Saturday, December 27, 2008

This is not me

While I read other bloggers today, it hit me hard on my face. I am again being cautious, careful...this is a charade...always worrying about what people think...letting on only this much and not more...there’s more to me than this…much more.
I choose to expose only the beautiful side.
I feel a fake!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Perhaps the last post in December!
Rewind to the year gone by...
I should have, perhaps, chronicled the events of the year more closely!
January to July was quite uneventful what with being stuck in a job which wasn't exciting enough to keep me interested. I was becoming quite complacent.
April, brought in a not- so great appraisal, obviously. I knew this was coming.
May had the excitement of my son at home..very busy times from then on.
July saw me getting into a new Project. This was exciting what with my getting into a sexy cabin room all to myself...can't describe the feeling of power it gives you!
With this new role came responsibility.
I enjoy the new role now but am sure if this is all that it can offer me, I would get quite bored of it's lot of work with little authority...hungering for more..
On personal front... got into RKL mates group, found a space to let out my feelings...was quite kicked about it initially but soon found it a bit hollow. Yet, I continue to share and sometimes do get good response and support too.
Otherwise, life this year in 2008 has been pretty much the same as it is since 2002...a straight line.
I do have this belief in numbers and think that the number '8' is ominous. Waiting eagerly for the number '9' in 2009 to bring me goodies and a change for the better.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Beautiful lady

I folded the newspaper and put it away to get down at the last station. As I happened to see about me, I saw a family of three women also getting up to get down at the station. They picked up their luggage-- each person holding a bag. The last to get up and try to pick up a bag too was a petite lady, perhaps just about 7-8 kgs in weight,all of 2 feet and around 2 years of age.She tried as best as she thought that the task couldn't be done...when she failed to lift the bag by its long strap, she changed the strategy..she tried putting the two handles together and renewed her efforts to pick up the bag.
This heart warming scene stole everyone's heart in the compartment. I couldn't resist but pick her up, cuddle her,hold her tight and plant a kiss on her cheek...
My day was made!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Office cricket match :)

It is a Saturday but my company made it a working day to compensate for the extra day of holiday on the 26th of December.
The last week was a hectic one with a client visit..getting up early and rushing to the office!
The entire week I found myself bereft of sleep. I promised myself a good sleep on Saturday but :( what with it being declared a working day, I had no choice!
Heck! I got up earlier than usual as my office team decided to play a match against our client team ...they called it a friendly match:)

The match was set to be played at the Habsiguda ground.
I was delighted at this news, as, for the first time after I joined the current team, I didn't have far to travel.Less than 10 mins of travel took me to the ground.
Saw the men getting all so serious over the silly ball and bat game.
The match was set to start at 9:30...but it started at 10 15 am.
The match was a 20-over match and this was played in all seriousness.
Where you have the professional cricketers taking breaks after every hour or two, our pros had their breaks every 20 minutes..come back to the 'pavilion' sweating and thirsting for the soft drinks/ water..stuff themselves with food and run back to the ground.
We, the audience, were equally stuffing ourselves with food and more food from the time that we set foot on the cricket ground. It was a round of idlis, followed by hot samosas, then cream biscuits, salted ones, soft drinks, fruit juices...!
By the time the audience and the players could catch glimpses of the game, the match was over!
We hung our heads, what with a 8-run defeat.One of the junior team members sat quite heart-broken. I was quite amused to see him take the game so much to heart.
We five women team members hadn't much to do except appear joyous or dejected at appropriate times. The opposite team members were courteous enough to acknowledge our presence though. :)
By around 1 pm, we were all heaving from all the heavy stuff lying dormant in our tummies, when we were told that it was now the turn of binging on our famous Vegetable Biryani! Oh no! Not food AGAIN!
But in keeping with the team spirit , I had to keep up with the pretense of eating.
Done, I returned home and hit the sack to doze straight for 3 hours!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Disbelief !

How transient has life become! The atrocious killings in Bombay...
Why do people kill? When I get scared even to look at blood…how can they stand that much violence, shooting, sight of blood, fear…how can they do it...
Even causing a word of hurt haunts me for days together and then causing so much physical destruction…killing so many people…why?
When I see some programs on TV or watch some films, I cry when I see the beautiful feelings of love and sharing. When love can give so much joy, why resort to hatred? What does one get from it?
What must be going on in the minds of those people who were perhaps prepared to die knowing that there's no redemption from that act...they must have known full well that they couldn’t come out alive. How strong must be their convictions! How else do they get the nerve to do what they did?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Void

Did you ever get this feeling that you are there on the edge of this precipice....standing there and completely at a loss of where to go....
When a child, there’s so much to touch, to ask questions, to know, to explore everything waiting to be discovered...
Its then that we are told that that’s good or bad or dangerous. Slowly the curiosity is tempered, tamed ...the wild urges chastened and then I become one with you all and remain mute, immune and impotent to the beauty of the world around left with a feeling of ‘been there, seen that, what else?'
Where do I go from here? Life seems to have nothing to offer any more.

A Woman's Identity

Yesterday, the front door neighbor was at the door with a policeman.
Seeing the police from a distance itself is distasteful, and then having one at the front door even more.
The neighbor asked me to sign in for police verification for her 19 year old son for his passport renewal. I hesitated. The repercussion of vouching for this long-haired youngster…was I doing the right thing?
Setting out with all these negative feelings, I started signing the form.
The form asked for signature, name and address.
I signed and wrote my name. At this, the police says, “Mention W/O” (wife of).
I seethed internally and told him that I am this (my name) and refused to be known as W/O. I have my entity.
The only place where the woman is allowed her own identification is on her child's CBSE certificate...everywhere else it’s only the father/husband who is mentioned...
The Indian Govt. must change this format and let a woman be known for what she is and not by her husband/father's identity only.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The feeling of ummmmmm

How often does one get the feeling of ummmmm!?
This is the feeling I was left with by the end of the day today...
I left home at 12:30 pm after a short chat with son.
I went to the bank to pressurize the staff into getting me a locker.
Hope that gets done.
Bought vegetables at the following rates:
  • 1 Brinjal: Rs. 24/-
  • 100 gms Green chillies: Rs 5 (100 gms green chillies means around 12 of the bigger ones)
  • 2 radishes @ Rs 5 each
  • 1 small cauliflower @ Rs 10
Spent Rs 50 just to get one day's worth vegetables!
Came home and on an impulse went to see a out of the movie at 6 pm...went straight to 'Estelle' where I bought a Rs 4550 worth jewelery.
Already filled with glee, I went across to another jewelery shop, this time to order a new set...
As though I hadn't spent enough time and money, I made it to a good restaurant & had a leisurely dinner. Having skipped lunch I ate voraciously.
The self-pampering didn't end there. The next destination was the 'Paan Mahal' where I ordered for a Meetha Paan. This was served in a little transparent plastic box. The green triangle with its silver covering on it lying on a bed of rose petals...and when you take that into your mouth to savor those soft fragrant melting moments...that reinforced the ummmmmmmmmmmm feeling...

The three greatest maladies afflicting India

I was traveling back from work in the local train. And as I was minus my MP3, I was forced to connect with the world around me. Rarely would I bother to indulge in conversation with the minority community...but I did.
What I noticed...
The solidarity with another member of the same community & the quick bonding...
There was another lady who had got separated from her family and didn't even know which station she was supposed to get down at. This lady was anxious and found immediate solidarity with the family sitting beside me who not only sought to assuage her worry but also adjusted to give her place to sit.
I started conversing with the lady sitting beside me...I pointed out to the two children in front of her and asked her whether those two were her kids. She confirmed and also said that there are three other older children at home...'three mard bache'...she proclaims...5 children between the ages of 21 and 12!
I pointed to the girl asking her what she was studying. The reply was that she was married. When asked for age, the reply was she was 16!
I asked the daughter now, what had she studied. It seems she had not even done her tenth!
When asked why doesn't she continue her studies...there was no reply.
Here…in this small cross-section of India I found the three greatest maladies persisting in modern India:
1. Early Marriage of girls
2. No education
3. Enormous Population.

If this is how it goes does India progress?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Learning happenes anywhere

One of the days last week, I had to go to the office a little early in the morning. It was before 8 in the morning and as I drove, I took a U-Turn under the flyover. Just at the bend, I saw a road sweeper, pause his work, the wheel- barrow resting beside him, the long-handled broom leaning against it. He was sitting sprawled on the road reading the regional newspaper spread on the road.
A simple scene but it left me feeling deeply touched to see learning happening amidst the dust and dirt on the road. Even if it is a drop, it still makes the ocean richer by that drop…

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra has a special place in my heart. SKDAV College, where I did my Intermediate has (d?) Gayatri mantra as it's Assembly prayer.
When I used to chant it at home, my mom used to wonder how the girls are allowed to chant the mantra which is only supposed to be chanted by the boys post the thread ceremony...
Nevertheless, we chanted the mantra for the two years that we were there.
And I continued chanting for a long time in the way the Oriya Head girl used to chant in our college.
Years later, when I actually bought a cassette of Gayatri mantra, I realized that all the 'b' s were actually 'v's...
Never mind, I thought, God understands Oriya too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

No U-Turn at Mayfair

I went to Mayfair opposite Anand Theater on SP road. After having finished my work there, I drove out of Mayfair. I needed to take a u-turn and go to Secunderabad station, park my vehicle there and catch the 2:00 pm MMTS local to office. When I tried to take the immediate u-turn, I was shooed away by the police who asked me to take the next turn. I kept driving knowing that I could now take a right and then a u-turn at the Circle. But when I sought to turn, I found myself against a barricade put up. I was stunned at this unexpected barrier and kept to the right of the road hoping to find some breech of road where I could take a u-turn. I went on and suddenly found myself nearing a flyover. What do I do now? Getting on to the flyover means at least another 1-1 1/2 kms. Desperate, I sought to do the unthinkable…take a u-turn on the flyover and go back...never have I done this before. Even when I was contemplating this daring step, I saw a rash motorcyclist getting too close to a car and getting knocked off on the road...going tumbling down...his helmet rolling away…probably he hadn’t fixed it properly. Seeing that, I was scared shitless and drove straight on… and reached Satyam City Center! I was aghast. I had reached from Mayfair to Begumpet in my endeavor to take a u-turn. Having no other option and knowing that I would miss my train if I now try to go back to Secunderbad, I drove on…asked the police about how to reach the Begumpet station & parked my vehicle there to board the train. I found that the parking rates at Begumpet were the highest amongst all the stations.
Having no other option, I waited there for an hour as the train was late by 25 minutes…wilting away with tiredness…cursing the Hyderabad roads. If the roads were clear, I could have easily gone back to Secunderabad station but as I was not sure of reaching on time through Hyderabad traffic, I chose to remain at Begumpet.
This is to caution everyone who seeks a u-turn at Mayfair.
In the evening I got down at Begumpet station dreading the traffic on my way back home. Surprisingly, I reached home at the same time from Begumpet as I would if I was going by train to Sitaphalmandi!
Later I realized that I had negotiated a long distance from Lingamaplli to Begumpet in 30 minutes flat..after which the train would normally get stuck and this little distance from Begumpwt to Secunderabad takes half hour. I reached home by 10:20 pm as though I had come by train. Drove from Begumpet to Secunderabad-Taranaka road in 10 mins flat…even with my slow driving…and got stuck on Secunderabad-Taranaka road. I reached home, slept at 1:30am and feel so sleepy in the office today.
For the first time, I have work but am unable to do ...7:30 pm now. I want to go home…yawn!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Married bliss

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I do not know whether through this write- up I take away that magic, but I can’t stop myself from expressing the feelings that this picture evokes.

The picture itself is so simple but unleashes a plethora of thoughts. Two people sitting/lying down beside each other with their hands touching. Particularly noticeable are the wedding rings.

I feel this is the ultimate bliss in one’s life...just lying down besides one another…saying through this simple gesture that ‘I am with you’. This kind of companionship within the sanctity of marriage …what else can one wish for?

People may say that one becomes stronger by taking on the world alone... this may be true but the emotional strength one stands to gain by this assurance that there is someone with you is unsurpassed.

As I write this, I can’t help but feel that perhaps I destroy some magic created by the picture and my words are inadequate to match up to the strong feelings that the picture evokes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My summer vacation

A long time since I took the time to write here.
Lots of things happening in my life right now…
I have changed my profile in my professional life. From being a faculty for 16 long years, I have entered the technical world in the form of a Tech Writer. I wouldn’t call this profile exactly fascinating but this has given me a definite advantage in understanding the IT world better.
This role has brought certain uncertainties with it…like gaps between projects…seems entirely new to be without work… some rest after 6 long years of working continuously. It’s a whole new world and I look forward to experimenting with newer roles and responsibilities. I am thankful for this chance of trying a profile that’s so divergent from my earlier one.
Let’s see what the new project brings in terms of role and responsibilities! The new project is likely to be available from the 1st of June.
I worked for 10 months in a Life-Sciences project and am now released from the project.
Meanwhile, let me enjoy this vacation…getting paid without working is enjoyable for sure!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rudeness- the weak man's imitation of strength

I spoke to a male colleague in the office, aged around 37-38. I was trying to make some polite conversation. This guy replies very sarcastically. I tried speaking about a more neutral topic like, “How was the travel from the new airport?” Even this innocuous question elicited a sarcastic reply. The tone in his conversation was very condescending throughout.
I wondered what made him talk like that. Has power come too soon to him? Had he come from a very insecure/ impoverished background? Is that why he wasn’t able to handle power?
This illness pervades the entire corporate world. Rightly said, “It’s not adversity that’s the true test of a person. Give him power and see.” Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! I have interacted with very senior people in my organization and seen them being so down-to- earth, so kind and hard working. It is this quality that has endeared them to others and therefore they are where they are today. This sadly doesn’t percolate down and the ones in the middle try to implement an authoritarian leadership. These people are probably proud of the little war of words…these small victories but forgetting that they are actually losing out on the bigger battle of life. I would personally consider myself victorious in life when people swarm to my funeral. How does anything else matter?
I had a small spat with the person who is the parking-in-charge at the railway station from where I board the train. He was being careless about his duties and I chided him for not doing it well. But my words haunted me throughout the day and I made my truce on my return home. He has now become very friendly with me, takes extra care of my vehicle and charges me only the minimum parking charges however long I choose to keep my vehicle.
What admonishment and punishment cannot accomplish, empathy, a little smile and kindness can surely do it. And for all those in power, if we could combine that power with kindness, what a lethal weapon we have!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Caught the Train!

I guess I should name these posts as ‘MMTS adventures’ rather than the more staid ‘MMTS journeys’. Each day appears an adventure.
This was on Tuesday. I was busy trying to complete some work at office and when I finally looked at the time I realized that it was already 8:05 pm. Time to rush to catch the 8:25 pm train. I rushed out of the office and got into the elevator. That day, the elevator stopped at all the floors. By the time I reached the ground floor it was 8:10 pm. Will I be able to catch the train was what I started worrying about.
When I walked out of the office gate to cross the road, I saw that there a huge procession of trucks carrying the Congress party enthusiasts shouting slogans. The road was jammed and it was only after the ten or so odd trucks had passed that I could find some space to run across the road to reach the other side. Whew! Now to hail an auto. I could not find any autos willing to come to the Hi-Tech center. After waiting a long time, I got into a bus. This bus stopped after moving some time as the conductor wanted to cross-check the tickets! I was getting exasperated at the delay and started worrying. Finally the bus moved only to stop a good 250 m away from the signal where I was supposed to get down. The jam was extended till here.
I got down and ran through this jam to reach the auto stand to take an auto to the railway station. We were near the station when I saw that it was already 8:25 pm. I knew that I had lost that train but was praying to God to allow me to get into the train. Missing this train would mean that I wouldn’t get another one at least for the next one hour. I got down from the auto, thrust a Rs.5 coin into the driver’s hand and was relieved to find people waiting on the platform. This means that the train hadn’t come. Thank God! I now walked as fast as my short legs could carry me…walked across the bridge praying that the train doesn’t come till I had crossed the bridge. I crossed the bridge and started walking towards the place that the ladies’ compartment stops and just in time... as I saw the train chugging in! It was 8:35pm. The train was 10 minutes late.
I was triumphant for that day. I didn’t miss the train!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We are reflected in others

I am currently reading a book "The Zahir" by Paulo Coelho. The following is an excerpt from the book. I felt somehow stirred when I read this. The following conversation is between the author and the lady in his life. A very simple but deeply thought-provoking dialog.

"Let's suppose that two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire. Afterwards when they emerge and go over to a stream, the face of one of them is all smeared with black while the other man's face is completely clean. Which of the two will wash his face?"
"That's a silly question. The one with the dirty face, of course."
"No, the on with the dirty face will look at the other man and assume that he looks like him. And vice versa. The man with the clean face will see his colleague covered in grime and say to himself, "I must be dirty too. I`d better have a wash."
"What are you trying to say?"
"I am saying that I was looking for myself in the women I loved. I looked at their lovely clean faces and saw myself reflected in them. They, on the other hand, looked at me and saw the dirt on my face and however intelligent or self-confident they were, they ended up seeing themselves reflected in me and thinking that they were worse than they were. Please don't let this happen to you."

Monday, April 14, 2008

A prize- albeit a third one

I have been working in my current organization for the last 3 years but heavy schedules kept me from doing anything beyond my work... (training schedules day in and day out). After all this time, I got time to participate in an Essay Writing competition organized in my organization. Following is the essay for which I got a third prize. I shared this article with my friends in my yahoo group and everyone has said that they liked the article a lot! The constraint here was a 200- word limit for the writing. This was tough as trying to express clearly what you have to say in 200 words is not easy! I also got to see the other two prize winning articles but found mine superior to both of them. My friends confirmed it too. Never ever got a third prize for my writing.
What was heartening, though, were the congratulatory messages which started pouring in immediately after this message was put in the common mailer…never knew that people from my previous department valued me so much. There was only a piddling of messages from my current department…mostly enforced…enforced because I had to point out the common mailer to them to see the announcement. One very callous comment was, “Good to see you learn writing after you joined our unit.” I was stunned to listen to this. This is, in fact, my 47th/ 48th prize in my life!

Leaving this aside, I was happy that my current reporting manager acknowledged it first and sent a message. Well, here’s the article:


Well, this topic set me thinking...who motivates me…or should I say what motivates me?
The ability to find joy and beauty in everything is perhaps the biggest motivator.
A baby’s smile motivates me. The innocence in that smile drives me to be good to everyone I see.
I look at young children playing together, I feel motivated to let go of my ego and harbor no antagonism towards my colleagues.
When I look at the older people I feel that, no matter how old they get, they never lose their beauty - they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. This teaches me the value of kindness.
When my little son gives me a hug on my birthday, I become a more lovable person to the world.
I learn the value of humility when I see the rose plant in my garden open up its rose bud. Its beauty makes me marvel at God’s work of art.
During a downpour, when I see a mother trying to cover and protect her baby first this makes me learn how to be selfless.
I see God’s handwriting in everything beautiful. At every moment of life, I feel inspired by some person, incident or thing that instills in me a better perspective of life and living and beckons me to give back the same to life.

My (mis)adventure

Well, this happened on Thursday when I was set to return from work by the last MMTS local train. The train was supposed to come at 9:25 pm at the Hi-Tech City station. I waited at the station and the train was there at sharp 9:25! I got into the train, and along with me, a bunch of villagers who scrambled into the train with their luggage and asked hurriedly whether the train goes to Faluknama. I, in all my wisdom of traveling for the last 6 months, waved them down saying not to worry as this does go to Faluknama. But there was a gentleman who said that this doesn’t go to Faluknama but to Hyderabad. How would I ever think that the Hyderabad-bound train was half an hour late that day! I panicked when I heard this, and asked a few more people around me. They too confirmed that it doesn’t go to Faluknama but to Hyderabad. I told the same to these villagers. They too panicked and asked my help. I then advised them to get down at Begumpet…the junction from where they could now take a train to Faluknama.

I got down at Begumpet to catch a train to Sitaphlmandi, my destination.
Even after getting down at Begumpet , I wasn’t sure; I asked a group of three people standing on the platform whether the train to Faluknama comes on this platform. I didn’t want to miss the train. I told them that I had boarded the wrong train. They started giggling. I asked them why they were laughing and was told that they had done the same too and had, in fact, gone all the way to Hyderabad before they realized their mistake and took another train back to Begumpet.

The right train came within 5 minutes. I checked and double checked to see that it was indeed bound for Falkanuma and boarded the train. The group of villagers too followed me like Mary's little lamb.

I finally reached home at 9:40 pm! All’s well that ends well!

Thursday, April 3, 2008



My 33 year old friend is getting married and I need to attend this wedding. And now for the story before ‘happily ever-after.’ Well, this guy had fallen head over heels with a girl when he was in his twenties, hopelessly in love till she got married to someone else. Now he is friends with his ex’s husband !

Next one, this time more serious was three years ago. This time he fell with a thud as his GF refused to budge from the UK where she had gone to make a career. The higher you rise, the greater the fall!

Well, my friend wandered with a broken heart for more than a year …

And now he is getting married to a girl, 31, on the 18th of April.

And now for the ‘before’ part of the girl. She too had fallen with a thud out of a prolonged affair.

After these experiences, my friend and his bride have settled for an arranged marriage!

What’s really heart warming is to see these two getting on like fire… always on calls, chats and what not… well, love lives on hope too.


A colleague of mine, a girl, 29, is getting married on the 29th of April. The guy, also 29, said that he loves her but doesn’t want to marry! Turned out to be commitment-phobic! Ladki ne bahut saha then she said joote padenge..phir bhi usne nahi mani …then she said theek hain phir…get out of my life…then the guy comes running back and agrees to marry.

Ab parents ki baari hain…she is from UP and the guy is a Maharastrian. Pyar hua ikrara hua but the different states were the barrier. The parents had to be convinced now…after all this, she is getting married and flying to the US.

Pyaar me lakh thokre… phir bhi pyaar Zindabaad!


Well, this time it’s a 27 years old guy, an ex-trainee of mine…I was his faculty for 3 months and since then he follows me like Mary’s little lamb.

These people are from the lower middle class family …very conservative. This guy’s father is a Pujari in the temple and wants his future daughter- in- law to be from a Hindu Brahmin family. Apart from this, the ‘kundlis’ should match. This guy works in a call center now…very innocent seedha-saadha guy…doesn’t eye girls…says whatever my parents select is ok by me…the parents reject girl after girl…

2 years back, this guy comes to me and says shyly, “ Ma’m, parents have seen a girl for me. He shows the photo very enthusiastically…starts sharing his dream about her till this proposal fall through as their destinies via the kundlis didn’t match! He was less enthusiastic about the second match…then the third, fourth, fifth, sixth…till he gave up and said to his parents, “Fix whoever you want to …don’t ask me.”

Last week he came to me takes out a photo out of his pocket and says “Ma’m I am getting married to this girl”...a nice plump girl, 26, at least 60kgs in weight 5’2” height.

Well, who said marriages aren’t made in heaven?

So I am committed to attending these three weddings and behind those brides’ and grooms’ smiles is this BEFORE “HAPPILY EVER-AFTER’

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fake notes

As I was traveling to work, I was stunned to find a lady of about 35 years sitting at the road-side burning a bundle of new 100 ruppee notes!
I stopped my bike, staring at her and wondering if I was watching a mad woman!
I asked her why was she doing that. Her reply stunned me further. She says that it was a bundle of fake notes! I asked where she had found that. She said that she had found the bundle in the dust bin while foraging. I don't know whether this was the truth but this fluke peep into the crime world left me quite a bit shaken!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why we women love men

  • They give great hugs, (and always melt our hearts when a sweet "I love you Princess" is added)
  • What they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action.
  • They're at peace with their bodies, except for maybe some minor anxiety over height and baldness.
  • They make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys.
  • They're enthusiastic about our bodies, even when we're not.
  • They have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don't want them to.
  • They fall in love so hard, once they finally fall.
  • Tho they often try to hide it, they're very tender-hearted and caring
  • Chest hair, forearm hair and the feel of a newly shaved cheek.
  • That spot right between a guy's neck and shoulder that's just so perfect for snuggling. :)
  • Their near-endless appetite for discussing completely uninteresting things like the ins and outs of work and money - ours as well as theirs.
  • Their face is a treasure to behold when they give us a present they picked out.
  • Their unapologetic lust for a nice hunk of beef or chocolate cake.
  • Their ability to solve problems simply by throwing a ball around.
  • They give us a peek at the little boy inside when they get sick or happy or hurt
  • How tender they get when they cry, and how seldom they do it.
  • They don't mind accompanying a woman to a party even though she looks like a movie star and they look like the chauffeur.
  • They don't care whether colors match, but are willing to be concerned if we want them to be
  • Their genuine ardor for tinkering with toilets, changing oil and assembling gas grills- jobs any intelligent woman can do but would be nuts to volunteer for.
  • How much they like us just the way we are.
  • That they are bigger which makes them perfect for spooning.
  • The way they get protective when someone hurts their loved ones.
  • They are lovers who only rest when we have had (or pretend to have had) pleasure
  • When, in the middle of a sentence, they decide to tell you how much they care about you. Gets me every time!
  • Because despite everything they try to demonstrate, they can’t live without a woman

Monday, March 24, 2008

A prisoner at home

It started on Friday. Suddenly amidst the heat of the blazing sun, started a downpour…lasting and unexpected.

The first showers of the year. It was exciting but the timing was wrong as I was just getting ready to go to a movie to kill boredom

This continued on Saturday. This time around I enjoyed the showers…it wasn’t just a shower but sheets of rain…nature unfurl its most furious...I stood in my balcony; arms stretched welcoming the rain inhaling the smell of the waters from the sky.

But by Sunday it all got a bit too much I guess. I want to go out and get some provisions for the home…the rain doesn’t stop. When it relents, I get dressed but by the time I get dressed, it starts all over again.

I need a hot cup of tea in this cold environment and there’s no tea powder at home.

It’s Hyderabad but it behaves as any other village during rains. During rains there is no power, the TV connection is disrupted and the internet is down.

It’s Monday and finally the skies have cleared. The three days of holidays just flew…I could do no shopping what with the incessant rain. The TV and the internet are back. Life returns.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Just another dowry death

“A father’s tireless fight for justice neared fruition on Saturday with authorities agreeing to seek a CBI probe into his daughter’s suspicious death two years ago… Mr Kuruvilla, who firmly believed that his daughter was killed, continued his fight for justice. He also started a blog to present his case. The decision to hand over the case to the CBI brought him some relief” ran the news.

Relieved about what, Mr.Kuruivilla? Will this bring your daughter back?

I may sound heartless when I say this but this is probably a well-deserved punishment for not empowering the girl child enough to enable her to earn her livelihood and choose a partner.

When will the parents realize that marriage is not the be all and end all of a girl’s existence...or for that matter any person’s existence.

Why should the girl be considered such a burden that one needs to get rid of her at any cost? In this case, five lakh rupees were paid as dowry apart from 50 sovereigns of gold.

When I hear fathers paying fat dowry to buy the boys, I feel that if the same amount was given to the girl to set up her own business, and if she was clever enough, she would in no time be able to use that money to run a flourishing business of her own…or go abroad…or study…find her feet…find herself…or whatever it takes to feel confident of herself… and once this is done, will there be a dearth of men who wan to marry her?

These dowry deaths will continue in India as long as the parents consider their daughters a burden…the girl is ‘paraya dhan’. I have absolutely no sympathy for such fathers who consider their daughters as someone to be taken care of till the great son in law arrives at the scene to take her off his hands. He is so relieved to get rid of the daughter that not only does he host the wedding, submit to every demand made by the groom and his parents but also remain subservient, and heed to their every demand.

If he has to fight for justice, let him now fight on behalf of all those underpowered, voiceless, unfortunate girls who are ready to be sacrificed on the anvil of marriage! Only then will I be able to call it a fight for justice.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My carpenter-Mattaiah

We shifted recently, on 1st October 2007, to our new apartment.

There was lot of wood work that went into the construction of the house. Unfortunately, we had to shift before the woodwork got completed.

There was lot of noise, dust and chaos for 2 full months till the guys hung around while completing the work.

The chatter-box that I am I didn’t spare the carpenters either.

I asked the head of the carpenters, a person called Mattaiah about his family. He was quiet for sometime but slowly opened up.

With tears in his eyes, he spoke of how he had lost his only son, a 14-year old, to drowning in the river.

He said that life had become a zero for him since…he didn’t know what he was working for and why he wanted to make money.It took 3 years for him to come out of the trauma.

One day, he spoke to his neighbor whose wife had just delivered her 4th baby daughter. They didn’t want another daughter. Something stirred him to just reach out and take the baby home. The baby is now 3 years old and has become the joy of his home. He says she has brought meaning back to his life.

I salute to his nobility in doing great things in a simple way.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Marriages in India

When a girl is 20, its time for marriage in India!
Is there a ‘Time’ for marriage? How can it be?! That time may come anytime… when you are 18, 30,50 or 80! We don’t know when the cupid strikes! In India it’s the parents who strike first … lest the cupid strikes!
The best part of the whole affair is that the girl is never or rarely informed.
This how we begin our groom-hunt:
First we see if we speak the same language, then whether we belong to the same caste, the same sub-caste. These are considered of utmost importance in deciding the compatibility between the pair. Once these things are out of the way, then it’s the turn of the astrological charts! The old, bespectacled astrologer has the power to peep into the hearts of the girl and the guy and decide whether these two will be a compatible pair for the rest of the lives!
If there is a match as far as all the above factors are concerned, rest assured! These two will never have any trouble in their marriage and will surely live happily ever after!
After all these things match, let’s now inform the girl that hey…you are getting married to this guy, ok!
God forbid, she dares say a no …how can she say a no …she is so lucky to be selected by the boy (or rather his parents)!
Let’s pay a fat dowry as we are SO grateful that we have found some one to take away this burden that hangs like the Damocles sword on our head!
When this is the case, I wonder why the girl’s parents cry at the ‘bidaayi’ (sending of the girl from one's house).
This might sound ridiculous in the modern context to many people but this is how it happens even now with most of the girls in India.
This blog is triggered after witnessing today a well- placed professional couple trying to get a match for their 22 year old daughter in her final year of Medicine (of course without informing her).
Referring to the two consecutive blogs, I wonder do we still have reasons to celebrate Women’s Day?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Disparity at both ends

I read in the newspaper today that women and men laborers will start getting equal pay!
It was Rs 30 for a woman and Rs. 50 for a man all these years.
It was now proudly proclaimed that it's going to be an equal Rs. 80 for both!
The claim for the difference seems to be the difference in the physical strength!
Sigh! As though the woman laborer doesn’t work equally hard throughout the day! The woman laborer carries the bricks on her head all day long and the man picks up the bricks, aligns them and applies cement .Whose work is harder?
Well, if this is the situation at this end, the same is with the elite.
If Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan get paid 7 crore for a film, the top actresses in the film industry get paid 3 crore!
The fire brand Kareena Kapoor accepts this without a protest or whimper.
The situation of the middle class or rather the corporate is much better.
The IT industry proudly claims a 33-35 % women work force.

Disparity here too but, at least, not in terms of pay.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A hectic week

Well, the last week just whirred by!
On Sunday last, I locked the house and went to spend sometime at my mom's place. I couldn't take the deafening silence at home anymore.
I commuted to and fro to office from there.
The presence of people around gives a comforting feeling.
The house being closer to the office, I missed out on my regular train journeys for the entire week.
I returned on Thursday and was immediately caught up in an MDP training program on "Planning for Effectiveness and Efficiency". This was on Friday and Saturday. I have got so used to getting up at 10 am that getting up at 8 am was definitely a pain! The program itself can be rated a 7 on 10.
While returning from the training program, I was thinking that its been so long since I have actually worked from 9am to 6 pm--the regular office hours.
The week was quite hectic, yet seems so empty because I return to the same empty house and the same meaningless work at office.
I know that fulfillment comes from within and one cannot seek it outside oneself. Yet...
There was an upside to this too..had food at a 4-star restaurant the last two days.
There were exquisite 7-8 starters to begin our meal with. And 11-12 varieties of desserts at the end. I enjoyed both ends of the meal more than the middle (the main course)! And also met with people from different industries...from an NGO, from edible-oil manufacturing industry, from health care, banking and an MBA student too. Very interesting mix of different professions!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Khushwant Singh-- I adore you!

Khushwant Singh: We grew with this man. Those were the days of glorious periodicals, namely, ‘The Illustrated Weekly.’ Unfortunately, many of those weeklies have fallen by the side. And along with the decline of magazines, we have lost potential compositions of many of our erudite writers.
Thankfully, Khushwant still writes. Every Sunday, I eagerly turn towards the column 'With Malice towards one and all’… the one column that I have been faithfully reading for all these decades. The acid pen hasn’t changed one bit.
Being born in 1915 makes him 93 now. When I feel lazy about typing these 200-300 words in my blog…I wonder how this person who continues to write by hand day after day all these years is a source of inspiration to us all. I admire his spunk and his tongue- in- cheek comments on the social issues in India.
Second, I like his open admiration of women. He was known to have had his fair share of 'friendships’ those days. His pen continues to sing praises of the fairer sex.
Frail of body but not of mind!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Guilty eating

Today I ordered a Pizza for the evening snack. Before ordering, I checked when the last that I had ordered was. I found that it was 20 days ago. Was a 3-week gap ok before I ordered the next one, I wondered?
The hygienically prepared Pizza ordered from world-class Domino's today frightens me more than the golgappas/pani puris/puchkas prepared by the dirty hands of the golgappawalas in my childhood. I enjoyed every golgappa that went into the mouth …and to top it...20 were available for Re1! Never thought of how it would affect the health...just enjoyed the taste with an abundant pleasure.
When I eat the Pizza now…its like…am I eating it too frequently? How many calories am I consuming? Being careful not to order the extra cheese. A feeling of guilt with every mouthful and a regret at having ordered and eaten...a resolve of not eating at least for the next 2 months!
These days we people even don’t eat white bread…when we order a sandwich, we select the brown bread. The more we become health-conscious, the more we opt for health foods, the more we seem to be having health problems.
Did our elders ever have these worries? Food was eaten with a gay abundance earlier with no remorse. Diseases seem to be affecting the young these days. Unheard were BPs and sugar for a 20 year old earlier!

20 minutes of Magic

I will be writing frequently about my experiences while traveling by the train to work. Each day brings with it amazing experiences.
Yesterday we were in the train going to work as usual. In Secunderabad station, a group of around 25 school girls got into the train. After sometime, they probably got restless about the time taken traveling and decided to sing.
They took off with recent hits of Tollywood...soon the infectious zeal caught on and the tempo after song...the latest ones kept rolling off...We couldn't help but get caught in that fervor.
Many a traveler usually plug in the i-pod as soon as they embark on the journey..I saw one college girl smilingly remove her i-pod to get lost in this slightly off-beat but very honest rendering of the songs.
The girls got off 20 minutes later. The i-pod was plugged back..I got lost in the newspaper again.The 20 minutes of magic was over.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Imagine the excitement of meeting your classmates & friends after 25 years! I registered myself on the yahoo groups and found, to my amazement, many of my childhood friends & classmates.
When I watched the pictures of my friends 25 years later, I got a weird feeling.
A while back, I had received a mail of the current Indian film celebrities with imaginary images of how they would look 25 years from now.
I got the same feeling looking at all these photographs. Etched in the mind were the images of my classmates and friends as they were 25 years ago. How could they look like this now? It was a like I was seeing a distorted version of my friends.
Though overjoyed at seeing them after all these years, I shudder at the vulnerability of human mortality.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dedicated to all the late-risers

Definition of DAWN: The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh.
They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are healthy and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them.
The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all others who have tried it.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle dated Wednesday 20th February

The world is beautiful

This is my first blog.
I want to share something that happened yesterday which confirms my belief that the world is beautiful.
I was looking for a transport to take me to the venue of the client visit. The auto that I came in dropped me a good 750 meters away from the office that I was to go to. This was a different building- not the usual one that I go to everyday. I was panicking as I was getting late to the meet. I have rarely done this but I thumbed down a taxi that was passing by.
The driver- a bearded one- didn't bother to stop. I wasn't surprised and kept walking. After 1-2 minutes, I saw that he was waiting for me ahead. He asked me where I had to go. I told him and also said that I wasn't familiar with the place. He asked me to get in. I got in with all the skepticism of a woman wondering if I had done the right thing by getting into a stranger's cab.
He not only gave me a lift but also dropped me to the gate of the building. I was relieved not to be late for the event.
A simple thank you was all that I gave him. He didn't ask for payment-simply dropped me and drove away. I felt that God sends his messengers to take care of his people and also to confirm our belief in his world.