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!