Saturday, October 29

Hearts of Gold

Some meet none.

I’m lucky to have met more than a few in my lifetime.

Don't need a thank you day to say this, I'm thankful for them every moment (even when I'm pissed with them!)

Say hullo to these abso-flippin-lutely fantastic folks... Not mentioned in any specific order.
Each of them are unique and special and incomparable.

Dr. Satish Pandit – The bestest doctor ever. He practices Ayurveda, which a lot of people scoff at, and quite a few swear by. Honestly, to me, it makes no difference coz he’s got a magical hand. This wizard can delightfully and effortlessly set right anything that’s not right. He’s not crude and heartless like some other physicians I see, know or hear about. His smiling face heals half the trouble, and his medicines do the rest. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve met in life, I think I’m blessed to know him. He’s got an answer for everything that aches your body and mind, and he knows the remedy for every malady, be it a simple cold or the most severe illness. Probably his bestest feature is that he doesn’t prescribe needless tests or expensive and complicated treatment. He calls a spade a spade, and cures your fears and fevers as simply and quickly as is humanly possible. Isn’t that what being a medical practitioner is all about? One person for who work is really worship! May god give him a long and healthy life. Just like he grants to so many other people… I’d be lost without him.

(Coincidentally, I'm unwell right now and he's on vacation and I'm eff-ing annoyed with him... but that's ok... he deserves his holiday!)

Ameya Gupte – A beautiful person and great friend. We met at work, and I couldn’t care less about who he was or what he did. But when we connected, damn, did we hit it! We were inseparable, and now though our ways have parted, we still nurture a million memories and a thousand laughs. He’s a gem. Completely reliable and amazingly humorous. The extent to which we think alike is incredible, and with him around, I know I have nothing to worry about. Ever. Coz he’ll be there… Love you, bud! Wish you all success, fun and girls in life ;-)

Shila Rathi – My aunt. She drives me up the wall at times, but her awareness about everything under the sun, outspokenness and sense of justice astound me. She is forever thoughtful and she pampers me like a spoilt child. In my times of celebration and difficulty, she has somehow always been there. And that’s really important because I clearly remember that no one else from my family was. She’s got her shortcomings, but who doesn’t? The fact that she is available for anyone that needs help expunges all her faults and failings. God bless her.

(Coincidence again... as I'm writing this she's traveling to Amravati to see her ailing mum. God bless her, too.)

Rakshith Shetty
– Another person I met at work and grew to became great pals with. Very sensible and extremely considerate, though he sometimes behaves like a callous, irritating nutcase. His maturity and patience sporadically impress me, and we’re in splits often over seemingly stupid jokes. When I am not beating him up, I’m sharing my never-ending observations, issues and PJs with him. Then depending on how he responds, I hit him again. And if I get hurt by my own mistake, he gets it all the more. So you see, it’s a fairly balanced relationship that we have. What are friends for, after all… right? Be there, mate. Else you know what’s coming… (Bam Pinch Bash Slap Punch Kick)

Sumant Jena – The most eligible bachelor I’ve ever met, and the perfect husband now, I am sure. I knew he’d be a great life partner even before I knew him as a friend. How did I meet him? At work again. (I think my workplaces have given me immense experience as a person and professional, as well as people and memories for life.) We’re not in touch anymore, and I don’t think we ever will be, such are the ways of fate. But that does not stop me from ranting about how awesome I think he is in every way. Hardworking, caring, sincere, responsible, honest… I could talk about his excellent qualities for hours. He’s always taken a helluva lot care of me, and I hold him in complete respect for that. He’s been perseverant and though we’ve had our fights, I’ve no complaints whatsoever. He’s infallible. I hope he has a great life and all goodness comes his way...

Sarika Lodha – Hmmm… I can’t decide whether I love her more or miss her more. I think I do both equally. There was a time when my world revolved around her. We were closer than the closest siblings, and I’ve never felt that way before or since. More disciplined and headstrong than me, less daring and audacious, and my well-wisher and guide, Sarikadi has been a great friend and companion. We chatted endlessly into the night, enjoyed gigantic chocolate cakes (when she wasn’t dieting or fasting), and shared a deep bond that all this distance has not been able to kill. She’s now married and has a bonny beautiful kid, and we haven’t met in years (at least it seems that way). Even our conversations happen once in months, and are sadly inadequate and decorous. Yet, I feel touched and bothered by her troubles, though they don’t seem to impact her as horribly as they sound to me. Very tolerant, this woman is. Wonder how. Wonder why. But I sure don’t wonder how lucky anyone who knows her is, to have her in their life. Intimately, I mean. She can be quite un-like-able at first meet, but once she allows you to know her, she’s super sensitive and super amazing! Love you, Di. Please stay in touch. And I request you to give yourself some importance and freedom. Stop being so conscientious and right all the time!! Others can take care of themselves sometimes. Even as I say this, I know there’s just no convincing you! Bear-hug and sloppy kisses you to you, my angel. Be happy always.

Hearts of Gold… The lot of you…

Not the end of the list, by any means... Will write about some more soon again :)

Thank you for entering my life and leaving a mark. Just don’t ever leave!!

Happy Diwali my lovelies ...

Blessed and forever grateful,

Monday, October 24

The (In)eligible Bachelors

First of all, thanks Harish and the BlogAdda team for sending me this book to review as part of their varied initiatives. It's a fab idea, methinks. Spread the hobby and cheer, and get reviews in return. What wouldn't I do to get a full-time job of enjoying the finer things in life - eating out at swanky joints, traveling to exotic locales, reading millions of books, AND being paid for my opinion!! Swooooon...

Ahem. Pardon my flight of fantasy.

The (In)eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra (RM, for the sake of brevity) is (fortunately and may I add, surprisingly) fairly good book. It's not outstanding, it's certainly not a drag, and possibly the best way to describe it would be genuine and interesting. No pretensions, and absolutely no claims to being revolutionary - the book is a quick and engaging read.

The author profile caught my interest, quite a ticking brain this pretty damsel's got; she’s an MBA and triple gold medallist from IIFT Delhi. Neat, eh? The thank you note, too, was very endearing. RM’s got an flair for writing, and thankfully better than average English. I’ve made no bones about how I immensely resent any and every IIT/IIM student giving vent to their non-existent writing skills. This book, for a change, has a range of vocabulary and few typos that can be pardoned. Whether this compliments the writer or the editors, is their call. To me, it's a pleasant observation.

What's the novel about? As the title suggests, the story revolves around a Kasturi Shukla (revolting name, if you ask me; no reason why I should think so apart from freedom of thought and expression) and various situations that come her way when she takes up a job while her mum is hell bent on getting her hitched.

If you think this spells meeting innumerable potential grooms in typical Bollywood style, falling in love with the proverbial jerk, goof-ups at work and outside, living through perpetual stress and distress - you're not mistaken. This is exactly what the plot is all about.

What particularly stood out were the honest emotions, genuine thoughts and real people. You can relate to exactly what the folks are thinking and feeling as various situations arise and ebb. I laughed out loud quite a few times, and I can’t recall having done that in ages. So, good going there!

Parts of the novel reminded me of Bridget Jones’ Diary, especially where the protagonist Kasturi writes about her fears of being found dead at home with a dog. The structure, too, is similar – it’s a diary that spans various days over 8 months in 2009 (often even hours and minutes, especially those that are highly amusing and relate-able).

RM takes us through the conventional settings with ease and humor, and presents an action-packed masaledar concoction that is replete with accidents, goof-ups, and relationships that predictably break and blossom.

Some scenes that stayed with me much after I’d turned the last page…

(Skip this if you don’t appreciate spoilers!)

- A typical girl’s dilemma over wanting what she doesn’t want, and feeling undervalued even in circumstances where she’s better off being misjudged…

- “Women don’t admit their age. Men don’t act theirs.”

- How Kasturi ridicules the name and behaviour of the suitors that she is forced by her mum to meet “for marriage purposes”… Her choice of terms is fantastically insane!

I still don’t understand why recent books and movies have to have the proverbial gays – is it like a lucky charm or something or are we just ensuring that we grab every opportunity to appear forward and accepting? Yet, I shall pardon that, as RM hasn’t dwelt much on that aspect.

Overall, a commendable effort, for a first book. I expect a lot more from this lady and will be watching out for her next, which I'm sure will be infinitely better. The magic number this time round - I'd say 7 on 10.

Time to hit the shelf... Mistress by Anita Nair's next !!!


Wednesday, October 19

You got the Look...

I look at you… and I see you looking right back at me.

Does it fluster me?

Not at all.

Well, maybe.

Yes, actually. It kinda does. Coz I see so many things in your eyes.

Pain. Coz you miss me.

Jealousy. When you see someone else sharing a laugh or heart to heart with me.

Yearning. Coz you know things would seem better no matter how bad they really are, had I been by your side.

Frustration. Coz you think I cannot see your loneliness.

Anger. Coz you think your misery gives me joy.

Revengefulness. Coz you want me to suffer and feel what you’re feeling.

I do.

I totally see what you’re going through.

You always knew I knew what you thought and felt.

I still do.

And I know you force yourself to hate and ignore me.

And it doesn’t work.

And that bugs you probably a little more than the fact that I seem so blissfully unaware and merry in my own life.

You detest me for being happy.

You resent me for not being with you.

You gave me no choice.

You pushed me away.

So many times.

In so many ways.

I just had no other option.

I thought we were meant to be.

I was so utterly sure that you were my one and only.

But I found it hard to keep up with your heartless disappearances and complete lack of priorities.

Yes, I gave up.

I couldn’t fool myself no more into believing that you truly, loyally, unconditionally and selflessly cared.

And that you would do so forever.

Till death do us apart.

As I look at you now, giggling away, trying to show it doesn’t matter and you’re doing very well, thank you… I wonder… Are you aware of your own pretenses? Coz you’re sure as hell not deceiving me.

God bless you.

Love always,
The One You Couldn't Have

Thursday, October 13

What's Up !!

All fiction and no personal update make Life… a dull blog

And hence, I present to you what I’ve been upto over the last few days…

(Weeks? Ahem.)

Now where do I begin? When I completed a year at IBM? (May this year.)
The catastrophe that shook me several months ago taking the form of my Lasik surgery at the jerk Darak’s clinic? (July 2011)
Or my Ladakh trip in August?

I think good times make great beginnings. So Ladakh trip it is.

You’ve no doubt seen the many snaps on Facebook and the multiple posts on Leh-Ladakh that I shared for the benefit of hundreds of travel enthusiasts. I must say this again at the risk of sounding redundant, you MUST visit this destination. It’s marvellous. And completely mind-blowing.

September kicked in with a bang – Ganesh Chaturthi brings a cheer to entire humanity.I voluntarily chose to give up non veg cuisine for the 10 days that Ganapati lives with us, but then, anything for Lord Ganesha. He’s after all, granted me everything without my explicit requesting, and he’s also the son of my most favourite and handsome god Shiva.

Did I tell you I finished reading the Secret of the Nagas? While I was extremely appalled and annoyed that Kali and Ganapati could be called Nagas, I loved the book much better than the first. Amish has built up the plot fabulously, and I think the final book will be even grandiose. And controversial.

I also read The (In)eligible Bachelors that was sent to me by BlogAdda to review. It’s a rib-tickling chic lit novel written by the extremely witty and funny Ruchita Misra who believes in writing it as you feel it. However, the detailed assessment belongs to another post, as promised to and requested by Blogadda. Will publish it once they give me the go ahead... But it's not bad at all, for a first timer.

And then of course, Navratri happened. And Dusshera. Many good wishes to you all!
(Psst – read what some folks posted as their FB update on the day of the festival - “Dassera is a gentle reminder of the consequences of fooling around with someone else’s wife”… ROFL!)

The tiresome paintjob at home began then, which is still incomplete. Grrr… There’s just no order and professionalism around this stuff.

Even at the State Bank of India where I had to do something as simple as open a savings account in order to start a PPF account. An hour only to get the form, another half hour for the incompetent woman at the counter to check it, then two weeks for the form to lie around on the desk, only to be entered into the system when I went a third time for an hour. I mean, WTF? I have accounts with HDFC, ICICI and Axis, and not even with one did I have to undergo such an ordeal. Everything was systematic and effortless, not to mention pleasant. Bloody government servants at SBI. No sense of responsibility and zero agility. They ought to be flogged and taught how to EARN a living. By actually using their brain, being good to customers and working hard. Grrr…

But let’s focus on the good (again). I’ve had an eventful fortnight, basically because the first week of October was full of holidays. Club Miami happened, the discotheque in Marriott, very close to my place. As did so many movies. Yippee!!

I’d been wanting to hit Miami for a long time, but opportunity didn’t strike before October 1. I brought in Gandhiji’s birthday at this ostentatious club, where sexy chics flaunted their moves and attire, and average guys boogey-ed with their poisons. The music was so-so till midnight, and then it caught on. The club shuts at about 3 am I believe, which is cool, and even the entry/cover does not burn a hole in the pocket. Plan a trip to Miami this Friday/Saturday if you enjoy nightlife. You won’t be disappointed.

With that off my list, came movies. None planned and all excellent, fortunately. Johny English Reborn, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, Real Steel and Soundtrack. All worth a watch in this age where most movies are a waste of hard-earned money.

JER stars Rowan Atkinson, that funny serious man more famous (notorious?) as Mr. Bean. While his “charm” remains, the comedy is wittier and thankfully less brainless. I was in splits right from the start right uptil the end. A thoroughly entertaining film with not one dull moment.

SBG was a flick that my movie-hungry friend dragged me to, as I was completely aghast and against watching this pervert-postered enterprise. Surprise surprise. The dialogues and scheme were splendid, and my friend walked out visibly pleased with herself. (Dippi, you still owe me Tere Mere Phere! It’s not Bacche, WOMAN!!!)

Real Steel was real cool. Hugh Jackman is gorgeous and the tiny kid has done a terrific job as well. Robot-fighting is something I’d never watched before, so this movie was very fresh and enjoyable for me. The entire crowd in the theatre was rising in applause and excitement, so you can imagine how impressive the film was.

Soundtrack would’ve been sweeter had it been shorter, but again, good movie.

Not giving you too many details, but as I said, go watch them. They’re not bad at all.

Two great people died within a week (day?) of each other - Steve Jobs and Jagjit Singh. What a loss! RIP, you both. You were magnificent folks, and there shall never be another like you…

Two places I hung out at – Durvankur and Doollally. I know, I know. I can’t mention them in the same vein as they’re poles apart. One’s a Maharashtrian thali food place, the other’s a brewhouse at Corinthians. But both mighty good. Durvankur used to serve better grub earlier, though it still commands endless crowds. Doollally is a place that I’d never graced before, but the ambience (outside) is relaxed and fun. Not to mention they serve their own beer – Bohemian, Wheat, Smoked Ale, Apple Cider – the complete history and trivia of which was explained to me with great enthusiasm by one of their biggest aficionados. Merry company and a delightful evening…

Andddd… Da-da-da!! I’ve joined the Spanish class at SIFIL. FINALLY!! The weekend batch I’ve enrolled for begins Oct 15 and ends Feb 5. Which basically means that there’s gona be no more late Saturday nights for me, but hell, this has been pending long enough! Are you ready to deal with this Senorita, readers?!!

Something interesting that came up the other day. “Half the lies they say about me are not true”. Yogi Berra, an amazingly funny man. Check out his quotes -

So much for fun, now let’s get serious…

I’m taking on a few new initiatives at work. Planning on doing novel things that are exciting me and simultaneously making me nervous. But then, it’s not for nothing that they say - “Someone who’s never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Busy times up ahead!

Obviously shan’t forget you :-)

Gear up for Diwali!

(Bless the Hindu calendar!!)

Muchas Gracias!

Friday, October 7

You, Me and Stress (Part 6)

Namaste pretty fellas!

Ready for gyaan session 6 by John baba and Anuja baby?

This post's got some smart tips for building and nurturing your relationships… Happy reading!

- The greatest pain comes from withholding your love. We want our partners to like being with us, to feel safe, free and cherished in our presence. To reach this goal, freedom, acceptance, trust and understanding are vital.

- Many couples feel a heaviness in their lives because they believe they have to sacrifice themselves to please their partners. This attitude needs to change. Think of it not as a sacrifice, but as a way to be considerate towards your partner. She doesn’t mistrust or control you when you drive or make decisions, you just have different needs and thresholds. You needn’t stop driving fast completely, just slow down a little with her. This is positive sacrifice, that is worthwhile for both.

- Successful relations are those where people can discuss and resolve issues. Loving support, good communication and healthy compromise are what Mr. Gray prescribes. Coz when differences create distance, passion perishes.

(Wow, that’s a lovely line, eh? The last one I mean… I’m just too good ;-) Hehe…)

- Stress is the primary reason why people, especially couples, fight. And their volatility is expressed in markedly unique ways. Women become emotional and express their feelings and thoughts, while men get detached and rush to resolve the issue. Women tend to share and discuss, men rush to take action. Not surprisingly then, women appear overemotional, unreasonable and demanding to the men, and men are deemed arrogant, righteous and uncaring by the women. And then starts the fault-finding and name-calling. Such a simple flow chart!

What is of the essence, though, is that we are tackling and arguing about the main problem only for the first few minutes. Post that, we are actually fighting about the WAY the other person is fighting (getting emotional versus being unconcerned). The focus shifts from the point of concern to the partner – he/she becomes our problem! Convincing your partner to agree with your point of view can turn any discussion into a disagreement.

The antidote to this is effective communication and the maturity to stay on track and avoid the easy pitfalls. This might require you to take a time-out coz arguing further is only going to worsen matters. A woman talks more when stressed, causing a man to become further aggressive. (Remember all men can do is “fight or flight”?) When this happens, the guy starts attacking the woman by hurting her feelings and the woman continues to yak and complain. Basically the situation goes downhill at breakneck speed…

Talking is the best way to solve things on Venus, and walking away from a conversation or “taking a break / time-out” is a downright insult. While this reduces stress in a woman, it pushes the stressed man over the edge. Hence, a woman, for the benefit of herself and her partner, ought to talk to another woman (preferably not a family member) if she’s worried about something, release her frustrations and then talk more objectively to the man later, WITHOUT expecting him to respond like a woman!

To de-escalate a prevailing argument, a man should try to listen and a woman should appreciate the man for what he does well. Ideally, the couple should talk only about the problem, a woman should not talk eternally about her feelings and the man should not tell the woman how she is supposed to feel. Easier said than done huh?!!

- It is hard for a woman to remain open and receptive when she feels her partner doesn’t care, and it’s hard for the man to be supportive when he believes he’s being called “the bad guy”. Simply put, she wants to feel that she matters and he wants to be appreciated.

- Honesty does not mean that you lose patience, flexibility and empathy. Moreover, when your partner is upset, no amount of logical or legitimate reasoning will help. Knowing when to speak and when to hold your tongue is probably one of the most essential lessons in relationships. Hearing the other person out without offering solutions or passing judgement is often the best, most effective and harmonious way to deal with stressful situations. Else, set expectations and clearly state what your need from that discussion is… makes things easier for the both of you…

- Instead of becoming more sensitive, men need to become sensitive to the needs of women. This means considering her needs and not just his own. If a man is sensitive about his needs and feelings, a woman feels responsible and maternal towards him. A needy man is a huge turnoff to women.

Been there, done that. I come across as a smart, independent, intelligent woman so I’ve had men coming to me with all their troubles. I don’t mind, but when I become only the shoulder to cry on and abandoned when the guy goes sniffing for fun company, I object. I can’t behave like a mother with the one I love. I want to be taken care of, more than the reverse! So guys, learn to be a MAN in the real sense and stop wallowing and whining in front of your partners. Be strong and intelligent when you deal with people and situations. Don’t expect a woman to keep guiding you and then feel bad when she doesn’t respect you or look up to you as her saviour. Can’t have the pie and eat it too, right?!

- There are 14 common mistakes that men and women make in a fight, these are obviously two separate lists and quite elaborate. The ones that I nodded enthusiastically over are (from the women’s list) “how could you…”, using negative or always/never terminology, complaining than requesting, non-stop talking and comparison, digging out skeletons, and (from the men’s list) making condescending comments, interrupting her, tit for tat, and helplessly and forcibly agreeing with her.

- One thing that I found a little odd (and disturbing) was John Gray saying that it’s naive to believe that partners must share everything in order to be intimate. You don’t have to say everything that you think, do or feel, nor should you seek your partner to fulfil every need. There’s a reason that there are several people in your life, connect with them! This majorly went against my childhood belief, but with time, I’ve realised that it makes tremendous sense and reduces the friction in your relationship.

(P.S : Of course, you want to make an informed decision based on your relationship and your partner’s personality. These days men and women deviate so much from the set standard, that it’s hard to figure out whether these universal truths and recommendations are really accurate. I’ve met men who are more emotional than women, and women who are more independent and aloof than men. The learning never ends…)

And on a parting note, some food for thought…
- Sometimes, willingly or inadvertently, people use their emotional outbursts or the silent treatment to manipulate others. These are dysfunctional behaviours, not real gender differences. Beware and avoid them if you wish to share a fruitful, honest and effective bond with the person you love.

Let the love blossom!


Saturday, October 1

What makes you smile?

I stumbled upon this question when I was having coffee with a friend the other day.

What happened was… I ordered a Warm Choco-Indulgence pastry and was visibly indulging in it.

Now, I’m used to having an affable fight with my companions over such delightful pleasures (desserts, hookah, chocolates) and therefore, it was no surprise when he didn’t and I was disappointed. I literally had to coax him into taking a bite, and he admitted he wasn’t crazy about chocolate.

So, I asked him “What do you like?”

He said “Everything”.

How I hate that answer. Everything, nothing and don’t know are the laziest answers to give. Either coz you can’t bother to elaborate, or coz you don’t ardently like anything, or more believably, you are yourself unaware of what makes you tick.

All extremely pitiable states, in my opinion.

I mean what is life and individuality if you don’t have the time or inclination to explore yourself?

How can you expect someone else to understand you if you are yourself blissfully oblivious to your likes, dislikes and preferences?

Anyway. To each one his own.

In order to rephrase, to clarify his perspective and aid his process of comprehension and self-discovery, I enquired, “What makes you smile?” and being a trainer that I am, went on to illustrate by giving a few hundred examples…

Long rides?




Gifts and surprises?

Hanging out with friends?


And it finally dawned on him… He slowly replied, “I like riding… but I prefer driving, though I can’t really drive despite having a car at home…”


No problem at all. Completely uncomplicated.

Duh !!!

Really… do you truly have no idea about what you like?

C’mon, teme… what makes you smile?

In the daily rush and monotony of life, have we forgotten what it is to smile for no specific purpose? Or like they showed in “Kal Ho Na Ho”, you only display your pearly whites when you have a solid reason to do so...

Get a life! Find something to smile about. Smile at everything. If nothing else, it at least makes people wonder what you’re upto!

I’m one of those blessed few (touch wood) who can smile at almost anything. In fact, holding my laughter is a bigger challenge on most occasions. I wave at a toddler and make funny faces, I smile empathetically when a colleague is looking particularly stressed or confused, and I smile politely at almost everyone. Doesn’t cost a penny! Makes both of us feel good.

Feels amazing when people walk up to me and say that my smiling face eases them of their worries and makes them feel lighter. Most descriptions for me begin with the word “cheerful”. And I take it as a huge compliment, considering how moody I can be…

Your task for the day - Smile. At the wind. At a passer-by. While driving. At the peon. As you exercise. At the world. Just smile. And let it reach your soul and eyes. I promise it will be one of the most beautiful and memorable days you live…





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...