Monday, December 31, 2007
A fresh start.
Ready to play the part.
Tough, bold, smart.
All the happiness you can take.
The bad stuff to forsake.
All the goodwill you can make.
And a spirit thats hard to break.
Health, wealth, opportunity, creativity, happiness, ambition and peace of mind.
A very Happy 2008 to all of you!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
They were not uncommon in those days. And when she drove, those rare moments of solitude provided her with the solace of unburdening her heart from those tears. As she navigated through those mounds of stone left on the road for some construction, little children running around unattended, cars honking behind her, her eyes had already welled up. Sometimes the tears rolled down her cheek, sometimes they refused, unwilling to take the plunge.
And then, foggy eyed and deafened by the protest of the honking vehicles behind her, she braked when she saw the little puppy jump on the road. The honking increased beyond comprehension: an incessant, approaching sound. She turned to see a man driving by, notably agitated, mouth irate profanities at her. And he was gone before she could get a hold of what was happening. Gone. Didn't he see her misty eyed face? The tears were still there. This time they took the leap, and slid down her cheeks before they made her shirt wet.
And she drove on, helpless.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. Feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain our world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love: the passionate search for a truth other than our own. With longing: the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on.- courtesy Shantaram.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The credit for all of this can be given to the one-ways of Bangalore. That they inspired this piece of um..whatchamacallit (colour-coded, no less!) from me at 2 in the morning, that says it all. I must be really troubled. :D
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I should rephrase that. Yet another urge to give myself a makeover overwhelms.
What wonders a simple play of numbers can do to you. It can give you the inspiration to quit smoking, lose weight, stop eating red meat, spend more time with family, whatnot.
Then there are resolutions that simply cannot be tracked.
I will drink less.
A very safe resolution, especially for one that might undergo public scrutiny. Define 'drink'. Define 'less'.
Last year, just about this time, I heard a lot of people resolve to make no such resolve. Disappointing. 'Happy New Year!' ..it is but the fun of finding out what kind of resolution you can make, how hard you can be on yourself, and how long you will last. And you don't have to be too hard on yourself if you don't follow through. The bar is set pretty low, if you look at the averages of the human population. Once, many many years ago, I decided to become a vegetarian on the 31st night of December. I was a determined, naive young girl. I started a whole four hours before the clock struck twelve. I actually lasted a whole three months.
So, I was wondering, what might be the resolutions I can take the liberty of making this time, in public eye? This blog is read by most people who know me on a personal level.
Therefore, I have decided, to let this open to all readers. The near, the dear, the queer, even the never-seen-'er.
So, dear reader, whether you know me or not, I'm sure you have some suggestion. Please drop in to the comments section, anonymous or not, and tell me what you think. I intend to pick what I think is appropriate, realistic, and very importantly, useful. This under the assumption that there are comments. So do pitch in.
Psst.. Comments are being moderated for a while. So don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately, it will eventually.
Friday, December 14, 2007
:) I don't know what 'being friends' really entails.
Being able to tell you on your face what you should or shouldn't do.
Remembering birthdays. :)
Going out together.
Does it take all of this? Or is it an implicit understanding? I'm around, and I'll be there if you need me. Is that enough? Can you hurt someone when you're angry/upset and not apologise later because they'd understand anyway? Can you not be in touch with one for months/years and meet as though no time had passed? Can you be annoyed with some habits and mannerisms of your friend?
Phew. Apologies again for the vagueness. A farrago of thoughts, and an attempt to bring into them some coherence.
Maybe its time I rethought that.
Does it makes sense to prioritise what is important to you, and give up on some other things completely? Do successful people eliminate the (relatively) less important to manage life? (A successful one at that.) Or is an effective balance the better solution?
In retrospect, I can say that I've never actually given up on any thing I really wanted to do. I've done what I had to do and done what I wanted to do, and managed a slightly above average result. Is that satisfactory? Subjective. The equation tends to be going towards an inverse relation between Success and Having it All. Very easy to contest that result but it seems to be the general tendency.
And then again, the very definition of success could also give one all these answers. What does success mean to you? What is an individual's definition? It seems that it must differ for each one.
Happiness, money, sense of achievement, family, career, love? A tricky combination of more than one.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
This isn't the love vs. arranged marriage debate. That's beaten to death. I might beat it some more sometime, but that's for another day.
So this friend of a friend, is going through the marriage-process. The things most girls in India go through at some point before their 30's. Unless you have found yourself a partner who is agreeable to your parents. Which, by combining the odds of (a) Finding a Partner who's any good, and (b) Of him being agreeable to your parents, becomes very highly improbable. In the event of a & !b (I am an engineer), you also have the option of running away from home, but that's gone out of fashion ever since the legendary DDLJ of a decade back. (If Shahrukh tells us all to win over our parents, we will. Hail, SRK!)
The Marriage-Process. It gives me great pleasure in describing this once-in-a-lifetime(-mostly) activity. The Marriage-Process would be a misnomer actually. Lets call it the Hunt-For-Man-Eligible-to-Get-Daughter-Married-to. The hunt. The search for the one, the big battle that culminates in the ultimate - the marriage. The peace of mind that comes with seeing the daughter safe with the stranger. Well, to be fair, the stranger is mostly, by the time the marriage happens, known for atleast a couple of months.
Hunting through multiple profiles and photographs. Sifting through the innumerable lies, and lying photographs. The meetings. It all seems so odd. And well, understandably discomforting. I'm taking the safe path here and not going all out against this stuff, because someday, in the event of ! a, I will, in all probability also be subjected to such rituals.
What follows the meetings, if positive, will be the phone calls and the recently added to the means of communication, chats (in the face of technological advancements and potential grooms in widely separated time zones - but of course.)
As if all this is not strange enough, what is most amusing, is that all these activities happen in parallel with many potentials. I'm not too sure of the exact situation here, but from the tales that reach these ears, some have 'em one by one, some all together. The men have what is the equivalent of parallel talks on business deals with multiple clients. The girls talk in parallel with their many suitors. Each is judging the other. Each is being judged. If not by many, then atleast the one chosen for that time period.
And this is where the irony of the Indian culture shows itself in full form. The very same parents who might have been scandalised at the idea of you going on a date will now offer you an array of (filtered, no less) men to choose from.. Here kid, look what we have for you.. go on, take a pick.
Once they have filtered the men in the categories of Financial Stability/Well paying Job, Education, Family and other itsies - not necessarily in that order of priority, they will encourage you to have long conversations with a man you don't know, to chat with another (and read over your shoulder), and maybe meet a third for coffee. :) You're not going to marry all of them, but now its okay. Okay to step out of what would ordinarily be inappropriate territory. Propriety, Indian culture, what will people say all forgotten :)
:D It all seems ridden with hypocrisy. It also amuses.
It only seems like all involved should enjoy this one window of parental license to flirt and date. But then, at the end of it all is the responsibility to make decisions that'll stick with you for life. Uh huh.
I'd like to put up a great read forwarded by a colleague, also friend. Return to India is a fantastic read on the, well, trend of Returning to India. I'm not very proud of the eloquence I display in that last sentence :) but you will like the read. A tad long for a something-on-the-internet-article, but well worth it. Enjoy.
Yet another fantastic forward I received in recent times, (thanks Raghu) that I shall put forth. A video, a funny video. That, interestingly, also predicts that the viewer will blog about it. And so I duly do.
I've recently gotten into this practice of giving rhyming replies for SMS's I receive. And what better to have a reply that rhymes back. Exuberance from Trivial nothings. Pleasure from Passable Poetry.
Yet another thought that comes to mind, but this one must be granted the dedication of an entire post. So we shall meet again, and Soon. (For a change.)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Okay. Let's just do this, shall we? Are you a procrastinator? The why do today what you can put off till tomorrow kind? Welcome to the club. Procrastination affects most people I know in some way or the other. I speak as though it is a terrible thing. I assure you, it is nothing of the sort. Well, atleast, recent studies show me there is some hope. By recent studies I refer to articles on the internet I read last week. We'll get back to that.
Let's dwell on the procrastination habit then. There are things I like to do, and things I don't. And yet I procrastinate. In both the above categories. I wonder if it's just become part of the routine of any activity. Think, procrastinate, think while you procrastinate, and only then, begin. Well its there, and how. To get up and go to the gym, to begin studying for that exam (the next day), to get started on that article I've been meaning to write, to make the move to the drop-box to pay my bills, many many things.
What do I do about it? Berate self. Make (yet another) resolution for the new year. Read articles on the internet? :)
Paul Graham writes about procrastination. Positively, I see. Ah, this looks good, think I. But then I get disappointed. He categorises procrastinators and picks the category that puts off the small errands for bigger, more important stuff. He calls them the Good Procrastinators. Oh them, I realise. We all know about those guys. No help this is.
Then I find yet another article-on-the-internet. This is what I call good advice. I'll quote him here.
The complete article is here. Now this is the kind of advice I'd like to see more often. Do procrastinate, just do it well. In fact I can think of more than one other person, who I would call a Skilled Procrastinator. :)
Please don’t get me wrong: I’m a skilled procrastinator myself. But you need to be smart and tightly wrapped to make it a way of life.
Begin by ascertaining accurately what “the last minute” is for a given project. A big project will generate many tasks that can, of course, be done the night before, but there are even more that can’t. Learn to identify each type.
The great procrastinators indulge in a pre-crastinatory phase that involves the full range of thumb-twiddling, foot-tapping, and snoozing while they determine when is the right time to put the pedal to the metal. They then enjoy the procrastinatory activity, which often includes late-stage work on other projects. In this way, they are mixing procrastination with multitasking — very 21st century. They treat themselves, after the successful event, to a period of post-crastination, in which they ponder how to put off things more effectively in the future.
But for most individuals, procrastination is dynamite. Don’t fool around with it until you’ve achieved a certain level of proficiency.