Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two questions

Do optimism and hope set you up for more disappointment than otherwise?

Does an optimistic attitude reflect in and thereby improve the way you work - would that mean lesser chances of disappointment?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Of big bags and Tags

WnG here tagged me a while ago. Quite some time ago. A month and more has passed and now I get down to doing it. In my defense, I was merely waiting for more interesting times. But then I realised that this is as interesting as it gets, so I've taken out my rose-coloured glasses and I'm telling y'all what my handbag contains ('tis more like a backpack, but ah poe-tay-to po-tah-to!)

Anyway, here goes. If this gets boring, you have her to blame.

  1. A blue folder with papers (ooh, official, can't tell you about them!)
  2. Blue scarf. This is to protect my hair when I'm travelling in autos or to keep underneath my helmet. I'm paranoid the elements of nature will blow my hair away someday if I don't protect them. There isn't much that I can afford to lose at this point.
  3. A pamphlet of a rajashthani/gujarati buffet lunch near the workplace. From almost 7-8 months back. Hmm.. I've been clearing my desk at work and adding junk to the bag.
  4. Bills. Old bills, new bills. Credit card, phone. Bah.
  5. Notepads. One partially used, one recently acquired and therefore being used with fresh enthusiasm. I have a thing for notepads, they excite me. I never end up writing anything substantial, neither do I read what I've written, but I get excited nonetheless.
  6. Thick wallet. And no, not because I carry a lot of cash. There's enough junk in there to warrant an entire new post.
  7. Hee haa. Bare necessities. For the post-gym-shower to the office transition. The next few numbers - Sunscreen.
  8. Comb.
  9. Livon. (Hair again).
  10. Deodarant.
  11. Chapstick. (Lotus, chocolate flavour)
  12. A book on Digital Design. Ah, interesting times.
  13. Broken earphones for listening to my type of music in the gym.
  14. ID card. Ho-hum.
  15. Those face-wipe tissues from flights and otherwise. I have 3 of them in my bag. And I wonder if I'll ever use them.
  16. Sanitary pad.
  17. Safety pins. Cautious Rach. Prepared-for-worst Rach. Carries-junk Rach.
  18. [Sheepish] An old diet plan that I never really followed. Atleast I still carry it. Sigh.
  19. Pens and pencils. Broken and unbroken..yet.
  20. More notepads. A special mention for my CRY notepad. While I'm on that, I wonder if any of you would like to donate to CRY.
  21. Two lovely, smooth, tiny pebbles that come from some beach during my visit to bhaiyya-bhabhi in UK.  I've a thing for pebbles also. I remember picking out the nice smooth ones from the ground (bachpan mein) and considering them to be my lucky charms. For about 3 minutes. I'd forget soon enough about it. These ones are still in the bag.
  22. Oh my mouth freshener. I carry that or Orbit gums. I've found it useful, I have. :)
  23. Old passport photographs that i'd die if anyone saw. Hmm.. one thing to put away.
  24. Book. The Road Less Travelled, gifted to me by him on this day.
  25. And, not to forget, my Cobra Pepper Spray!! Thankfully, I've never had to use it till now. But I'd suggest to most people out there (girls, especially) to keep one handy for self defense. You never know.

And at 25 I end this rather elaborate list. If you're still awake, I'd like to tag Suprita on this. C'mon girl :) I'm waiting.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gah + Bah!

I feel depleted of creativity.

My writing is lacking 'freshness'.

Something's got to be done.

But what?

Then again, I'm feeling .. alright.

Life's alright. Still haven't found my wave. But life's seems alright. :)

My latest gtalk status message reflects just that - Just tell yourself, Ducky, you're really quite lucky. :-) Quoted by a Dr. Seuss. You can find more words of wisdom here.

My picks :

I'm sorry to say so
But, sadly it's true
That bang-ups and hang-ups
Can happen to you.


Will you succeed?
Yes you will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Nothing spectacular, I know. But the matter-of-fact-ness topped off with rhyme are but little pleasures of life. :-) I'm loving it...! :-D


:s/Freshness/General Rant

Haf fun. Life goes on.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vishu !

Happy new Mallu year!!

Today I'll tell you of the other of the only two Malayali festivals I know of. Here's the first one.

It is basically the first day of the our new year, and the harvest festival.

So every year we make (read Mom makes) this setting in front of the Gods called Vishukanni (meaning seen first on Vishu). It is the first thing we look at when we wake up. The custom actually is that the eldest lady of the house sets up the kanni the previous night, wakes up first and lights the lamp and sets it up completely, wakes up the rest of the family, who usually are supposed go to the puja room with closed eyes, and look at the Vishukanni first thing. It is believed to be auspicious for the year that follows.

This time I took special care to note what goes into the kanni. Mom first mixed 9 kinds of daals (pulses), kept it with rice.


Alongside were vegetables like coconut, white melon and fruits like bananas, mango, jackfruit.

Then she kept gold jewellery, silver coins, money, new clothes, kumkum, etc. Lamps are lit beside it and there is a Kanni Konnapoovu or Indian laburnum that's also around.


A vital part of the setup is a mirror, through which we should be looking at all these things.

And so, here is the final Vishukanni that I looked at first thing this morning!


Now we come to the kaineetam part. How can I not dedicate a special section to the Vishu kaineetam that is sort of the central part of this festival for all children. The elders of the family starting with the grand father or father give away Kaineetam to the younger ones. The Kaineetam consists of coins (now mostly notes) with Konna flowers, rice and the gold from the Uruli. The gold and the rice are returned to the Uruli and touch the eyes with flower. This is when you would see the kids back home become rich overnight, what with the large numbers of doting adult relatives.. :)

And what good is a festival of prosperity with out great food or our Saddhya, and fireworks too!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life and a friend called Uncertainty.

I can say with fair amount of certainty that I have never had to deal with much uncertainty. Life flowed along, and I drifted well with the waves. Somehow, everything always fell in place. It was a rare thing to be thrown off one wave and not find another to surf on soon enough.

I'm not complaining. I understand how much worse things could have been. Trying times are also known as interesting times in another world. I'm sure I have it in me. But how long will it take to find my next wave? The answer to that, my friend, is something that only my cliched buddy, Time, can tell.

Until then, I cannot miss on all the opportunities that these times bring, even if they are camouflaged beyond recognition. I'll find them, and I'll enjoy the character building. :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Life After UPS

Darn, it's hot!

The UPS that we depended on so heavily for some years now, has acted up. Its just dead. And we are soo unprepared.

There was a time when the home was stocked with candles. Then we graduated to a cute little solar powered emergency lamp. It charged on the sun's rays and provided us reasonably bright rays when the sun was on the other side of the earth, and well, there was no electricity supply. That didn't live too long. Some more emergency lamps came after that. But none to match that one.

But today there is nothing. No candle, no fancy lamp. We are plunged in darkness. I relive the old nights of summer when the electricity went off, leaving us helpless in the heat. If it was exam time, I squinted by the candlelight. Everyone had some independent-of-electricity thing-to-do. Come out in the open and chat with the neighbours. Read by the candle. Chat with family. Play antakshari. The UPS changed all that. I can probably still go chat with the neighbours, but their UPS is still working. :)

Now the only light I have is that of a laptop with a battery backup. But that won't take long to run out on me either. How tragic.

Oh well, I'll go read some e-books while the battery's by my side.



And I just realise I can't publish this till the electricity comes back. Modem has no battery backup. Sigh.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Me.

I turned 23 today. (Now, now, only a few more years of publicly talking about my age.)

I learnt a lot of things this past year. Things that I may have learnt the year before too, if I'd cared to pay attention. But the new wisdom stands starkly in front of my eyes because the Cosmos cared enough to show me my lesson twice.

Now I must be nice and learn. :)

For one, I think I've become more perceptive of people around. But then, I thought I was perceptive earlier too. Maybe I've learnt about the things I didn't quite do the right way. But does that mean I won't do them the same way again?

What do I wish for? Among other things,

  1. My writing to become better and of more consequence.
  2. To be more in charge of life (and not have life take charge of me) -  but unlike previous miserable attempts at doing so. :)

What am I thankful for ? Having a truly great family that is always around for me. Having some great friends.

I'm happy for a lot of things that happened over the last year. Sure, there're some things I'd do differently now that I think about it, but I'm glad life unfolded the way it did.

Here's to another year of ..

I wish I knew what. All I know is that things are changing, and life will be very different.

So well, here's to .. interesting times, as someone refers to it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How to Have an Argument

Step 1

Be bitter. Nothing says "argument" as well as bitterness. Feel it in your heart.

Step 2

Clam up. Statistics show that this is the best way of making the smallest differences of opinion turn into wildest, stormiest of arguments.

Step 3

Bring to the fore thy bitterness. There will be times when Argumentees will not even see that you are bitter. To let them know, you have to play around with a fine thing called Subtlety. Pass by them, show that you are pretending that you haven't noticed them. Do not acknowledge them unless they do first. If they do, smile, but make it look difficult, what with all the bitterness.

Step 4

Ride on your ego. There will come a time when the clamming up will get to you. You'll want to let Argumentee want to know why you are bitter. Give Argumentee a piece of your mind, you might say. But no. Wait till they ask you why. An infinitely long cold war is better than setting aside your ego and talking about your differences.

Step 5

Never talk in low decibels about what's bothering you. Shout, if you must. Do not even bother with calm explanations. Wait for your feelings to get the best of you, and then explode! 

Please note, there is no room for Mature, open-ended discussions, in today's world. Rather impractical, I would think. Where does it end? Next you'll say you needn't have been bitter either! Things like stepping into the other person's footwear.. Simply Preposterous. It's like there wasn't enough monotony in life already.

Twenty years later, wouldn't you rather say you lived your life interestingly ? What use is peace ? :)


Disclaimer : Above steps, although noted from the real world, must be followed at own risk. Degrees of success in argument vary from individual to individual. Escape from monotony guaranteed.

Friday, April 04, 2008

This too, shall pass.

How much meaning the above line holds today. To remind us that the one constant in the universe is change.

A little prodding around on the internet revealed to me many stories that are thought to be the origin of this phrase. The most popular of them seems to be one about King Solomon.

One day, when he was low, he asked his ministers to go look for a ring that he had seen in a dream. It made one feel happy when one was heart-broken, and sad when one was happy, he said. His ministers set out in search of such a ring and eventually one of them met an old jeweler who carved into a simple gold band the inscription, "this too shall pass."

Another version of the story says he sent one of his ministers, Benaiah, to look for such a ring, to humble him. After months of search, Benaiah, decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah. He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.

This too shall pass.

I'll leave you with a poem and some songs here and here.