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Blog 92: First Blog of 2014

I am trying to write some thing and this is what i managed to write: (I will paste it here and let me see if anyone think this makes sense).

Plus after not being on FB for like forever i am shamelessly still going to share it on FB

The inanity of life lies in either the complete, unquestioned and mindless surrender to inculcated habits or an equally ridiculous lack of any (habits at the first place).
If morning is to be considered start of the day, which itself is questionable premise not because of time zones but because of it being the central to the habituated existence, and yet as an acknowledgement to the habituated existence of the writer the start point of the day has to be morning.
And it is from the word go that the inanity starts right from the need to get down from the right side of the bed which requires one to sleep on the right side of the bed at the first place. Couples sharing the same bed continue to sleep on their respective sides and find the right side with lesser effort than the effort spent in the passionate frenzy of lovemaking having left with just enough energy to crash in sweet slumber, however in their respective right sides of the bed.
Waking up on the right side of the bed is short lived bliss. The cold floor might be welcome to the enlightened beings who place their toes in a mindful anticipation of the refreshing coldness to bring in alertness to their rested body and awakened soul. However for the lesser mortal it’s the end of the bliss and signals the absence of the footwear which might have been moved by the canine of the house , toddlers of the family , the slumbering or the absent partner or the slouchy lesser mortal himself. Half open eyes and disheveled hair do not bolster the mission to locate the footwear. The footwear itself has become an extended part of the body which refuses to function within the norms of normalcy in its absence.
The day continues to unravels as a train of one after another habituated actions being performed almost to the tune of a symphony.
Additional artists to this symphony are mostly unwelcome unless they play the same tunes.
However that’s one wish that better never be granted.
The calmness of night with slumbering souls is beautiful and assuring if it promises the cacophony of tomorrow.
The isles of a super market with the symmetry broken only with the sign boards as compared to a real bazaar, the silence of a solitary dwelling to constant buzz of kids and family, the detailed and practiced plan to the nervous energy of anticipation of complete unknown.
The contradictions exist for balance in the universe.
Create contradictions in life for a perfect balance.

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Blog 91: Thoughts!

The project I am managing is right now in a state of stagnation, we aren’t sinking but we aren’t moving. Hence I have time and mind space on hand. Aur khali demag shaitan ka ghar!
So multiple things are running through the neurons!

This one is going to make you fall down your chair if you are my B.E batch mate.
So this thought stems from the fact that my mother’s MBBS batch is meeting for the first time after I think almost after four decades since they all passed out of Gwalior medical college. This is in stark contrast to my father’s medical college batch who has been meeting almost every year since last couple of decades. My mom is visibly excited and she with my father are planning to go to Jaipur for the same. I am pretty happy for her, since it’s always been his batch meetings she has gone too. Oh the fun part is that they passed out of the same med school but were separated by 5 batches so technically they were never together on the campus at a given time. And no they didn’t have a love marriage.. boring na! I know!

Ok so going back to my thought… in our busy without business schedules there is no way people living across all possible oceans can converge in anyone place . But unlike our parents we have technological means to converge. So what if someone setups a Batch of 1996-2000 meet virtually, or just for the electronics batch…hmm.

See, I am not thinking, why don’t I start this initiative? Simple hai bhai, because 90% won’t turn up just because of that. Why? I was (I think I still am) a anti-social person (khadus in hindi)..i am not that zillion friends, friendly with everyone kind. It will be a huge step for me to just show up in that virtual meet and say hi to everyone, make polite conversation.
:).. I am in touch with many of my MBA batch mates, have met their spouses, am in touch with some of the spouses too. But that is mostly not true w.r.t my graduation school batch mates. And the simple reason is I was less uptight and khadus in my B-school , as simple as that.

So now let’s get past the confession nonsense.. but I still think a virtual reunion is a cool idea.

The second thought stems from the urge to give something back to society , really help someone. I did associate myself to CRY, a few other NGOs associated to religious places.. but the nagging feeling of government agencies syphon away the money doesn’t go. I am not fully sure of how the money is used. I know there are some NGOs who let you know the kid who will get enrolled and send his report card too. But the skeptic in me doesn’t buy it.
I keep thinking that is it possible to help kids of civil servants say police constables, traffic police , the Municipal Corp employees. The government salaries are not really high and hence these folks take bribes (or atleast say 10% reason is low salary), hence if the kids education can get funded and helped through would that make small difference and also put a real face to the idea of help. How can go about this? That is when the average indian doesn’t want to have anything to do with cops or authority unless in need of liecence, NOC or Passport . Or maybe it’s just me who thinks like that!

The third and final thought (haan bus 3, matlab totally jobless nahi hoon na!)

Is there a possible way to bring together the highly educated women who have exited from the work force to be home makers, but do miss being in the work force though need to be home. What are the options for them, and option for organizations to leverage them.
Is the answer a pool of talent who does work as group but on contract? A virtual pool. Or is a it a company of like-minded women who have complementary skills. This one needs really out of the box thinking!

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Blog 90: Ranjhaana

I have to say this in my defense that I had no clue of the movie’s plot and hence the surprise and hence the disappointment.

Yeah I know it’s been months since the release but I choose the movies I watch in the first week of release pretty carefully .. hmm.. and then I watch Chennai express? Yes, Chennai Express did make it to the list of “must be watched” in theater list because it was total nonsense and we both needed to watch a senseless movie to beat the crazy and never ending schedules and nonsense at work.
But this is not about CE (Chennai express.. duh! Think fast!) This is about what I DIDN’T watch in the first week but waited to watch till DTH started telecasting it.

Ranjhaana…couple of extra “a”s I guess!

Oh no no no.. wrong choice even if it were in comforts of my living room!

Now why did they kill Abhay deol??

I mean come on the only worth watching thing in the movie in addition to amazing simple and yet amazing stuff Ms.Kapoor wears…
Yeah yeah I am shallow… eye tonic is what I am bothered about!

But come one Abhay Deol?

Ha ha ha.. I know I sound like a teenager with a crush..  … but he is a good actor (even in Aisha).. and oh the smile :)But that’s not the only thing… the movie drags on and on.. and then everyone dies .. arrey kya tamaasha hai.
See I get the whole small town lover boy thing… but then the director doesn’t understand the small town girl thing.. dude the girl won’t suddenly forget the guy who slit his wrist and surely if she is in love with someone else she will keep distance from the boy rather than hug him and take his help … no no you cant make half movie real and other half unreal.. makes its completely unreal!

And then you kill one good thing worth watching.. yeah Abay Deol! 🙂

Now this is not a diatribe against Dhanush.. he does an awesome job as an actor…but oh please what’s the whole kill, die, die story…. And then….you know it .. And then you kill one good thing worth watching.. yeah Abay Deol! 
 you get the picture… if you have Abhay Deol keep him smiling and dressed nicely … all other’s can die if you are so hell bent on killing folks in a love story!

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Blog 89: eBooks!

I have a serious weakness. Not that it’s a vice but when it comes to purchasing books, I really go overboard. Me in a bookshop (with or without the yellow “Sale” banners) is a disaster on my wallet but good for economy :)!

The weakness is shared by my husband too. Hence the result is that in the decade of our togetherness we have accumulated books in all genres. And by books, I mean books not magazines. Barring Inside Outside. Now, I am not an architect and I am not one of those who re-do their home interiors either, but if there is one magazine in the world I just can’t get enough off its IO.

It was only in the last 3-4 years I stopped the subscription and only pick it from bookshops, time permitting. Hence I also have a huge collection of IO too.

Recently, a wave of “let’s de-clutter our house” is sweeping through me. I am like a woman possessed, I open a cupboard and I see piles of stuff, an almost “chandralekha” (not the Rajni version but the original Shobhna version) like transformation happens and I start to rant “Why we have so much stuff!”, “We have lost it”, “We must de-clutter”.

See saying “we” helps to divide the guilt :). Plus fact is “we” are responsible together. A recent bout of de-clutterisation (I know there is no such word… but.. go back to the basics.. This is MY blog!) led me to two realizations a) books, books and more books are 60% of the stuff stacked in cupboards b) My son’s toy cupboard has more broken toys, toy boxes then he might care to agree. Anything and everything you ask him for throwing immediately becomes “my favorite toy”… excuse me? You had no clue where it was hidden under the debris that you believe are toys? He immediately turns on his “puppy eyes” at you and there goes all your resolve to de-clutter.

However I think this time the whole thing got on me and resulted in 3 actions:
1. I donated some of the fiction, magazines and other books to a book collection drive in office. This included my set of IO , as i realized I am being illogical in keeping them stacked and never referring to those.
2. Rohan my son’s cupboard was overhauled with complete detachment and I am proud of myself.
3. And the most important …. I have converted to eBOOKS… you don’t give up a good habit of reading but one has to curb the paper books.

So this weekend I finally downloaded flipkart app and J.K.Rowling’s Cuckoo’s Calling became the first paid eBook that I downloaded. This also means that almost after 6 months since the tab was bought I am actually using it.
I want my son to inculcate reading habit and so far I have been holding on to books that I know I won’t read again with the intention that he will eventually read if he sees books around. However I have realized that I am being foolish, as some of the fiction that I read is not something I would want Rohan to read till he is atleast 15 if not more (case in point The Girl with the dragon tattoo tri-series, Jeffery Archer… thank god I no more read James Hadley Chase … I read two books of JHC long back and learned what bad racy trash writing is all about.. same holds true of M &B… you read a dozen and you have read them all… I am told that post 90s the M&B series almost lurks at the border of erotica… well evolution I guess .. and also one realizes that one has moved on from a certain age group ).

Though I now regret giving away Harry Potter first 4 books, but the indulgent mother that I am I am bound to get the whole set once Rohan is 8 or 10 maybe.

Back to eBooks, I am tuning my mind to read the book on the tab and really missing the paper feel. There is something extremely nice about paper books, foremost it makes you switch off electronic devices which are becoming ubiquitous at an annoying rate. God help us the day Google Glass becomes an accepted norm.

Reading eBooks is a matter of habit as there are times when eBooks definitely happen to be more convenient and available. I am not sure how long I will be able to hold off buying another paper book but I am sure to stick to eBooks when it comes to fiction which is pure fiction and not really literature.
For now it’s eBooks!

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Blog 88: Of Hippos, Food and Babies!

“How many kilometers is a hippopotamus”
“You mean what is the weight of the hippo”
“Yes”
“Then you should ask how heavy is the hippo?”
“Ok, how heavy is the hippo”
“200-300 Kgs I think”
“kgs?”
“Yes weight is in Kgs and distance is in kilometers”
“Ok. Can Super Man pick hippos?”
“What?”
“No, the hippo is so heavy na so can Super Man pick hippos”
“Why will Superman pick a hippo?”
“No but can Super Man pick hippos”
“Yes”
“Can he fly with a hippo?”
“I guess”
“Yes?”
“Yes”
“Will it throw the hippo?”
“First why will it pick a hippo and then why will it throw the hippo?”
“No but will it throw the hippo”
“No it won’t”
“He will keep it nicely?”
“Yes”
“Because he is a good hippo?”
“Who?”
“The hippo”
“Ok”
“No.. But is he a good hippo”
“Yes”
That’s the conversation with my 5 year old. This can start out of the blue with no context of hippo or superman, nor will I be enlightened as to why should superman pick a hippo. But mummy should answer the questions mostly with a yes and figure out the context else mostly it ends up in “Bad mummy!” branding!
I plead insanity by end of the day ! 🙂

“What are you doing?”
“I am collecting my rice”
“It’s already collected in a heap so that you can scoop it with the spoon and eat”
“Yes but I have to collect”
This “collecting” process goes on till 3/4th dal rice is in stomach and remaining 1/4th is smeared all over the plate.
But mummy again collects it and insists the plate to be clean (blame this obsession with clean plate on my parents.. God man we become our parents :)…”THE PLATE SHOULD BE CLEAN NO WATAGE OF FOOD”.. my father used to thunder .. that was the only thing that used to annoy him most.. studies, bad handwriting, tardiness that were not his concerns .. that was my mom’s area of expertise and her area to shout on. Poor lady couldn’t get anywhere with my handwriting.. my teachers failed too.. and I am saved by computers else I think I would have never managed anything worthwhile.

Life with a 5 year old is like India Pakistan bi-lateral talks. We bargain every action. Do x if you want y. If we don’t bargain we have a shouting match. If we don’t shout we mutter to whoever is ready to listen and if that too doesn’t work we sulk in our respective corners (read rooms) and the negotiation breaks. Uncle Sam (read Daddy) tries to intervene to be immediately reminded by one of the parties (mostly mummy) that he can keep out of it or let him join depending on how critical situation is (read the family has to leave for somewhere and the 1 glass of milk hasn’t been finished for 20 minutes!)

Life with a 5 year old is also beautifully surprising. Since we are learning body parts and various systems of body we are overtly curious.

“Mummy , babies are in mummy’s pota” (read stomach, we are multi-lingo family so the lil fellow mixes Telugu and English without any concern of purists!)
“Yes”
“Who puts them there”
“God”
“How can he put them there? The mouth and food pipe (ok! So this week it was digestive system week!) is sooooooooo small and baby cannot go thru it”
“I don’t know Rohan. I am not God”
“Ok. Who takes out the baby?”
“Doctor does”
“How?”
“Argh! I don’t know”
“But then how did I come out” (I think he means you foolish woman if I was in your stomach you should know how I came out)
“Doctor took you out”
“How”
He won’t let go!!!!
“Doctor cut Mummy’s stomach and took you out”
This gets him! (Ha ha ha.. you asked for it buddy!)
Sad Rohan: “They cut you? So much blood came”
“Yes”
“But then”
He is really sad now.
“No darling that ok, then doctor stitched mummy back”
“How?”
Why can’t he just say Ok?“I don’t know”
“Why?”
“Because I am not the doctor Rohan”
“Ok!”
Phew Finally!

…. And life is beautiful!

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Blog 87: Contradictions

I have been planning of putting these thoughts to paper since last 2 weeks.

Sharing these two events which I happened to observe. The two events are extremely mundane. However, the two events are perfect example of the contradictions in our society.

While the traffic was crawling through a bi-lane, I noticed an three wheeler (auto) parked on the road side while five women workers dressed in colorful sarees, oiled hair and flowers in their hair carrying their steel food boxes and basic construction equipment were seating themselves in the three seater. As expected three of them seated themselves on the seat available for the customers behind the driver’s seat. The other two decided to what folks do in Hyderabad, make themselves comfortable on the driver’s seat while the driver precariously sits in the center and drives tentatively with almost zero visibility in the side mirrors.

The driver gave a exasperated look, not because he thought “how come customers sit on my seat?”. Definitely he is used to that, but he looked totally exasperated with the two women deciding two sit on the small seat. The women were laughing at his embarrassment.

I don’t know if he finally told then to get down as I drove away, however what stayed with me was the laughter of those women and the look of “what the heck” on the auto driver. But I am sure if someone would have proposed these women to sit next to a stranger in close proximity, they would have taken umbrage and hurled choicest invectives.
Do we choose our morality based on situation? Almost a decade back one of my batch mates coined a term “smart morals”. Poor girl got a earful from our director. 🙂

The other event is something which has been happening in India even during the golden era of India when kinds ruled their myriad kingdoms. In small towns I am sure folks come across this scene often, but in metros guess it’s a dying business. The business of selling water bangles on a cart and then when the women come the hawker (many a times) hold their hands and very patiently and with great makes them wear the bangles.

While walking towards my house I saw this cart filled with all sort of colored bangles and the hawker holding the hand of the customer and filling her arms with the bangles.

I always find it amusing While growing up I remember some of our neighbors covering their heads with the saree (as is the custom in UP and northern belt of India) and sometimes even pull it till their eyes when strangers come visiting. However once the “chudiwala” would come they would sit in the foyers and extend their arms for the hawker to help them with the new bangles.

We as a society survive on contradictions and tend to twist them to our liking.

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