Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things to do when Hubby is out of town!

I hate it when T goes out of town for work and im left alone at home. I just dont like being alone :( but on the other hand I dont like being with many people in the home...anyways thats a different story.

Well, this time it wasnt so bad. I realized there are things that I could do when T is not in town.

1. Visit the spa! Yea...the relaxing massage, the candles, the aroma and my shoulder and feet being worked on...There are only a few things that can come close to that feeling.
2. Go window (or maybe real shopping). T doesn't enjoy shopping much (except when v r shopping for electronics or home stuff). So, this was a wonderful time to go wander in all the malls, bookshops, cosmetic stores. Right time to visit those store, whose mannequins always used to call me every time i passed by. Those lovely footwear stores...ok u get the drift  :)
3. Rent my type of DVDs. With T i have learnt to tolerate war movies and action thrillers to some extent. But, without him around I was happy to get back to Sex and the city, Monster in law, Cleopatra, some mushy ones and some Sallu bhai flicks! Also caught some episodes of Desperate Housewives on TV.
4. My sunday aftrenoon siesta. I just love dozing off on Sunday afternoons and I could do that all these 3 weekends. With T around, this is usually not possible with him asking me something every 15 minutes or waiting for me to get up!
5. Laze around to my heart's content without a care in the world!
6. Peacefully talk to my friends for hours with no disturbance and hurry! I gossiped and bitched endlessly and ahh! was so happy and contented :) (i know how sick!...but so what..i loved it). With T around, I would be busy chatting with him or something...and couldn't afford that time for those long conversations on the phone.

So, basically I took it easy and at times let the natural slob take over.

T dear, inspite of all this, I did miss you dearly. I missed our evening conversations, cozying up, watching TV. I missed us calling each other those silly names. I did talk a lot to the walls this time thinking its you. I missed our morning chit chat in bed. I missed guiding you to your clean socks and undies and helping you choose your clothes for the day.  I missed you when I fell sick for 2 days. I missed your comforting touch and massage when spondylitis pain was killing my back and shoulders and carpel tunnel was causing me hand problems.

But, im happy that T is gonna be back in 3 more days. He's getting a bagful of goodies for me :) and im super super excited. Me and T will spend just a day together, because I will be traveling next for 10 days and then he joins me. I'm looking forward for him to be back and we can spend some time. Life will be back to normal and rocking as ever! Amen!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm a big girl...I can change tyres!

Yes, yes, yes! I can change tyres. Thanks to my 2 buddies from work, I finally learnt to do that job (Guys, that lunch i promised is soon coming your way). Im so kicked, not many women know how to do that so proud!! I can now picture myself changing a flat tyre next time im stuck on the road. Cool na!
This has to be the single achievement I made in the last many many not going anywhere at work, so good for me this came along :)

I had a flat tyre and somehow I just didnt realise and i had been driving around with that flat tyre for the last 2 days! yea, imagine! The security guard at the office parking lot told me, madam aapka do din se tyre phissss hai...and i was like - really!!?? The drivers standing there had a good laugh...they too had been watchign me for the last 2 days...flat tyre wali madam aa gayi!!! Duh! how stupid! I felt like an ass, standing there, staring unbelievably at the flat tyre!! how could I not notice it! I will think mayb tubeless tyres makes life easy. Who knows.

Anyway, P & R from office helped unscrew, fix the jack, put the bolts in place...and all the good stuff...and i followed them carefully and tried my hand at the job. Boy! I hadn't given that much attention to anything...yea Ranbir Kapoor is a different story..that guy is going places i tell you. Ok, thats a different story...forget that bit!

Ok, so im gonna brag about this endlessly with all details to any and every ear that comes in my line of sight! Consider yourself warned friends!

This pic from world war 2 is so cool!

Monday, November 9, 2009

C'mon boys, grow up!

There is this reality show on Star - Perfect Bride, where eligible bachelors along with their moms are on the show choosing the perfect bride for themselves. I just happened to see 2 episodes and what a shame!

We have the mama's boys with their dominating moms who are the ones deciding their bahus and the qualities that their bahu should have...and of course our so eligible hot bachelors are all like - mumma ki pasand meri pasand...mumma ne bola hai toh wahi mera bhi kehna! Gosh! when are our Indian boys gonna grow up! Dude! wake up!! You are the one who has to marry...your moms have had their days. Get yourself a life and a spine to start with! And come to think of it, you must be such loosers that you ended up on a TV show to catch a bride for yourself, all certified and stamped by your moms! Anyway..good luck! (Many of us, specially the men may say- whats wrong with that! I say Ok, nothing...go ahead :)

Now, im so confused, what exactly is the Indian male looking for in a girl today? (well, not all of you out there..but there are quite a few specimens).  I can understand the guys, who are clear in their head- all they want is only a perfect housekeeper to help their moms at home and raise kids. Nothing more...great! good for you and pity the girl, unless of course this is her choice also and this what she wanted.

But, surprisingly a lot of educated young men say they want an educated, professional, independent, beautiful, homely, adjusting, and caring girl! (Did i also hear convent educated?..Duh!) Now, these are the guys who seriously leave me confused, really confused! So, what creature are these guys looking for? Homosapien? Woman? Superwoman? Jadoo? Hmm..escapes me...

At the end of the day this variety of men are looking girls who will listen to their moms and say haanjee mummmyji, raise the kids, look after the home, cook delicious food, adjust with every tom, dick, and harry, and work outside, and be selfless, and give in to him and his family! Dude!! what are you thinking?? Did you ever think, that women might have a mind and a heart of their own and may not give in to you and your families way of life and thoughts and demands? Did you ever think she might not be interested in the kitchen or socialising with your relatives, because she might be too tired after her long day at work? Did you realise she was human like you? Did you ever think you might be killing her dreams and desires by burdening her with your and your families expectations? Did you ever think you are expecting too much?

Today, many of us teach our daughters to be strong, independent, and make their own choices and decisions in life. So, isn't it natural that when she gets married she will want to have her own seperate home with her husband, run it the way she wants to, live life how she has desired to, take small and big decisions for her home? Why do we forget that women might not like to be burdened with expectations, or might not like joint families, which is already disintegrating very fast. Many free thinking women who chart their own lives, set up nuclear households, take their own decisions, sometimes face family issues and criticism. Now, how sad is that. Isn't this opposite of what we taught them- to be independent? Are we not killing their dreams and right to live happily.

All that women are looking for is just a chance to live their lives and dreams in their own live in peace and love and be loved. Let us not forget there is nothing wrong in a woman demanding the right to lead her life the way she wants to and decide what she wants to do. Indian men, its you turn to wake up and smell the coffee. Women are going way ahead and you need to do some catching up. Get real and decide on what you really want. Usually you can get this or that type or some bit of this and some bit of that...but you cant have it all. Looking for a perfect bride, then just leave it to your mom :) but, if little imperfect would do, that might just make your life happier and complete, then go out and find one for yourself. You will not regret it :)

Got this in my email :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Life lessons from Dadajaan

I lost my granpa a few months ago. He left me with many memories, which will stay with me forever. Of all the things I have learnt from him, these are special and it is important to me that I document them.

1) I learnt that we must touch each others lives in such a way that we are remembered for it.
Dadajaan, always said, - beta do some small thing for us when you come visiting us, so that when you go away we remember you everyday and say - When Maria was here, she used to do this for us. The small jobs he would entrust me would be giving dadijaan her medicines every night, or giving them a glass of water in the night while going to sleep, or just switching off the light when they have gone to bed.
Sometimes I have done these things, other times I have brushed these jobs away...but now I realize how important these small things were and how much they matter. I really did learn it is important to touch lives and leave a mark. I did learn how small things bring people closer to each other, bind us, and how they help us relate to each other and care for each other.

2) I learnt, it is important to call our special ones lovingly.
Granpa was a polite person and always stressed on using a loving salutation. He introduced me to using the word jaan. So he was Dadajaan for me. So, there was dadijaan, nanajaan, and nanijaan too. Their faces would light up with happiness when we would call them that way :) It would be a special moment to see them happy and smile.
I learnt that it makes a world of difference when we call our special people lovingly. These words effortlessly convey such a warm feeling of love and care. I learnt that words bind us all and the words we use grow on us and shape our feelings and us. Kind words evoke a feeling of love and kindness and help us reciprocate in a similar fashion. How important that is today!

3) I learnt that it is important to express oneself.
Every summer when I would visit them, Dadajaan, would say - beta everyday write a bit on what you did and how you felt. He said it was an enriching experience to express ourself and document our life, thoughts, and feelings and revisit them if we wanted to. So, when I would be there I would write a bit each day in my diary. He would read it with a big smile and talk to me about all that i had written. Sometimes, we would laugh, sometimes we would discuss and I would see reason.
Yes, he taught me that it was important to document our life and thoughts in some way. It was important to revisit them sometimes and see how we think and how far we have gone ahead in life. It helps us to stay rooted and see and analyze life in all its shades. This also made me see the importance of leaving behind a real story for the future generation to simple read or learn from. After dadajaan passed away, I read a few of his diaries that has his life documented in such a rich way. It really is a treasure to cherish that tells the story of a man, his life and times.

I think, sometimes, we just do not realize what we have till it is taken away from us. But, I guess as long as we realize and learn its all worthwhile. He taught me some important life lessons effortlessly by telling me simple things. His words were nothing out of the ordinary, but carried a great message for me.
Thank you for everything dadajaan. A bit of you, lives in me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Must love dogs!

If there is a dog around, Im at least a mile away for sure. No second thoughts, no love and dogs are allergic to each other, do not like each other, and shooo each other away instantly! Simple. No dogging around!!

On the other hand, my hubby - T is a strange man! He can almost smell a dog from a mile and in matter of seconds the dog and T are running towards each making those lovey dovey sounds....Gosh! this amazes me no end and i cringe so often. The dog is struggling to get away from his owner's leash towards T and T is reciprocating it equally fast and in a matter of seconds is cuddling the dog, petting him, shaking hands or paws (whatever they have) with the dog!

From the very first day, our neigbour's dog, looks at me and barks/growls and looks at T and goes all cuuddllyyy wuuddlllyyy woooshhhh with tail wagging and licking and all those gestures. I mean how weird is that. ya, ok i must have been mean, paid no attention to that dog on the first day, or made a real bad face at him. But, how do animals sense that we like or dislike them, and they reciprocate those feelings in equal measure. Also, do you know if animals can understand our language? T speaks to the neighbors dog in English, and he seems to respond pretty well and the maid who works at the neighbors house, speaks to the dog in marathi and the dog responds to her too!! So, is this an exceptionally skilled multi lingual dog or all animals are like this? This is so beyond me!

Once at a friends place, their 4 big huge alsatians surrounded hubby and his dad and attacked. Well, they almost tore my FIL's clothes and bit/scratched him at a few places, but didnt even touch T. In fact T and the dogs were civil to each other and they sniffed and licked T. That really amazed everybody, even the guy who had these 4 dogs was astonished, as the dogs were not known for being nice to their visitors.

Even on the streets, dogs like T and follow him. (Already have had 3 dogs that followed T home!). They start wagging their tails and make such a puppy face and T is so so proud of this and one day announced, I must have been a dog in my pichla janam. And I added, yes its more than obvious even in this janam sweetheart :) Nice guy that T is, he smiled and accepted the compliment whole heartedly :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

What's with the weather yaar?

Seriously, whats up with the weather. Today morning its suddenly so dry...has winter set in already or just too much of pollution and heat in the last 2-3 days?  It is so dam dry. Im plants are not too happy either :(  But,  I can still hear crackers bursting...cmon people its the 3rd day after Diwali... and its almost 1 in the afternoon. Thoda respite do ab please.

Hubby has already complained that im hard of hearing after these 2 days. Cant help it! the loud noise was just too much for me...Did you see the streets? Gosh! happy diwali to all...but now how about picking up the broom and cleaning the streets. The roads in the society too are strewn with burst crackers. My balcony caught some flying remains of the patakhas and that too is littered...eeewwwww..that so pissed me off!

Junta, a safai abhiyaan is needed - Saathi haath badhana...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How mismatched are you?

They say opposites attract. But, I have never been able to decide or judge this one. Im not sure whether two very different people attract each other or  two like people attract each other or if such things do not matter at all!

At one level I would say why should opposites attract at all? Two people with entirely different set of interests and outlook in life...might not have much in common to get attracted to each other...isnt it? After all life is not all physics. On the other hand I can argue and say two people with like interests might not have much to offer to each other and might bore each other out faster...Strange and confusing...hmmmm.

So, how do we decide what works best for us? I know for example that my hubby and me are different in many many ways, but we are also similar in some ways. So, what does that make out of us? Attracted to each other or not?

Hubby and me have different ways of handling everyday issues and situations, but in the end we both want the same results. He may want to eat chinese and me Italian, but still we both want to have khaana bahar. He watches news and me Bigg Boss, but we still fill up each other on the stories/episodes we saw. He loves electronics and gadget shopping and me clothes, shoes, and ghar ka stuff...but in the end we both love shopping for our home. We have our share of dog and cat fights, but we also love each other. We argue and crib, but we also pamper and spoil each other.We love to disagree with each other, but sometimes we also agree and compromise in between.So, where do we stand? Matched or mismatched?

Maybe the laws of attraction are too simplistic...with 2 polar ends - one saying opposites attract and the other saying like attracts like. Maybe, what works is somewhere in between and depends on many factors- emotions, values, attitudes, beliefs, similarity, differences....

I leave you with this perfect song (lyrics and video) - Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul.
See the video here -

Baby seems  we never ever agree
You like the movies
And I like T.V.
I take things serious
And you take 'em light
I go to bed early
And I party all night
Our friends are sayin'
We ain't gonna last

Cuz I move slowly
And baby I'm fast
I like it quiet
And I love to shout
But when we get together
It just all work out

I take-2 steps forward
I take-2 steps back
We come together
Cuz opposites attract
And you know-it ain't fiction
Just a natural fact
We come together
Cuz opposites attract

Who'd a thought we could be lovers
She makes the bed
And steals the covers
She likes it neat
And he makes a mess
I take it easy
Baby I get obsessed

She's got the money
And he's always broke
I don't like cigarettes
And I like to smoke
Things in common
Just ain't a one
But when we get together
We have nothin' but fun

I take-2 steps forward
I take-2 steps back
We come together
Cuz opposites attract
And you know-it ain't fiction
Just a natural fact
We come together
Cuz opposites attract

Baby ain't it somethin'
How we lasted this long
You and me
Provin' everyone wrong
Don't think we'll ever
Get our differences patched
Don't really matter
Cuz we're perfectly matched

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We've come a long way...

A few days back I was unpacking a suitcase from a recent trip. As I was taking clothes out, I realised this was the same bag that hubby had got from his hometown when we shifted to this new city (where we currently live).

Flashback: Hubby and me shifted to this city about 3+ years back and were just married. We were two lost people who decided to relocate, found jobs for ourselves in this city and arrived here. Hubby landed here with that one suitcase, which had some clothes and shoes. Well, me being a woman had more stuff (men out there don't even try reasoning this out...we women just NEED more things. OK. QED!)

3 + yrs down the line, his suitcase bought back so many memories and how we started our new life with just his 1 bag and some of my stuff. How we went house hunting, from one broker to another to find that one cosy place which we could call home. How we spent our evenings roaming the neighbourhood to see shops and what is available where. We knew absolutely nobody, not a single soul in this city, so things were tough.We googled like crazy to find each and everything we wanted to know about the city and what to buy from where. Our weekends were packed with exploring the city, shops, supermarkets. But, there was so much excitement back then, we were tired each day but we were always still looking forward to the next day and planned for it.

Setting up a house is fun but wears you out. I did things I had never dreamed of. Kitchen was a rather unfamilar territory for me till then. I tried my best to look up recipes to fix some grub. We could not get a gas connection for more than a month, so we had a tough tough time. Aate daal ka bhav pata lag gaya! Gosh! how true is that saying!! Life really makes us do things we never imagined we would! Never in my dreams i thought I would be haggling for aloo and pyaaz and free dhaniya patti. Cmon man! i used to hate those things. If mom ever asked me to get it for her, I would run miles...

Each passing day we realised we needed more things to live comfortably ...the furniture, the electronics, furnishings, kitchen name it and we've done it! Its human...we just never stop. One thing leads to the next and so on...our wishes grew, we bought our own cars and our own house.

Today: when I look around, I see a whole big functioning, kicking home that we both have built for ourself. Our needs and fancies and nakhras kept growing each day. Now, we have people who help us run our home. The cook, the maid, the car wash guy, newspaperwallah, doodhwalah...everybody does their bit to make our home functional. We both are doing our bit. We come home to each other tired in the evenings and still talk about whats the next plan. Hubby makes sure im always on my toes. He is a spontaneous guy so that keeps the spark glowing and the mind ticking each day. Else, I would have had a numb mind after all the circus in the last 3 years!

In 3 years our life has completely changed! But, I wouldnt want it any other way! It would be too boring and bland. Setting up each and everything yourself and taking all your decisions yourself is such a high and a great life changing experience.

Today that one suitcase has grown so much, i couldnt have ever imagined. For us our home is the center of our lives right now. It is our action packed world. Who could have ever imagned what one suitcase can lead you to in life. But, we still have miles to go before we sleep....

Friday, September 18, 2009

In the fast lane...

So, which lane do you drive in?
Right most...the fast lane? Is there anybody, anybody at all who uses another lane? Like the middle or the left lane?
No, we all love life in the fast lane and you may be on cycle, bus, car, bike, rick...any dam thing...9 out of 10 times you are in the right lane.

My sore point are the 2 wheeler guys in this city. All of them, just all... are driving in the right lane at maybe 30 or in the middle of the road, and you honk once and it has absolutely no effect on them. Not a muscle moves. And their special trait is you honk once dheere se requesting them---bhai sahab side de do...but that man is not moving and when you somehow dodge other vehicles and overtake from the wrong side, the 2 wheeler guy will scorn, give you the dirtiest look...and i just wonder...excuse me? weren't you supposed to move when i honked! why the hell are you even looking at me now! Oh! they force me to hurl the choicest of abuses.

These days im loosing it more and more while driving. Can we have citizen policing? Like I could report all trouble makers on the road breaking traffic rules or better still beat them up? Maybe at least show a fist to the pedestrians who prefer to walk in the middle of the road with their cellphones stuck to their ear. For god sake, you are on the road, and one of us is going to run over you! If not about yourself think abut the trouble I would have to go through for knocking you out!

Oh! as you can sense im so exasperated...and don't even make me get started about women driving 2 wheelers...they are the worst.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy 50th bday Doordarshan!

Good ol Doordarshan turns 50 today...its been a long long run for it...and when I look back it makes me smile. DD holds a special place in my heart and my childhood memories are full of my fav DD shows.

Flashback: The GEMS OF DD
Remember when we used to get up on Sundays at 9am to watch Ramayan and Mahabharat...The entire neighborhood would be silent, everybody would be huddled up in their or their neighbours houses watching the epic. Sundays would also not be complete without Rangoli. We would wait and hope yaar aaj electricity nahi jaaye please god.

I never wanted to miss jungle book - jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai, chaddhi pahan ke phool khila hai-phool khila hai... The popularity of this song is sooo sooo much that even today so many of us remember or hum it off and on. I even call one of my cats Mowgli.

My favourite ek chidiya anek chidiya and mile sur mera tumhara toh sur bane hamara. This was one video which always had me glued to the TV.

And of course Malgudi Days...Tana na tana na re...what music...and such simple stories but what an impact. What a following it enjoyed. The episodes took us right to the heart of South India.

Arey haan and Karamchandddd..with "sir your a genius" and "shut up kitty" and that gajar :) Do you remember how eagerly we used to wait for ' Vikram Vikram Vikram Vetal Vetal Vetal' with Arun Govil as Vikram & Liliput as Vetal. (Just last month I spoted a 10 CD pack of Vikram Betal at Crossword and quickly picked it up) And not to forget DD ka fav programme, which could be on anytime for however long - Rukawat ke liye khed hai :)

For us Indians some of the first soaps - Hum Log, Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Buniyaad..nanhe, chutki, haveli ram. Those charaters will stay a lifetime with us. Then we had some memorable and historic serials like Tamas, Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj. Can any of us ever forget them? They dont make stuff like that anymore...what a pity!

And are you one of those who lost their heart to Salma Sultan? One of the first female news readers. That pretty face gave lots of viewers to News.

And i remember as a kid when DD went color...i think it was after/during the Asiad games...i remember watching it with a few neighbours and we all went waaahhh...color...and all we saw while tuning it were the color bands and we were so excited. And then there would be somebody on the terrace adjusting the antenna and we kids shouting from the drawing room....haan ho gaya...nahi thoda aur ghumao...haan abhi picture aa gayi :)

Gosh! its been a long long time...and in the last 30 yrs of my existence lots has changed...but that old world charm of DD still remains...Even today I would rush to hear/see - mile sur mera tumahara! DD thanks for entertaining a nation when there was nothing else to entertain us. Thanks DD for those evergreen gems you came up with. Thanks for giving me so many memories to lookback. DD you are the bestest ever and we love you. Tum jiyo hazaaron saal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What you do with your money is only your business

Austerity is the buzz word these days...Why is there such a big debate if 2 of our rich ministers were staying in 5 star hotels for the last 3 months and footing the bills themselves, out of their own pockets. So what? they have the money, they are rich and they want to live the life they like or are used to. They have the right to splurge their own money. Why should I, you, or any Tom, Dick, or Harry be bothered? Don't we all have a right to earn and spend our own money.

If we have to be bothered, we should be bothered about how and where the tax payers money is being spent. Is a 350 crore Shivaji statue really needed? Should we give away public funds to Mayawati to build her statues? Do we really have to pay for netas Z category security? Isn't your and my life as important as theirs? I am concerned why the exchequer has to pay for our netas and their families holidaying abroad.
Also, check out this post on how tax payers money is being abused.

If there has to be a debate, they should focus on issues that really concern the junta and how and where public funds are being spent. Citizens should have the right to ask and question any misuse of tax payers money. We give our money to the govt for the greater good of the nation. For better roads, educational institutes, infrastructure, border security. And we should be empowered to monitor all such initiatives.

But in our personal lives, what we do with our own money, where we eat, live, study, party out of our own money is our choice and our business...may it be you, me, a politician, a bollywood star...whoever.

I believe - have money...will spend :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What the american said...

This happened quite some time back, but its been stuck in my head forever.
My 60 year old american boss was in India for his annual official trip. The office always put him up at Le Meridian and gave him a chauffeured car to drive him to and back from work.

One day at lunch, the inquisitive american got talking about how people travel to work. Some of us get our cars and some use the office bus or public transport. And one smart alec suggested that he should try the bus one day...just for the 'fun of it'!! (I was thinking...bus and fun?? Ah! this firang is not going to like this.)

So, our white excited boss joins the gang who travel by bus for his 'India adventure'. He heads to the bus stop chirping away happily with the gang. But, as soon as he spots the bus he says- "But, this is for cattle". And everybody was dumbstruck...Ah! excuse me!! cattle? we cattle? oh yeah! Well, they all laughed it off, but, it has just remained in our heads every since.

I had really never heard that before - That is for cattle!!! Really to think of it, it sure is! But, in this country we really don't pay too much attention to how the general junta travels. Who cares how rita, nita, raju, xyz travels. Its considered enough that the state provides some form of cheap public transport, however lame it is. We really don't protest or demand for better public infrastruture or facilities. Millions of people travel in small, smelly, cramped, unhygenic, bumpy vehicles everyday. And we just dont think much about it. Its just too low down in our list of things to ask/demand for.
And it really took a firang to say those words and nail that in my head that we are cattle.

Friday, September 4, 2009

We the cheap lives.

The huge media frenzy generated for YSR shook the entire nation. Everybody knows YSR overnight, inlcuding the so ignorant me! But, I was wondering why such a big hungama was generated. There have been several chopper crashes in the past and so may pilots have lost their what was new?

Stupid stupid me, of course I should know he was a politician and that makes him a mini god in this country and you and me are second rate citizens in our own country. So, in the last 3 days all we heard and saw on each and every channel and newspaper was just about YSR getting lost, YSR search operation, YSR's death, YSR's family, wife, power hungry son, and the succession struggle. Did you even hear about the other 4 brave people on board who also went down with YSR? Were their lives not as important and worthy enough? Do those 4 people have no families? Have they not done anything worth remembering in their personal and professional lives? Do we even know their names? Just because they were ordinary citizens like you and me, so their life or death doesnt deserve any airspace?

Sonia ji calls up and visits YSR's family, declares 7 day mourning, gives a state funeral. All the journos are counting the good deeds of YSR and making a bigger than life hero out of him and nobody even dedicating 2 kind words for those other 4 people. (On another note, the hero image of YSR sounds very strange considering the warlord backgrouod he and his dad enjoyed. Read this old TOI article (

No doubt, we lost a life, but we didnt loose 1 life, we lost 5 human lives and we need to get to the root of what happended and why? I dont care for a politician loosing his life. I care that 5 humans lost their lives in very sad and terrible way! It hurts to see why 1 person is glorified and the other 4 lives are not even talked or acknowledged by the media. Shame on the media!

The government defends itself and says that the chopper had technical flaws earlier and thats why it was always used to trains pilots. Excuse me!!! does that mean that pilots lives are cheap and their lives could be played around with? If it would have crashed with trainee pilots, it would have been dismissed as just another petty case like the scores that have happened before! My sympathies lie with the pilots who were forced to fly to their deaths. Can you ever imagine ISRO, sukois, US satellites searching for a chopper with some XYZ trainee pilot in it?

Where are we as a nation heading? It is pathetic the way lives are treated in this country (unless its a politican's life). How can we differentiate among people's death? After all death is death..its the same for you and me or some YSR! How can we glorfy the lives and death of certain people and ignore the rest. Everybody has a life and a family and they mean the world to them. But, class, status, and how famous you are dictate the kind of respect you earn not only in your lifetime, but also when you die.

Sadly, yours, mine, and the scores of pilots who have died training in those technically faulty choppers lives come cheap. Yes, we are India, we are the cheap cheap lives and people of this country.
RIP all the 5 people who lost their lives serving the nation.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Such people do exist!

This one is another anecdote from my trip to Mysore last month.
I met this 50 something gentleman who teaches in the engineering college in Mysore. Nothing out of the ordinary right? A professor earning his living in the sleepy town of what really took me away was, when I asked him his background and where he had studied from. His reply really surprised me, coz we don't really meet people like him anymore these least not in our generation.

This gentleman had done his engineering from the prestigious IIT and had even earned his PHD from IIT and had done some commendable research in his subject area. Guys, this chap was pure unadulterated brain! And after all this all he wanted to do was live in sleepy Mysore with his wife, and share his knowledge with young enthusiastic minds. For some of us, this may seem very illogical or impractical, or just not being in step with the world and times. But for him this was life and that too the kind he wanted! Simple. Who are we to judge?

But, as soon as we got out of that place, I turned to my husband and said - what the heck is he doing here? I mean the world is out there for him! I wondered what really fascinated him about his middle class life, a nagging wife, a sleepy town, his lifestyle, his struggle to build a house, everyday challenges of commuting on public transport?? I mean aren't those the very things that all of us want to escape and so we go for 'bigger' and 'better' things in life?

That set me thinking...really how many of us today, would choose a relatively unknown, quiet, sober life for ourself, when we could have the world at our feet. When armed with the best qualifications and brain we could have the best opportunites for us anywhere in the world, then why would you or me ever choose to leave the worldy things and live a quiet life in a sleepy little town? How many of us would leave a good flashy, globe trotting lifestyle, money making opportunites and choose a mundane life full of struggle?

Well, maybe a lot needs to be said about the younger generation and their aspirations. Maybe we need to revisit our whole value system today and ask what drives us and why? At what point did we take a different direction form our predecessors? Yes, the world is a different place today than it was a few years ago, but our basics are still the same. But, still such people as the professor exist and proudly chose the life they want and like.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jaago press jaago!

Is there nothing happening in the country, in the world today? Nothing worth talking or reporting about? The only thing splashed on every news channel is - Salman Khan jumping onto the IPL bandwagon!

Hello! give me a break!! What the hell is happening to journalism? I can imagine an India TV or Aajtak running this news for the next 4 days...but no! each and every news channel only has Sallu bhai, Hamare pyar salman khan...and in how many movies hes played cricket or even looked at a bat and ball!! No wonder, nowdays people view news channels for entertainment! I hear this so often now -Kahin kuch accha nahi aa raha toh news channel laga lo...ample entertainment!

NDTV and IBNs of the world I want to know:
the latest on the Mayawati statue issue...there is supposed to be some more activity on that
details on the dossier India sent to Pakistan and what happened
the reality behind Karkare's killing
when is the juduciary thinking of hanging Kasab. I cannot pay tax to feed him anymore.
the proofs and reasoning that the cops have against people picked and labelled terrorists.
the latest on the education reforms.
how the government is going to deal with the muthalik's of this country.
what happend to the Shiney Ahuja case. I want to see him hanged if he is proved guilty.
how well the government is equipped to tackle the swine flu and other virus/health hazards.
what the economists are saying about achieving 9% growth.
if the economists are hinting that the recession is over.
about the latest technologies that can benefit me and make my life better.
more on farmer loans and how the govt is helping their families and preventing suicides.
why its not being made mandatory for judges to reveal their assets.

Believe me the list is endless, I havent even gone anywhere near the international scene! . Today every citizen of this country wants to know the truth, the details of everything. Press is the fourth pillar of democracy and sad to see how they play around with their duty and make a joke out of it! What a shame!

**Gosh! in the ad break I just saw movie trailers being played on 2 news channels!** I can't take this anymore, maybe saas bahu saga is more bearable! Switch to colors or something!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Birthday cheer around the house

I had another birthday last another year older...friends reassured me...ur only as old as you think and stuff like that...but getting on to the other side of 30 is actually great! Im loving more free, more confident, more experienced, more grounded, more happy, more ME...yeah :) Its good people, its dam good!

This year hubby surprised me! He's not the romantic/ mushy types who would say sweet nothings, come up with thoughtful gifts, surprises, or shower me with compliments, but this time he started the birthday celeb a day ahead. When I came back home from work in the evening...i was just standing in my room with my mouth and eyes both wide open....this is what I saw on the bed and my hubby jumped out from behind the curtains to surprise me with a song.

Awww..I was so touched...and then laughed like crazy to see him do such acts...i never imagined him to do such things! he knows i like flowers and this brightened my evening. I still have this in one corner...but shall have to do away with it tomorrow..they are so wilted now :(

Absolute bliss..and then retail therapy followed...aaah! who am i to complain..the shops and shopping was great, everything was perfect! How could we forget the cake! hubby had ordered my favourite choco walnut cake on the D day. I even got a musical candle (made in quite wary of made in china things!) nevertheless I had fun blowing that too. Guys! but that dam music doesn't stop till you cut a wire in it...yea it can get embarrassing/irritating after a while

To top it, the strangest birthday gift ever arrived...Although, I loved it...but just did not expect it for a birthday. The new dining arrived nicely packed and the store guys fixed it.

It goes very well with the decor and now i have a big big task-to dispose off the old dining table and the chairs! But, i love this one and complimented hubby on his choice. Hes improved a lot being with me :) There was a time when I was so afraid when he wanted to do some home improvement...guess now I can take his suggestions!

The flower vase is also a gift from a friend.

We also added some light to one corner in the living to make it more warm and cozy. The green vase, the flowers were all chosen and arranged by hubby. My next post shall be written from there. Oh! I am so loving it!

We finished the day with some good dinner and music!

Hey! wait...i just remembered I didn't get one of those big Archies greeting cards... the really big ones, which compete with my 5 feet tall frame...hmmm..i have a reason to complain..and i shall lodge it pronto with hubby dear.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mr Prasad, is you daughter cattle?

On a recent trip to Mysore, I met Mr Prasad at a relative's place. Mr. Prasad is sort of a local influential person out there, or at least he said so. (I would say he was the local moral police). The kind of guy who would tell people what is wrong and right, sort out petty domestic issues, get the neighbourhood kids admitted to engineering colleges with lesser donation, etc, So, you basically get the drift about the kind of person he is (hes the kind im allergic to!!)...okay read on then...

Well, he boasted about himself endlessly...later about his family - his wife (homemaker), his son (engineer in the making), and his daughter( sitting @ home after completing her MBA). He added his son is studying electrical engineering...and quickly asked which stream of engineering I had which i said - none. I'm not an engineer, I had a masters in sociology. He looked disappointed to hear that and quipped what was sociology and what could I do with it. He was also surprised how I had found a job in an big IT company...maybe my dad's influence...hmmm and then said - aap dilliwalon ki baat hi kuch aur hai!! (Wow! what was i supposed to make out of that??) anyway im confused, i smile ...i move on.

I asked him about his daughter. This is what he had to say:
She is a good and pretty girl.
She has completed her MBA and now at home.
She is waiting to get married.
We are searching for a good engineer match for her.
We are collecting a good dower for her.
She is learning how to run a home under her mom's supervision right now.
She has mastered cooking.
She goes to the temple regularly with her mom.

Well so much for who his daughter was...I asked why she was @ home and not working in Mysore or nearby Bangalore, where most young boys and girls have moved to for work. He added...I have educated her...that was my duty and now it is the time for her to learn household jobs and keep herself ready for marriage. Sending her to work will corrupt her and she will meet all sorts of people which might not be good for her (ladki barbaad ho jayegi). Moreover, sending an unmarried girl away to Bangalore is a no girls these days are too much. We read about them in the which I wanted to say quite a few things to him about his sense of morality and right and wrong...well, i did not. My husband was giving me very uncomfortable looks and praying I don't start off...and since it was his relative's place i shut up so that i don't embarrass them!

He said as soon as he finds a good match he will marry her off and be relieved...u know the types who would say beti ki shaadi kar ke ganga nahaunga...just that Ganga doesnt flow in Karnataka...thank god for that! (gosh! is she after his life right now...that she must be thrown out asap!!...I was getting so mad at him). He added when she gets married it is up to her husband and in laws to decide what has to be done with her...if they want her to work she will work and if they want her to run the house she will do that. He was very clear that as soon as she gets married she will be settled in life and its none of his business anymore and she is her husband's property and he will dictate what has to be done with her!

By this time I had lost it! I mean did he think his daughter was cattle to be given away loaded with jewellery, lots of cash, TV, AC, utensils and what not...when she is out of his shed in somebody else's shed, she becomes his property and then he doesnt give a dam! She was like a puppet who would dance to her new family's tune. For him his daughter settling down in life was she getting married, preparing idli dosa, having 4 children!

There are so so many such people in this country, who still have well defined places for women and make them abide their rules and stay within boundaries. Scores of Mr. Prasads all over this country have laid out the rules in their homes, communities, and neighbourhoods. Lakhs of women in this country have been forced or conditioned to believe and accept the roles that their 'masters' have carved out for them. The whole concept of getting settled in life differs for men and women. Men are settlled when they get a good job and start getting good cash home. Women are settled when they find a good husband and get married. Till then Mr. Prasad rules and then another Mr. Prasad in the form of the husband takes over! It is a vicious cycle, which produces more and more Mr. Prasads who trade in cattle each day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes u gotta stand up & do what is right

So, what right did i do today? hmmm...ive got thinking to do on that simple a question it may seem, it might be a difficult one for some of us.

There is a brave and coward inside each one of us. And there is a constant dialogue that goes on between them and one wins. So when does the brave me win and muster up enough courage to do the right thing at the right time? Maybe some of these are truly brave-

The person who is determined to stand up for what he/she thinks is right and can speak his/her mind out.
The person who starts life from scratch, when all is lost. Think of all the war widows and how they put together their torn lives.
The person fighting cancer and not letting the pain and agony show up on his/her face and carry on with life like any other day. Read what being brave and will power can do
A journalist reporting from war torn Iraq beacuse he/she believes in the power of truth and making people aware of reality.
What about women in Afghanistan and Iran..aren't they brave enough to bear what they are today bearing or are they cowards to bear what they are bearing. (read this interesting bit -
The NYC Firemen who were going up the WTC stairs to save lives while everybody else was rushing down. Well, back home our NSG commandos, who did an incrediable job during the Mumbai Taj attack. Now, they are all truly men of honor.
The soldiers who bid goodbye to their wives and children and go to the border, knowing they might never see their families again.
The girl who says no to a marriage in exchange of a fat dowry, specially relevant to our Indian social system where marrige is the cornerstone of a girl's life. I salute all those women who have raised their voice aginst this evil system and have gone against the stiff social norms and rules.
The spouse who stands up against his/her abusive partner and fights the system with or without help.
All rape victims who to start with come forward to lodge police complaints and fight for their dignity and honor.
Or maybe something as simple as to speak the truth.

Yes, we all need to get up each day and do the right thing and be brave coz one who is brave is truly free!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Court ruling: Maybe we need to learn something

Remember the guy who got on a plane in the US with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it? Did you know his trial is over? Did you know he was sentenced? Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Although, I do not entirely agree with the foreign policy of US and the way they deal with terrorism on many ocassions. But there is lots we need to learn from that country. This is one such instance that should wake up our judicial system...Jaago!!! Read below for the verdict.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.
His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for therecord, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below: January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.Judge Young:
'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you..On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Courtimposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 toAmerican Airlines.The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the lawrequires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'You are no big deal.What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Only, what I am not is an Indian

I was born in India, grew up here, stayed all my life here, but who am I?

I keep quiet when I see crime against women and children.
I keep quiet when I see rampant corruption and politicians manipulating the system.
I still look for quotas or some reservation to take me forward in life.
I give away my hard earned money to a certain behenji to erect her statues all over the country.
I hate the system, but do not vote, coz it is too hot to stand in the queue outside the polling booth.
I love to criticise the government machinery, but never want to become a part of it.
I stay indoors when there is a natural disaster and people need a helping hand.
I pay bribes to the traffic cop to let me go when I jump a light.
I hate standing in lines at the passport and RTO offices, so catch hold of agents and grease all the palms in the food chain.
I keep quiet when hindus kill muslims and muslims kill hindus.
I keep quiet when churches are burnt and mosques pulled down.
I get scared of fanatic groups on Valentines Day and stay away.
I keep quiet when I see the 16 year old maid's daughter being married off.
I do not want to rent out my house to people belonging to certain religious groups.
I make a face at the mannerisms, culture, food of people from the other parts of the country.
I have nicknames for people coming from other regions and I harden the regional lines.
I buy international brand products more than i buy a tata or a bajaj.
I quietly see our education system being played with by politicians who are far away from the pulse of the people.
I can but don't opt for programmes like each one teach one that can benefit the society, coz my weekends are for the mall, clubs, parties, movies.
I keep quiet when I see environemt being raped in the name of development.

62 years of independence and still grappling with basic questions...

I am everything Hindu, Muslim, Christian, SC, ST, OBC, tribal, north indian, south indian, maharastrian... Only what I am not is an Indian. Are you any different?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh! to be a child again...

If you have grown up in India, you know this one by heart -
Jab mein chota baccha tha, badi shararat karta tha,
meri chori pakdi jaati.....

Childhood is the most special time of our lives....What do you think when you think of your childhood? what images, thoughts come to your mind? Many many many...everyone is flooded with different childhood memories, but yet they are all so alike...Some of my favourite ones-
Hating to get up in the morning to go to school...Result being dragged out after all the loving polite reminders.

Dozing off in the loo, only to be woken up every time when mom would bang on the door. I was deaf to knocking...sorry could never hear it!

Running after the school bus..(see i told you sleeping in the loo can be bad)
School bags, homework, the favourite and hated teacher (hated the arithmetic teacher forvere and always!). Oh! how did i forget my favourite water bottle, fancy pencils, pencil boxes, the smell of new books and copies...aaah! i just loved it :)

Coming back to yummy home made food..sluurrrpppp
Play time in the evenings, cycling, board games...there really were no video games at my time...thank god for that!

Fights with my younger brother and my parents trying to calm us down and the ocassional spankings that we both got..he much fun now to think of it...although we hated and howled about it then! Wow! time has a great way of changing at how we look at things!
Ya, of course the international bookfairs that papa took us to! he got me lot n lots of wonderful books wonder he is an educationist. And of course the picnics...zoo, museums, parks, fairs...oh! i loved them all!

Hey! yes the birthday parties, when we wore our best new dresses, cut the cake, and waited for the gifts...aahhh...those days! couldnt wait to open the gifts...and hoped people would go back home soon, so I could have my time with MY gifts...Mom, dad you should have let me open the gifts as soon as somebody gave them to me...that way I would have never waited for the guests to leave ASAP!!

My summer vacations, the most eagerly awaited 2 months of the year. Last day before vacations, when we happily wished everyone Happy Holidays (polite way of saying good riddance to you for 2 months, dont show me your face again!) My summer vacations are flooded with memories of boarding a train and visiting my granparents place, farms, climbing trees and scraping knees, mangoes, litchis, playing with cousins, making friends with farm animals, roaming the fields, fishing, fetching water from the village well, taking a dip in the lake, counting stars lying on the open terrace with cool breeze touching my face, my granpa's clinic, his garden which he used to take great care of, my granma's stories.
Those were the days my friends...thought they would never end...aaahhh this is endless... I dearly miss those days!

Wow! this turned to be a good exercise...i feel like yesterday once again with a song on my lips and a lighter fluffier child ike heart :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

But what about men?

I was watching Sach ka Saamna - our Indian version of Moment of Truth on TV last night where this big fat lady probably in her early 50s, on the hot seat confessed that she beats up her husband (a thin short fellow)...her reason was that his sarcasm irritates she beats him up!!! Well, she didn't seem to have any remorse or guilt or apologies ...she was right there saying it on national TV for some moolah - yes i do beat him coz his attitude bugs me!!! And all the husband had to say - she can do what she wants, I have never touched her! Wow!! i mean what an arrangement! Why the heck is that frail guy taking all this shit!

Husband bashing is a may shy away, protect their honor, egos...but men ARE being increasingly bashed up in homes, more so in Indian homes. I have read about such incidents, but seeing a woman confess it on TV yesterday really set my mind thinking. Women are becoming aggressive and venting it out. There are more and more reports these days of wives taking the iron rod in their hands. Gone are the days when we only heard of wives being beaten or tortured. Should we say now women are the power centers in homes...some would say they always have been :)

Related to this, I read an article last week in the newspaper...a social organization, maybe it was some NGO, of married men who are holding a meet in Shimla on 15th August (India's independence day) to declare independence from their wives and to think and discuss what makes wives into vampires within 6 months of marriage!!! Are you laughing reading this bit...i too did initially...I read this bit out to my hubby, who stared at me and asked me whether this was a joke..and i was no...this is serious buddy!

Times are changing and men are raising their voice against lop sided rules and laws. Making their scars visible and forming associations, running helplines, seeking help. We are living in a violent aggressive world and the reasons are plenty...the home is the battleground of the sexes and the fight is on...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When was the last time you played Monopoly?

Gosh! it was ages ago for me...and i was so so super delighted when we went window shopping today and ended up buying Monopoly from a bookstore. My hubby was a bit taken back why I couldn't stop talking about it and I was in a hurry to get back home...I just kept telling him..babe you have to play this...I just cant wait to unwrap and get my hands on it...I was happy like a kid who got her fav game on her bday as a present :)

We played for 2 hours and finally had to quit it midway, as it was past dinner time and hubby's tummy was growling! and of course who else, but yours truly won :) yayyy!! yayyy! yayyy! yayyy!
oh! i can sleep like a happy contented child today!
A well spent Sunday and Goodnitie everyone!

Sunday morning...

Sunday mornings are special. We have ample time to prepare some good breakfast! yippeeee!!! The weekdays are a rush rush with cornflakes, bread, buns and the like...sunday is pancake, yummy stuffed omlettes, baked beans, baked cheeze sandwiches, parathas...aaah!! life is so good on Sundays :)
To top it...its a lovely day outside today. See, what bloomed in one of the pots today...just added more color to the day. I told you Sundays are good...