Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cleaning up the closet

J, this post is happening because you reminded me that I have a blog. Thank you.

A few weeks ago I went to my mom's and picked up some of my stuff from there. Some old books, diaries, pictures - all the stuff that takes almost four years to get picked :) As I was going through the stuff I came across my autograph book from school. Wow, what a find, I thought. Lately, thanks to social networking sites I have been in touch with some of my classmates from school but that pales in comparision to what that diary meant to me at one point of time. I started going through what my classmates(mostly girls) had written, how did they want me to remember them and the time we spent together. I must admit most of them were really sweet, some had written very kind words about me(mostly undeserved) while a couple had recounted some very fun moments that we had spent together. I felt I was 12 again, dressed in grey pleated skirt and white shirt, making fun of the punjab-ish pronunciation of the chemistry teacher, gossiping about the clandestine love affairs that some bold girls(yeah, only bold ones had boyfriends when we were that age!) were having, thinking big about future etcetera, etcetera.....
Boy, what expectations I had from life!! Strange isn't it! When you are young and un-initiated about the business of the real world, you believe everything is possible. That time if someone would have told me that I will win a Noble prize for rocket science, I would have said - "What??? just one?!!", well I would even have believed that India and Pakistan will become one country again just like the Germanies and this unification will happen under my Prime-ministership! Ha! Ha! Ha!

But as I was flipping through the pages half smilingly two of the messages in that book brought me back to real life. My autograph book did not go to everyone, I picked and chose the people I wanted to remember, or who I thought made an impact upon my life. Strangely, two of such people decided that everytime I read out their messages - they'd rather make me squirm than smile. Boy, were they right?! What they had written was mean and hurtful. Even though cloaked behind fun words, it was hard to miss the sarcasm and cynicysm. The hurt that I felt when I read these messages for the first time came back to me. I remembered that I had cried and had a hard time not tearing those pages.


I give those girls concession that I must have done something to deserve atleast a fraction of what they wrote, but yaar what kind of people write mean things in autograph diaries of people that they'll probably not see for the rest of their lives? School is a tough place for most people, all for different reasons - some people want to gel-in, but they stand-out; some people want to stand-out but they fade into the background, some people just want to get great grades, while some want to learn more... I guess school is fun when you look at it in retrospective, but it gives everyone a tough time at some point or another. People especially children do behave strangely when they are attempting to be both bright and cool, I am aware of a few of the blunders that I have made.

So coming back to my classmates, they have both been connected to me for the past few months/years via the social networking sites. Rather I had sought out one of them after searching for a while. Ofcourse I had forgotten what these people thought of me when they left school. But as I read that book I must admit I still felt a little hurt by those words. It has been 13 years since we last met, but they still managed to stir-up things within me. I got really angry at myself for feeling bad about words of two 17 year olds, but then I realized why I was sulking. These people were still connected to me, though in a very distant way. But I needed closure. Then I had a second realization, which was - hey! this is not school and I am a grown up now. I can make my own choices today.
And I did just that...... Today I chose not to be friendly with people who are not my friends. Sounds so simple, doesn't it :)

That set me thinking(yes, I know I think a lot) again - Today I am aware of many people who are part of my life in different ways, who I know do not mean well or don't really care. Most of them are in my life only because I choose that they be there.

This closet needs a lot of cleaning.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not so "Cool' swearing

The othe day I was going through an article in TOI that carried concerns of parents, school teachers and principals and shrinks about the title of the movie "Kaminey". Collectively they were of the opinion that the movie and it's popularity is making the usage of the word "Kaminey" rather casual and childern have started to use it often in their conversations. They were afraid that they are going to grow up and make adults for whom "Kaminey" is just another word. Some of the parents must be of my generation and mind it! we are "the" generation tht made the f... word part of the everyday vocabulary in India. We are also the first generation that saw Hollywood movies at home everyday on television and thought that saying "shit"/"damn"was ok, since the cool guys and gals in movies said the same as eloquently as one would say "How lovely!!".
So, I find it ironic that "Kaminey" which is the hindi translation of the first word in an English movie for teens/pre-teens titled "Mean Girls", is facing so much flak, while the same set of parents of my generation, might have watched "Mean Girls" with their daughters and a bowl of popcorn. I think these people would be flabbergasted if someone did a hindi movie with a title which was hindi translation of "Austin Powes2 - The Spy who Shagged me". Though I suspect that most of them would have loved the Austin Powers movie and would have no qualms about calling out it's title in a social gathering.
Also ironic is the distance these people are from reality. They think the word "kaminey" will bring swearing into their lil children's vocabulary, quite oblivious to the fact these kids who have watched Hollywood stuff right from their first year in the world are not only familiar with all forms of possible usages of the "f..." word but make it a point to rant it many times a day to be "cool". While these kids mostly take care not to say these words in front of their folks but the non risky words like "shit" are part of their "can say in front of mommy" vocabulary.

I want to see the expression on mommy's face when that kid says "shit" in hindi.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Farewell

Goodbye Chachaji. Hope people who love you find strength to move on without you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Friendship Day

Yeah I know, today is not friendship day. Neither do I understand the concept of such days and nor do I Identify with them. We have days for – women, aids, environment, friendship, mothers, fathers, children, blah, blah… blah, blah….
Do these days enhance the significance of what they symbolize?? DO you love you mom more because of this day or does she feel more motherly on the same day. Some people believe that such days actually trivialize what they stand for. I tend to disagree there too(yeah that’s me! the disagreeing induhvidual). I think that the concept of these days is too ridiculous to bear any impact on the cause that they support.
I see children and their parents running to the stationery shops around the World Environment Day. They make beautiful Charts, Cutouts, models around the same theme. Then they go to school, participate in environment related elocution contests and debates, win prizes, spend the prize money to buy a some lip smacking snacks wrapped in a non-biodegradable packing or drink some aerated drink out of a tin can, then go and switch on the air-conditioners in their rooms and play games on their gaming consoles. The small fragment of children(or adults) who were educated about the environment slowly but surely are the only ones who end up caring for it. I think the same applies to every other such cause or relationship or whatever is being celebrated via this day. If things are important they can’t just be important on one day in the whole year?
Some people argue that like anniversary or birthdays these days come to symbolize celebration of life or relationship or a cause. Which brings me to birthdays…. No, No I am not going to denounce birthday celebration, I am big sucker for birthdays. I just love celebrating birthdays of people I love. Buying gifts, preparing in advance, springing a surprise gives me quite a high. But just coz I like them does not make them logical, does it? Why do we celebrate birthdays? Just because earth is at the exact same spot (as on the day of our birth), in the ellipse that it makes around sun, makes a day special? That we are glad that we were born so we decide to throw a party. But aren’t we glad every day or should I say on most days?
All this senseless pondering has made me formulate a theory - I theorize that the human society deems it important to have specific milestones to celebrate even something perennial. Maybe we think it’s ok for important things to lose significance in our daily routines but it’s not ok to just get up and start celebrating one of them without a reason or a date. Strange are the ways of us humans. Though that sets me thinking if other animals also try to regularize celebration/action on something by having specific days to do so. Beats me...

Friday, June 12, 2009

ATM Blues

Have you ever come across people who count their cash once it slides out of the ATM machine?

All these people happen to stand in front of me in the queue, especially when I am in great rush. There you are, in urgent need of cash. You see an ATM, with 10 people already in queue. You wait for a second to ponder - should try this one or hunt one with a shorter queue?. You realise that you'll take another 5 minutes to go to the other ATM machine, while if everyone in this queue takes 30 seconds to withdraw their money, then after 5 minutes anyway it will be your turn, so why drive farther.
So you wait....
and wait......
and wait..........
and wait..............

and

2 minutes have gone and the person inside has yet not come out. What could be happening inside that is taking more time withdraw money than it would have taken a rude bank teller to give it to you. Aah!!!! there he is,. Hopefully rest of us in the queue are not descendants of snails.

But then it becomes a pattern, some people are in for a minute, some for two and some take a minute or two more. You start to wonder if the machine is slow, the server is slow or maybe the air conditioning is bad causing people to perform really slowly in e heat. But then you see what's been happening. People have been counting their money once the ATM machine, after counting it multiple times has given it to them.
Why??? Why???? Why do they have to count that money right there? In the remotest of case, if the money is short, would they politely ask the ATM machine to correct it's error?
Or do they plan to holler "I have been short changed" in front of the macine, hoping that some sort of network will carry their voice packets to the bank folks?
Well, I guess most of such people are aware that there have hardly been any case of an ATM machine popping out wrong amount of money and I am sure that in the cases where there have been errors, they must not have been settled right there in front of the machine.

So please, go home count the booty and let machine-trusty people like me get the money and get on with our lives.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This isn't going to be......

I am not the kind of person who is clear about what she wants, but I am definitely the kind of person who just knows what she doesn't want. I guess it's better than knowing neither.

When I first thought of writing a blog, I wasn't sure what I wanted the blog to be, but I knew that I did not want it a place where I dump anything that comes to my mind.
After going through blogs of some of my friends, and even some celebrities I realized anyone with even pea-sized brain should be able to figure out who these guys are talking about in their blogs, even though references to those people maybe be veiled behind - "Someone", "A friend", "Some people", "A person I know" or simply by using that person's initials.

I was wondering if these people who write "not so nice" things about others in their blogs, are also aware that anyone who knows both of them would also know who the blogger is talking about. So can we say that they are using blog as a means to gossip and settle scores, although at a much broader forum. I guess nobody wants to be called gossipy even when one is indulging in gossip, so not addressing someone directly may give them solace that none can pinpoint, at least not with proof, that they have been talking about someone behind his/her back.

So in a nutshell... I have decided that this isn't going to be a blog where I carry out my personal vendetta against people irrespective of how much trouble a they may be giving me at that point of time. This is my blog and will remain dedicated to my thoughts that are worth something, even if it's a paisa.

Thoughts dedicated to painting onself as a victim are simply worthless.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Staying Afloat

For those of you who think that I am not religious, ha! let me tell you smart cookies that Procrastination is my religion and I have been following it all my life. Look at this blog. I was supposed to write my second post months ago, and here I am, almost 8 months after writing the first one. Finally I decided to water the dried earth of my blog with little sprinkle of my meaningless words.

I'll tell you what's new in my life. Generally my days are dedicated to my daughter, my job, my house and weekends include my husband too. Why 'the husband' is only in the weekend dedication?! Well those of you who know my routine , also know that I meet him only then. Anyway, so in all this running around completing chores, being a mom and a professional, a wife and a house-keeper I had stopped doing anything of my particular interest. Since a long time my "Things to do before I die" list has only seen additions and no items getting struck out.

So, I thought - life's short and it's pretty hot(summers in India), so why not learn how to swim. Which, btw has been the top item on that list since years. Being a logical person I weighed the pros and cons of both the sides and here is what my logical and fair mind could come up with -

Pros:
1.One item in the list gets struck out
2.Drowning would become a less likely reason of my death.
3.I just might loose some weight in the process. Ha!
4.When on a holiday, won't have to sit at pool's side and stare at other people having all the fun in water.
5.Will spend some time with myself
6.Will aquire a new skill(other than a software technology) after a very very long time
7. If point 3 is achieved, then may look good in a swimsuit some day and that would do wonders for my self(primarily body) image.
8. Last but not the least will bring a sense of newness, even though temporary into my mundane existence.


Cons:
1. Have to sacrifice on my already scanty sleep time.
2. Summer vacations have just started in schools, which means loads of children in the pool and they don't really take the trouble of going to the loo, when they have the urge to take a leak, while in the pool.
3. Will have to start for work right after my swimming lessons, the fatigue will no do much for my already challenged work-life balance skills
4. Point 3 in the 'Pros' will never happen, so even point 7 in the 'Pros' is ruled out.
5. Have heard of a lot of good swimmers dying of drowning


8 Pros and 5 Cons: Learning to swim was a clear winner while procrastination lost it's first battle in the arena of my mind.

So the easy part was done -which was making the decision and now what was left was the tricky part - i.e. sticking to that decision. When you sleep at 1 in the night, waking up at 5:30 in the morning makes you forget all the 8 pros, you don't even remember all the 5 cons, but just one that says -you are not sleeping enough. But I have manged to muffle that voice for 3 days at a stretch.

Did I tell you my coach is a proper Haryaanvi fellow who has maybe not heard of 'aap' as a way of addressing people. But it shouldn't matter as long as he does a good job as a coach. Which he does not.

But I think I am doing well - I have managed to motivate myself to go to the pool for the past 3 days, I have learnt how to stay afloat in water without any support.

Someday will learn to do that in real life too.
Hope rules!!!