would be taken aback about. So, live-in relationships, adultery, estrangement and death don’t make me skip a beat – unless it involves someone I’ve really known very well.

The BPO boom brought with it westernization in every sense, including our morals and attitudes. People of all ages started smoking so that they could appear cool and stylish. People of all regions started playing politics, bribing and bitching about each other with the idea of climbing the success ladder fast. People of all designations started sleeping around without guilt pangs in a bid to secure a promotion or merely to satisfy their lust. It was nothing unusual, almost a norm. Still remains. At least as far as I can see.

And it’s something I want to turn a blind eye towards. Not that my dislike or preference is going to change anything. Yet the knowledge that such behaviors exist makes me feel prickly.

I still can’t get over the first time when I heard a woman saying “He’s a &^#%^#*” about a guy who was apparently her best friend. When she saw him and spent time with him, he was the cynosure of her senses – she laughed the loudest at his jokes, made plans to hang out every weekend, gave positive strokes that would give anyone wrong impressions. And then this. Unbelievable, right?

Obviously not. That’s how everyone speaks and behaves. All in a day’s work. What you actually think of individuals should not get in the way of your treating them in a fake manner. Lesson number one for me – and I’ve not learnt it yet. My true feelings get the better of my diplomatic behavior. I can work with you professionally, but I can’t hide what I honestly think about you.

Then there was this other time when I thought a particular guy was a perfect gentleman. In fact, I was so crazy about his chivalrous demeanor that I was secretly falling for him and praying for a companion as handsome and noble like him. How far from reality could I be? Rumors proclaimed him a drunken maniac sleeping with a girl from the very floor he served. That I was shaken and distraught would be an understatement. Even today when I see him in the corridor or campus, I take a moment to gaze at his face that looks so innocent and loyal yet hides these ugly acts beneath.

And then this girl, who has a steady boyfriend – well, she is the one-stop-shop for anybody who wants to have some fun. I’m guessing she performs better on her one night stands than she does on her calls. None of my business for sure, but just very weird. Why? What’s the appeal in such philandering? Is there nothing called shame, fidelity and personal / business ethics?

Of course, of corrupt practices and violations, the examples are many. I’m not going to waste my time citing them here. How gifts do the rounds and free booze makes enemies friends is a story oft told and enacted. This happens not just in BPOs and IT companies, but also national and local enterprises. Pitiable, horrifying, unfair and real... You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape – if I may quote Enrique.

As I said, I’m no authority, nor am I powerful enough to turn the scenario a 180 degrees. Truth be told, I wouldn’t even know if these are just pieces of gossip that erupt out of active imaginations and idle minds or whether they have a grain of verity in them. Despite that, the fact remains, that this awareness has modified my perceptions towards people and my belief in everyone I meet.

I’m not saying everybody is like this. I’m not even planning to answer and evaluate the hows and whys. But it’s disturbing. Very disturbing. Nobody can call me orthodox, that I’m surely not, what with my open mind and adventurous nature. In spite of that, I have trouble digesting these facts. And I hope things change. I want a workplace where people are trustworthy, dependable and responsible. Where mutual respect and value abound. Where rewards and humanity are suitably bestowed. And capability and dedication awarded in a timely and apposite way.

Asking for too much, am I?

No, don’t answer that one :-)

Take care and stay safe!

Dream last night

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