The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

Sorry for being MIA!! — November 28, 2012

Sorry for being MIA!!

I just realised that even though I have been reading all your comments on my blog and reading some of the blogs as well, I have not posted a single blog in the last 6 months! Thats a long time to be away from something you love so dearly so I sincerely apologize for the absence..

But, I have been MIA for a reason – Not been keeping very well… But the reason for not keeping well is the most beautiful thing to have happened to me 🙂

Any guesses?

Commercialization of love… — February 14, 2012

Commercialization of love…

[Source: http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/]

IMHO, celebrating Valentine’s Day is a good idea. In fact, I believe every important relationship in your life should have a day dedicated to it! Its like celebrating Raksha bandhan, you dont need a day to tell your brother/sister how much they mean to you but having a day dedicated to that relationship means you leave everything else aside and dedicate that particular day in the memory or if you are lucky, then actually being with that loved one. This is precisely the reason why I am not opposed to the idea of Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. It doesnt mean you dont love them or care for them the rest of the year. It just means that when life is rushing by and you are losing track of time, on a particular day you leave everything aside, take a step back and actually be with that special someone…

What I do NOT like about “days” is the commercialisation of love, the one emotion that makes everything else in your life worthwhile. Suddenly everyone from the flower guy to the chocolate owners to the greeting card gallery owners start charging from 100-200% markup on all their merchandise… and the sad part is that we fall prey to those things and burn our hard-earned money on chocolates/flowers/gifts! Many of us succumb to it due to peer pressure or the expectations set by the said loved one.. “Tum mere liye kuch nahi laaye? Tum mujhse pyar nahi karte!” Now thats the last thing you want to hear from that special someone on that day, right?

How about this? You celebrate love by thinking of each other, by spending it with each other… but instead of doling out inexplicable amount of money on flowers that will wither come tomorrow, or chocolates that will give you the extra calories you can do without, why not take a longgg walk and set aside some money to bring a smile to someone else’s life. Bring a smile on your loved one’s face by contributing your bit to someone else 🙂

On a fun note, as Sheldon Cooper once said, “Given that St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman Priest who was stoned and beheaded, wouldn’t a more appropriate celebration of the evening be taking one’s steady gal to witness a brutal murder?” 😀

Have a fun day, guys 🙂

Crying is my birth right and I shall have it!! — January 19, 2012

Crying is my birth right and I shall have it!!

Ok, I admit.

I am a cry baby! I cry at the drop of a hat over anything and everything… Sometimes I cry for the silliest of things (like when my plant died after it was ignored because Noobie and I were travelling)…

Any good movie, book, blog, song or tweet is enough to make my cry.

Sometimes I get annoyed at myself, coz here I am sitting in the office and I read a report on some hungry children in Kenya and there drops a tear!! Now, its awright when at home, but at work, being caught wiping tears with a tissue can get really embarrassing!

If I am not wrong, I must get teary-eyed at least once in 2-3 days! In fact my hubby makes a lot of fun… Sometimes when I cry for no reason at all, he makes his oh-god-what-now face and says ‘Bahut din ho gaye the rone ka weekly quota khatam kar rahi ho?’ (Many days have passed since you last cried. Are you making up for the week’s quota?)

So, you get the point. I basically love to cry…

But I sometimes wonder ‘Is it a bad thing to cry’?

I can almost imagine Amitabh Bachchan roaring on the top of his voice ‘Mard ko dard nahi hota’… Basically crying has always been associated with women. Another stereotype. Reason? Possibly because women arent afraid of being mocked for crying or for that matter afraid of openly expressing their emotions. Men, on the other hand, are! They like to keep everything bottled up. In my honest opinion, it is important to cry some times, to get all the negative energy out… I am sure all will agree that crying definitely makes the head and the heart lighter…

Crying is not a sign of vulnerability nor is it a sign of weakness. Keeping pain bottled up may make you look macho/strong temporarily but eventually the volcano will burst and the lava will come out stronger than never before…

So, my dear friends, cry away! 🙂

Happy 150th Birthday!! — January 13, 2012
Salwar more provocative than a Saree? — January 6, 2012

Salwar more provocative than a Saree?

I enjoy reading award related posts. One of the prime reasons for that is you get a chance to learn about some very good blogs which you may have never come across. I came across one such blog through Smitha – Shail’s Nest, and through her blog I read this article which got me inspired enough to write about the topic that has always bothered me: “What goes on in the psyche of a man who wants to impose himself on a woman unwilling to comply?

I do not know the answer to this question. Who knows why some creeps do the unthinkable! But there is one thing I do know: If all the women in India were to start wearing Sarees instead of salwar (which is the most prominently worn outfit across India), it will definitely not aid in bringing the rapes down as suggested by Seetamma and V Dinesh Reddy (See excerpt below)

Seetamma, in an interview earlier this week, said women needed a dress code “for their own good”. The independence of women, she said, had nothing to do with wearing modern clothes. What, according to Seetamma, might keep women safe from rapists and sundry low-life? “Only a sari,” she declared, “with long-sleeved blouses invokes respect for women, nothing else.”

Seetamma’s remarks represent the nadir of modern Indian thought and are the latest in a series of offensive, unthinking and plain stupid comments by public officials, who in a right-thinking country should have been forced out of office. Instead, many Indians, especially men — probably the majority — likely agree with them.

The latest round of absurd comments began last week when a reporter in Hyderabad asked Andhra Pradesh director general of police V Dinesh Reddy why the police had failed to stem the rising graph of rape (more than three a day in 2011) and murder. This is what the learned Reddy had to say: “When you are taking (sic) food that gives good josh, (my best translation: playful energy), as time goes by you tend to be more naughty… rapes and all cannot be controlled by the police. Even the villagers from coastal Andhra Pradesh, where it used to be more traditional, are wearing salwar kameez. All these things provoke these types of things, which is (sic) not in control of the police. So, rapes per se, increase or decrease, you cannot attribute (this) to the police.”

Are you serious? Do these people really believe wearing a saree is going to command more ‘respect’ for women? On what basis? From a logical, rational standpoint, a saree always gets more attention because it shows a lot more skin than a Salwar, which is covered from top to bottom… I love and respect saree as an outfit but it is irrational to say that a salwar is more provocative than a saree… Despite all the pinnings and caution, all those who have worn sarees at any point of time will agree with me that a saree is essentially a large piece of cloth. The number of mishaps/oops moments possible when wearing a saree far outweigh those when wearing a salwar!

Let us now move out of the realm of which clothing attracts perverts. Because frankly, I whole-heartedly agree with the conclusion of the author in the article – atrocities against women have nothing to do with what she wears. A pervert’s gaze will remain pervert whether you cover her in a burqa or a bikini!

If we go back a little in history… In the land of Ram Rajya, or even in the Mesopotamian era, the description of women’s attires often includes a bikini-top along with an angavastram tied around the waist. And yet, such atrocities against women were unheard of in those times. The whole purdah system came into place when the Mughals invaded India (More on this later).

Alas! Our so-called-leaders fail to fathom this and instead of going to the root of the problem, are busy torturing the victims further! As I prepare to end this piece, the question continues to linger on in my mind…

One month since the night the Nation came to a stand-still!! — May 3, 2011

One month since the night the Nation came to a stand-still!!

Let me take you back in time to the summer of 1983 to the lush greens of Lords. The stage was set. The timid Indian team was put up against the roaring lions of West Indies. Having won the last 2 world cups, Clive Lloyd’s men were all set to repeat history and clinch the cup once again. Only, it was not to be. Even after putting up a minial score of 183 on the board, the Indian bowling exploited the weather and pitch conditions perfectly to bowl out the best batting lineup of the era for 140 from 52 overs in return, winning by 43 runs and completing one of the most stunning upsets in cricket history. This was an almost unbelievable win – further reiterating the fact that Indians can do wonders when no one expects them to! Kapil Dev then lifted the cup he probably never expected to, leaving a nation starved of any kind of sporting title, hysterical! In many ways, it was Kapil Dev’s men who brought cricket to each and every household. The image of World Cup in his hands is probably one of the most recognized pictures in India.

And ever since that fateful night, our cricketers have bore the burden of legacy! Everytime they went to play the World Cup, they were reminded (in not so subtle ways) that it was time to bring the cup back! The entire Nation would pray and wish for their victory… We would back them up whole-heartedly… Elevate them to the level of Gods.. and when they crumbled under the pressure of fulfilling the dream of 120-billion people, we would spare no obscenities and sometimes even cause harm to their families. Some of us would go to the extent of vowing never to watch Cricket again… I remember how my dad always used to switch off the television everytime Sachin got out… Coz thats how we were back then… solely depending on the master blaster to perform. If it was his day, no team in the world could stop us… If it wasn’t, we could easily lose to the minnows! For years, maybe decades, Indian cricket had only one player in the form of a tiny little man, whose shoulders not only carried the remaining 10 which form a team, but also the entire nation’s hopes! And that one man was deprived of only one sporting award (if possible) and that was the ever-eluding World Cup!

The stage was set again… 28 years later and this time, in the historic journey… it was those 10 others who gave their sweat and blood to win the world cup… for that one man!!! At 38, it was going to be possibly his last world cup. As a team, we had the toughest journey to that grand finale, beating not just Australia but also Pakistan on the way to meet Sri Lanka who were in good form and desperate to take the 2nd world cup home (Their first being in 1996).

When Dhoni clinched it with that historic Six, a billion eyes lit up and sparkled with the glory that had been evading us for so long… As I saw Virat Kohli and Bhajji lift Sachin on their shoulders for the victory lap, I felt a tear kiss the cheek… It was finally ours…

To India. To Sachin.

One week in the Bay Area! — October 27, 2010

One week in the Bay Area!

[Found this one lying in my drafts. I wonder why I never posted it!! ]

I was in the San Francisco Bay Area for a week in July and what a beautiful time to visit the place! Lush greens interspersed with the flowers depicting the vibrance of beautiful colors… aaah! It was like a dream! 🙂

I was staying 10 mins walking distance from my work place. Considering that I hate walking, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I would actually look forward to those morning walks! It would be breezy enough for a thin jacket. Light sunshine accompanied by cool breeze always made my mornings lovely! 🙂

Those were the most hectic 6 days in a very long time… Early morning meetings ensured no time in the morning… while tons and tons of friends and colleagues in the Bay area ensured no lunches/dinners were had in solitude.. Love them all 🙂 Would be back home by 930-10, tuck myself into the soft bed and sleep while watching Late night show with George Lopez. Actually this is the guy who first told me about rants of Mel Gibson. I did not know how serious they were until Lopez ripped apart the actor in only a way that he can!

A week went by in a jiffy. But, I made myself one promise: I will come back again and this time, with Noobie by my side! 🙂

Moon time of the year :) —

Moon time of the year :)

As eventful as the last Karvachauth was, this one turned out to be pretty smooth! 🙂 I hear from friends back home that spotting Moon was a difficult task, some women in fact ended up not catching a glimpse at all!! 😦

All in all, I had a great day and trust me when I say this, reading last year’s Moonlit Chronicles actually kept me gleeful and energetic throughout the day 🙂

Random Question #3 — July 5, 2010

Random Question #3

Reading about Viveka Babajee’s suicide sends shivers down my spine.. what irks me is that there are many so-called successful women who end their lives because their relationship did not last! The list includes Kuljeet Randhawa, Nafisa Joseph, et al

With all the talks about women being as strong or more than men… with all the talks of equality to genders… such incidents are a big slap on the face… On one end, when the women of this world are trying their best to match pace with the men around, on the other hand, established successful women who should be an inspiration to others, are ending their lives… The prominent reason being failed relationships! And this nullifies all the effort towards building a nation full of stronger, more confident women!

My question for today is:

With all talks of women liberalisation, is a man still the universe of a woman? Is it worth ending your life in love?

On her birthday… — March 23, 2010

On her birthday…

… my sister calls up our mom and tells her “Congratulations mom!! It has been a whole 23 years since you gave birth to me“!!! 😀

Thats my sis!!! All crazy!! 😀

Happy birthday bachcha…!! I should also congratulate myself on having sustained you for 23 years now! 😉 😛

To have walked the same land as Sachin… — February 25, 2010
As I turn a year older… — February 2, 2010

As I turn a year older…

Amidst all the fun, masti, blessings and good wishes… and tired as hell by the end of the day… I end this day with nothing but a heart full of love and a hugeeeeeeeeeeee smile on my face 🙂

I am writing this with eyes half closed… just had to tell u guys… 🙂 Details laterzzz!!

Love ya all! 🙂

Super talented bro!! — January 29, 2010

Super talented bro!!

My mom’s side of the family is super talented!!!… At times I look at the whole lot with such an awe, its almost too good to believe.. I sometimes even wonder from where does all the talent come from?!! The best part is every one of them is super successful in their careers, some well known doctors, engineers, IAS officers, MBAs and the likes… And yet, each and every one of them has abundant talent – They are all artists (pretty good ones at that!) in their own right!

I have always believed talent is something that you do not need to learn. Its something you have in your blood… Its like having a knack for something!!

This thought comes alive everytime I am surrounded by these naturally talented people! Most of them are musically oriented – singers, dancers, drummers, pianists, tabla players, bongo congo players galore!! Apart from that you have shayars (Poets), painters and writers too…

One of my mom’s uncle can actually play any damn song on any instrument within minutes!! He is usually the one in charge in any family function for getting everyone together and turning the evening into a gala musical one! The best part is, none of them wud have any time to practise (considering their professional obligations), and yet the evening would be rocking!! The singers in the family sing like that is all they have been doing all their lives… the instrumentalists play as if they practise every single day of their lives!!

Its very humbling and motivating to be around such incredibly talented people. Its an honor!

And here I welcome… son of my favorite Mama (Maa‘s brother) – Abhinav aka DJ Abhi Spinzz!

Apart from doing his MBBS, he has taken a fancy to DJing… check out his first creation. You will love it 🙂

[PS Did I mention my mom’s grand-dad was a famous Shayar? His collection of shayaris may soon translate into a book. Will keep you guys updated! :)]

Sports and Women — January 25, 2010

Sports and Women

Last weekend, a younger cousin (male) of mine and I were enjoying a game of Lawn Tennis, well he was and I wasnt… Thats because I lost all my stamina in the first game itself and by the second one, I was in no mood to run! My complacency and gaucherie soon got the better of him and he commented

Kya ladkiyon ki tarah khel rahi hai… dhang se khel na!! (Why are you playing like women? Play properly!) 

My first instinct was to go across the lawn and bash him blue with my Tennis racquet. And yet I found myself standing there with an I-know-what-you-mean kinda smile on my face! I knew exactly the meaning behind the supposed sexist statement he had passed.

When I was growing up, I was into all kinds of sports – my preferred choice being outdoorsy types! They rejuvenated me like nothing else could.

Until 8th Standard, almost all the girls at least tried to give their best to whatever we were playing – usually DodgeBall or ThrowBall – {have always loved my school, but I will always grieve the fact that the sole volleyball ground in the school was property of the boys, so we had to content ourselves with games like Dodge-all and Throw-Ball}. Nevertheless, it was fun playing those games!! I used to hate missing schools, specially on the days when we had Games period.

Come 9th Standard, girls were not girls anymore… they were turning into women! That led to a marginal decline in their willingness to indulge in any kind of sports/games. Most of them were more into their looks than even their books! 😛 Moreover, playing sports is so “manly”! D-huh!! The ones still interested were a tiny lot… who did not have a team big enough to play anything.

Come 10th Standard, Women were either into their studies, looks or discussing about guys! No one had the time or even the inclination to play any kind of games. Games period was no fun anymore! This wud very often depress me as I really looked forward to it

Come 11-12th Standard, Games classes in schools were spend solving assignments/studying/sleeping!

Some women themselves have created a mould where-in they themselves are not interested in any kind of sports. They consider it un-feminine for some reason. Bull shit.

And yet again, some want to do well but the stereotype that prevails in the society, prevents them from doing so. The state is quite sad! Movies like Chak De further highlight the kind of responses women in sports get from people around them! No one wants to take them seriously… its almost as if no one is convinced that they will do well!! Who knows India probably lost a promising Tennis player in Ruchika Girhotra, thanks to the lecherous head of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, retired Director-General of Haryana, SPS Rathore. He killed not one, but two promising Tennis players of India.

When it comes to sports, women are doing better by the day… but we still have a loooong way to go! Hopefully, we will be given as many opportunities as men to do well.. even in sports!

Amen!

Movie Review: Blind Side – Fantastic!! — January 21, 2010

Movie Review: Blind Side – Fantastic!!

There are all kinds of movies one watches in their life time… I would define them in 2 categories: some make it to your blog, some dont 😛

And dont get me wrong here… Those who make it to my blog have certainly impacted me a deep way! Either I want my readers to run at the mere mention of their name, or I would like them to push these up in their To-watch-movies list.

I am proud to announce the latest introduction to the latter category: Blind Side! I am serious when I say leave all that you are doing and go watch this movie! You wont regret it!

It is also important to mention that this movie review fits in perfectly with my theme of the month – as it is touches the beautiful relationship of a son with his birth and foster mother! This movie also reiterates the fact that feeling of being a mother does not arise only by giving birth, it is that instinct which makes you want to fiercely protect the ones you love.

Even before we start with the review, let us honour the author, Michael Lewis, of the original book (The blind side: Evolution of a game) from which the movie is adapted. Cant wait to read it! And I admit I just found out (courtesy: wiki) that this book and the movie is based on the real life story of Mike Oher! I mean all the characters in the movie are real, actual people! Wow!

Ok enough of the digressing, lets get down to business!

Strengths

  • Excellent story – When I saw the movie yesterday and I had no idea that it was based on a real-life story, I thought the storyline was fantastic. Now that I know it happened for real, I am dumb-founded and stunned! I have no adjectives left!! (Doesnt speak very well of me as a blogger, I know!) But seriously, *Hats Off!*
  • Brilliant performances – Sandra Bullock, in the role of a strong, super confident woman, Leigh Ann Tuohy, is mesmerising. Her screen presence is so extraordinary, it is hard to take your eyes off this miraculous woman! Not to mention, Quinton Aaron‘s intense portrayal of Michael Oher is fantabulous! He hardly has any dialogues in the movie – this man talks with his expressions and his eyes! Super!
  • Awesome direction by John Lee Hancock. His sensitive portrayal of a desolate, lost child regaining confidence in himself and the world around him and the journey he undertakes, is exceptional!

Weaknesses

  • None!

My review would be incomplete without a special mention to Sandra Bullock’s character in the movie: Leigh Ann Tuohy! According to me, she is an epitome of the perfect woman – she has her career in place, is a doting and loving (albeit strict) mother and wife, a humanitarian with her heart in the right place and not to mention, a super tough woman who can kick anyone’s a** if they even as much as think of hurting her family and yet a super-sensitive mom, who doesnt take long to well up!! She is, in all sense of the word, my idea of an ideal woman! You will know what I mean once you watch this movie!

I would like to end this review with a small personal letter to this woman who has made it to my list of top-10 most influential women of the decade.

Dear Ms Tuohy,

If you ever come across this article, I would like you to know that if you are, in real life, even 10% of what was portrayed in the movie, I bow down to you!

You are an inspiration to millions of women all over the world.

Thank you!

Love, Nova

As far as my husband is concerned, he fell in love with the youngest son of the Tuohys, SJ!

Please leave everything that you are doing to go watch this movie. Trust me, you wont regret your decision 🙂