Sunday, December 30, 2007

8th year in the 21st century?

2008 is almost here. We pride ourselves in being in the 21st century. We talk of the 1980's as being the "olden times". Life is different today. We can get information about anything at the touch of a mouse, within seconds. We do not have to yell out loud on long distance calls in order to be audible. We do not have to rely on telegrams to send messages quickly. We do not have to travel by ship for three weeks to travel within one continent.

And yet, some attitudes are still as old as they can be. For specifically, I would like to talk about the superstitious world that we live in.

Last year, I recall having paused for a second when a black cat crossed my path on my way to school for a test. I drove on but nevertheless, I did think about what I should do for that one fleeting second.

My mother will not let me leave the home if I have expressed a need to drink or eat something right before I step out. She will make me drink water to negate that sentence. And without any argument, I do.

More recently, a friend of mine got married. She told us all (at least 20 of us) that she was getting married only a week prior to the wedding. Her defense was "buri nazar". I am surprised she took the risk of telling us a whole week early. If someone wanted to caste a black eye, they could have even in that short period of time, right?

And then finally, I met with several accidents, lost a lot of money, and suffered from poor health all in a span of 6 months. Someone told my mother, that a certain someone, was doing black magic on me!!

As a student of science, I question these superstitions that we have, often ingrained within us since childhood thanks to our moms, grandmoms, and great grandmoms. How true are these? And God forbid, if we defy this, and something bad happens, would that be coincidental or would we actually be facing the negative consequences of being oversmart and modern? And how will we find out?

Oh by the way, please do not clip your nails after dusk!!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Happy Day..A Happy Birthday!

People say birthdays are about cakes, presents, and parties. I say partially true! I say birthdays are also about friends and about knowing who really cares. They are also about growing older, and hopefully wiser.

Yesterday, was one of those days for me. The day that comes once a year, and makes me wait all year for it. But yesterday was not an ordinary birthday for me. It was a revealing birthday, quite an introspective one. For the first time in XX years, I did not get a birthday present wrapped in colorful paper, with a cute little bow on it. Neither did I get any flowers that would make my jaw drop with awe and my eyes cry like a beauty contest winner. And yet, I remained unperturbed and experienced no shame in answering people when they asked me what I got for my birthday, much to my surprise.

When people asked me what I was doing or what big plans I had, my answer was "walking around in the malls and shopping". I could sense the disguised disappointment in some voices while some appeared nonchalant, unsuccessfully. And yet, I experienced no embarassment. In fact, I was amused. How could this be for I have always made a huge deal out of my birthdays!?

And then I realized that when I was being materialistic in the past, there was something amiss in my life, or so I thought. I had certain expectations of how a birthday "should" be, and how people around me celebrate their birthdays. In a futile attempt to fill that void, I pledged to have "happening" birthdays and wished for expensive presents that I could display with a smug demeanor. But yesterday, I was content. I was content with what I have in life, and content with what is to follow. Expensive presents, fancy restaurants, or apple-picking and wine-tasting activities would not have added to the joy (as it would have last year, and the year before that, and as far behind as I can remember).

Yesterday, I probably realized that I had grown wiser. I had no need to boast of the red silk top that I bought from New York and Company (which I did not) or the Christmas tree that I decorated (which I did not), or the number of birthday wishes I got on orkut within a couple hours of my birthday starting. I had no need to boast about how I am capable of winning the Miss Popularity contest. I had no need to show anything off to people who dont really care.

I was secure being who I am. I knew that the people who had my phone number and actually bothered to call or text message me, truly cared. I knew that the people who did not have my phone number, and actually bothered to write me an email, truly cared. I knew that my blogger friends, who had no access to any reminders, and sent me birthday messages, truly cared. I knew that I was loved. I knew then that my birthday was an eye-opener.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Some Things Never Change

Often times we wish for things that are not. For example, we wish to be thinner, we wish that our next door neighbor was nicer, we wish that our exams were easier, we wish that our paycheck was bigger, and we wish that we were happier.

With the advent of the NEW YEAR, there are lots of people writing blogs on the things that they wish to change in 2008, a few new resolutions, a few old ones never fulfilled, and a few that are in the process of being fulfilled. Anything new brings us hope, revives us, and makes us more optimistic.

But some things never change.

  • Some people will not stop complaining about their bad luck.
  • Some people will not stop fighting for control in their relationships.
  • Some people will not stop valuing money over people.
  • Some people will not stop bitching about others, on the telephone, on orkut, through blogs, through private messages, and in person.
  • Some people will not stop being jealous.
  • Some people will not stand up for themselves or others.
  • Some people will not stop being selfish and vain.
  • Some people will not respect others or their property.
  • Some people will not be appreciative no matter what you do for them.
  • Some people will judge others based on their beauty.
  • Some people will not stop being annoying or irritable.
  • Some people will just not change.

Sometimes, our new year resolutions dont matter if they involve others. Sometimes, it is two-way traffic. Sometimes, no matter how much we wish to change, we cannot because others wont let us. Sometimes, only sometimes.

Merry Christmas. Wish you all good luck with your new year resolutions!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Mommy !

No it is not my mother's birthday today, and not in the next 6 months either. This blog has been born out of the question that people have been asking me very recently, "What plans for your birthday?"

Honestly, I usually make a big deal out of my birthday. I always have something planned out (at the expense of others) and await that morning with great eagerness, my materialistic spirit very evident in my gawking eyes, hunting for wrapped presents. This year, I have nothing planned. Maybe its my graying brain cells or the dwindling bank account. And I have no morose about it. However, my heart ached when my mom (hundreds of miles away) told me on yahoo messenger, "I will call you on your birthday."

And then I began thinking about how selfish I have been all these years. As I have counted the number of days to December 26 each year, making demands to my mom for presents, of things I wanted to eat that day, and making her pay for my parties, I never once thought about how she must have felt on that day so many years ago. The day her first child was born. It must truly have been a joyous moment, a wonderful experience, taking her first step into motherhood holding a 5 lb 6 oz baby in her arms. I have often heard people say that the happiest moment of their lives has been the time their babies were born. Surely then, December 26th must then have been the happiest day in my mother's life.

So this year, I will send my mother a present for my birthday. This year, I will celebrate her joy. This year, I will thank her for bringing me into this world.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Working Woman

We have all heard or known of so many men who have rushed to India during a 4 week (often only a week) break to "see" the lovely maidens that their over eager parents have lined up for them. They pick one and voila! A few days later, they are married and have a "dependent" tagging along with them to the USA.

Some of these women had longed to be in the USA and thought that their only route would be through marriage while some had always wanted to pursue education here but never had the means to. Some of the former women hence are content with staying at home and being a "homemaker", a fancy word replacement for the word "housewife", used more frequently in India.

Before, I continue, would like to make it clear that I have nothing against housewives. We all should be happy doing what we do and if that's what makes them happy so be it. However, I am a little confused here. I often hear from wives (not yet mothers) on H4 visas that they are awfully busy and have absolutely no time to do extra stuff..stuff as in catch up with old friends, attend events such as those held by CRY, and get an oil change on the car (if their new husband decided to buy them one). I wonder, what are they so busy with? Cooking three meals a day would probably take up three hours, I am sure there is not a whole lot of laundry, vaccuming, and bathroom cleaning to be done everyday. Groceries are probably done when the husband is at home (since that car that I am talking about is not there OR the wife is scared to drive alone in the snow). So if we as full-time students and employees study, work, and take care of the home, and write blogs, and IM, and stay in touch with friends, how are we able to do that?

Is there something I do not know about or am missing out on or am I the exception who is super smart in managing my time well? What is truly going on? I often wish that I was an H4 wife. I fantasize waking up at at 7, making tea for my husband, going back to sleep, waking up at 10, cooking lunch, watching TV, playing games on the computer, cooking "nashta", taking a nap, cooking dinner, going out, and sleeping! What a life that would be! But as I have always said, the grass is always greener on the other side. Maybe that life is not as fun and leisurely as I assume it to be. Maybe what these wives say is true??

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A whole new world!

When we were born, we curled up our toes, made cute little fists, and cried our hearts out. We were vulnerable. We felt insecure. We were no longer in the warmth of our mother's womb. We were born into a whole new world. When our mother held us, we sensed comfort again. It was familiar. Her familiar touch.

Today as adults, we are no different. When we come home from work, school, or wherever, we curl into our blankets and turn our laptops on. We feel insecure in the loneliness of our small apartments. It is not a whole new world and yet a sense of something amiss. And then, with the touch of a button, we walk into our safe world. We talk to friends online, some who we have never met, some who live across the street and yet greet us only on the messenger, and some who truly live far away. We build new connections, we try and revive old connections, and we take some connections for granted.

The internet has introduced to us a whole new virtual world. In this world, we write, we cry, we smile, we buzz, we fake expressions, we swear, and we make funny sounds. Ironical that we feel safe in the company of those we have never met, that we form illusions about these people, and we think about these virtual people even when walking in the real world.

There are more and more people walking into this whole new world each day leaving behind the real world that is out least for a few hours. What is missing in the real world that we find the virtual world more interesting? Is the unknown more attractive or does facing people threaten us?

If we can get so addicted to this new world, are we capable of being addicted to the real world and living life to the fullest? What is your opinion, my unattached online friends?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What's your number??

About ten years ago, with internet gaining quick popularity in India, people used to boast about the number of active email accounts they had and the variety of chat ids they had on ICQ and what not!

Today, its all about Orkut! Gone are the days when people would make special trips to a studio to have a professional picture taken. With the advent of digital cameras, studio like pictures are only a click away. People click pictures and say, "Yes!! This is an Orkut picture" implying that this picture is worth showing everyone. That's not enough! People specifically click pictures to put up on Orkut. This being the norm, I suppose this fact does not seem ridiculous at this point.

How about fan numbers and friend numbers?? I know that there are some people who are fond of talking about the number of fans and friends they have on Orkut, secretly compete with their rivals in gaining more of these, and even become someone's fan just so that they will return their favor and increase their numbers!! And when the person does not reciprocate, they gather the courage to ask, "When will you become my fan?"Some even have their own fan list memorized and know exactly when someone adds themselves to their list or God forbid, decides to "unfan" themselves. That amazes me! Is that a norm? Or am I outdated?

And hey, what's your number? Yes, I mean your fan number and friend number? Really? How authentic is that number? How many are truly your fans and friends and not people who are seeking to increase their number or have the strong need to be liked by you? How many of these fans and friends can you count on in your times of need? Which fan and friend of yours are you able to call in the middle of the night to ask for help?

My fan number is 45 today and friend number is 245. Maybe, when this blog is published, it may dwindle to 25 out of 200 or something. And that's ok.

PS: Am about to make a list of all my fans this minute. So if you decide to unfan yourself, I will know. Hope that's ok too! :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

My word for your word.

wuo hern ni
Do you know what those words mean?
They mean something in a particular language. Try and say them out loud. Are you afraid you might pronounce them wrong? But who's listening?
What emotion would you experience if someone came and said these to you? Confusion, bewilderment, excitement, hatred? Would you think about it for days or would you let it go? Would you ploy revenge or would you smile to yourself?
I hate you
Do you know now know what those words mean?
What would you do if someone came and said these words to you? Would you experience anger, frustration, sadness, hurt, disappointment, or amusement? How long would these words stick in your mind? What will you do about that?
Words. A mere jumble of letters. They may look funny. May be difficult to pronounce. And may not mean anything. To US. But they could change someone else's life, their mental state. Just three words can alter a person's self-esteem and peace of mind.
Words. They so easily slip out of our mouths. And yet, can be so profound to the listener.
Words. They can change someone's life.
Words. So precious. Use them wisely.

Friday, December 7, 2007

All I want for Christmas..!!

Christmas is 18 days away.

I walk into the malls and smell the unfamiliar scent of money pouring out of wallets, pockets, and purses into cash registers.

I see the same old lanky man standing out in the cold for 8 hours ringing his bell without any enthusiasm, attracting mere glances.

I hear the festive music that fails to escape my attention even while driving, in the gas station, and in grocery stores.

I see people hurrying and scurrying, some with coupons and catalogues, and some with blank tired faces.

And I wonder..I wonder if these people dread buying so many presents or whether they truly are intentionally shopping for the 5-second smile on their loved ones' faces. I wonder how many people will get what they want and how many people will pretend to have gotten what they wanted. I wonder how many letters have been mailed to Santa and how many children will be happy with Santa this Christmas.

And I wonder.....what do people really want? Ipods, Massage Chairs, Wiis, Coach Handbags, Diamond Rings....or contentment with life?

For a second, imagine that Santa does exist and will fulfil your wish this year. What would you ask for? ALL YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS??

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It does not matter...

Yesterday, my client walked in and reported he was suicidal. Told me that he would give me no guarantee that he would not act on it. I had to do my intervention. The right one. There would be no second chances or trials here. After 45 minutes, though not very convinced, I was convinced enough that he would not do anything to himself. At least not that day. He promised to return the next morning to see me.

Today, my client did not show for his appointment, did not return my calls nor my emails. Not in the morning, not in the afternoon. And I panicked. Rightly so. I was not sure if my client was dead or alive.

And at that time, some things just did not matter.

It did not matter that I have put on weight.
It did not matter that I need a haircut.
It did not matter that my back hurts chronically.
It did not matter that my bank account is dwindling.
It did not matter that I dont have a new dress to wear on my birthday.
It did not matter that it took me an hour to drive to work today.
It did not matter my friend is hen-pecked.
It did not matter that my friends ganged up on me.
It did not matter that my friend broke my trust.
It did not matter that I got a B in an easy class.
It did not matter that I live in a boring city.
It did not matter that I dont like my car.
It did not matter that gas prices are so high.
It did not matter that I am going to miss my best friend's wedding.
It did not matter that it was so cold today.
It did not matter..did not matter at all.

All that mattered was my client's life, his safety, his well-being. All that mattered was human life.

My client called late that day. Reported he was alright, that he had only been so tired that he had slept through the day. That mattered. That phone call mattered.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A disclaimer

By no means is this plagiarism.

Should have had a disclaimer a long time ago but stumbled upon one by chance today.

With due respect to Abhinav, am posting one of his blog links here. Very well said. Applicable to all my readers. For a second, just imagine I wrote it..

Thank you, and keep reading (even those who dont want to comment!)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Where does your devil work?

"An idle mind is a devil's workshop"

We have heard that so many times and have often used it to describe and calm our frenzied state of mind during times of frustration, when we have nothing to do, and when the devils crawl through and irritate our brain cells to trigger unwanted thoughts.

So does that mean that these devils avoid busy brains because they feel claustrophobic in there? I dont think so. I believe that these devils are constantly gnawing in these brains, whimpering, and gradually screaming for them to be noticed. When people are busy, they are simply pushing these negative thoughts to the back. Momentarily. And then whether they want it or not, these devils manage to show their power.

And then suddenly, the whole world seems against you. The girls whispering on the bench next to yours are talking about you. The group of students talking in their native language are talking about you. Your professor hates you and is deliberately giving you a bad grade. Your employer does not like your race and is giving you a hard time. The cab driver is out to get you. The poem that your boyfriend's ex-girlfriend wrote has a special meaning for you. Your friend did not return your text message because she does not like you. Even the snow that attacked your town today fell only because you had an important appointment to reach on time to. Because you are so important.

These devils exist in everyone's minds. For some people, they are more in number, for some more powerful, and for others, powerful and numerous but unable to deter the individual with their incessant screeching. What is their key? I don't know. For I dont fall in that category. However, I am assuming that it would mean awareness, the presence of mind, and the ability to remain unperturbed. The awareness these devils exist, the presence of mind to fight them and let them allay, and the ability to be able to ignore the fact that sometimes these devils are not evil and may in fact be telling us the truth. In short, to be calm no matter what you think others are saying.

Thanks, and keep your chin up. You are not that important to others. And because you are important for yourself!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I love my Vicco!

Beauty..the much coveted attribute. Sighs of relief ,when a baby is born fair-skinned in India, are commonalities. Children these days aim to be Miss Universe. Teenagers read Cosmo Girl and persuade their gullible and giving parents to pay green to straighten their hair. Young women live through crash diets and find more to experiment with. And the others ogle at them, reinforce them, and say, "WOW! You are so skinny. I wish I were like you" or "She is so beautiful".

Beauty...the most coveted attribution and perhaps, the least useful for a worldy woman. What use are admiring glances and compliments apart from the momentary sky-rocketing self-esteem and maybe, some unwanted vanity? Heard of derogatory terms such as bimbos? I also take the word "chick" to heart. I do not wish to be a doll for someone to look at until they are bored with it or the object of someone's lustful fantasies.

Beauty..the most coveted attribution and perhaps, also a curse. Your face value remains your only value. People fail to appreciate your intelligence, your hard work, your qualities, and your achievements. And when they do, its usually a "Beauty with Brains" comment...with a topping such as "a rarity".

Is that really true? Do beauties rarely have brains or do we fail to pay attention to their brains because we are so smitten by their beauty, because beauty in our minds is more glamorous, or because beauties are not that common? People often ask me why I dont exercise to enhance my curves, of course in not such an explicit way. They also ask me to go get my hair done or to wear certain shades of lipstick. They are often appalled that I dont like to wear make up to work. I only say, "Thank you very much. I love my Vicco Turmeric. That suffices!"

Thanks, and pay attention to the beauty within.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Double Cheese Burger or Diet Coke?

People who are single wish they were double (no pun intended) and that they had someone to live their life with.
People who are double wish that they had the freedom and independence that they lost when they chose not to be single anymore.
People who are stuck, neither single nor double, are frustrated with sitting on the fence.

And the people in each category think that the people in the other category are the luckiest.

The single woman feels that she would rather be unhappy with someone next to her rather than be unhappy alone.

The married woman feels that she wished she had never married this man/family or married at all.

The "committed" woman anxiously awaits the day that she will be married but at the same time struggles to keep her relationship going.

So which situation is the best? In my opinion, they all are either the best or the worst, depending on how you view it. As children, some loved school and some didn't. Some loved chocolates and some did not. Some loved playing indoors and some did not. As adults, some love movies and some don't. Some love cooking and some don't. Likewise, some love to be independent and some don't. That does not make one better than the other. However, relationships and marriages are bonds that are difficult to break. Not only are they legally and morally binding but also emotionally intense. So if you are unhappy about your relationship status, do not compare. We never know what's going on in other people's lives. What situation seems the best for you may be the worst for them and vice versa. All that we can do when unhappy is to try our best to change the situation. And if you cannot, so be it. Exasperation will worsen your situation. So stay put and wait for fate to make its turn!

Thanks, and be patient. What is meant to be will happen!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A lost chance!

We are only human, living in a society with other social animals. Often in conflict, often in disharmony, often in disagreements with these others. And more than often, our pride overcomes humility and shame and we hesitate to make amends despite the fact that this will only make our lives more positive.

Yet, much to our chagrin, time does indeed throw us some opportunities that may force us to forget what has happened, and head back to normalcy. These incidents would include meeting the other social animals unexpectedly such as in a shopping mall, cafeteria, or even a stairway. Then one has two choices: either to turn one's face away and not acknowledge anyone's presence or two flash a fake smile out of politeness.

And then, time sometimes throws us other chances that may encourage us to let bygones be bygones and start afresh. Such examples would be that of birthdays, weddings, festivals and similar positive events. Let's take Diwali for example; the festival of lights, the victory of good over evil, the perfect occasion to get rid of one's negativity and embrace positive energy. And yet, we let these chances slip by. We choose to adorn in lavish outfits and pretend like the festivities amuse us. And yet, inwardly, there is nothing new about us. We hold the same grudges, present the same superficial demeanor, and let the grudges grow.

Some of us celebrated Diwali in a way that was not celebration at all. We let a chance go..A chance to make our world a better place!

Thanks, and happy diwali...we still have a chance!

Saturday, November 10, 2007 step away from loved ones!

On the auspicious day of my "New Year", I decide to write this blog on how diwali is NOT about eating sweets, buying new clothes, lighting diyas, creating rangolis, going to the temple, and watching fireworks. Its NOT about whose laddoo is better, whose saree is the prettiest, whose lights are the brightest, who invited who to the temple, who spent the most on fireworks. Its NOT about exchanging smiles, shaking hands, monotonous "happy diwali" messages, and fancy e-cards.

Diwali is about the victory of good over evil, or so they say. And yet, there are many children today who do not even know the significance of this festival. Not their fault! There predecessors have turned it into a huge festival of some sort which brings a glow to the heart for all the wrong, materialistic reasons.

Today, I have lit my apartment up with Christmas lights, made a make-shift rangoli with the colorful lentils from my modest kitchen, and am in the process of making sweets. And yet there is a feeling of emptiness. Strangers walks past the apartment and say "WOW!", the rangoli is ignored, and the sweets will be shared amongst friends and acquaintances long deprived of feasts. Where are the people that we love? In pursuit of materialistic pleasures and high ambitions, we leave loved ones behind. We walk ahead only to pause momentarily, to suppress our feelings of doubt, and continue walking. Along the way, we meet several pedestrians, some in the same pursuit, some stuck, and some walking back.

Diwali...the festival of lights...and yet just another day, another beginning of a new year, more time and distance from loved ones left behind, and the desperate hope of one day celebrating the same diwali that I did 20 years ago!

PS: Dedicated to all the Indian immigrants who left their families behind.

Thanks, and Happy Diwali!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Soulmates for life....NOT!

*Note: The events in this blog are true but the names are fictitious so that the non-soulmates are not offended for not having included them as on for more clarification.

Amisha invited me over to her house to play for a whole day. She shared her lunch with me everyday. And she lent me her textbook when I forgot to bring it to school. She was my soulmate in the 1st grade before I changed schools. I met her only once after that...when I was about 13 years old and we barely talked to each other then.

Anjana called me everyday to chitchat over the phone. She invited me over for lunch during the summer break. She wrote me letters for a year when she moved to another city. She was my soulmate in the 4th grade. I have met her several times after that. But I do not even know the names of her children today.

Shilpa knew about the first crush I had. I was the only one who was invited to her sister's birthday party. I slept over at her house for one night during navratri. And then we both ended up liking the same guy. She was no longer my soulmate. We picked new ones.

Manisha's mother called me their second daughter. I practically lived there two days a week during the summer. We wrote letters to each other everyday when she went to her grandmother's house for vacations for a month. And then we switched streams. She went into the arts and I chose the sciences. She was my soulmate in the 10th grade.

Ashima did not have a phone at home. We both yearned to meet each other everyday in college because that was the only time we could talk, gossip, confide, and bitch. We often stayed back for hours after classes so that no one would interfere in our "private conversations". The other 4 members of our group were jealous. But we could care less. We were soulmates for 3 whole years until we went to different cities for our Master's degree.

Samrat was a friend that I could call any time of the day and always know that he would be available. I have cried about the same issues over and over again without him flinching even one bit at any given moment. We never proclaimed each other as "best friends" but we still knew that we were soulmates. Yes, we were. Until Samrat moved back to India. Now we speak to each other about 4 times a year.

Today, I have met another soulmate, a best friend. Another angel that God has sent over to help me through a phase of my life. What his purpose is is being revealed gradually, as it always does. As children, best friends were our lifelines. Everything surrounded around friends. At any given point, it seems like our best friend is the best thing that happened to us. That we finally found our soulmate!! Until an event occurs, our so-called soulmate's purpose in our life is fulfilled and he or she leaves only to give way to another soulmate standing in line.

Soulmates for life?? Maybe through wedlock. Through friendship? Maybe in movies, novels, rare occasions. Are you reading this and saying, "HAH! Not me! My friends will be my friends forever!". Will not challenge you. Only urge you to read this blog again ten years from now. You will know what I am talking about today.

Thanks, and dont regret a lost friendship. It was something that began and ended for a reason. More friends (or should I say soulmates to make you feel special?) await you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bitter Sweet Doses

Have you met someone who is genuinely content and happy with their lives or present state of mind? I am sure you have. I have met several of them and wish to meet more. As I write this blog, a picture of my friend comes to mind. She is one who I have never heard complaining, whining, crying, or getting angry. She is content with what she has. She does not have any expectations from anyone and so when something marvelous occurs in her life, she is elated. And if something marvelous did not occur, or worse still, if she encounters a disaster, she takes it in her stride for she has no other scenario to compare it with. And most importantly, I have NEVER heard her put anyone down. In her viewpoint, everyone is great, some with a few more bad qualities, some with a few less but nevertheless, everyone is worth respecting no matter how they behave.

And then I have another friend who is extremely critical of what others do; constantly looking for flaws in her life, jealous of others' successes, intolerant of others' being imperfect, easy to flare up when things seem out of control, and someone who people like to avoid for fear that they are being analyzed and ripped apart in her mind. Any guesses why she chooses to be this personality when she is clearly not like by others? Heard the phrase, "misery loves company"? She is unhappy with her life and has low self-esteem. What better way to make oneself feel elated and superior to others than to put them down?

When people make baseless accusations, criticize you for a reason you cannot fathom, and create bitter chaos, it is easy for you to retaliate in self-defense. After all who likes to be called ugly, selfish, stupid, worthless and so on without any clear explanations? But also pay attention to how lonely these poor souls are, how isolated they feel when they perceive others around them to be having more fun than themselves, and how bad they feel about themselves. Maybe retaliation will keep them from criticizing you but their low self-respect will force them into putting more victims down for a sense of deluded power.

I believe my former friend is so happy with her life, that she never feels the need to eye someone else's greener grass, while the latter feels insecure about her grapes being sour. These are the bitter sweet chocolates that we will get to eat all our lives. Some dark bites sweetened by the sugary aftertaste. When the extra dark chocolates seem to create a bitter taste in your mouth that makes you nauseous, go ahead and ignore the dark chocolate, and find some sugar for yourself!

Thanks, and try and be content. Will make others around you feel the same too!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Age no bar!

Easy to say that I befriend all..age no bar, caste no bar, gender no bar!
Difficult to implement...!

Have you noticed teens, preteens, and young children playing in the playground. Rarely, have I seen teens accepting preteens in their rowdy soccer manhandling, and preteens accepting young children in their "investigative" adventures. Young children on the other hand are more accepting, more open. As we grow older, we lose these attributes. Sad but true.

Notice how young adults in their early 20's like to address over-the-hill adults in their 30's as "aunty" or "uncle" or worse still, "grandma", just because they are just a few years older? Notice how they address teenagers as "kids" because they are a few years younger? Notice how young adults in their 20's do not lose some of their late teenage traits of being obstinate and "I am old enough to make my own decisions" attitude and yet continue to prove themselves wrong with their faulty assumptions about the world and life in general? Notice how people in their 30's will smirk and say, "Been there done that!" and choose to snicker in silence. Notice how they look at those in their 40's and say, "There is no way I am going to act old like them!"

Notice how teenagers will want to play video games and watch porn in their free time, while young adults in their 20's will like to get together and go bowling or to the dance club, while those in their 30's will prefer to have dinner parties and watch gets more and more subtle each decade. So I cannot fathom how there is an "AGE NO BAR-I am very open-minded" attitude when in reality to find a common point will not only be difficult to find but also frustrating every single time.

May I point out that there are exceptions to every age group as well. I know of people in their early 20's with the wisdom of someone much older and yet possess the innocense and naivety of a young adult. At the same time, their very own "best friends" perhaps look 30 but talk like they are 13, full of the arrogant air that accompanies good looking teenagers in their puberty age with the ambition to rule the world. No problem with that..except they want to be dictators. And then I see people in their 30's with similar issues as well. And some who truly do act like "grandmas" and hence, the rest of the clan get the privilege to be teased that way.

This blog stems from some exhaustion from witnessing the immature attitudes that the "young ones" portray each day, the relief that I have long outgrown that phase, and the fear that arises from witnessing those older to me with a more serious attitude. I like who I am today. I want to be with people my age who act the way I do! That does not mean I did not like who I was ten years ago. And may in all likelihood like who I am at 45. I can only pray and hope that I say the same ten years from now!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why hate when you can love?

Think of someone you hate, dislike, cannot maybe a "friend", neighbor, co-worker, relative, roommate, teacher?

Think of the effort that you put into your interactions with them? None, you would say because you prefer not to interact with them if you help it. What about the times when you absolutely cannot get away without doing so..situations such as bumping into them on the street, settling accounts, working on a team, obliging to a request they make?
Imagine the scenario..

Muscles tensing, mouth drooping, a conscious effort to not grimace, an internal sigh, a crooked smile, a frantic effort to sound polite, a reminder to self to not have an outburst, and a sour one hour after the interaction.

Think of someone you love, like, maybe a friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative, roommate, teacher?
Think of the effort that you put into your interactions with them? None, you would say because your interactions come naturally to you. What about the times when you get into situations such as bumping into them on the street, settling accounts, working on a team, obliging to a request they make?
Imagine the scenario...

Cannot imagine what the muscles are like, mouth smiling upward, no conscious efforts, no sighs, natural politeness or maybe even some jovial comments, no reminders to self, and a great day ahead.

I am not going to ask you what sounds better. We all know that talking to people we love is more enjoyable than those damned people we hate, right? But which one had you put in more effort? Where was there more energy utilized...not only then but also after that? Which one had you exude negative energy? The first situation, I would assume. Then why do we say things like "I dont care if that B**** said that"..If you dont care about it, why talk about it? And what about the physical effects of your anger? The blood pressure and the pounding heart? Fretting and fuming is not helping. So how about letting go...easier said than done....but think about it rationally.

Its better to forgive and forget and move on. Let's focus on love and not hate. Remember the song from "Satwaan Aasmaan"...Where is the time to hate..when there is so little time to love???

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Why is that when I dont return someone's phone calls, I am supposed to have an attitude but that when other people don't respond to my text messages, its because they are "busy"?

Why is it that if I am egoistic and jealous, I am supposed to stay away from someone's orkut profile, when they seem egoistic just to even make that statement?

Why is it that when I watch a movie in the middle of the night, I am being inconsiderate but when they create noise they are just being "girly and fun"?

Why is it that when I am late, its a big inconvenience but when others are, they just were caught up and are forgiven?

Why is that I am jealous if I dont like what someone said but if they don't like what I said, its truly because its not good?

Why is it that if someone told me some good news and all did not end well, it was because i cast a black eye but if the same happened to me its only because of bad luck?

Why is it that when I hang out with people who speak my native language, I am in a clique but when they do it, they are only being with friends they are comfortable with?

Why is it that if I forget to share some information with someone, I am being secretive, but if they do it, then they simply assumed that everyone already knew?

Why is it that if I dont invite someone to a party, its because I dont like them but if they do that, its because they only wanted a selective group?

Why is it that you think I wrote this blog keeping you in mind when if you do it its only to voice out some common concerns?

Why is it that I am asking you so many questions that you think need to be answered but if you do the same, its only a comment with a question mark at the end?

Why is that this blog is boring because it talks about the fundamental attribution error again while if you would have done it, it was just because its important?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Spring forward...fall backward?

Daylight savings time..some people react to it like just another event in the million that occur, and some moan and groan like it is the end of the world and take a long time in adjusting to the one hour difference!

How about you when it comes to springing forward or falling backward in life? How often are we put in situations where we have to move ahead of our times or go behind to connect with what we missed on the way?

Example: AGE! As we physically age, we grow wiser ( I hope). Sometimes, a ten year old may have to act like a 2o year old in the presence of abnormal situations such as the lack of parents in the home to tend to a younger sibling and hardships that have made the child stronger and more mature.

How about the example of an older woman who marries a younger man and often needs to go back developmentally in order to "stay compatible" with her partner? Consider the example of a woman who is married and is mentally and emotionally ahead on the path of wanting a child while her partner is not. Is is possible to go a step behind and suddenly not be prepared to have the child. At the most, one can sacrifice one's desire and make a compromise. One might be happy or discontent with one's decision but that would not mean taking a step backward. On the other hand, the partner might be able to take a step forward to keep up with the pace of his partner.

They say ignorance is bliss. I believe it truly is. Once we have the knowledge about something, it is truly difficult to "unlearn" it. Heard of anyone unlearn how prejudice and discriminate affect South Asians in the workplace? No..and we cannot. We have already taken a step forward in gaining that information. Sometimes, I wish I had never known things. That I could live in the paradise of oblivion and stay stagnant in one place. Once I spring forward, I cannot fall backward. I cannot function like the clock in the United States and Europe on the last weekend of October.

When I interact with people younger than me, carefree and unaware of life's hurdles, I wonder if I could step backward and turn into a 20-year-old again. And then I stop myself...because I do not want to go through the pain of stepping forward and bidding silent goodbyes to those who I leave behind, yet again. I now only have to keep moving ahead. And forward, I will spring...into the see what lies ahead.

Thanks, and keep moving ahead..chin up..look forward.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Fear Factor

How many things are we missing out on because of our fear?

Some people fear the roller coasters..I think I love them so much that I was born on them.
I get asked, "HOW CAN YOU?" all the time!!
My logic is..We are well tied, well secured, I dont have a heart problem (yet) to get a heart attack, there are other people with me, this roller coaster has been used fo years, so on and so forth!
And after all, how many more people die in automobile crashes as compared to roller coasters? Do we stop driving automobiles?

Likewise, test anxiety. How many of us had upset stomachs prior to a test or blanked out during a test. Only because we fear that we might fail, do bad, or not get the usual A. But do we realize that we work ourselves up to such an extent that we don't remember what we actually learned? Ya maybe we could fail. But how about thinking about it after the fact as opposed to before the fact? Fear controls us. And we allow it to be an obstacle.

And then comes my favorite, RELATIONSHIPS. I have heard people saying that they do not care to have a romantic relationship after they have failed in one. Because they are afraid that it might happen again, fearful that they will be hurt again. Some people fail to trust after being cheated on. Normal reactions. Understandable emotions. But yet, we allow fear to decide the course of our lives. How about giving it a shot? Maybe we will be hurt. But what does not kill us only makes us stronger right?

Thanks, and let's be brave.

Genetics made simple

We are social animals. We are genetically programmed to affiliate, to connect, to build relationships, to love, to share.. And yet, there are some people who are conflicted about this inheritance and seek to fight it. These people are known as commitment phobes.

I wish I could get into the heads of these people. I do not condemn for being who they are. We all are a certain way due to some reason, maybe some experience, some trauma, some social learning. When we avoid something, its because its threatening to us. Like the xenophobic who avoids foreigners like plaque because they are "different" and hence, dangerous. This programming comes from our ancestors who chose to attack anything that was different in order to defend and survive.

So when commitment phobes avoid committing to one person, maybe they are threatened that they will lose their freedom, I suppose. That they will be bound and made to "obey". I know that evolutionary psychologists explain that men are born to sow their seed as widespread as possible. Sounds gross and immoral to me. I hate to believe it. But somehow I do. As a woman, I know how faithfulness and loyalty is important to me. Exactly the same way, multiple partners is important to men, maybe? That means that those men who commit are NOT the norm.

Men are social animals. They are programmed to connect and affiliate with several.
Women are social animals. They are programmed to connect and affiliate with one.
I have met many men and women who differ from the norm. What kind of a man or woman are you?

Thanks men, try and differ from the norm. Thanks women, stay the norm. That way the world will be a happier place.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I am jealous!! Stay away!!

Someone once told me that if you dont like someone, its because you might be jealous of them. I poohed poohed the idea.


I heard things that people were saying about me, through close friends. And those things did not make sense! One might say against my defense that I was only trying to brush away my behavior that ticked the other person off or made them not like me.

So then.............................

I started the painful process of examining my feelings and the underlying hidden reasons for why I "hated" certain people. And yes, true enough...of all the people that I hated, they had something in their life that I was jealous about. But that got me wondering, is jealousy the only cause of hate? So then I got thinking about the people that I "disliked" (not as bad as hate huh!!). And there...I disliked something that they had, a trait I could not stand, a behavior that was annoying, or a habit that was standoffish..but I did not hate them!! And most importantly, I felt sorry for them more than anything else!!

I so sincerely wish that I could give you some real life instances but I am a bit cowardly in this matter. I have no problems in telling you who I hate. But by no means do I want those people to know that I envy them! Ironic..I am being vulnerable and honest but only to a certain point.

But hey, I can give you some filmi examples to make it more dramatic for you (no pun intended). I hate Shahrukh Khan, from the bottom of my heart. In fact, I often feel homicidal towards him to the extent that I dont even attempt to watch his movies anymore in fear that I might break my TV set. I actually feel like kicking myself right now for even including him in my precious blog. But I think this is important to get my point across. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think there is some jealousy that I experience with regards to this man. SRK has received accolades and recognition for his work way beyond what he deserves. Aamir Khan on the other hand, is a master at what he does and still does not get that. I love Aamir Khan and therefore, am jealous of SRK, and therefore, I hate him! Makes sense?

One last point that I would like to make here is that in my mind, jealousy and envy are two ends of the same continuum. I think that though both have their own negative connotations, envy can be healthy, especially in a competitive world where the fittest survives. If you are envious of someone's achievements, you might be able to motivate yourself to work harder. Jealousy on the other hand can be fairly unhealthy, anger provoking, negative, and debilitating. Thankfully, there are not too many people who I am jealous of. But I am most definitely working on getting rid of this negativity in me. Phew!! I actually need to cool off a bit because I just talked about SRK and that has my limbic system overworked. But till then, give this a thought!

Thanks, and let's not get too jealous if we can help it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Distance makes the heart grow fonder?

No..I am not talking about long distance relationships at all.

I am talking about the long distance relationships that we create in our small world when our relationships are within a minute or within a mile radius.

Let's shoot some real life examples (unfortunately from my life!).

Using IM to talk to your roommate in the next room.
"Hey, what's for dinner?"
Using IM to talk to your colleague in the next cubicle or cabin.
"Hey, are you going out to lunch today?"

Using SMS to message your classmate in the same class.
"Hey wanna grab some coffee in the study lounge during break?"
Calling your neighbor who lives 2 buildings away to ask him how his day was.
"Hey how was your day? No sorry, I can't come over. I am lazy"
What would it cost us to walk a few footsteps to make some eye-to-eye contact, show some facial expressions, smile to make someone's day, or maybe just stretch our own lazy muscles? I am sure that your precious smile or warm voice will be more appreciated than an audible that giggles or screeches, or an emoticon that twists the smiley's cheek bones to create an expression any human might not be able to without distorting some muscles.
We all grimace and dread long distance romantic relationships. We assume that these end at some point without meeting any success. But while we do that, we often forget that we our creating our very own long distance relationships with our roommates, friends, colleagues, neighbors, so on and so forth.
Go ahead and turn off our computer or your cellphone today for people within a mile's radius. Or use it only to inform people that you are going over. (The people who will welcome it, that is.)Walk a few steps and share some human contact with those who are willing to do so the same. Bring back what used to be when these gadgets were not in existence: a sense of connectedness and harmony.
Thanks, and walk just a few footsteps today to talk to your friend. It may be worth it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Love marriage or arranged marriage?

You must have seen/heard numerous articles, debates, conversations, discussions, arguments, etc. on this topic listing the pros and cons of one over the other, and proving one better than the other.

That is precisely what I am not going to do here. What I intend to do here is to rat out those people who engage in these conversations. What is the need to prove one better over the other. Is it not a matter of personal choice? Do we have long discussions about how hockey is better than water polo or how beaches are better vacation spots than hill stations?

When any of my friends get engaged, the first question they get asked is "Love or arranged"?! How about asking "Are you happy?", "When do we hear wedding bells?", "Where did you meet?" or something of that nature. And if the response is "arranged", the counter response is rather dry and sometimes there might be no response at all. And if the response is "love", the questions to follow seem more like an interrogation conducted by an FBI agent rather than friendly, polite curiosity. The potential brides and grooms are also partially to be blamed. It often feels like they experience some guilt, shame, or embarassment about not having a love marriage and end up saying things like, "It is a love cum arranged marriage" or "It is arranged but it hardly seems that way now". Well I sure hope it hardly seems that way now!! For I surely expect you to love each other at some point in your life if you promise to be life partners!!

My point is..HOW DOES IT MATTER HOW ONE MET?! A marriage is a marriage. A vow of commitment, faithfulness, companionship, and partnership. Agreed there are some differences but ultimately the hope is that the relationship stays intact with the bond of trust and love. Some develop it before they get married and some after. Some get to explore their partners before they commit to getting married, and some embark on the adventure after.

The destination is the same. The route may be different. The departure may be different. The transit may be different. The travel agent may be different. But if you reach the same coveted destination at some point, that's all that I care about!!!

Thanks, and stay married no matter how you met!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do you lie?

Some people boast of speaking the truth all the time...REALLY? Is that possible? Do they never lie? Not even an iota?

How about the times when you are late to work..and use an excuse?

"My alarm did not go off today" or "There was a jam on the freeway"! (Very unique!!)

How about the times when you dont like what your wife cooked and you said,

"I am not that hungry today" or "I will eat this later" (with no later time to follow!)

How about the times your girlfriend asks you if she looks fat and you say,

"No not at all!!" just to save your ass from catching fire.

How about the times you say "Good morning" to your colleagues? Are you actively thinking and wishing and hoping for a good morning for that person when you say that? Or are you on autopilot mode?

How about the times when someone says "How are you?" and you say " I am fine". Are you really fine? Or are you again in an autopilot mode?

LIES! Such a negative connotation and yet so many varieties and variations. There are white lies and there are black lies. There are harmful lies and harmless lies. But nevertheless they are LIES!! Lies that we sometimes cannot avoid, lies that we sometimes dont know about, lies that are sometimes intentional. We are not Mahatma Gandhi and certainly not following his principles all the time.

I am promoting LIES! Yes, I am! LIE all you want.

Remember to hurt NO ONE when you do that.
Good morning is wonderful!!
I am fine is fantastic!!
My cat ate my homework is tolerable!!
My alarm clock did not go off is acceptable!!
I am out having a boys' night out when you are with a girl is horrendous!!
Someone stole my wallet when you spent it all on alcohol is horrible!!
Pick and choose your battles. If you hurt someone with your lies, you will lose integrity.

Here is an article to prove my point!
Thanks, and stay truthful.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

May the Lord Bless...

  • The maintenance staff at my apartment complex who shoveled the snow for me (without me asking him to) so that I could drive my car out...
  • The man in the military uniform who sat by me until the ambulance arrived after my auto accident last year.
  • The man who stopped on his tracks to ask me if I was doing alright and needed any help when I was crying in the middle of the street...
  • The strangers who have helped me grab my heavy luggage from the baggage belt in airports...
  • The pastor and his wife who gave me free accommodation on my first night in the United States when I had no place to go to...
  • The group of boys who not only allowed me to stay with them, but also fed me, gave me transportation, huddled up in the living room at night, so that I could get the bedroom to myself, until my apartment was available to me...
  • The neighbor who allowed me to drive his car for a week when my car was stolen...
  • The friend who cooked and cleaned for me when I had deadlines without being asked to...
  • The friends who have given me rides when my car broke down innumerous amounts of time, at very short notice...
  • The friends who have stayed up all night helping me with my presentation, homework, or upcoming exams...
  • The friend who made me macaroni and cheese out of the blue when I was feeling down...
  • The friend who lent me his parking pass for the quarter because he did not want me walking in the cold to campus...
  • The friend who lent me his laptop for a month because my computer broke down and I had thesis deadlines...

The friends who have lent me their ears when I have needed them inspite of their busy schedules...

Over and above, may the Lord bless..

Those who chose not to gossip about me when they knew my deep dark secrets, who chose to keep my secrets safe with them, who chose not to talk ill about me behind my back, who chose to take my backlash with a pinch of salt, who have come forward to make amends when things have been sour, who have waited patiently for me to return to my normal self.....those who have accepted me for who I am and love me despite my faults.

May the Lord bless all the strangers, acquaintances, friends, family who have crossed my path to impact me positively without being aware of it...I would like to appreciate those people who have long been forgotten..the strangers whose names I dont know, the acquaintances whose faces I remember but nothing beyond that, the friends who have walked in and out, the family that I have not chosen but been born into. You might not remember what you have done for me. But I do. And I will pass on the good will. So that someone else's life is impacted and they can do the same...

Thanks, and practice random acts of kindness.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

If I could turn back time....would I?

How many times have we wished to go back in time and change what we did?

"I wish I had not done that!".
A very common statement that we hear when someone thinks they have made a mistake.

BUT have you thought about how the good things that followed may not be in your life if you had not made that so-called mistake?

For example, I wanted to be a psychiatrist...did not study hard for my boards....did not score enough to get into med school...cried buckets and said,
"I wish I had studied harder!".
I was forced to pick an alternative which was obviously, I am glad that that happened for I dont think I am cut out for med school...and am very happy with where I am today!

I do not deny the shame, pain, disappointment, and agony I felt at that time. I felt like a failure. But I picked myself up and wonder if that happened truly for a reason. For my path eventually was psychology?

Think about your life. Your friends. Your family. Any aha moments come to you?
I had a friend who was devastated after her boyfriend of two years cheated on her. She had moved specifically to his city to be with him. She said,
"I wish that I had not moved cities just for him".
She suffered and mourned the loss of her relationship. But she managed to move on. She now is enjoying marital bliss with someone else who she met in the very same city as her boyfriend, without any regrets.

If I could turn back time, would I? I don't know. There are some instances in my life which have been sad. I still don't know why they happened. I am waiting to discover the reason. I am sure that there is a reason. Everything happens for the best.

Thanks, and have no regrets. Keep moving on. The good will happen...eventually

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Speed Limits and Expiry Dates

What's the speed limit for automobiles in a school zone?
20 miles per hour.
What's the speed limit for trucks on an interstate highway?
55 miles per hour.
What's the speed limit in a relationship?

I wish that relationships also came with a rules and regulations booklet. How fast should you divulge about yourself to a stranger, to an acquaintance, a friend, or a new found romantic partner? When should you yield? And when should you stop and look before going ahead? When should you brake? And when should you go slow? What happens in an accident? And who brings the gas to you when you are low on energy? Above all, what happens when you are driving your relationship under the influence of a substance called infatuation? Who gives you a ticket and how do you pay the price? Above all, how do you develop your driving skills?

I wish that they also came with expiry dates. Sometimes, we attempt to relish the relationship long after its expiry date. Consequence: Ill (mental) health and uneasiness. What do we do with a rotten apple? I wish we could do the same with relationships and forget about it. Unfortunately, the stench of the rot remains in our minds for long periods, sometimes even permanently.

Relationships..sometimes treated as casual as a product available in the market and yet so profoundly affect us in some way or the other. I wish there was a manual to follow. We all sometimes do.

Thanks, and follow the speed limit and do not disregard the expiry dates. They are both there for a reason!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I hope I never...

  • Turn into that woman who will forget about her girlfriends when she is with her husband..
  • Turn into that woman who looks more like her husband's mother than his wife..
  • Turn into that woman who constantly talks about her mother-in-law's antics..
  • Turn into that woman whose topic of conversation surrounds jewellery, clothes, shoes, hair, and makeup..
  • Turn into that woman who will put on 60 lbs during pregnancy never to lose it back again..
  • Turn into that woman who is constantly bitching about what others did to her husband..
  • Turn into that woman who spends 50 dollars a week on her beauty parlor appointments..


  • Turn into a "typical" woman.....the one who nags, the one who has no brains, the one who cannot drive, the one who cries at the drop of a hat, the one who looks good only in the kitchen, the one who used to belong to her father and now to her husband, the one who will come back home from work and cook and keep house clean......

I am afraid I will be one of these women, one day. I am afraid I will be one of those gender-boxed women. A woman that society expects a woman to be and will then look down upon her for being that way. I am afraid that I might be snubbed for trying to be a different woman...and out-of-the-box woman. And I am afraid that no matter what I do, people will look at me as a woman...and not the woman.

Thanks, and respect women.

Monday, August 27, 2007

From the eyes of an evolving student


No matter how much I procrastinate, I always get the work done...with a few struggles and many obstacles.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, and enjoy life. What's the hurry to get it done?

That a couple B's here and there do not really affect my GPA that much.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, and enjoy life. What's the need to get an A?

That annoying people wont stop their antics no matter how much you tell them.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, and enjoy life. What's the need to give them any importance?

That depriving myself of that cheesecake that I have been craving for 2 days is only making me miserable.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, EAT CHEESECAKE, and enjoy life. What's the need to worry about the number of calories in a mere, occasional treat that can release endorphins in you?

That sacrificing watching a movie so that I can study for two hours does not work. I keep thinking about the movie anyway.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, and enjoy life. What's the importance of two hours of "pretending to study"?

That no matter how much I plan for a trip or an event during my breaks, when there are more than 2 people involved, things never go as planned.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, and enjoy life. What's the need to plan when things happen they way you dont want them to anyway!

That no matter how hard I try to hide the bitter truth, it comes out in various ways...nice or not nice...and the consequences are always bad.

Moral: Watch movies, talk on the phone, sleep, TELL THE TRUTH, and enjoy life. What's the need to lie when you will be busted at some point anyway?

Life as a student is surely not a bed of roses. Exams, roommates, finances, professors, lack of sleep, no time for groceries, the list is never ending. But we can make it seem like a no-breezer if we stop agonizing over minute "ifs" and "buts" and "shoulds". Save your energy for the bigger problems in life...the real outside of classes, colleges, universities. The small ones are only worth pooh poohing!

Thanks, and enjoy a student. You will never be a student again...not like this.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What are you complaining about?

Disclaimer: This product contains facts. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is not coincidental. It is intentional.

  • She was married at the age of 13, a widow at the age of 34, is currently 83.
  • She gave birth to 4 children, lost one a few years ago, and currently lives with her daughter.
  • She studied till the 7th grade but educated her children all the way through college.
  • She was born in a rich family but her father squandered all the money on vices. She worked as a maid to help raise her siblings, and later on her own children.

You dont have shoes to match your outfit.

You dont have enough clothes.

Your roommates suck.

What are you complaining about?
  • She was born beautiful and won several hearts.
  • She married at the age of 25 and was divorced at the age of 29.
  • Her husband abused her for four years and she decided to keep quiet for the sake of her family's reputation in society.
  • She is currently single and lonely because she is "divorced". Still beautiful.

You have an acne problem?

You are 5 pounds overweight?

Your hair is too frizzy on a humid day?

What are you complaining about?

  • He was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8.
  • He went through a bone marrow transplant every few months for several years.
  • He lost several years of education, normal childhood, fun and frolic.
  • His parents now live hand to mouth because they spent all their earnings and savings on their child's treatment. He survived.

Gas prices are too high?

You hate your professor?

You got a B in one of your classes?

What are you complaining about?

Life is too short and precious to worry about grades, a small checking account or idiotic people around you. Live like there is no tomorrow. Who knows, today may be your last day on this earth. Make it count!

Thanks, and be happy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Marriages are made in heaven....

Summers=Weddings, at least in the United States.

This is the wedding season and I hear of someone being married or engaged every other week. Exciting? For some. Boring? For many.

And yet, weddings are often alone/reflective/ruminative/thought provoking times for me. Its a time for me to travel into the past and into the future.

I wonder, how would my life have been if I had married someone last year, or the year before that.
How would life have been if I would have married my first crush?
How will my life if I do marry my current boyfriend?

Will I "compromise" for the ideal guy is surely not out there? Or will I be deemed flexible because I will choose to accept his bad qualities and accept him for who he is. And then what? Is marriage truly a journey together? Or is it a compromise you make because you dont want to live with roommates all your life? Is marriage an escape from the fear of loneliness?

I have single friends. I have divorced friends. They all talk about their parents' concerns about them having to live alone. I have had an uncle tell me that I should not wait too much to get married for then I will never want to..


Is being "alone" the worst state that anyone can be in that we have to resort to marrying a stranger (in the case of an arranged marriage) or someone that we can very well simply live with (in the case of a romantic relationship) without the legal binding?

Marriage. I wonder...does it not get boring to see the same person every day when you wake up in the morning? Maybe, it does and that's why the extra marital affairs.

Marriage. When will it happen? Will it be the end or the beginning of my solitude? Time will tell.

Weddings. Pomp. Show. Expenses. Food. Drink. Dance. Celebrations.

Celebration of the fact that this person will now not be alone. This person now has a roommate for life. This person will now be happy. Hmmmmm.. Really? Time will tell.

Thanks, and good luck on finding your roommate, if you have not already found one.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Desh Drohi?

On the occasion of India's Independence Day, let us define motherland. Is motherland where one was born, where one's race comes from, where one grew up or is it where one's ancestors were from? People are conflicted about this and the dictionary is not that clear about it. So well, can we then make it subjective?

We so easily throw the word "desh drohi" around when someone says something ill about India. Desh drohi=TRAITOR? According to the dictionary, one must be involved in treason to be called a traitor. So is someone who criticizes India then a traitor? Are NRIs who choose to leave India to reside in "better" places also traitors then? I read on a forum written by an NRI that just because he does not reside in India does not mean that he does not feel equally about India's events as do its residents. So are feelings enough then for him to qualify as a patriot or should he be contributing to the country in some way?

If NRIs are traitors, then are Parsis also traitors for leaving their own country to come to India? You will maybe say no for they had a valid reason to flee to India. Then do NRIs also have equally valid reasons for fleeing India to live in the US or UK or wherever else the latest fad may be..(Australia, New Zealand, etc.)? If NRIs are not traitors, then why are they residing in another country, paying taxes to that country, buying property in that country, and giving birth to children in that country.

Those children are now born as ABCDs. What about ABCDs? Agreed that they might be confused as the C in the acronym stands for. But should they be singing Jana Gana Mana on the 15th of August, or should they be singing The Star Spangled Banner on the 4th of July? After all, their ancestors were from India but their own generational roots began in the US? If they chose one over the other, will the other call them a "desh drohi"? If they decided to sing both, will they called true patriots?

I am confused and puzzled. Maybe it is after all subjective. Maybe it best remains subjective due to the sensitive nature of the topic. Maybe....I am a desh drohi.

Thanks, and love thy country!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

First Impression is the Last Impression?

  • Ever encountered unexpected guests and been embarassed about the mess in the living room?
  • Ever dressed up for a first date or helped someone pick out an outfit before they "see" a prospective candidate for their groom or bride?
  • Ever noticed how a guy or a girl in a club will smooth their hair and perk up before they approach a stranger to flirt with?
  • Ever notice someone meet a friend's parents for the first time and instantly put on a "good girl" or "ideal son" attitude?
All this because we want to create a GOOD impression. A good impression helps the encounter take place again if that is your ultimate goal. But hey, if you are messy, you can't always tidy up your apartment to hide that fact and maintain your impression. If you are annoying, your "good girl" impression will not last long.

Are first impressions always the last impression?
If so, would we have so many sour relationships, divorces, breakups, etc?

I recently wrote a testimonial for someone on Orkut (here I go again!). Now I get teased for writing that testimonial for that person's impression in my mind is just the opposite of what I wrote. Unfortunately, my words were based on my first impression which triggered several other encounters with that person, only for me to realize that my first impression will certainly not remain the last impression. Likewise, there have been people that I had not cared to interact with in the past, who are now the best of my friends.

If first impressions truly are the last impressions, why do they say "nafrat pyar ki pehli seedi hai"?

Thanks, and realize, you are who you are..the first impression eventually wont matter!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Anger Management

Seen the movie Anger Management? Heard about "Anger Management"? It had been a fad a few years back to send a child for "anger management" counseling. Though the fad now is to have one's child be diagnosed as "bipolar", anger management continues to be trendy to some folks.

I always am amused when my clients come to me saying we need anger management. "Why! The very reason you are here is that you have managed your anger in some way, just not the right way!!", is what I think to myself!

Anyway, this blog is focused on how I have personally seen some people manage their anger. You might find it appropriate or you might find it amusing. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. Whatever you think, don't get angry...simply manage your anger.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is surely not coincidental.

Here are some ways that you might wanna try that I have already observed in the recent past..

  • Make faces at the person they are mad at and say "neneenenene.." on their face...
  • Bang doors as well as pots and pans....oh and even the car door of the person you are mad at...
  • Pull your own eyebrows...
  • Clean the kitchen, the bathroom, and whatever else that you can set your hands on to clean...
  • Delete your scraps from the other person's scrap book and delete the ones that you received from them as well
  • Not respond to their scraps but respond to everyone everyone elses...(Orkut again!)
  • Shake your head like you would in a "halo" shampoo ad and walk away...
  • Shake your leg vehemently while being seated...
  • Give warnings on ORKUT to the other person about getting their act together...

(WOW Orkut seems to be a good medium these about anger management on the internet huh..)

And maybe there are many others such as speeding and driving as if you are the hero/heroine of a hindi movie and braking with the most unpleasant screech, yelling and being dramatic and rattling dialogues from a movie such as "how could you do this to me?" and "You broke your promise, I will never forgive you", and finding a private place to cry which sometimes turns out to be a dry bathtub. Of course cussing, getting thoughts of slapping the other person, or even punching them to give them a blue eye seems normal these days. My technique is to sulk, yell out expletives, go red like a beetroot, and say "I am pissed" at least ten times!

Anyone got any more interesting observations that they can add to my little list?

Thanks, and don't get mad..get glad!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Aaahhhhh money money money!!

  • I have a friend who wants to own a Porsche at some point in his life.
  • I have a friend who is yearning to buy a BMW as soon as he gets a job.
  • I have a friend who dreams of a mansion on the lake.
  • I have a friend whose fiance admitted to wanting to marry her only because she is a doctor and will make big bucks.

They all hope and live the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
They all dream of being "happy one day".

  • I have a friend who is unmarried, lives in a huge apartment in Bandra, has a driver and a maid, and money that I did not have when I was at her age.
  • I have a friend, who is divorced, and has a great job and lives with a roommate in the United States.
  • I have a friend, who has a PhD, can afford a house to herself, and is successful in her career.
  • I have a friend who is single, lives with her wealthy parents, does not work, and is able to make two pleasure trips to the United States every year.

They all hope and find a partner and to live a fulfilling life filled with love.
They all dream of being "happy some day".

  • I have a friend who lives in a 2BR apartment in India with her husband and working full time in a bank.
  • I have a friend who is on an H4 visa in the United States unable to work and lives in an apartment with her husband.
  • I have a friend who is engaged to be married to her boyfriend who lives 600 miles away from her.
  • I have a friend who lives in a small house with her husband and two kids and does not work because she prefers to be a stay-at-home mother.

They are all content and satisfied.
They all say, "We are happy TODAY".

Ever heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Moral of the story: ??
My moral is that no matter how many cars, mansions, diamonds, or servants you have...your happiness will surely depend on the ones you love and who love you back! After all, there is no point to having a BMW if you have no one to ride with, and no point owning a mansion if you have no one to come home to..right?
What's your moral of the story.

Thanks, and dont chase the out love.

User Manual on Cheating

Are you cheating on your boyfriend or girlfriend?

Then you surely need a user manual to do so, for research says that the truth always comes out! Also, there are some "poor" cheaters out there who always get caught sooner than the mean. So if you want to improve your skills, here is a user manual for you. There is no guarantee that your partner won't find out but he/she will find out later than the average population does.

1. Always delete your text msgs to your lover-inbox/sent/trash...all folders.
2. The same applies to your emails.
3. Make sure that you "do stuff" discretely, not in public.
4. Make sure you dont absolutely have this need to "have a girls night out" or "hang out with the guys" every single night.
5. Make sure that you have a different telephone line to talk to your lover and that you always answer your partner's phone calls.
6. Make sure you get rid of all receipts of the flowers you sent or the movies you saw together.
7. Make sure that you dont bring back the scent of his/her perfume on your clothes when you return home.
8. Make sure you dont talk in your sleep at night and blurt out what you are dreaming about. perhaps get the hang of absolutely careful!

However, this manual is not complete without the next set of tips. Last but not the least:

9. Make sure that your heart is made of steel because you will lose the one who is oblivious about your deeds and continues to be loyal to you.
10. Be prepared for your lover to leave you for someone else, just like you left your partner for him/her.
11. Be prepared to live a life filled with guilt, and hopefully some remorse.
12. Be prepared for people to point fingers at you.
13. Be prepared to lose some of your friends who will disapprove of what you did.
14. Be prepared to live a lonely life full of insecurities.
15. Be prepared to be cheated on for what goes around comes around.

Hope this user manual is helpful to those out there who think variety is the spice of life. Maybe it is, but there will be a price to pay for it. Willing to do so..go for it!! My advice for the victims (their partners)..hang in there!! Everything happens for a reason!

Thanks, and stay loyal.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I remember....

I remember those days.........

When Wednesday and Friday evenings were spent watching Chitrahaar in Black and White..

When the use of a remote control (the size of a brick) was only to increase/decrease the volume or to turn the TV on/off..

When Saturday nights were reserved for movie rentals from the one and only rental store in the area...

When relatives used to gather every Saturday evening to watch that one special movie...

When the remote control connected to the VCR through a long wire...

When I used to listen to Binaca Geet Maala (later known as Cibaca Geet Mala) hosted by Amin Sayani religiously every Tuesday night on Vividh Bharti...

When the people in my apartment complex gathered at my place to see the new color TV...the only one that they had ever seen...

When DD-2 released, people were ecstatic that they could not watch a second channel.

When cable TV released, it had all but 5 channels.

When going to the airport or the railway station meant I would get to drink Thums Up...

When we did not have a cassette player in our car and used to carry a portable one with me everytime I travelled in it...

When having a cordless phone was not only a big deal but was also the size of a vanity case with the shrillest sound possible...

When letting my hair loose was a privilege...

When I saw QSQT for the third time and told my mom that I was in love with Aamir Khan and I was allowed to buy a poster of him...

When cellphones were the size of a cordless phone and each minute used to cost 16 rupees...

When I asked the store keeper if he could copy a CD for me just like an audio cassette and he laughed at me and said that it was not possible...

When I used to play solitaire on the black and white monitor of my computer...

When opening an internet site like hotmail would take ten minutes...

When the family used to make special plans to go eat pizza at the only restaurant in town that served pizza with mozzarella cheese...

When Maggi used to cost only 5 rupees and was known to be sold in Prawn, Sweet and Sour, Capsica, Masala, and Chicken flavors....

When I was allowed to have Maggi only on Thursdays and I used to count down the days to Thursday....

When Frooti was available only in Mumbai and we used to request people to buy us a crate when they visited the city...

When the milkman used to bring milk to our place in a big container and sell it to us according the quantity we needed as opposed to today's poly packs...

When people used to ask relatives to buy them jeans from abroad because they were not sold in India...

When being seen talking to a boy would mean that you are going out with him...

When I was young and innocent..ignorant of the responsibilities that adulthood brings with it...when my life was about smiling, laughing, dancing, and singing...and not about careers, education, bills, money, cars...

I remember those days...the days of my childhood...which remain only a memory.

Thanks and hold on to your memories..

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Creating history

I have often heard young children say when asked what they want to grow old to be, "I want to be famous".

Today, my professor, colleagues and I chatted about our heritage; where we all came from, what values we shared, what our ancestors were like, and how our lives had molded up till this point. And as I rattled off my story beginning from the time my grandparents married, I was surprised at myself. Never had I given that part of my history so much thought. It was all taken for granted. Very matter of fact. Just something that had happened and was over and gone. And yet, today I felt this strange emotion, a lump in my throat, and a sense of panic. I panicked that I did not know enough and that it was too late now to discover more.

We may not be world renowned. But one day, our grandchildren will be talking about us and the impact our life decisions had on them the way I talked about my grandparents today. And then we will be famous and a part of their history. Today, for a change, I focused on my present and not on my future. It is my present that will be history tomorrow. The future will one day be my present and that is when I will worry about it.

Thanks, and live in the present to make a wonderful past for those in the future.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Shoes, handbags, clothes!

Do you have over 20 pairs of shoes, a closet overflowing with clothes, and 4 vip bags full of more clothes that did not fit into the closet? And yet, do you look at your clothes each morning and let out a sigh while saying, "I dont have anything good to wear!"?

A few weeks ago, I realized that I fell into this category of girls described above. The number of clothes in my possession overwhelmed me as I cleaned out my closet in frustration. I came across something I bought in 1995 that looks hideous in 2007. I am proud to say that it still fits. Perhaps, one of the reasons I never threw it away!! Maybe I was waiting for a day that I would outgrow it and hence have a "valid" reason to chuck it instead of merely being bored with it and thus be in the danger of looking like someone with whimsical tastes and a lot of money to spare and spend.

And as I spent the entire day folding and unfolding the huge mountain of clothes, I realized that there are some garments that I bought just for the heck of them being on sale and had never worn them while there were some that I had held on to with the hope that I would one day be "thin" enough to look good in them. Needless to say, that point of satisfaction has still not come and they still remain new with labels on them.

Well, the 4 VIP bags have now been reduced to 2. And the wardrobe that was once overflowing is now quite open to newer clothes. What an irony!! Guilt laden, I think of the number of rupees and dollars spent on these clothes, and how I could perhaps use this money today towards the gas that my car guzzles each week, these days. Thank God for Salvation Army that accepts donations. I at least know that these clothes will be put to good use as opposed to being used as a mop for the kitchen floor.

Now let's start talking about the shoes and the handbags..or maybe not!! I guess, by now, you must have an idea. Are you one of those girls too? Any Carrie Bradshaws reading this article and wanting to rave about the number of Manolo Blahniks they have!!?

Thank you, and keep donating.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't like the US of A?

If you are one of those desis who is complaining about life in the United States and yearns to go back to India, my question to you is...

"Why dont you go back?"

If you want to say that there is more money here, and that you can live a better life (read luxurious and easy) here, then my question to you is...

"What is it that you want? The feeling you had when you were at "home" or the luxuries?"

If you think that you dont want to raise your kids here because the culture in the United States is really bad, my question to you is...

"Why were your kids born here?"

If you say that you wanted your kids to be American citizens, my question to you is...

"Why? If the US is so terrible for you, why make them citizens of a terrible country? You are an Indian citizen, why can't they be Indian citizens too?"

If you say that you want your kids to be able to come back later for a good education, my question to you is...

"So you do recognize that there is something good about the education system here and that it does not need to reshuffle?"

Why complain if you made the decision to come here? Was it a bad decision? If yes, then rectify it and go back. You need to pay off student loans? Wont be so full time for three years, dont get married, dont incur any more debts, and lo! your problems will be solved. Then go back! Attracted towards the greencard? Want to stay more so that you can have one and leave? Why? Since the US is not doing you any good anyway. Oh..maybe the greencard is not enough so you need to work towards a citizenship and then leave.....just in case you want to come back, you can? Why? You don't like the US of A right? like it but like India better? Well, what is it that you want? Don't know? Think about it. And if you finally make a decision to stay here and not go back to your motherland, stop complaining and stick to your decision.

Thanks, and live life to the fullest.

Addendum: A clarification I would like to make. Miss India by all means. It was/is home after all. Complain about the cons here. After all, nothing is perfect. My pet peeve is people who DETEST the USA and criticize it to shreds and yet conjure up excuses to not go back.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

This blog is dedicated to the bad and ugly people in my life. I want to say thank you to you for being who you are.

After all, I am a social animal and I would like to see myself in a societal context. I accept that I am part of a society that has people like you in it. Rude, obnoxious, egoistic, conflictual, cruel, and antagonistic. And I am grateful that you exist. Why..someone might ask? Would we not be better off without these people who create chaos and destroy peace of mind? No, I would say. Without these people, we would never know what the good is. And if we did, we would not value it as much. Without these people, we would take our peace of mind for granted. But when these people create negative emotions within us, we learn to appreciate the people who make us feel good about ourselves. If it were not for the bad and the ugly, we would not know the true definition of good.

Let's learn to appreciate all that we have. Let's not curse these people in our lives who sometimes make it a living hell. Let's thank them for making us realize what heaven is.

Thank you and be good.

Disclaimer: Ugly refers to a lack of beauty in character, not appearance.

Friday, July 6, 2007


This blog is not philosophical, nor controversial. Its merely a memorial to something precious I lost today.

You came into my hands sometime in 2005. Little did I know that you would become such a precious part of me; so precious that I would let go of you only at night when I went to bed. I have taken you with me everywhere I school, to the gym, to my clinic, sometimes even to the restroom! People have enquired about you when they did not see me with you.

You have survived many accidents. You once fell in water and my friend, Sulabh helped you out. You once got locked in my closet and I found you after days of agony..but you survived and returned to me. You once hurt your mouth and I had to hold on to it for days but my mate, Arun resolved the problem, much to my relief.

I thought you were a survivor and though I love you to death, I have often taken you for granted. Today, due to my recklessness, I have lost you. Please forgive me. I know that I will be punished for this. I already am being punished by the pangs of misery that I feel everytime I think about you. I wonder where you are. I wonder if you are safe. And I wonder if you will return to me.

My friends have said that I can replace you. Little do they know that you can never replace the one you love. I might find something else to replace you. But your memories will be in my heart forever.

Farewell, my bluetooth headset! Life will never be the same without you!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Two to tango and four to fight!?

A and B are great friends!
A to B: "I dont think you should have done that."
B to A: "I am sorry. Yeah I dont think I should have."
A to B: "Well, I am pretty mad about it anyway. Please dont talk to me for some time until I cool down."
B is upset.

C and D are great friends as well!
C to D: "I dont think this is how she should have reacted. I wonder how B tolerated it."
D to C: "Ya he should have given it back to her or said something to her. What a bitch!"

C,D to B: "Hey dude. We did not like what A did to you. You should have given it back to her. I think you should talk to her."

Were C and D backbiting? Were they concerned for B? Were they interfering? Were they advising? What is the fine line between being concerned and discussing an issue and gossiping or backbiting? When should one back off when the two people concerned are having a problem with one another? If they are able to resolve the issue on their own but not the way you want it to, should you show them the "right" way (read your way)? When they are unable to resolve the issue, should you go add fuel to the fire? Or maybe salt to their wounds?

"Its great that you are not talking to each other. She was stupid anyway."
" I wonder how you deal with someone like her."

How many relationships that I know could have been salvaged if people like C and D did not project onto A and B? And people like B did not take C and D's words at face value. I myself have been guilty of being in B's position as well as C and D's position but have learned it the hard way that not all C's and D's mean well. And that when being in B's position, I ought to think of what A means to me rather than trying to please C and D.

Wish there was a law against unsolicited advice and unwanted suggestions. But then, if there were such a law, I would not be writing this blog either!

Moral of the story: Live and let live!

Thanks and let's not intervene when not needed!