The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

Theme of the month: Maa! — January 4, 2010

Theme of the month: Maa!

Maa in Hindi stands for Mother – the most blessed, humane and kind person on planet Earth. We may love someone, we may hate someone… but I am yet to come across a single soul who does not passionately love their mother!

This month’s theme is dedicated to Maa as it is a very special day in my life… If not for today, me and my sister would not have been in this world… we were not only brought to this world, but also cherished and nourished with utmost care and everlasting love, to make us who we are… She only gives and expects nothing in return…

Some of my fav quotes on mothers

Women are aristocrats, and it is always the mother who makes us feel that we belong to the better sort.  ~John Lancaster Spalding

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.  ~Mildred B. Vermont

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Sweater, n.:  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  ~Ambrose Bierce

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?  ~Milton Berle

Women’s Liberation is just a lot of foolishness.  It’s the men who are discriminated against.  They can’t bear children.  And no one’s likely to do anything about that.  ~Golda Meir

Mother’s love is peace.  It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.  ~Erich Fromm

A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.  ~Author Unknown

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.  ~Irish Proverb

A person spends so much of time and effort in building relationships, which foster into friendships and everlasting bonds… and even then, the bond between the mother and her children remains unparelleled. From a purely accounting perspective, you put in nothing, but get the world from it!

On her birthday, all I can tell my mom is… in all my lives (yes, I believe in reincarnation)… I would like to have the privilege of being born as her child! Thanks for being my mom… 🙂 🙂 🙂

Love u Mom 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Love you to death 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hope you have the best and the loveliest birthday ever! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Its that month of the year… — November 19, 2009

Its that month of the year…

… when you think of the butterflies in your stomach last year and smile about it now

… when the anticipation, anxiety, and a whole flurry of emotions last year gathered u so tight, it was difficult to breathe after a while..

… when the presence of some blessed souls around you (you know who you are :)) made the journey leading to the final steps a lottttttt easier!

… when you hated the fact that you were born a daughter and have to “so-called” leave your house for your husband’s! Well I still rant about it… poor Noobie!

… when you started questioning a lot of Indian customs like “kanyadaan”… and the sanity of the same… and also why people are following it so religiously… refusing to budge!? Am I the only one who feels so strongly about it?

… when new people, strange people… became family… and welcomed me to my new home… with warm smiles on their faces and arms wide open 🙂

Yes… it is that month of the year, which engulfs me with all kinds of emotions! Some bad… most good 🙂 And I still cant believe it has been a year already! The date has not yet come.. But, I doubt Ill be able to blog on The Day!! Hence, celebrating the Anniversary month here 🙂 Hence, the theme.. and the header 🙂

Go on… Wish me us 🙂

This is what a truly successful person sounds like… — November 4, 2009

This is what a truly successful person sounds like…

She is 24. Got married when she was 18. She proudly claims today “Meri to love marriage thi… 18 me hi shadi kar li thi maine“. She works as a beautician today. Earns about Rs. 5000-6000/month. Around Diwali, her earnings sometimes go up to Rs. 10000/month! When probed on her educational qualifications, she shyly admits just having passed 10th std! Her husband is a real estate broker. Doesnt look very well educated either.

She has been married for 6 years now and is as bubbly and as ever! She has a loving husband who takes awesome care of her. Not just her, but her blind father as well.

Lone child of her parents. She frequently goes to her parental house and stays with them. Both her husband and his parents, do not mind this. In fact, her husband takes care of them as well!!

Ab shaadi ho gayi, to iska matlab ye thodi apne parents ko bhul jao! Main to apne papa ka bahut dhyan rakhti hun. Jitni income hai meri, usi me se unke liye jitna ho sakta hai utna karti hun! (Roughly translated: Now that I am married, it doesnt mean that I will not visit my parents, or forget them! I take care of my dad very well and in whatever pay I get, I try doing things for them)

She also told me that she has had 2 miscarriages and is taking medical attention to help conceive a child. But, if God doesnt want her to have a child of her own, she said she need not worry

Main ek anath ashram me se ek bachchi ko utha laungi na… Uska bhi bhala ho jayega and mujhe bhi ek bachcha mil jayega (Roughly translated: I will adopt a girl child from an orphanage. Both she and I will be benefited)

The moment these words got out of her mouth, I sat gaping at her. I could not believe what I was hearing. I wanted to confirm.

Me: Beta ya Beti? (Son or daughter?)
She: Beti baba. Ladkon ko to sabhi pyar karte hain. Main ek ladki god lungi! (A girl. Every one loves guys. I will adopt a girl)

I looked at her again. Here was a girl, barely in her mid-twenties, not that well educated, not that well-to-do and yet, such profound thinking!! I was overwhelmed and convinced… this kind of thinking or attitude or even mindset had nothing to do with our class, caste, education or even wealth! It is imbibed and sometimes even acquired.

Most of it, if you see carefully, is just common sense, anyways!

And just when she was about to leave, she looked at me and said

Agali baar aao to mere liye Rs 500 ke chocolates laana Singapore se… I love chocolates! Main khud pay karungi (Bring me chocolates worth 500 rs when u come the next time around. I will pay for it myself)

Such generosity! Although, this doesnt really count as generosity, since this was spending on ones own self. But, even then.. I was impressed by her carefree attitude and willingness to spend on things she liked 🙂

Another important lesson: You do not need money in your pocket to be able to spend. You need to have the heart 🙂

Seeing her wave me goodbye, I asked myself… if this is not success, what is?

Lucky number 17 :) :) :) :) — October 29, 2009

Lucky number 17 :) :) :) :)

My trip to India… most specifically Ahmedabad could not have been complete without a customary trip to my beloved Landmark stores. I fell in love with Landmark in Bangalore as it was right opposite my house!! Weekdays and many weekends would be spent browsing through all kinds of books and games stored in that beautiful place 😀

So, this time too… I took my mom to the Landmark store near our house… And ended up buying… not 1… not 2… not 10… not 15… but 17 books in all!!

*Gulp!!!*

It dug a deeeeeeeeeppppp hole in my pocket… But, the best part is… I am not feeling guilty at all!! Not at all!! :mrgreen:

Guhahhahahhaha 👿 (Thanks Mahmud, for telling me the right emoticon :)) !!!

Chai ho jaye :))) — October 28, 2009

Chai ho jaye :)))

For me, drinking tea or chai, has a lot associated to it… It is not just a beverage… It symbolises a lot of things in my life…

Chai

All through the years, I have come to associate Chai with quality time spent with family every morning and evening, discussing everything under the sun… having that hot cup of tea in that counter next to our class in Nirma… rushing down in breaks to have a hot cuppa chai – we used to call it SP (Special Chai) in that small kitli stall, next to Great Lakes in South Mada street… pondering over life, indulging in intense discussions about society, relationships, and even jobs… with some close friends… 🙂

Chai to me, means a feeling of happiness, togetherness – a feeling of soothing calmness!

I have known a lot of people who love drinking Chai… some passionately want only Chai, while for some anything will do – Chai ya coffee… I belong to the first half… and I still remember some of those friends and moments shared with them, everytime I have chai 🙂

At the same time, I am not addicted to tea… Its not like my day will not start without a cup of tea… I just like having tea with people who like having tea 🙂 Its an occassion and a celebration for me 🙂

It turns into a moment to cherish with a cuppa chai in my hands 🙂

So, what say? Chai ho jaye? 🙂

Positive aspects of Reality shows — October 25, 2009

Positive aspects of Reality shows

Some reality shows are for celebrities. Their prime intention is to get as many TRPs as possible and recuperate the careers of some long forgotten celebrities.

Some reality shows are for wanna-bes… Their only intention is to get TRPs… They only focus on showing impudent, rash young  boys and girls bitching behind each other’s back… These serve no purpose for anyone other than making B-grade celebrities out of random people.

And, then, there are some reality shows which expose talent hidden in the remote towns and villages of India. Such shows like Sa re ga ma pa, Little Champs, Indian Idol, Laughter Challenge and the likes showcase talent of people whose talent may have gone unnoticed but for these shows! Its an amazing work that they are doing – excessive dramatization put aside – the kind of talent that comes out is remarkable!

People like Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghosal and Anushka are some of the successful finds of reality television. It was only for these shows that a teashop owner, Sunil Pal, became a laughter champion and Prashant, a sepoy from Darjeeling, became the third Indian Idol.

Happened to see Grand Finale of Little Champs, pitting 3 children against each other! Two of them – Shreyasi and Hemant are so incredibly talented – It is heart warming to know their humble backgrounds and the fact that something good has come off watching these reality shows! 🙂

Maaf kijiyega… — October 22, 2009

Maaf kijiyega…

Had unceremoniously disappeared from the blogging scene.. Did not even get a chance to reply to all your wonderful comments… A lot had been going on…

  • This was the first Diwali after wedding. I was super excited about making Rangoli for the first time in our new home… and what followed was a disaster.. More on that later…
  • Last two weeks before Diwali were filled with tons and tons of office work which kept me occupied throughout…
  • Soon after Diwali, I left for India to spend some time with my Parents 🙂

Right now, m in Ahmedabad… having an awesome time with my parents and sis 😀

Will get back to the blogosphere with a bang soon!! 😀

Till then take care of yourselves. Hope you had a rocking Diwali 🙂

Difference between being a Feminist and a proponent of Gender Equality — October 9, 2009

Difference between being a Feminist and a proponent of Gender Equality

After my first Karva Chauth fast, a lot of people asked me how I was doing and if my husband had kept the fast for me too… I casually asked “How does that matter?”. And reply would inadvertently be “Mahila mukti morcha, you see” 🙂 I know of women who stated, “I would not keep fast for my husband, if he did not do the same for me“.

As much as I tried, I could not link the two! My husband had not forced me to keep a fast and pray for him, then is it justified that I do? And do we really pray for our loved ones only if they pray for us in return? Since when did love become a “give and take” transaction? And finally, does being a Feminist mean oppressing men? I dont think so!

This led me to believe that people often confuse the two. They think being a feminist is the same as being a proponent of Gender Equality. It is not. In fact, one is the superset of another!

It is important to understand here that the fight is not against men, it is against oppression to any human, be it a man or a woman!

A true Feminist is the one who understands this difference! Otherwise, they are just FCPs 😛 [Do not ask me to expand this abbreviation please :)]

Moon was never more beautiful… :) — October 8, 2009

Moon was never more beautiful… :)

In India we believe that any spiritual or religious journey you undertake, can not be over without its own trials and tribulations. For instance, when people of all ages and sizes trek for 28 kms (both ways) to pay their tributes to “Maa Vaishno Devi” or when they stand in that never ending queue in “Thirupati”… no darshan is easy… you have to face a lottttttt of trials and hardships before God appears in front of you!

My dad always says, “If you really want something in life, you have to work towards it.. There is no substitute for hardwork… Tapasya karoge to hi fal milega (Roughly translated: If you will slog, only then will you reap benefits)”. Back then, this is how he used to motivate us to study harder…

And all these words have, time and again, proven their worth!

The latest example was yesterday’s Karva Chauth. A friend of mine, K, came over to our place. She was also fasting. We spent the day doing bakar, watching movies… And then she left, as it was time for her husband to come back from work. And I started waiting for Noobie to come. By the time he came, which was around 7 PM, I was already preparing dinner… He announced on arrival

According to the Singapore weather department, the Moon will rise only by 930 PM

That was a jolt! You are used to Moon rises around 7-8 PM in India 😦 And one of the challenges of living in a high rise is that you are surrounded by tall buildings and hence, the sky view is quite limited. From our house, we can not see the Moon… Anyways, we finished making dinner and then the wait started… The seconds seemd like hours… This is what happened after that…

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Its Karva chauth time :)) — October 7, 2009

Its Karva chauth time :))

Before I begin the post, let me add that I am not particularly in favor of fasts – I dont think torturing yourself by not eating is a good way to impress God!

Nonetheless, there is something innately sweet and pristine about Karva ChauthI just love it 🙂

I grew up watching my mom go through a day with a biggggg smile on her face and would always wonder how she got the strength to go through the day without a morsel of food or a drop of water.. Over the years, I began to appreciate all the emotions that Karva Chauth stands for… It is yet another expression of love… pure, unadulerated love for your husband.

A few people (feminists) think why only women should keep such fasts… why not men?

To that I would say… we women are lucky that we have a medium to express our love and dedication… If a man wants to keep this fast for his wife, he can… but he shouldnt be forced to do that…

Just like love cant be forced upon people, so shouldnt an expression of love 🙂

I am excited about today – my first ever Karva Chauth… 🙂 Let us see if I survive the day 🙂

[PS You can find awesome Karva chauth stories here]

Movie Review: Wake up Sid! – Simply Awesome!! :D — October 4, 2009

Movie Review: Wake up Sid! – Simply Awesome!! :D

Karan Johar is back after Dostana, with Wake Up Sid! What strikes about the movie is the unusual pairing of Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) and Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma). The trailers give you enough indication that the movie is all about a brattish young boy realising his responsibilities.

Well, the movie is all that… and more!

It first starts with the introduction of a young guy trying to understand the concepts of Financial Accounting. You see him go through the concepts again and again – nothing gets in! An apt start for the movie, which is all about youth rising up to become responsible citizens!

Sid is a run-of-the-mill brattish son of millionnaire parents. The only thing he knows is to spend his dad’s money. He doesnt know what goal is and takes everything in life lightly… All this, until he meets Aisha, who is a totally different personality. She is new to the city and has come with big dreams and ambitions. Sid and Aisha form an unlikely pair. They have nothing in common. Aisha is older than him… and turns down all his advancements. Towards the end, she teaches him how to be responsible… and their journey is what the movie is all about.

Let us now discuss the strenghts and weaknesses of the movie:

Strenghts

  • Ranbir Kapoor is a revelation. He suits the role so well, you can not imagine any other actor who could have done a better job. Full marks to him for the excellent portrayal of the confused yet adorable Sid.
  • Konkona Sen Sharma rocks as the scared yet determined girl who is overwhelmed by the city of Mumbai and still does not shy away from taking the huge leap!
  • The supporting cast is appropriately chosen and they all do a fabulous job – right from the likes of Anupam Kher and Supriya Pathak (Sid’s parents) to the entire crew of Sid’s friends who are all new actors! A special mention of Supriya Pathak, whose intense portrayal of a woman, who is trying desperately hard to become friends with her son, who does not have time for her… whether it is learning to speak broken English or putting up with her only son’s indolent behavior, she is top notch!
  • Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is beautiful. The songs move so well with the movie, that they do not interfere with the well-laid out story line. The background score is top-notch.
  • The first rate direction by Ayan Mukerji. There are some emotional scenes in the movie, which could have been easily ruined by either over playing them (which wud have killed the mood) or by underplaying them (which wud have not created enough impact). The scenes were done to create the maximum impact and they did.
  • The story was another plus for the movie. It is a simple story – A story that the audience can easily relate to… it is, in fact, your and my story. There is a Sid in all of us… and we have all gone through the emotions that he goes through. This is where the connect happens! You cry when Sid cries, you laugh at his goofiness… somewhere during the 2.15 hrs, you fall in love with him 🙂
  • The love angle shown between the lead pair is very pure and pristine! In times when no movie is complete without a passionate lip lock between the lead pair, this movie shows the erstwhile candle light romance – something that had been missing from the screen for quite a while! 🙂

Weaknesses

  • According to me, the movie is flawless! I could not think of any weaknesses. Please share your ideas if you noticed something that I missed!

All in all, a great movie! Those who say that the movie is not in league of DCH, can eat their own words. While DCH was the story of 3 friends, this is the story of just one guy… so the comparisons are illegitimate.

The movie in one word is: Awesome!!! 😀

To be on the other side… :) — October 2, 2009

To be on the other side… :)

I have been interviewed about 5-6 times before. But, I have never had the privilege of going…

Ahem! So, why do you want to join this company?

Today was the day… when I sat on the other side of the table and interviewed someone and try to see if he fits in with the attitude of the company!

I went through this thing a million times in my head… I even thought of going like Rachel and asking the interviewee on how I did 😉 And I was nervous! As nervous about taking an interview as I have ever been about giving an interview! Immediately before I was to enter the conf room, images of all those interviewers flashed before my eyes, who were sitting in that chair only to humiliate you and did not care if you got selected or not. And I told myself, I will never be such an interviewer! I will try to understand the person and will go with the intention of finding something nice in him.

And I did… Although I noticed some minor confidence issues, which could potentially hamper a managerial role!

Anyways, we are calling him again.. Lets see what happens!

All in all, a great eye-opener for me… the experience was next to surreal! 🙂

Dussehra and my favorite character in Ramayana — September 28, 2009

Dussehra and my favorite character in Ramayana

Dussehra (or Vijayadashami) is a festival popularly celebrated all over India.

The story behind the festival goes like this. On this very day, Lord Rama killed Ravana to re-claim his wife Sita, who had been abducted by Ravana. This festival marks the victory of Goodness over Evil. On this day, people from all over India burn effigies of Ravana and conduct plays, popularly known as Raam Leela, which depict the entire story of how Rama fought the battle with Ravana and came back to his kingdom as a victorious king. Such plays are organised all over India. It is a must watch, if you havent seen any yet.

Speaking of Ramayana, it will be sacrilege if I do not mention my favorite character in the entire book: Devi Sita

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Forgetfulness as a disease.. and a few random things.. — September 23, 2009

Forgetfulness as a disease.. and a few random things..

I opened my laptop today, and pop came the reminder of all the things that needed to be finished today! I let most of the items snooze as I knew they would linger on the back of my mind for a while and I may actually end up doing most of them…

And then, I saw the items of my desktop – I usually get perturbed, if it is very cluttered… I like to keep it clean! And there it was… lying in a dark corner… a notepad… with a name prompting it to be opened immediately! It said “To-Do List”… I scanned through the items and was happy to know most of them had been attended to.. At the same, saddened to see many items lying unattended for months now… I have such a bad habit of procrastinating that if I ignore something once, it is highly unlikely i will get to it until absolutely necessary!

That is what my life has become off late – a sea of reminders!! I have a reminder set for everything! It could be outlook reminders or phone reminders… or ipod reminders… or orkut/fb reminders… reminders of all sorts… they seem to be omnipresent… and are supposed to make my life easier…!! If the intended purpose is achieved is a different case altogether! 😉

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Turning Virtuality into Reality — September 14, 2009

Turning Virtuality into Reality

This is a topic that has been on my mind ever since I started blogging. But, it somehow always took a back seat. Uma’s post today truly made me want to write this piece.

The reasons internet became a sudden rage were very obvious: Information was no longer a rare commodity. It was available a click away. It appealed to all the masses because of the variety of things it had on offer.. There was a little some thing for every one. It was as if, internet had become a world of its own! People started calling it the virtual world. The virtual proximity people enjoyed was infectious.

You could chat with anyone in the world, without having to reveal your true identity or even show your real face/name. A certain amount of anonymity was associated with whatever you did on the internet. You could visit any site, do anything on the internet and no one would every know! (At least that is how it was back then when Internet was an infant)

All of this gave a certain sense of freedom to all and sundry. The introverted types could remain on the background and still make friends in the plethora of chat rooms! People started developing mixed personalities – people that they were in “real” life and what they wanted to be/were in the “virtual” world. It gave wings to the birds dying to fly out and explore the world. Something within them or around them prevented them from doing so in the real life… but in the virtual life, there was no stopping… no inhibitions whatsoever…

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