Saturday, December 31, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
In school of course I liked both these hols for a different reason altogether: we would get our term breaks during each holiday! But before school closed we would have our annual day where each class would put up plays and dances for our parents. There would be a display of some really bad acting and dancing! But all the parents would clap, cheer and congratulate us on the wonderful show that we kids had put up for them.
There was a rule in our class that all the children in each class should be seen up there on the stage doing something or the other, no one was left out without a part. So I have played such diverse parts from a villager to a narrator to a witch! The story in which the last character appeared was made up by all of us when we were in the 6th class. Each of us contributed to the story and built it out of our own imagination, and also decided who would play which part. We had named it ‘Rose and the Rainbow Cat’! That was such a lot of fun! The majority of us played witches with a girl cast as ‘Rose’ and a boy cast as the ‘Rainbow Cat’. All of us ‘witches’ just relished our parts, because we got to act really nasty! Hee hee hee! [That’s wicked witches’ laughter for the uninitiated! :))] Also, we got to put on some really outlandish makeup!
We would also start singing Christmas carols and songs like ‘Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly’, ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Good King Wensceslas’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Jingle Bells’ and many others.
When I was in the 7th standard, instead of the traditional play and dance routine, we had an annual day where all the classes sang carols. My class sang ‘Twelve days of Christmas’. All of us were divided into 12 groups and my best friends P and S and I got the first verse to sing: “A partridge in a pear tree”. Boy! Was that fun or what!
And I remember one time when we were really young, my brother, cousin and I had written letters to Santa Claus detailing all that we wanted. On Christmas morning there were two miniature Christmas trees on our desks along with a book for me (drat!), and I don’t remember what my brother got. Along with all these was a letter stating how sorry Santa Claus was that he could not bring us what we wanted. My mother sure was clever (still is!)! But the disappointment of not getting what I’d asked for did not last for long as I was so very excited that Santa had actually come to our home and dropped off gifts!! :))
After school I sort of lost the excitement that Christmas brought along. But this year, I was out shopping for some essentials (the food, shampoo, toothpaste kind) when I saw these shops full of Christmassy stuff; streamers, Christmas trees of all sizes, bunting, paper lanterns and what not! It just got me so excited that I bought a few shiny red and green streamers and decorated our room here. I even hung some from the fan. Of course before that I marched my grandmother out of the room and made her sit in the drawing room for a while. She was quite bewildered by it all! But when she saw the decorations she got all teary-eyed, and not because they are that bad! :D She was just a bit overwhelmed because according to her, her room has never ever been decorated for whatever reason as long as she has stayed here. Well, as the dutiful granddaughter I’ve managed to bring some holiday cheer into my grandmother's life! LOL!!
And even my brother, who is ever so ready to run down anything I do, actually liked it!! Hehe! Here are some pics of how my room looks now. I think it just looks more cheerful! :)
Here is a card that my dear friend S had sent to me and I wish to share it with all of you.
Friday, December 23, 2005
A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE by BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD
I’d read this book when I was studying in the 10th standard. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Ok, that’s all I can remember from Dickens’ classic ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. But this line is so apt for how things were in the 10th standard.
But, as is my wont, I digress! Emma Harte, the protagonist of ‘A Woman of Substance’ greatly inspired me, she still inspires me. At one level it is just a story of a girl who rises above her means and becomes rich and famous, bur underlying it is the journey she makes from a poor maid to a businesswoman of great repute and the sacrifices she has to make to get where she did. And the best part is that she is not as pure as driven snow, she has many flaws, the yearning for revenge being her greatest; and she can be cold and calculating when she wants to be. But it is her strength, both mental and physical, which greatly awed me. It truly is a fantastic book.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFÉ by FANNIE FLAG
This is a great Southern American story about four women – Idgie Threadgoode, Ruth Jamison, Ninny Threadgoode and Evelyn Couch. The women do not do anything extraordinary, except sticking up for each other and being there for each other in times of trouble. But I guess that is quite extraordinary in itself! I’d watched the movie before I’d read the book. The movie was quite a faithful representation of the book, with great performances by Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary Louise Parker, Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates; but I enjoyed reading the book much, much more.
GONE WITH THE WIND by MARGARET MITCHELL
In Greek plays the hero is the most honest bravest, strongest, smartest, kindest person around, but possesses one terrible flaw that leads to his undoing. Scarlett O’Hara is the antithesis of the above. Here is a heroine who is selfish, greedy, vain, crafty, and would stop at nothing to get what she wants; and she is also a procrastinator like yours truly, as is evidenced by her famous words, “Tomorrow is another day”! Hehe! Just kidding! Those words show just how self-possessed she is, as despite all of her flaws she does have great confidence in herself and in her abilities. And it is mostly due to her efforts that her family survives during the Civil War. Here again I saw the movie before I’d read the book, and I think the movie is not a patch on the book, though the performance by the cast is very good. I guess it was not possible to encapsulate all the events that occur in the book into the movie. The sequel, ‘Scarlett’ by Alexandra Ripley turns Scarlett O’Hara’s character topsy-turvy. It is like Ripley created a totally different character! But I won’t go into all that now. Suffice to say that Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most dazzling fictional characters of all time.
LIFE OF PI by YANN MARTEL
‘Life of Pi’ is one of the most imaginative books I have ever read. It tells the story of Pi, short for Piscine Molitor Patel, a young boy whose father owned the Pondicherry zoo. He gets stuck in a lifeboat with the most unlikely companions for 227 days. And how he survives makes up most of the story. Aristotle had said that the audience should be willing to suspend their disbelief in the duration of a play. You will have no difficulty in suspending your disbelief while reading this novel! Martel narrates the events with such lucidity that you cannot help but be entranced by it all! This book is all about survival; it even weaves in a bit on ‘survival of the fittest’.
THE LAST SONG OF DUSK by SIDDHARTH DHANVANT SHANGHVI
This novel is quite… magical. I cannot think of any other adjective to describe it. It just transports you to a different world. The characters are quite extraordinary, yet their motives not all that difficult to understand. It is the story of Anuradha Gandharva, her husband Vardhmaan, their son Shloka and Anuradha’s cousin Nandini. I won’t presume to understand everything that occurs in the novel, some parts are steeped in mystery, and I did not get the philosophical overtones at some points. But the time during which I read this book I would just be cut me off from the world around me, the feeling was almost surreal.
SPOUSE by SHOBHA DÉ
I have just finished reading Shobha Dé’s ‘Spouse’, and whoever saw me reading it gave me knowing looks and passed comments like, “Oh! Are we going to hear some kind of good news from you soon?” or “Preparing already for the future huh?” Followed by a lot of ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’. I was quite amused for the most part. No, there is no “good news” to be expected and I did not buy the book with the intention of “preparing for the future”. I actually bought it because I was bored and pissed! And I must say it was one of my best buys (*pats own shoulder*) yet! I started reading it expecting the tone to be kind of condescending and ‘talking down-like’, but boy was I in for a surprise! It is a very common sensical book. Dé says it as she sees it, without mincing any words, which is of course her usual style, but I enjoyed reading this book much more than I did any of her works of fiction. It not only gives an insight into her own marriage but also into the married lives of Indians ranging from the ‘elite’ class to the lower middle class. I think it should be made compulsory reading for all couples that are planning on getting married. It will surely bring them down from Cloud no. 9 and face reality. Already married couples will also benefit from it. And one thing I found out is that from all accounts my parents do seem to have quite a great marriage on their hands! They are openly affectionate to each other (sometimes disgustingly so! :D) and they just somehow seem to make it work! Dé would be so proud of them! :)) And the best thing is that her advice can be applied not only within a marriage, but to other relationships too.
There are soooooo many other books that I absolutely love, like the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, ‘The Simoqin Prophecies’ by Samit Basu, ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat, ‘The da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown etc., etc. But I’m just going to leave it at these six above.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The play was entitled Butter and Mashed Banana enacted by three guys from Banglore (or should I say ‘Bangaluru??!), Nakul Krishna, supported by Arjun Shankar and Ajay Krishnan. It was written and directed by Ajay Krishnan. The day after I had watched the play I got to know that butter and mashed banana were used to grease the hangman’s noose!
This play was a part of the Thespo theatre youth festival, started by Quasar Thakore Padamsee and other 20 some things six years ago.
The evening began first with a platform performance that took place in the parking lot of the NCPA experimental theatre. It was entitled The Dissonant and is described as this, “An individual trapped within the flux of life as an unwilling participant in the struggle. Knowledge renders the ultimate truth within grasp, and then – what then?” Needless to say, I did not get what the playwright was trying to convey. I was thoroughly confused with the goings on, as was D. And when this performance got over we heard several people murmuring, wondering, “what the hell was that all about?” Our puny minds could not grasp what these people were trying to portray.
D gave me a dirty look and asked, “Were you ever bored at any performance that I took you to? How about making inquiries about what we will be watching next time?” And when he read the summary of Butter and Mashed Banana and found out that it was about the battle between the Left and the Right, he looked positively resigned to a boring evening!
Now let me tell you what Nakul Krishna, the actor who plays the protagonist had to say about the play: Consider an alternate universe populated by dour hangmen, radical Hindutva types, Marxist feminists and joyless conformists who live by the Cinematograph Act of 1952. All of whom are all too willing to jump up with a ‘Don’t you dare say that!’ Or maybe this universe isn’t that alternative after all… Butter and Mashed Banana is about getting high on the constitutional freedom of speech that allows us the right to choose irreverence as our drug of choice. And might offend a few along the way. Hopefully.
The play was simply brilliant! It was hilarious and at the same time made sure the point was brought across clearly. It is basically about this boy who is born out of one passionate night shared by his parents, his mother being a feminist, while his father is just the opposite, and how he tries to create his own identity.
The interesting thing about the play was that the actors hardly wore any clothes, and by that I mean that they were dressed only in a ganji/vest and pajamas. And the set design was very minimalist too. It consisted of a bed sheet and a pink tub. The actors broke into song in between to propel the story forward, with Ajay Krishnan strumming on the guitar. The supporting actors also wore ghungroos around their ankles.
One of the funniest sequences had Krishna singing the most controversial song of the late 1990s, ‘Sexy, sexy, sexy mujhe log bole’ (People call me sexy) performed by poor Karisma Kapoor, who was crucified after this song was aired! Krishna sang it in this high-pitched voice, which was just too funny! Another funny sequence was one in which the protagonist writes a best seller (which by the way, never gets released in India, because of its ‘controversial’ subject) and is being interviewed by some journalists. One of the journalists actually asks him much to his bemusement about which brand of shampoo he uses!
Yet another good sequence is where the protagonist receives a call from a guy threatening to kill him because of his book to which he asks, “Didn’t you call yesterday?” And the caller is like, “No! That wasn’t me!” And the protagonist says, “Strange! Someone called up yesterday and said exactly the same thing!” Then the caller says that his book is very offending in nature to which the protagonist replies, “Did you actually read my book?” only to be answered by the engaged tone!
Each and every person sitting in the auditorium enjoyed this play immensely, including D! People were rolling in the aisles listening to the very tongue-in-cheek dialogues!
The very same evening there was as awards ceremony before which a local rock band called 'Helga and the Fun Castle' performed. I don’t care much for hard rock music and this experience has just reinforced my view!
Then the awards ceremony started. And which play swept the awards in almost all categories that it was nominated in? Butter and Mashed Banana of course! It received the awards for best supporting actor, best actor, best director and best story. And to think the first 2-3 ideas of the director, Ajay Krishnan were rejected! And most of the girls/women present fell in love with Nakul Krishna, ‘cause he’s so damn cute! ;) (Ok, he does not look all that great in the pic below!)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Now all I have to worry about is the marks I’m going to receive, and I’m hoping that my prof doesn’t go through it with a fine toothcomb!
I never wanna go through something like this ever again! So I’ve decided that procrastination does not pay, and the next time that I have to do any project I’ll start doing it well in advance. Now I really, really hope that I can stick to my resolve!! :D
Last Saturday I’d gone to the Navjote ceremony of my cousin’s children. To those who are unaware of this ceremony, in short it is a ceremony that all good little Parsi children have to go through to be initiated into the Zoarastrian religion. All of us go through with it when we are 6-10 years old. It’s celebrated on as grand a scale as a marriage.
So anyway, first of all we were late for the ceremony because of yours truly! We were going to start off at 5:30 PM, and I left JJ hospital at 5:45. So instead we started out from home at about 7:00 PM, as any self-respecting girl, I do take some time in getting ready! :))
Anyway, we got there and it was the same old boring do, where I hardly knew anyone at all. My mother was having a nice time chatting up some old buddies of hers. So I spent time arguing with my brother over silly things, and also gawking at all the diamond jewelry the women were displaying. Some of it was really breath taking!
And when we sat down for dinner, guess who I saw??!! Cyrus Broacha! At first I thought it was just someone who looked like him. But the more I stared the more I was sure it was him! Even my mom and brother were like, “That’s Cyrus Broacha!!” He was wearing a pink shirt and gray suit. He had his serviette tucked into his collar, and was tucking into the food with great relish! He actually looked better in person than on TV. Of course, suffice to say, I kept on staring at him all through dinner!! I’m a big fan of his! He’s so hilarious! Most of his jokes are quite silly, but the way he narrates them is too funny!
After dinner we met up with some relatives of my mother. You’d say that I might as well have said “some of my relative”, but the thing is I hardly know anyone from my mother’s side, so it’s hard to think of them as my relatives! Anyway, here was this couple and the woman started speaking to me and was like, “so how are your computer games going?” I gave her a half-blank-half-silly-smile-on-my-face look, and repeated like a goof, “computer games?” For the life of me I couldn’t place this lady at all! I was so completely embarrassed, but went on confidently, “Oh! All that has stopped! I was very busy this past month.” Then she asked me about some online games website that I’d given to her when she had come home. That’s when it hit me who this lady was, and I remembered her at last! Hehe! I’m sure this has happened to the best of us some time or the other!
After this slightly embarrassing encounter we moved onto another group of relatives who I at least know by name and face! Once again, as my mother chatted with them, my brother and I exchanged insults.
Then at last Ma decided that it was time we left, so we made for the exit slowly and painfully, as at every inch there was someone or the other who had to have a word with Ma or Grans. And just as we were leaving the yester years actress, Bindu, walked in with her husband. She sure is tall! She looked really big!
And guess what? We met the father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousins of the two boys whose Navjote we had just attended, eaten the feast and were now leaving; but we never actually met the two boys themselves! :))
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Ok, I’d been tagged a while ago, but got down to writing this up right now itself. So here it goes:
SEVEN THINGS I PLAN TO DO: is this supposed to be a short-term or long-term plan?? Anyway, here goes…
1. I have to withdraw money from the bank, coz I’m totally kadki right now!!
2. Then I plan to go shopping for food, coz don’t have anything to munch on; and also other essentials that I cannot do without like soap, deo, toothpaste, etc. etc.
3. The most pressing thing I need to do right now is to start typing up my 10 cases to submit on 28th November and I’ve not started any work on them at all!! I’m freaking out here, but at the same time not doing anything about it! I’ve a definite starting problem!!
4. I’ve been planning to lose weight for the past 5-6 years. Haven’t really done anything proactive in that direction yet. Maybe I should start now… :D
5. I plan to complete my M.A. with, ok, not with flying colours, but with a decent enough percentage and get myself a job. Just dying to do this!!
6. Next, I wanna do a PhD in the next 3-4 years.
7. I plan to marry sometime in the distant future.
SEVEN THINGS I CAN DO: I thought this would be quite easy! Not so, as I soon found out!
1. I can sleep 12 straight hours!
2. I can be very bossy at times.
3. I can drive a Scooty. Have one in Hyderabad, which I miss driving when I’m in Bombay.
4. I sing quite decently, but have difficulty in catching the high notes.
5. I can make up believable stories at the spur of the moment to escape sticky situations! Hee hee!
6. I can write quite well. Always did well at essay writing and stuff in school.
7. I can cook quite well, but I don’t like cooking.
SEVEN THINGS I CAN’T DO:
1. I can’t sing in public. My voice gets constricted, and all I can do is bleat!
2. I can’t make friends very easily, as I’m the reserved kind.
3. I can’t play the guitar unfortunately. I’ve wanted to learn how to play it since I was in school.
4. I cannot be on time for meetings and stuff almost always.
5. I suck at time management! Someone give me tips on how to manage my time better!!
6. I cannot help but procrastinate. I think this is my biggest weakness.
7. I cannot go to sleep early and I cannot wake up early.
SEVEN THINGS I SAY MOST OFTEN:
2. Good God!
3. That was hi-laaa-rious!
4. Bombay’s weather sucks!
5. I miss my mother!! :((
6. I can’t wait to finish my M.A.!!
7. What a nut!
I think that this is going to be my last post for the entire month of November, as there’s lots of work to be done during this month. I’ll try sneaking in a post or two, but till then, I’ll have to bid adieu to the blogging world. Sob! :(
Monday, October 31, 2005
I miss Hyderabad so much right now. At this time of the year the air is crisp and cold and the streets of Hyderabad are suffused with a festive spirit. All the shops are lit up with colourful, twinkling lights arranged in all kinds of shapes and designs; the jewelry shops are decked with garlands of flowers in the most amazing designs!
All the little cafés are filled with people savouring the delicacies that Ramzan has to offer – haleem, hareesh, paya, kheer etc etc. And this is not limited to only Muslims; Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs; everyone who is basically a non-vegetarian has a great time in relishing all this lovely food.
The old city looks even more beautiful, the Charminar is beautifully lit as people throng there to buy clothes, accessories from the famous “choodi bazaar” and to of course gorge on all the marvelous food!
During Divali and Ramzan, Hyderabad truly gets transformed in to a fairy town! Everything just looks so beautiful! The Public Gardens buildings are also lit up beautifully!
And at this time the best thing to do is to go to the Golcunda Fort to watch the light and sound show. It really takes you back to the olden times, and you can imagine so clearly what all had taken place so very long ago! The partly animated movie, “Bhagmati” is based on the love story of prince Mohd.Quli Qutub Shah, the fourth Qutub Shahi ruler, and Bhagmati, a court dancer.
That brings us to the Qutub Shahi tombs. These tombs have some lovely architectural qualities (By the way, the climax of “Mohra” plus the song “main cheez badi hoon mast mast” has been shot at the Qutub Shahi tombs. The maze like place where Naseeruddin Shah beats up Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty is a place that we kids used to love to go to, whenever we went there for picnics.) These tombs are also are lit up in muted colours.
This year I thought I would not be able to go down to Hyderabad to celebrate Divali with my family, as I’ve still not completed my internship. And I was terribly depressed because of that. I couldn’t believe that I would not be able to participate in the pooja, or go for a long midnight drive, watching all the rockets burst in to iridescent showers of light…
Of course, it all just boils down to having a great time with family and friends! And now I’m just so glad that I’ll be able to go down at least this year to be there with my family. Who knows where I’ll be next year. But at present I’m the happiest girl on this planet! Hyderabad, here I come! :D
I’ll be gone for a week, so I won’t be able to blog or blog hop for a while now. :(
HAPPY DIVALI AND EID MUBARAK TO EVERYONE!!
Monday, October 24, 2005
Here are two pics that I thought looked worthy enough to post!! :D
I took them from my Nokia 6610.
I took the latest two pics the day before yesterday. Afterwards I was just standing on the balcony and gazing at the sky, and that triggered a memory of my childhood. When I was a kid I would just go up on to the terrace of our home in Hyderabad in the evenings and sit there and just gaze at the sky changing colours gradually until the sun had set or my mother called for me to come down! I just loved watching the evening sky, everything was so peaceful at that time; birds would be flying back to wherever they came from, one could see the eagles circling lazily in the sky lower and lower.
There's a mosque just opposite our home, and at that hour I would hear the aazaam calling out for the faithful to come for prayer. The melody of this would send shivers down my spine! It was a magical time for sure!
Someone had asked me why I post so many pictures of the sky on my blog, and at that time I'd said that I just like to, not realizing the deeper meaning behind me going crazy clicking away at the sky. Well, here it is then, it just takes me back to my childhood and more precisely to Hyderabad. :)
Sunday, October 16, 2005
What’s more, during her pregnancy and even after the abortion procedure she wasn’t allowed to rest or regain her strength. She was made to work like a slave.
This girl’s woes don’t end here. Her husband is basically unsupportive and demands to sleep with her even when she is not feeling well. Right now even after she had to go through the painful process of abortion he forces himself on her, unmindful of her stitches and the fact that she is bleeding. So the truth is that her own husband is raping her every single day.
The worst part is that her parents have washed all hands off of her. They say that now that she is married what her in-laws and husband do to her is their problem. They have a right to treat her as they wish. It’s like she is no longer their daughter.
I was aware that there are families in India who treat their daughters-in-law as unpaid servants, and the husband just uses the wife for his own pleasure. But actually knowing a person (even though she was even less than an acquaintance to me) who is going through all this really hits the situation home, and hard. I was simply furious when I heard about this girl’s condition. How can human beings be so cruel? The capacity that a human being has to hurt another human being simply astounds me!
When someone behaves in a boorish manner most people say things like, “don’t behave like an animal”. But the fact is animals are much more civilized than human beings. Human beings are the only species on earth who kill each other in large numbers. No other species go on a rampage killing or hurting those belonging to their own species.
From the above incident it is apparent that India still has a long way to go in according its women the respect that they deserve. What is the use of worshipping Durga Mata or Kali Mata or other goddesses when you don’t give your own mother, wife, daughter or any other woman the respect that she deserves? We Indians very proudly refer to our country, as “Bharat Mata”; and this is how we treat our women? And what is the use of celebrating Women’s Day? How hypocritical can we get?
On the one hand it is said that only a woman can understand another woman’s pain, and on the other that a woman herself is another woman’s worst enemy. Which one is true? I would naively want to believe that the former is true. But sadly it is not, because if it were then mothers-in-law wouldn’t participate in the harassment of their daughters-in-law, or in their cold-blooded murder.
It is of no news singing the praises of our ancient “culture and traditions” and priding ourselves on following ancient rituals. It is a fine tradition indeed to degrade women and treat them as third class citizens!
We Indians need to stop acting like ostriches with our heads buried in the sand thinking that India is the greatest country in the world and hoping that sooner or later these ages old practices would change on their own. They will NOT change on their own. We need to be more proactive. One Nisha Sharma is not enough to bring about a change. Link
We sure are educating our daughters but we still do not give them the freedom to make their own choices and decisions in life. Women are still seen as the weaker sex, that they cannot do anything on their own, they always need a man by their side; when the truth is that it has been scientifically proven that women are emotionally stronger than men. How else do you explain the countless women not only in India, but also around the world undergoing daily debasement but yet living through it all?
I’m doing clinical psychology right now, and I’ve learnt that anxiety disorders and panic disorders are more prevalent in Indian women than Indian men. The reason for this is the fear that is instilled in the girl child from the moment that she is born, that she cannot do anything on her own and will always need the support of a male figure in her life.
Finally, it is up to Indian women themselves to say, “Enough!” We need to stand up for ourselves, for our rights as well as for the rights of our sisters, mothers, daughters.
I feel a desperate need to bring about an attitudinal change in our society. It is a Herculean task indeed, but if I am able to change the views of at least one person through my message then I would be happy. The order of the day is to DO, and not only to THINK.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are NOT as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year olds I know, still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen...
I'm actually supposed to write up a report for one of my patients, which I've to submit to the hospital tomorrow; but I just couldn't wait any longer to post this song! It sure does lift up my spirits!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Today’s is my Phoenix tattoo’s birthday!! :))
At first I wanted to get a scorpion tattoo since my sun sign is Scorpio. But when I saw that every Tom, Dick and Harry had a scorpion tattoo, I didn’t want something so common. I broke my head trying to decide which tattoo would be just perfect! My mother had said that there was no point thinking about which tattoo to get, as she would not allow me to get one anyway. I said that I’d just save up money on my own and get it done. Of course, Ma disapproved even more!
Anyway, once I got to live in Bombay I decided that I would start saving up for a tattoo. Then I found out how much a tattoo really costs – anywhere from a 2000 bucks to 15,000!!! I was slightly discouraged and had even wondered if it was really worth it. And a funny thing happened at that moment. One day I was flicking through channels on the TV and landed on the Hallmark channel. A movie was just about to start and I decided to check out if it was worth watching or not; and when I saw the title I knew it sure would be worth it! The title was “Tattoo – A Love Story”!! It was a sweet sorta movie about this prim and propah schoolteacher and a tattoo artist who rode bikes. She gets him interested in sushi and such fine things and he helps her loosen up. It ends with the schoolteacher getting a tattoo done. In between there were interviews of people who had tattoos, talking about why they had decided to get a tattoo (or two) and why they had chosen the particular tattoo.
I totally enjoyed the movie! And it got me back on track; I definitely wanted a tattoo now!! GO 92.5 FM; the radio station I listen to used to play ads for a tattoo place called Illustrated Unlimited. I’d saved the number on my cell, waiting to call it as soon as I’d saved up enough.
By this time I’d decided which tattoo I was going to get. I’d read a bit of Linda Goodman’s book ‘Sun Signs’ in which she had written that the phoenix is one of the symbols of the Scorpio because of the (ahem!) wonderful quality we possess of rising out of our own ashes, metaphorically speaking, of course! :D So now even the problem of what tattoo to get was solved, the only problem remaining was that of money. I was on a strict budget and not able to save all that much.
Then something happened! I don’t want to be a drama queen and call it a miracle, but let’s just say that it was close enough!
That rainy 14th September I’d just gotten home in a bad mood (again!) and was listening to the radio. The RJ then announced that a daily contest ‘Why me?!’ was about to start. In this contest listeners could call in or sms about what a wretched day they had had. Well, I’d had a particularly bad day! This was when I was still very home sick and longing to run back to Hyderabad. Ah! The irony that is Life! When I was in Hyderabad I couldn’t wait to run off to Bombay, and now when I was finally in Bombay, all I wanted to do was to be in Hyderabad!
Anyway, I digress. I rushed off an sms detailing my bad day. The RJ then called me and told me to retell my story on air. Then two other people got to relate their stories. Then it was left to the rest of the listeners to vote for the person who had had the most miserable day. I was hoping and praying that I would win! Because the prize was a gift voucher from Illustrated Unlimited!!! But before the name of the winner was announced I went off somewhere to do some thing, and for the life of me I don’t remember what that was now! So anyway, I had no idea who had won.
But the next day, a woman called up from the GO office and as all of you must have already guessed, pronounced me the winner! YIPPEEEEE! YAY!!! I was delirious with happiness!!
And here’s my award-winning story:
It was a horribly dull, rainy day and I was late for college for the nth time! There was a long line before the elevator, so I ran up all eight floors to get to my class. I was completely exhausted by the time I reached the 8th floor and staggered into the class with a ready excuse. But the class was empty! I was wondering if the class had been shifted when I saw a friend of mine walking toward me. She said that the class for that day had been cancelled!! I might as well have taken the goddamn lift!! I was sooooo annoyed! I then suggested to my friend that we should do something, catch a movie maybe, but she was even more home sick then me (she too is from Hyderabad) and didn’t feel like doing anything, and she didn’t care much for movies anyway! I was just incredulous! How can anyone not like to watch movies??! Anyway, we walked through all the disgusting slush to the station and left for home. I had planned to go to Big Bazaar to buy some stuff to eat, but since it was raining quite heavily by then, I cancelled my plans. So anyway, I trudged all the way home through the filthy mud and water (this was before I’d discovered that there was a bus that could drop me off right at my door-step!). I was soaked to my bones when I reached home, was greatly annoyed, completely miserable and totally ravenous! All I could do was curse at the rains!
So then, I rushed off to the office to collect my voucher as soon as I could. There I found out that Illustrated Unlimited was just 10 minutes away. So I made my way down there at once and met up with Ben, who owns the place. When I saw him for the first time I nearly did a double take! He bore a strong resemblance to the actor who played the tattoo artist/biker in “Tattoo – A Love Story”! The same French beard, the same sparkling eyes, the same rotund figure! If I believed in destiny I would have thought that this was meant to be, but, well, I don’t!
I went through his photo albums searching for the perfect phoenix tattoo. But I found only 3-4 phoenix tattoos and didn’t like them too much. So I decided to search on the net myself and came across quite a few interesting phoenix tattoos and pictures. At last I decided on the one that you can see displayed on the right hand corner! I’d first picked a drawing of a colorfully resplendent phoenix. But unfortunately I would have had to pay a lot more on top of the voucher. So I had to settle for the completely black one. I persuaded Ben to add a touch of colour to the two tail feathers and he obliged and filled them with blue.
The whole process took a little over half an hour. When he first started whirring the needle over my arm it didn’t hurt too much and I thought, “This is not bad at all!” But after a while it started hurting a hell of a lot more! At times I thought that I was going to pass out! All the muscles in my body were clenched and it was all I could do from not screaming out continuously! At last it was complete, my arm was bandaged up and I was ready to go!
Despite the unbearable pain (my pain threshold is really low!) I was very pleased with myself. :)
The most frequent question that I’m asked about my tattoo is: “Did it hurt a lot?” Well, du-uh! How would you feel if a sharp needle was driven into your skin again and again?! Not a pleasant sensation obviously! In the beginning I would proudly say that it hurt a lot, but it was all worth it, but now it’s starting to get a li’l bit annoying!
But the fact is, all the pain was definitely worth it. I’m the proud owner of a beautiful phoenix tattoo. It is another thing that most people think that it is a peacock or some other bird!
So if any of you people want to get a tattoo, do not waste any more time! Get it at once! And go to a good tattoo artist, not some aira-gaira. I recommend Illustrated Unlimited strongly if you are from Bombay.
And to those who feel that getting a tattoo is like scarring yourself for life, then here’s my response: *sticks tongue out* :D
I’m sure that there will never be a moment in my life when I may think that I shouldn’t have gotten a tattoo. I chose it carefully for that reason alone. In fact, I’m planning on getting at least two more!
Friday, September 02, 2005
There is so much I want to talk about, but I've no time at all!!! I feel like such an idiot going on repeating about how busy I am!! Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to write a decent post sometime in the near future, till then all I've to offer are some more pics of the sky that I'd taken from my balcony sometime back. Again!
One thing's for sure, no matter what, I'll remain connected to blogging somehow or the other.
And I did visit a few blogs today but becuase of time constraint (damn!!) I couldn't leave any comments. Sorry guys!!
My next post will definitly be longer!!
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I'm sooooo very sleepy!! I've taken out a few precious minutes to post! I'm getting only 3-4 hours of sleep every night! Makes me wanna cry!! :(( Even now I can hardly keep my eyes open!! I never thought that clinical psychology would be this tough! Gosh!
I'm sorry for not visiting my fav blogs as regularly as I used to before. I'd love to, but I've hardly any time to sleep itself, you see! I've to get up early even on a Sunday now!! What could be worse than that??
Well... I think I'll just stop whining and go to sleep now! Wait a minute! I can't!! I've a few psychological tests to score and interpret and cases to write up!! OK, that's it then! I'm sure everybody's had enough of my whining!! Good night!
Monday, August 22, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
When I was in the 6th or 7th grade (10-11 years ago) our class teacher had taken us all to a village a few kilometers outside of Hyderabad, called Kakannur. None of us were thrilled to be visiting a village; we’d much rather have gone for a picnic to Nagarjunsagar (a dam a few km outside of Hyderabad) or some such place. We were only excited that we would not be having classes for the entire day and that all of us were going to have fun no matter what.
But in our enthusiasm to have fun, we over-stepped our bounds a great deal.
Our first stop was at an orchard, where a Mr. Raju (he pronounced it as Razu) spoke to us very animatedly about how the orchard provides employment to the villagers. Then he went on to describe some processes that were used to grow the trees. It was all quite boring to all of us. So to stop ourselves from falling asleep we made fun of Mr. Raju’s accent. Here was this man talking to us so very enthusiastically about this project of his and all we could do was make fun of the way he pronounced earthworm! He pronounced it something like this: err-uth-wuh-rum.
Our next stop was Kakannur. It was the monsoon season, and the streets there were terribly slushy and all of us were annoyed to see our sneakers and the bottom of our jeans coated with mud. So all of us cursed our teacher’s “brainwave” and wished that we could have been anywhere but there.
When we reached Kakannur, it was lunchtime. The villagers had actually prepared some food for us. It was simple fare – dal, rice, some vegetables, and pickles. Of course all of us started complaining again at once about how terrible the food was and what a waste the whole day was. When our teacher overheard us, she admonished us and lectured us about how little the villagers get to eat on a day-today basis, and here they had prepared what was like a feast in their eyes for us, their guests. I don’t know about my friends, but I still grumbled inwardly.
There is this scene in ‘Swades’ where Mohan Bhargav goes to collect rent from a dirt-poor farmer and the farmer and his family share their frugal meal with Mohan, most probably foregoing their own share. The first time I saw this scene, the realization of what we had done, how badly we had behaved all those years ago hit me, and hit me hard! I have never been so ashamed in my life! I was appalled at the recollection of our snobbish, disgusting behaviour. How could we have been so insensitive? One could just blame it on our age; we must have been 11-12 years old. None of us obviously realized at that point that we were being completely obnoxious. We just laughed our guts out when Mr. Raju pronounced ‘monitor’ as ‘man-eater’.
But then that would be taking the easy way out. I cannot (and never will be able to) find an excuse to explain away my inexcusable behaviour. The only silver lining I can see is that I would definitely be more careful in the future in passing snap judgments, and making fun of the less privileged.
Friday, August 12, 2005
The reason I've not been blogging for sometime is that my internship has started. I'm interning at J. J. hospital, one of the largest government hospitals in Bombay, if not the largest (For those who don't know, I'm pursuing my Masters in clinical psychology)!
I was so damn nervous the first day, wasn't sure that I would be able to speak to the patients in Hindi. Am not too fluent in Hindi, I've to always pause and try to translate English words into Hindi in my mind. But I surprised myself! Today I got my first client and I spoke pretty well in Hindi, even though I say so myself! Plus, I wasn't nervous at all! I did fumble a few times here and there, but recovered marvelously!
O.K., I'll stop with the self-flattery here! :D
So anyway, I don't think I'll be able to be quite regular with blogging. And am not too happy about this, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. :(
I'll try and be as regular as possible in reading all my favourite blogs too. So until the next time, byeeeeeee!!
Friday, July 29, 2005
When I switched on the radio (which I do as soon as I wake up) the RJs were relaying messages from mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, uncles, nephews, friends, colleagues, all desperately searching for their near and dear ones. Most of the messages had the same timbre, “Where are you? Please call as soon as possible.”
When I switched on the TV to watch the news, the same messages were running on the ticker tapes.
All these messages sent a chill down my spine.
My mother also called from Hyderabad, asking if my brother, D, had got in touch.
At last he did call at about 4:30-5:00, and all of us heaved a sigh of relief.
But I was still worried about a friend of mine, N, who is also from Hyderabad. She had to go to Andheri that day for her internship, and the news that the Andheri-Bandra areas were flooded kept on being repeated on the radio. I couldn’t even get through to her because of the cellular networks being down.
Today she called me and told me that she had almost drowned, as the water where she was had come up to her neck! Some good Samaritans had fished her out and even escorted her all the way to her local guardians’ place in Juhu.
The ground floor of another friend’s bungalow was covered in shoulder high water. She sounded sad, but at the same time optimistic that they would try and salvage whatever they could.
D came back home in the evening today. He works in Malad, another area that was completely flooded. He and some friends of his half-waded half-swam to his friend’s place in Malad, itself. It usually takes them about 20 minutes to get there, but this time it took them nearly 2 hours because the water was chest high. He had some horrendous experiences too. He saw buffaloes helplessly being carried away by the strong currents.
He narrated another story in which, he and another friend had gone to drop a third friend to his house, and had asked the fourth friend, C, to stay below his building. On their way back they got a bit disoriented and entered the wrong building compound, and began shouting for C. In reply someone kept on yelling, “Yes!” They were like, “C, is that you?” And the voice just kept on yelling back, “Yes!” They figured that it was some prankster, and realizing that they were in the wrong compound, set out for the right one, where they found C standing where they had left him. Later they found out that the voice yelling out “Yes” was a genuine call for help. It belonged to an elderly man who was trapped in the rushing water. D was quite upset that the voice was so nearby and they could have helped the man. But he and his friend were disoriented as it is; it was a terrible tragedy, but they cannot blame themselves.
A cousin of mine, N, walked for almost 18 hours all the way home. He started out at 6:00 pm in the evening on 26th July, and reached home at 12:00 noon on 27th.
An aunt of mine got stranded in her car on a flyover close to her house for 2-3 hours. In the end she was forced to abandon her car and walk the rest of the way home.
I also heard on the radio that civil volunteers were trying to help those stranded on the roads by offering them biscuits, water, and tea. This disaster sure did bring out the helping side of all Bombayites.
Even till today quite a lot of people have not reached home. So many out of towners are also stranded, with no trains or airplanes being able to take off. The domestic airport at Santa Cruz apparently resembled a lake!
Even the movie stars weren’t spared, as was reported in the newspaper today. Bipasha Basu has no idea where John Abraham is, and Amrita Arora has no idea where her sister, Malaika Arora is. Both are worried sick. A news channel also caught Aamir Khan stuck in traffic.
Most of the schools and colleges have handled the situation marvelously. Don Bosco, a school close to my home, offered not only the students but also their parents shelter and hot food too. St. Xaviers also extended their help to students and parents alike.
On the radio people called in with stories of their experiences on 26th and 27th July. Some had gone through great ordeals, while others had had not such a bad time, a little fun even!
One caller said that this ordeal has shown what Bombayites are made of: We will never give up in the face of adversity. And that is the gist of what this post is all about.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Here are two more pictures that I snapped right now. The water level has fallen a bit, but there is still a steady drizzle. According to the news channels, it is going to rain harder in the next 48 hours, so I'm going to have at least two unofficial holidays! Yay!! :D
But on a more serious note, I really hope that this rain does not produce any casualties. Apparently the army has already been called to rescue some people .
Yesterday on the radio I had heard that Birdy’s, a pastry shop close to home, was having a chocolate festival, and the announcer reeled out a list of yummy sounding desserts such as chocolate cheesecake, chocolate chiffon pie and chocolate mud pie! I made up my mind that the next day (i.e. today) I would go and buy some delicious pastries for Grans, my brother, and of course moi!
But as I was sitting in class, studying Rorsharch’s Inkblot Test, I kept on glancing uneasily at the rapidly darkening sky. It was raining quite heavily when I started off for home. I ran to the station and prayed that the tracks wouldn’t be flooded and that I would get home without getting thoroughly drenched. Then began the battle between my will and Birdy’s pastry shop! Will said, “Go home before you get stranded somewhere!” Birdy’s exclaimed elatedly, “Chocolate festival! Chocolate festival!” No prizes for guessing who won out in the end!
So from the station I made my way to Birdy’s. Ankle high water covered the roads leading to the shop. I thought, “Not bad! All I’ll have to do is change out of my pants once I get home.” But as I neared the shop, the water level seemed to have risen by a couple of inches. At last I got to Birdy’s and as soon as I landed there, my cell began to blast “Summer of ‘69”! It was Grans, and she was hysterical! “Where are you? There is water everywhere! The footpaths are completely flooded! Come home soon!” I was like, “Ok, ok! Just tell me if you want a pineapple or chocolate pastry.” Grans was speechless for a few seconds (and that’s a feat in itself!) then she blasted off, “Pastry? PASTRY?!! Get home at once! And get me a pineapple!” The guy who was waiting to take my order smiled cheekily and said, “So it’ll be a pineapple pastry miss?” The world is full of comedians!
Anyway, I bought the pineapple pastry for Grans and some chocolate delectables for my brother and myself. When I stepped out of Birdy’s the landscape out side had changed considerably! In fact, there was no ‘land’ to be seen anywhere at all! There was water everywhere as far as the eye can see! I was about 10 minutes away from home and knew that no taxi would be willing to come for such a short distance; so feeling very adventurous I waded on to the footpath! As I treaded carefully (didn’t want to fall into some open gutter!) the water level rose and rose and then rose some more, till it reached my knees!
The walk that usually takes only 10 minutes seemed to take forever! What made it worse was that I was walking in the direction opposite to the current of the fast flowing water. Bits of plastic, leaves and twigs would get entangled with my feet every so often, making me yelp in fright!
As I looked into the rain hazed distance I couldn’t see a single person on the footpath. That was when I noticed that most people were walking on the road, which was not covered with as much water. Feeling like a total idiot, I made like a penguin towards the road!
But the worse (or best, if you like such things) was yet to come. The intersection near my building was flooded with water, which came almost up to my waist. The vehicles were moving slowly, and I had to stand in this nearly waist high water for a few minutes, waiting to cross, in which time I was almost knocked over by a mini tsunami created by a bus! Now I was covered from head to toe in muddy brown water, clutching on to my umbrella and pastry package!
I was just thankful that mine is a corner building and after a few more minutes of thrashing around I was on, not so dry, but stable ground at last! I could have kissed it!
Now I’m nice and dry, and can see the hilarity of it all!
It’s still continuing to pour, with no hopes of stopping, ever! There are quite a few people outside splashing around in the water, having a really good time! I can hear their shrieks of delight through the closed doors!
I’ve even taken some pictures from my balcony, which I’ve displayed here. They look a bit blurred due to the rain. It may look like I live right on the banks of a lake, but that happens only once or twice a year!
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Another incident happened only a few days ago. I was once more going home by bus, and as it stopped at the various stops, the bus driver was waving out to the people standing at the bus stops! They were obviously regulars. This scene amused me thoroughly!
While walking home (for a change!) one day, this is what I saw painted on the side of a bus: Asthma, Cancer, and TB… FREE! With every cigarette. No one could have said it better! I think the most stupid people in the world are those who smoke. They know that smoking is bad for their health; it leads to cancer, and other diseases, yet they persist in smoking. It is hard to give up, as most addictions are, but come on! It’s your life! It’s like you are committing suicide second by second, killing yourself slowly! And to those people who say that they don’t smoke “that often” and can give it up anytime they want; I’ve one thing to say, “Whom are you trying to kid??”
A cousin of mine said this very same thing to me; I was flabbergasted! How dumb do you have to be to actually believe that?! He leads a very healthy lifestyle otherwise; he eats right, he’s crazy about adventure sports, has been to two mountaineering schools; yet he has made the very unhealthy choice of smoking! I just don’t get this! I mean you can’t just blame peer pressure for taking up smoking. Who needs friends who want to destroy not only theirs but also your life? Wizen up people, before it’s too late!
And now let us move on to a much lighter topic. A few days back as I was traveling in the local train to college, there was this great saleswoman in the compartment I was in! She was selling saris and dress materials. A Parsi lady bought quite a few things from her. Later she fished out a dress material, which was bright purple with orangish-yellow stitched on flowers, on which were sprinkled a liberal amount of glitter beads! I made a grimace and thought, “Yuck! Who would ever buy that?!”
The woman then made her sales pitch to the entire compartment, “This is Bunty aur Babli salwar kameez, made famous by Rani Mukherjee!” Then she pounced on an unsuspecting woman standing by the door and said very dramatically, “Aap yeh pehenegi to aap ko bhi aapka Bunty mil jayega!” much to the amusement of the rest of us! And after a bit of haggling, the woman actually bought this Bunty aur Babli creation that I wouldn’t be caught dead in! Just goes to show that if your sales pitch is right, as the saying goes, you can sell a fridge to the Eskimos!