Monday, December 31, 2007

An End That Leads to A Beginning

As this year comes to an end and we look at a new beginning; I am tempted to share the lyrics of one of my favourite songs from the musical video Rent with all of you, I am not sure whether I'll be successful with the video bit but here goes :

"525,600 minutes, 525,600 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends. Rememberthe love! Remember the love! Remember the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love !

I wish all of you a very happy new year and a prayer that you too like me will live each of the 525,600 moments to come to the fullest, in love, peace and in good health.

Cheers 2008.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All About Being Judgemental

This is the first tag and it had to be from Aqua. She wants to be my nasty, catty self....not that it is very difficult. As I started typing this post, I realised how easy it is to point fingers at others and hold them responsible for not living up to MY concepts, beliefs and ideals of "good" or (even worse!) "perfection". Well, and where do I stand on the "perfection meter", not too high in my personal opinion but when I read the "Judgemental" blogs of other bloggers, I realised that I wasn't being judged all that harshly and hence concluded that I wasn't doing too badly (please note the gloating tone) !
So here goes, my list of people and things that I "judge" in no random order:
1. I judge people who live in dirty, untidy homes. They say that "the home is where the heart is" and I really hold it against you if your heart resides in something that resembles a pig sty. It takes barely and hour or two to tidy up and if you have no respect or time for your own nest, then sorry neither do I.
2. I am judgmental about women who make their families an excuse for not delivering on the job. We all have problems at home and yet when we have chosen to step out and have a career whether by choice or by compulsion, we have to deliver the best and not leave it to others to take care of us at work. Leave your husband's opinions ; mother-in-law's advice and your father-in-law's feelings back at home when you come in to the office and give a full day's honest effort.
Let me mention here, that the most inspiring people that have I worked with have all been those who have been battling some serious personal problems such as cancer, divorce etc. is The best performer at work is a girl who is single-handedly bringing up a two-year old baby, she does not work late or on holidays, but the eight hours that she puts in are of the highest quality.
3. In the same vein, I am extremely judgmental about people who take their jobs for granted and go "crib, crib, crib" all the time. Wake up people, we are fortunate to be employed and enjoy a good standard of living when there are millions out there, who would give anything to be in our shoes. Value the source of your good life, else soon you will find yourself high and dry with only your memories and regrets.
4. I am judgmental about women who come by to teach me how to be a "good wife" and "run a good home."
Hell, I am my husband's best friend, I share his financial responsibilities, I understand his stress and fears and though I may not be a gourmet cook, I have a simple, neat and tidy home which is a pleasure to come home to at the the end of a long tiring day . And no, my husband treats me as an equal and does not walk all over me.
5. I judge people who use silly superstitions to avoid responsibilities. Like," we don't touch the garbage can because of our caste" or "my religious belief does not allow me to touch any shoes or slippers " . Yet that does not stop you from leaving the dirt generated(of the non-bodily kind) by you for some one else to pick up and dispose or your dirty slippers in an ad hoc manner anywhere you please ?
6. I judge people who still continue to employ children as servants. I think that that you guys are disgusting, regressive and cruel…no matter what your standing in society is or how wealthy you are.
7. I judge grown men who chose to travel by hand-drawn rickshaws. It is the most inhuman thing to do; if a man can pull you along a distance sitting on a contraption and make you feel like a king for having an extra ten rupee in your pocket…then you can bloody well WALK that same distance (and that would do good to your ample waistline too!).
8. I judge people who were downright nasty to me in my younger years and now all of a sudden become so sweet to me, when they have discovered that life is not one big party sponsored by the parents. I know you guys for what you are, and believe me, you are not going to get anything out of me beyond a few scraps (on Orkut !).
9. I judge people who talk too much and go on and on about how much they earn, how much property they own, and the expenses that they incurred to revamp their homes and yet shirk contributing 100/= to a colleague’s birthday party or leave their building maintenance dues unpaid for years ! Idiotic Cheapo Show Offs.
10. I am getting tired now so this will be the last one, I severely judge grown men and women who still look to their parents for financial support and flaunt their “status” through their parents’ wealth. Grow up guys and lead your own lives and let your parents enjoy the fruits of their labour in their twilight years without having you rush in to take big bites to satiate your inner cravings. Ever heard of things as basic as hard work and thrift?
Phew, I am so tired. I never realized that judging could be so tiring and I did not even write about the spoilt, demanding and idle wives and daughters of rich businessmen, about whom I have some very strong feelings or about those who put their colleagues at risk to reach their own selfish objectives! I just can't go on, it is too negative and feeling negative can be exhausting.
Remind me not to do this judging thing on my blog again for a long, long time to come.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. Khan

When I was in Class 7, in a bid to be different from my "boys" and " looks" obsessed girls in my school, I began watching a lot of cricket and some time in the 8th standard, I decided to have a mega crush on Imran Khan. So you can imagine the thrill I felt when I discovered that his birthday was just one day before mine !

So while other girls collected pictures of actors and rockstars, I managed to build up a huge collection of Imran Khan posters...many of them contributed by the senior boys in my school whom my "friends" had crushes on and were ignored !

My parents were appalled that their daughter had chosen to be smitten by a man as old as her mother and a pakistani to boot ! I saw a "man" in truest sense of the word and I admired his lean mean physique combined with an arrogance that sits well on men focussed on their ambitions. I was proud that whilst all my school mates swooned over "boys", I was the one having dreams about a real MAN !

I still remember, a catty classmate once told me, " Oh Imran Khan has a lot of illegitimate children" to which I had retorted ..." He is an attractive man, you know"...and this was in the 1991 when I was all of thirteen years old and without much exposure to a lot of things !

Time passed by, cricket as a game changed in character and I lost my interest . I had other crushes, fell in love and Mr. Khan lost his prominence in my life but he was never completely oblivated. I watched in interest as he fulfilled his dream of building a cancer hospital, retire from cricket (with certain sadness) ,marry a British girl half his age , father two sons, divorce, move into policitics, give some ludicrous quotes and even prayed for his safety while he was recently imprisoned.

Today, on his birthday, I wish him well and thank him for coming into my life and giving me the confidence to be stand apart from the crowd and be different . A learning which has made a lot of difference to my life.

As I end, I remember, Sunil Gavaskar , once saying that , Imran racing in to bowl was a sight for the gods. I nod my head in agreement.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 Things That Always Have To, Have To Happen To Me

No. 1
Every single time that I walk in to the bathroom and begin my business (the duration notwithstanding), the cellphone has to ring and it rings and rings, and rings while I grit my teeth and continue my “work” after all a girl’s gotta to do what a girl’s gotta do. I don’t understand why people keep on holding on to a ringing phone even if there is no answer from the other side especially when it is a call made to a cell phone .
So, Folks, next time you call on my cell and I do not answer in 30 seconds, HANG UP…my phone has CLI and if your call is of any importance to me, I WILL call you back as soon as I have “finished”.
On second thoughts, maybe I should change my catchy caller tune (Billy Joel’s River of Dreams) to get people to disconnect unanswered calls to my cell faster.


Whenever I go grocery shopping to any supermarket ( for e.g. Food Bazaar) and I am in a hurry to get out because (tick one) :
a.We are going to have guests over.
b.I am running late for one appointment or the other.
c. I am bone tired and my feet are killing me.

I will end up standing in what I think is the shortest billing queue but inevitably some one with a lot of time on their hands ahead of me will either end up :
a. With a declined card and will begin a monologue entitled “ How Could My Card Be Declined” directed at the teller and then begin a lengthy process of restructuring his/her purchases WITHOUT stepping out of the queue.
b. Deciding to review the contents of his/her shopping cart just as they reach the teller counter.
c. And something that is unique to Kolkata, Adult Son wearing a BPO logoed T-Shirt does the purchasing and (usually) pays through a card, and his parents re-check the bill and tally off the purchases(again while standing in the queue blocking the teller counter for us lesser mortals) to ensure that their “Darling Bumba” has not been “cheated” . GRRRRRRRRRR……………

No. 3

In a similar vein to Point 2 above, whenever I stand in the queue at the metro station to buy a ticket, some moronic passenger will end up flashing a 100 or worse 500 Rupee note for a 6 Re. ticket leading to first of all a war of words with the person manning the counter(he is a Govt. servant sothe lucky fellow can let off steam at morons without worrying about “customer satisfaction” ) and then further delays as the change is handed over in coins and ten rupee notes. By the time everything is done and it is my turn to get a ticket I have already missed two trains.

No. 4
I walk in to a beauty parlour with a friend and while she emerges looking and feeling great and gushing about the girl who had taken care of her, I emerge feeling like something that the cat dragged in, complaining about the grumpy/incompetent thing who had been assigned to me…. And when I crib about the bad haircut…my companion usually agrees to the fact that it IS bad……Awwwwwwwww.

No. 5
A corollary to the point above my hair never looks the way I have been promised it would look no matter where I go or how much I spend or which stylist works on my hair.It resembles what it always has resembled …an unpruned tea bush.

My tailor will never ever fail in goofing up at least on item of clothing that I have assigned to him for stitching and it will have to be without fail the most expensive material in the collection of pieces that I have given him.

No. 7
The rare occasions when I do get to the bus stop earlier in the morning, the bus will be late or not come that day or get caught in a traffic jam or have a flat tyre or an accident and I will be late to work yet again.

No. 8
The rare days on which I am able to leave work before 9 pm and I naively consider myself lucky , I will find myself stuck for at least an hour in a traffic jam caused by an intelligence-deficient individual driving a vehicle on Raja S.C. Mullick Road ( Kolkata’s most ill-disciplined road) and reach home even after my regular time.

No. 9
No matter how much I examine an article (which is not a book/cd/or an item of food or clothing) before buying it, I still end up with a defective piece or I find some item missing when I proudly unpack my latest acquisition…much heart ache, sarcasm and prolonged phone calls follow as I try to set my wronged self right.

No. 10
I sit down to do some serious work which has a deadline and creative calamities strike my colleagues and customers for which they have to requisition my services and no I cannot delegate, it always needs my attention…the deadline comes and goes and I am still on the phone, “firefighting” …but I have kept this as no 10 because I have found a way around this and it has something to do with removing the battery from my cell phone for a few hours and diverting my landline calls to whichever colleague has earned my wrath for the day !

As a result of points 1 to 10 , I have now ceased to make any kind of plans and expecting everything that I do to have a caveat on the lines of Murphy’s Laws and my life somehow chugs on…atleast I am luckier than those people who appear to be so calm, cool and poised but have all kinds of complicated problems gnawing at their insides. I am always looking hassled but atleast I sleep easy at night. Touchwood.


Another thing that ought to have been up there....Blogger nevers lets me put up my posts at one go.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Short Visit

The first thing that any Bengali did when she received her first calendar for the year was to check the dates for Ma's arrival. Ma had let the Bengalis the world over know in advance the dates of her annual visit.

In the city of Kolkata, preparations for her arrival began in August with the markets throwing open the "Pujo Season" had to look her best for Ma's visit and also had to impress that good looking "bhadrolok" in the "para" what if he was married ? Two months of frenzied shopping followed , purse strings were let loose, bargains sought and the credits cards swipped many a time. Those who run the wheels of commerce rubbed their hands in glee ! Ma's bounty was good even before she arrived.

The days flew by, the skies cleared and the kashphool blossomed once more. Each day brought us closure to Ma's arrival. The "Pujo Shonkhas"(annual publications of famous bengali magazines) hit the stands and become a hot topic for dissection during the morning bus rides to work. I am scoffed at for reading " The Godfather" during the Pujo Seasons.

At work I am bombarded with leave requests and my desk calendar resembles some army general's war plan as I strategise the placement of staff. I get calls asking how many people can be accomodated at the hubby's flat in Dubai or whether I can pull some strings and manage a hotel booking at Darjeeling or could someone please borrow my camera for his first trip to Bangkok ( of course not !) ....Ma's impending arrival had awakened the Bangali wanderlust !

Then the countdown came down to single digits and the preparations for Ma's stay gathered momentum :

Then late one night, I heard the shout " Durga Ma ki Jai" and a lot of echoes to that combined with shouting of instructions and some good natured cursing. I ran down stairs camera in hand. SHE HAD ARRIVED !!! I just had to had to see her.

She looked a little tired and a little helpless without her weapons....her lion had lost his teeth during the journey..some one had forgotten to bring her garlands...but she had finally made it. After a year of patient waiting she was here! Her lion's teeth would be restored and her garlands found in due course, now it was time to just gaze in utter delight at her serene face and feel the warmth of the joy and peace that she brought spread through me.

Her stay was brief and she did not complain about where she had been asked to stay. At some places she stayed in an elaborate temple complex :

And at other places, it was a humble bamboo and cloth pandal :

She lit up our lives.

Gave us a reason to smile . A reason to forget our mundane existence and social differences and step out to greet her.

She listened patiently to our many prayers and supplications and the rare words of thanks. She treated everyone as an equal and smiled in benediction towards those who were not on holiday and were doing their jobs well so that we ordinary folk could have a safer and happier holiday.

And in no time, she had to go back , leaving us counting the days till her next arrival.

The empty stage with a lonely ghora(urn) of "ganga jal" gave me a lump in my throat and I blinked back my tears. Damn it, I was going to miss this demon-slaying lady with a heart of gold for many days to come !

Monday, October 8, 2007

Let There Be Light

At the end of every Durga Puja season, we Bengalis have a chant which goes like this "Asche Bocchor Abar Hobei" which is roughly translates into "We'll celebrate the same way again next year " .

Another year has gone by and it is "that time of the year" again . For me, it is the days leading upto the actual Puja festival which hold a special place in my heart as I feel the excitement in the air and all talks lead to the " Pujos" ...

" Will it rain this year during the Pujos ? ",

" Who will have the best pandal this year ? "

" Have you finished your Pujo shopping ? "

" We are meeting na during the Pujos?"

For me the feeling began as soon as I saw the Kashphool grwoing beside the runways at Dum Dum when my flight landed. I felt a tug at mt heart strings as I realised how much I was going to miss my hubby during the holidays but I decided to go with the flow.

Inspite of the undertones of crass commercialsim I purposely walk through the crowded Gariahat market on my way back from work so that I can smell the new clothes on display and watch the glow of excitement on the faces of the not-so-welloff shoppers as they buy clothes for which they have been saving almost the whole year. For once, they forget all their problems and wants and adjustments and suppressd dreams as they look forward to the days of festivities ahead.

The colours may be garish and the material may be cheap...but they are going to have busy days ahead planning their "look" and setting out their accessories with a light feeling in their hearts. For once they'll feel "beautiful".

I love hearing my nieces and nephews count out their dresses for the Pujas as they squable for the additional gifts of chocolates and toys which ususally accompany the clothes sent by relatives.

I love walking past pandals under construction and gaze in awe as I watch works of art being wrought out of humble bamboo poles, tarpaulin and paint. I try to guess what each pandal is going to depict and I feel humbled seeing the nimble fingers of a bare-bodied artisan clad in a lungi as he crafts out a majestic decoration on a pandal...thanking the goddess for the blessing of his skill by putting forward his finest creation for her. My plush job in an MNC pales in comparison to the sheer passion with which he executes his art.

The actual days of the Puja come and go in a flash...most of our time is spent in "planning " what we are going to do...but the real excitement of the Pujas lie in the days that lead to it.

A Slipper's Tale

I have been away visiting the hubby in Dubai. As it was my first trip abroad, I had a lot of observations which I shall share later, but this one I have to tell you know.

A rather sweet Pathan gentleman sold me the slippers whose picture I have up there for 35 Dirhams after convincing me that it was his best stock and he was giving it to me at the cheapest price possible ! Even the hubby who is supposed to have become a veteran at shopping in Dubai found it to be a good deal . They were a very comfortable pair and I thought that I would buy a similar pair for my mother-in-law. Mr. Pathan gave me a very sweet smile every time I passed by his shop, so I decided that I would buy the pair from his shop only.

Before going to buy the slippers for my mother-in-law , we happened to visit a supermarket called " Carrefour" (which was another story by itself) and we found them selling these slippers in huge piles for 19 Dirhams a pair ! The same designs, the same quality. We visited another supermarket and there they selling these slippers for 18 Dirhams a pair !

So I went back to Mr. Pathan with the hubby in tow (making his plans of getting away and disowning me if the situation turned ugly ) .

I asked Mr. Pathan, why did he charge me twice the price for these humble and rather common albeit extremenly comfortable pair of slippers and he tells me in his pushtu accented Hindi, " I quoted twice the price because you were an Indian and I expected you to bargain very hard with me...and when you didn't I could not go back on my word could I , after all I am a pathan ! "

Now I swear, if I hadn't been a sucker for the pushtu accented Hindi which sounds so melodical when spoken in an genuine accent (and not by try-to-be -funny-Indian actors) ...and Mr. Pathan hadn't looked so sincere...I would have thrown a tantrum instead I just smiled in commendment to his honesty !

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Some More Dirty Linen

Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers.It really meant a lot to me. Now I need to tell you how it went.

The day began with Pest and his son, Pest Jr. (my cousin with whom I thought I shared a great relationship) calling me repeatedly on my cell and telling me to vacate thet house immediately. I was scared but I put up a brave front .

Peast came to the house accompanied by two of his "friends" from the building society. Initially Pest did a lot of huffing and puffing in the hope of blowing us down but a miracle happened. My mother stood up and asked me to go into the bedroom. My brother and dad had been sent away from the scene. My mother spoke to the two men who had come with Pest and asked them whether they were interested in hearing our side of the story . Inspite of Pest's efforts to stop them, the two men agreed to hear my mother out.

And my mother spoke out for the first time in the 33 years of her married life. She told them aboout what Pest, his wife and mother-in-law had done to us. She told them about the treatment meted out by a sister blinded by her greed for property towards her invalid brother and she told them all about Pest's fraudulent tactics.

She also told them that we were not interested in occupying this flat and Pest should pay us the money that had been agreed and that we be allowed to move out with dignity.

The two gentlemen heard her out in surprise ( because all said and done, my mother is very respected in our locality because she keeps to herself and people have seen how she has single-handedly brought us up inspite of sever financial problems after my dad's illness without complaining or seeking any help from any one) and the first thing that came out when my mother had finished speaking was, " But he is paying you peanuts !" My mother said that we were not interested in fighting for money, we just wanted our Dad to have a roof over his head which would be his and his alone.

Pest had paled by then and even though he tried to defend one was interested in him any more. He was dragged off by these two gentlemen and forced to pay us and at the same time , he was forced to give us 45 days in which to move to our new flat. Pest wanted this to be put on a contract and we agreed because we were worried about the cheque bouncing and things like that.

The next day Pest came with a lawyer and the two gentlemen accompanied him to avoid any hanky-panky from his side. He gave us the cheque and the two gentlemen told my mother , "If this cheque bounces, you can rest asured that no one can ever make you leave this place ...even if he calls himself the owner" . Pest tried taking out his frustration at having been caught on the wrong foot and exposed to his friends and colleagues by shouting and saying horrid things to my dad and mother but my mother just stood up to him and calmly said , " I have heard you for the last 32 years...all the rubbish that you and your wife said....not anymore just shut up and get out. " Pest's face was a sight !

That evening, we rushed to book the flat that we had spotted in the suburbs, a comfortable airy and well-lit appartment with greenery all around...and as we came out of the complex after completing the formalities , my brother suddenly shouted , " Look Didi, Kaash Phool...the agomoni has begun , Durga pujas are on the way"

And I said...Ma Durga is already with us.....she is a bit tired after saving her family form becoming homeless, but she is waiting for us to get back home safely today.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Die Another Day

We've emerged vistorious. Details to follow. Right now I am too tired.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Call For Prayers ( And Some Dirty Linen)

I am sitting down to type this post as I while away the time to what will be the biggest confrontation of my life till I put in everything that I have got to save the roof over my ailing parent's heads....our basic right. I am nervous, I am very tense and most of all I am very scared. I need to shed all this as I tackle the person who has cheated my father of his basic inheritance and has continously humiliated us over the last twenty years.

Now for the back story.

My paternal grandfather was a renowned teacher in Digboi (Assam) where he had settled after the partition. He was known for his teaching skills as well as his compassion and support for boys from poor backgrounds who were serious about their studies. He died early leaving behind a son (my dad) and my Aunt and my grandmother. My grandmother was one of those earlier career women and for her money was the main motivation in life.

The years passed by. My Aunt married Pest and things changed thereon. Pest was a smart wily character, who kept brainwashing my Grandmother into giving him all kinds of financial largesse. He posioned my Grandmother against my father...whom she started to look upon with immemse hatred.

My Dad was a very simple-hearted guy who loved his mother with all his heart and bent over backwards to please her.

In 1988, the faimily prpoerty was being divided. It was decided that my aunt would be given the ancestral house and my Dad would be given a flat. My aunt got the house but my Dad got a flat which was purchased in Pest's name.

In 2001 they called my ailing Dad over to " complete the formalities" for transferring the flat to my Dad's name when in reality my aunt and Pest got it registered in their own names. While my Dad came back broken hearted and his health deteriorated further.

My Aunt and Pest have acquired all the family property and they have houses in C.R.Park (Delhi), Najafgarh and some other places. They dont really need this small pokey flat.

However, we have been living in this flat and now they are coming to throw us out. I dont know what the future holds. They are holding out a payment which is peanuts with the criteria that as soon as they hand over the cheque we have to get out of the house that very instant.

We are tired of living under their shadow and want to move out but not at one day's notice.

They'll be here shortly...and I don't know what lies in store for me in a few hours from now.

Why are people so greedy for wealth ? Our situation reminds me of the biblical story where a rich man who had 99 heads of sheep coveted the one sheep which the widow owned....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The "Chak De" Effect

I entered the theatre screening "Chak De India" expecting to watch an Indianised version of A League of Their Own and wasn't I delighted to be disappointed ! I enjoyed the film , flaws et all admiring the courage of a director to take on a subject that does not occupy much mindspace in our country. I was getting tired of all those "crikety" movies ...infact I never watch cricket these days. Once upon a time long long ago when cricket was a seasonal affair and cricketers still wore white when playing, I was die hard fan. I can still name the entire West Indies team who toured India in 1988/89 but ask me anything about cricket now and I'll let you have my version of "whycricketshouldbebannedinindia" but I digress this post is not about cricket.

In the movie , Chak De , there is a scene wherein all the players selected have arrived at the coaching camp and are being introduced to the coach and they go " So and so ...Punjab"; "so and so ....Railways" ; "so and so ...Haryana" by one the coach asks them to stand aside till one of them says "Vidya Sharma...India". Here the coach says that this is what it should be...first your country and then yourself and then if there is any space....your region.

This struck later in the evening when my mother was wathing one of those reality singing shows on TV and asked me to vote for one of the Bengali candidates who was on the verge of getting eliminated. Bengalis have to save Bengalis was her logic...see how the other regions are supporting their contestants ?

What about talent ? I asked her and she replied that if he is a Bengali then he is talented. My mother is not alone, there are millions like her out there who sit in the front of their TV screens, mobiles in hand voting for the candidate from their part of the country while the telecom companies and the respective TV channel laughs all the way to the bank. In fact, all these programmes seem to deliberately promote this regional bias so that the votes and in turn, the moolah keeps pouring in ! Talent be damned.

This regionalisation is everywhere...

in the selection of our teams for sports . So in a team of eleven players, we have quotas for the North, South, East and West Zones so that players are selected not according to their abilities but according to the quota available. One wily ex-cricketer had his son change his residence so that he can come into the Indian team through that Region's quota ! That the son never made it as a boy in blue is another story.
in jobs - you will often hear people complain, "oh he is a maharastrain na...that's why the boss chose him for the foreign assignment, boss like to promote people from his own community"
in films - we have certain communities portrayed with certain cliched characteristics ...the drunk Goanese or the seductive Anglo-India who speaks a "clipety-clop" accented Hindi.
A friend told me how she had to struggle with the deliberately created language barrier in a particular city where she was forced to move . She was in an advanced state of her pregnancy and needed to travel by autos to her work place(to which she had had to take a transfer) and the doctors. The auto/taxi drivers and even her colleagues knew that she could not communicate in the local language and even though they understood Hindi or English very well..they just refused to communicate with her in anything but the local language !

We are a generation which has turned tradition on it's head. We have married into differrenc communities...we have moved to new places and adpted so damn well...we have discovered new foods and flavours....we have learnt languages...most of us know the geographies of atelast three different cities...we have friends and family all over the country...we have grown geographically but not in our minds.

I have decided to do things a little differently from now on...the next time I am asked ... I'll say , " I am an Indian who speaks Bengali ! ". Let's see for how long I can manage that one .

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Love Actually ....

The Hubby loves his movies to have loud comedy, lots of actions and if possible a Govinda thrown in for a good measure...and since Govinda does not do "English" at home we have to satisfy ourselves with whatever Bollywoodi comedy is on air.

In a classical "married life" situation, I love quiet movies - of the mushy -mushy feel good sort and British comedies. I have a thing for Brit actors (read Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan) and never pass up an opportunity to watch a Brit comedy.

A few years ago, when The Hubby and I had just hesitantly begun to date, in a rare magnanimous gesture , he took me to watch this movie, Love Actually. In that film, you had Hugh Grant playing the British Prime Minister and at one point in the film he says :

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around. "

The dialogue sounded very nice that day while watching the film but it really hit home the day before yesterday when I went to drop The Hubby off at the airport.

At that time of the day, you had a few flights taking off for Bangkok and Dhaka and for a good measure one to
Paro too, but the big flight then was the Emirate’s flight to Dubai.

Outside the terminal, I watched people getting off cars, taxis and auto rickshaws. There were all kinds of people , well-heeled and some not so well-heeled. It was easy to pick out the first-timers embarking on their “Gulf Dream” – they were the ones who were more humbly dressed, who carried the kind of airbags which are sold at the
Esplanade Market who looked at the airport hesitantly and in awe and fumbled repeatedly for their passports and tickets.

There was one such family evidently a working class family – widowed mother, wife and a son and a daughter (both below five years of age). The father watched his children run about excitedly and kept trying to hold them close to him, but the children were obviously were excited and would break free and run off to see the pictures of planes or something else. The mother and the wife quietly wiped there silent tears on their pallus. They said little to one another but kept looking at the father as if to imprint his face into their memories. The father finally realized that he could not hold back his emotions and said a hurried good-bye to his family and walked into the airport without turning back. His family could not follow him inside as obviously paying for so many entry tickets would be expensive for them. So his mother and wife and tried peering into the airport for sometime and then gathered the children and quietly walked away. I later on saw the father sitting alone inside the airport and wiping his eyes. All that I could do for him was to pray that his dreams of a better life for his family which was compelling him to make such a difficult sacrifice would be fulfilled and he could come back to his family never to leave them again.

There was another family which had accompanied a youngish looking man also off on his “Gulf Dream” accompanied by a large crowd of family members. There was one girl in the crowd who wore a “mangalsutra” which evidenced her religious difference from the others around her who was left out while the rest of the relatives said their good byes to this young man. She hung at the back and wept quietly into her hanky. Then the young man requested that he speak to her alone and the rest of his family melted away. She held his hand and wept as if her heart would break. He consoled her saying that in a few month’s time he would be coming to take her with him and they could live like they wanted. It was not difficult to put her story together – a halcyon romance , an inter-religious marriage with parental opposition and post-marriage in-laws who did not consider her to be their own and a husband determined to give her all that he promised and the much-needed acceptance. This young man too walked away without looking back at his sobbing wife to hide the tears in his eyes. Indian men don’t cry in public.

I saw a newly wed bride with excitement on her face as she went to join her husband at the same time the tug at her heart-strings as she left her family behind…taking her first steps into a new chapter in her life.

All around me there were good-byes and a lot of love and prayers. Grandparents hugged their grand-children, parents hugged their children and friends and relatives held each other close before letting go. No one acted indifferent, no one asked the other one to just get going… almost every one tried to hold on to their loved ones for that fraction of a second more.

We talk about “love” being commercialized, of people being selfish and indifferent , of families falling apart etc. etc but one morning at the departure lounge of an airport reinforced the belief that love hasn’t gone anywhere…we have only begun to believe that love is a glamorous, in-your-face kind of a thing while
Love Actually is as they say in the song “ all around”…in a very quiet, mundane sort of way; it is only when it leaves us that we realize that what we are about to miss.

The next time I go there, I am going to be in the “Arrivals” section and I know that my mushy little heart will not be disappointed !

P. S

I have just discovered on IMDB that the working title for Love Actually was Love Actually Is All Around".

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Latest Acquistion

With the hubby leaving for Dubai day after tomorrow, I am pretty much down and out. So, this is what the darling bought to cheer me up. It created quite a stir at work today :

That's not just a phone stand, those are speakers to actually blast music from the phone. Ain't i a lucky lucky girl ?

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Final Countdown

It has begun...the final countdown to the final showdown between love and hate... between friendship and ambition...between sacrifice and selfishness....between Harry and Voldermort. In a few hours the final outcome will be known. Damn those are circulating PDF files of what is supposed to be the novel and damn that Bengali channel which is broadcasting outcomes of the "book" as headlines !!

There is nothing to beat the feeling of holding the thick book in your hands and eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next. I plan to bunk work on Monday if I haven't finished the book by then.

Cynics may say that I am the victim of a well-orchestrated hype - so be it. I am enjoying these last few hours of pure almost child-like anticipation...a few more hours and the magic will be over...till then I am going to make the most of it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Want My Money Back - Part 1

That's exactly how I felt after watching "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I felt as if I the audience was being taken for granted. They have just taken a synopsis of the story and tried to string a movie out of it which is really very unfair. It is taken as accepted that the people watching the movie have already read the book so if a few pictures are shown from the book every one would go home happy and the producers could continue with their money making spree. Even the special effects were nothing great...I got a feeling of having seen them before.

I went for the movie looking forward to the tricks played on Dolores Jane Umbridge by the Weasley twins and was thoroughly disappointed to see a few fireworks being passed off as their rebellion at Hogwarts. One big let down. I dont think I am going to be wathcing the remaining movies in the series and I sincerely hope that the last book which I am looking forward to so eagerly does not go the same way as this flick and if does , it will provide fodder for "I Want My Money Back - Part 2 " !

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Caught in a "Scrap"

It was a simple line from long lost friend on G-Talk while we were catching up , that said " They have banned Orkut here (UAE) crazy people" and my instant reaction was "Well, thank goodness I do not live in the UAE - where would I be without my daily scrap ? "

Such is the hold that these networking sites have on me. I can lose myself for hours, work comes to a standstill , chores remain undone as I "scrap" , "shout-out-loud" and "chat" on orkut or Hi5.

My experience with Orkut has been amazing. I have found school friends, my roomie from my college days, ex-colleagues and even an ex-boyfriend or two ! It's interesting because there is always this morbid curiosity to find out how "so and so" turned out in life and it is addictive because there are some soul buddies who had got lost in the whirlpool of "college-career-marriage-motherhood" who suddenly find their way back into your life and you keep wanting to talk to them.

Infact , this blog owes it's existence to one such "chuddy-buddy" and this very post owes it's inception to her constant "nagping"(nagging through scrapping) on my orkut profile. After reading her completely appropriate post on the positive effects that orkut and hi5 have on our careers. We stay back at work to "network" and ensure that we are visible on our "Communities"...while our bosses gaze on in delight at the soaring levels of "initiative and dedication" in us (they don't really worry about us being effective because that's an arbit concept).

People attempt to appear their best on their profiles. So we have pictures of foreign trips taken ages ago while undergoing a process training for some BPO , lovingly uploaded and captioned - " "MOI in front of the Big Ben/Eiffel Tower/Statue of Liberty" while we have a fashionista striking a glamorous pose inside a mall and telling us that it was "Inside XYZ Store at New York " . Poses are struck in the profile so that the expanding waist line or the double chin is duly camouflaged. The make-up is striking and the clothes are killer in the pictures ....every one wants to show their best faces to the world.

Oh ! and of course the "happy family" pictures are not to be missed. The guy with the maximum "family " pictures on his page is the one in my office who is having an affair on the side with the lady who sits across him at work !!!

The next thing is the "Professional" bit. Those who do well make sure that it's known to every one and the ones who really haven't got their (or are still on Daddy's pay roll past age thirty) let us know what great "free spirits" they are - they travel, party, make music and generally have a ball whilst you and I wonder where we are and what we are doing in our jobs.

People who ignored each other in school now call themselves " best friends" - I wonder how and why ?

On a more serious note, it is interesting to see that the girl who got a zero in her ICSE is now looking after accounts at a retail store or the girl who could barely write a straight sentence is now runs a successful export firm . At the same time it is with a tinge of regret that I learn that a boy in the class with an almost magical ability with animals has become a "techie" while another with god gifted artistic ability is an auditor with a known management firm.

There are people I have discovered who were insignificant in their younger days, never a part of the "cool" set who have grown into well moulded individuals while members of the 'erstwhile" cool set seem to remain frozen in time with their "cool act" as life passes them by.

More on this strange phenomemon follows.....

Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Good Stuff

Just thought of sharing some fantastic stuff that came to me via email forwards. Thoughts which are very appropriate for thirty-somethings like us :

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in
sideways,chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the
hell happened.
-Cora Harvey Armstrong-

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually
shut the b ***** up with cookies.

And here's my favourite :

If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Scene 1 :

It's lunch time and I am hungry. It is also very hot.I am on my way back to office after a branch visit and I decide to for a change eat healthy and opt for a salad from a joint on Sarat Bose Road, instead I take a wrong turn and I end up on Wood burn Park . A few steps down the pavement and I find myself facing this sign :

Having never visited a Subway Outlet before (yes it's true), I decide to try my luck. I walk in and I find the whole place empty (that should have set the alarm bells ringing but I was to taken up with the idea of "eating healthy"). So I walk up to the counter and naively ask for a sandwich, a dude who has the words "Sandwich Artist' proudly emblazoned on his T-shirt wordlessly hands over a menu card to me.

I opt for a meatball sandwich and then my troubles begin...which bread madam....and madam is confused ....any bread that tastes good is my naive reply madam please tell me ...we have "x" 'y" and "z" ...I am fumbling and Mr. Sandwich artist looks at me as I am something that the cat dragged in. After fumbling my way, I manage to get a sandwich and I am asked to shell out 112 bucks which I do.

The sandwich surprisingly for all my ignorance on breads and dressing, tastes good but it makes me thirsty. So i once again humbly go up to the counter and ask if I may be blessed enough to get some water. Mr. Sandwich artist tells me that I may buy a bottle of mineral water which they sell and I ask, "But don't you have any normal water from a dispenser ?" . Mr. Sandwich artist feels that he has a loser on his hands, and I am told that if I want to , I may drink water from the tap...and no they would not be able to give me a glass.

Now I know why this "famous" outlet was empty even during lunch time !!!

Scene 2 :

It is a hot Saturday afternoon. I am hot and thirsty. I am to sweaty to feel hungry. So I walk up to this small outlet which sells rolls at the beginning of Park Street and ask if they could give me some water. There is a man who is taking the orders , he takes one look at my miserable face and yells to the doorman of the restaurant next to his outlet, " Madam ke liye jaldi pani la". I am given a tall glass of cold water and asked as to whether I feel better. I am touched by this act of kindness...after all I had not bought anything from this shop and the man behind the counter was no "Sandwich Artist" in a glitzy outlet and yet he had the heart to be kind to me.

This is where the true spirit of Kolkata the hearts of the people who have lived and run their businesses long before it became fashionable to do so. They are the ones who care about their fellow Kolkatans...not some fancy people with fancy get-ups and broken English in a johny-come-lately set up.

If you Can't stand the heat...Go to Darjeeling !

The heat at Kolkata is killing. Anyone not inside an A/c room is walking around with a film of sweat on themselves and cursing any one and any thing.

The heat is causing madness. Tempers are frayed.Traffic accidents have increased. Domestic warfare has reached a crescendo. People dont talk to each other...they just growl.

At work we crouch at our work stations and snarl every time the boss says that a branch has to be visited "NOW". Mr boss is a wily chap, he never moves out of his A/c comfort zone...why should he when he has me poor minion to run around like a mad dog in the mid-day sun from one end of the city to the other.

To top it all, we have people taking leave for days and going off to Darjeeling/Gangtok/etc etc. Whilst we poor sould tug their share of the burden too.
Yet there is a perverse pleasure in seeing their sweaty faces once they are back in the jungle.

I miss my home in the hills. The old colonial bungalow with a thatch roof which looked on to the Kanchanjunga and the garden and the vegetable plot and the smell of fresh green tea leaves as they were plicked from the bushes and above all the pleasant weather and peaceful surroundings.

How I wish that time had stood still and all these trappings of being a grown up had not been foisted upon me and I could return to being a school girl on holiday at home sitting out in the verandah, looking out at the hills and reading an Agatha Christie Novel.

While I am it, this is something like the view which I had from the bungalow in Darjeeling :

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Determination

This blog is a symbol of my dogged determination I wont give this up.This is my link with all that I held dear and I will not let it go so easily.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I just happened to see the new "Amul Macho" ad on T.V right now and it makes me want to barf . I mean what was going on in the minds of the guys who wrote out this ad...are they so intellectually challenged to actually believe that women ( whatever strata of society they come from)actually get turned on while washing a man's underwear and that too one that has leggings ???? Hey guys, hand washing any grown man's under wear is one of the most disgusting jobs that can be done...and it does not cause any kind of erotic feeling....all that it causes is irritation.

I hope that some one in authority wakes up and bans this ad immediately. For that matter ads by Axe and some "Set Wet" or something also should be banned it not only insults their target audience (adolescent teenagers in all probability ) but it insults us our intelligence too. It bugs me to think e that there are well-paid ad execs out there who belive that they can convince people that women fling themselves at a man who smells like a bottle of vodka or who applies liquid wax on his hair in order to resemble Don Corleone !

I am still on the look out for an ad targetted at men which focuses on the things that a man can expect out of his life beyond sex and dumb demented women...the Raymonds Ad's do a good job.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pages from the Past

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Last Saturday, we went to watch "The Namesake" .

I was pleasantly surprised to find that for a change that I was not disappointed with a much hyped film. I enjoyed reading the book mainly for it's simple story

narrated with simplcity and sensitivity. I liked Jhumpa Lahiri's ability to look at an "ordinary life" and reveal the extra-ordinary wmotions which we tend to overlook at most times.
There is no melodrama anywhere and Ashima Ganguli could have been any lady from our mother's generation and Gogol could have been you or me.

However, this post is not about "The Namesake" but about something else.

All Kolkatans get very excited whenever we see our city being filmed for an international film, even though a number of tem have already been shot here. So when the Namesake was release , we had the newspapers going to town about the palces where the shooting had taken place and the production and acting team from Kolkata talking about their "experiences" whilst working on this film.

What I found repeatedly being mentioned was a shot in the film which showed "The Telegraph" being read in the 1970s , which was a faux pas as "The Telegraph" was launched by the ABP group in the 80's. So what were the Kolkata production team of The Namesake thinking ?

I guess that we can not really blame them . All Kolkatans have taken to the Telegraph (no matter how hard the Times of India tries, it just wont get there), and somewhere down the line, the grand old dame of Kolkata....The Statesman ( has faded into the background.

The credit for my command over English goes to "The Statesamen". At school, I was made to copy out an article from "The Statesman" everyday in order to improve my grammar and my handwriting. I discovered an editor who never hesitated to call a spade a spade in Mr. C.J. Irani and his coloum, 'The Caveat" and a brilliant writer by the name of Hari Ray whose column was sought out with much enthusiasm and read with with much relish every Sunday.

Living on a tea estate in a remote corner of Assam, where newspapers arerived a day later, we looked forward to Mondays when "Miscellany" the Sunday supplement of The Statesman carried an interesting children's page which kept us occuppied for the day.

Sadly , the Statesman today is a shadow of it's former self. With the passing away of Mr. C.J. Irani the paper seems to have become "orphaned" . The quality of newsprint has deteriorated and the standards of journalism have fallen. The language is childish and prone to errors....and yet every morning, we have a copy delivered at home.... you would not turn away an old companion in its darkest hours would you ?

I live in the hope that this paper may be taken over...and the heritage of one of the last living legends of Kolkata would be restored. Are you listening Mr. Sarkar ?

Friday, April 6, 2007

My Weekend

As I have decided to call myself the "Weekend Blogger" it is but natural that I should describe what my weekends look like.

The weekend begins with a hang dog expression on my face as I ring the doorbell at home after an hour long commute which consists of sitting through stuck traffic usually caused by a legendary Kolkata Auto(more on this later )..with an irritated impatient cursing, swearing hubby in tow. MIL opens the door and her expression says it all (You are late again... )...I stagger in , fight with the hubby about who gets to use the bath room first (both of us are very possessive about our bathroom and hence none will budge from the stance of using "our" bathroom whilst the second bathroom in the flat lies vacant) .....I lose as usual and wait for my turn. Dinner is spent staring at the latest happenings in the Virani family even though I would love to slap some sense into the characters ....whilst MIL updates the hubby about the latest happenings and who said what to whom and about whom in the family circle during the day (the result of the hours on the telephone...we go to work... MIL goes to the telephone )...and then a deep dreamless sleep knowing that I wont have to go anywhere tomorrow. Temporary Happy Ending.

The alarm goes off at 5.30 am on Saturday morning because I had promised myself that I would go to the gym. Hubby curses/grunts and the alarm is switched off as I drift off to sleep again. Nine a.m , the doorbell rings and I have to drag the trash out and hand it over to the collector. Hubby and MIL don't touch the trash can citing various religious constraints justification that God is the omnipotent creator of everything including trash is met with a cold stare.

Saturday morning goes off in cleaning the fridge,the living room and anything that shows itself up for cleaning...gulp lunch and fall into a death like sleep. Wake up groggy with the joyous realisation that Sunday is still there. Move around the house like a zombie and plonk down either in front of the computer or T.v till end of day.

Sunday - a repeat of Saturday except the focus of cleaning shifts to the bathrooms and cupboards.

On some good days the hubby takes me to the movies....else I go listen to my parents crib.

I am luckier than most people in the sense that the company I work for has a five day working week except for the last week and is one of the main reasons why I am till here. My sister-in-law who lives in the States tells me about the seven week they have there and an ex-college friend was telling me about her killer hours. I wonder what is expected of us at work ....we seem to be turning into machines as we reach out to excel...there seems to be no room for anyone ordinary.
It is ironical that we live in an age when we have access to various modes of transport, entertainment, communication and yet we do not have the time to actually travel to new places for our pleasure, nor do we have the time to spend time with our families at places other than the nearest parks, lakes or zoos for us we prefer the air conditioned comfort of artificial symbols of our own apparent prosperity ( sounds so heavy ? ) and finally communication...the less said about it the better, hubby and I "talk" on sms (???!!!!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Week That Was....

I have just survived what is the most stressful, tiring, irritating and yet so very sadistically satifying week in the life of any employee of a life insurance company. The last week of March..when eevery policy issued means a promotion, a trip, a you can imagine how many people have been ateempting to hold a knife to my throat with the hope that I may be firghtened into acting according to their chose course, but I amsuch a nast nasty creature who refuses to get scared and who also figures out the under dogs ( I was the first one to confidently predict Bangladesh's win over India !
) and so I gave priority to those nervous first time advisors who hesitantly handed in their first policies and stood in the back ground ...I supported the sales manager who helped me follow rules....and I plucked up the courage to show the finger to the rude, uneecessairly aggressive people and actally sent them to hell.

I have been nasty to nasty people and that has given me a great deal of satisfaction.So there !

I also beagan this week by promissing to eat healthy ...and only from my own luch box (and any one else's provided it had home-cooked food
) but I ended up gorging on sizzlers form Peter Cat, some vague food from Marco Polo and "n" number of burgers from KFC and Mcdonalds.

By friday , this was how we were talking to each other at work:

P.S If this post seems a bit is but normal....can barely keep my eyes open !

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pora (Studies )

I have married into a large extended family with a lot of children and the mothers like all good bengali "MAAAs" are very constantly worrying about their child's "pora" (studies) and ensuring that each evening the little ones are dragged off (depending upon their moods at that specifc moment) either in complete miserable submission or kicking and screaming in pure rebellion to their books , so that they come back from school the next day with a "VERY GOOD" scrawled across their notebooks .

In all self-respecting Bengali homes, the children's "pora" (studies) is of paramount importance . Each mother considers her children's studies her prime duties. The most common refrain that a good Bengali mom is bound to utter is " Tubai/Rimli/Babai/Mamoni ekdomeiii porcheii na" loosely translated as "My child does not study " . All schedules in a Bengali household are arranged this concept of "pora " timings, bath,outings, visits, holdiays and even the job !

Tubai/Rimli/Babai/Mamoni's exams are considered a reflection of parenting success and their weekly test scores are studied with even greater intensity than the Sensex ! Outside any exam hall you will find scores of parents milling around with anxious faces wondering whether Tubai/Rimli/Babai/Mamoni is successfully downloading the " theory of relativity on paper"!

In spite of the historical background of such involvement of an average Bengali parent's in their ward's very average Bengali parents decided that I was to go to a Boarding School ! Their plan was greeted with howls of horror from our relatives and well-wishers about the adverse effects it would have on my "pora" and my entire "futre" was doomed.
The only one who stood by them was my Dadu. He doted on his only grand daughter and probably expected great things from yours truly and decreed that I had to go to the dreaded Boarding School !

At the age of 5 and a half , I was packed off (literally) to a boarding school in Darjeeling.

No matter what they say about it being easier to adapt to new situation when you are a child and things like is tough for 5.5 year old to actaully comprehend the sudden changes in her life especially when she cant express herself too well and is laughed at by her classmates for her funny pronouciation, so for the first month of her life in a boarding school she just cries and yells for her parents. It does not help that she has an unsympathetic matron who has lost interest in her because her parents have not given her enough tuck. Then the 5.5 year old's class teacher discovers that 5.5 is actually the only one in her class who can actually read complete books whilst her her other peers are still struggling with their alphabets and life becomes easier for her.

11 years later 5.5 graduates from her Boarding School as a 16-year old who is independent and adapting. Her relatives who had howled in despair now admire her "convent" English and gloat over her article (in English if you please) which appears in The Statesman supplement.
And her parents tell their friends and colleagues about the fact that they never accompanied their daughter to a single exam and yes she did scored very well at her boards.

It did help that my parents took a different approach to their daughter's "pora"

Friday, March 16, 2007

And Tell Me ……

I hate phone calls these days..whether it is about making them or receiving them.
Here’s how a typical conversation over the phone goes :

Friend : Hi D!
Me : Hello “Friend” !
Friend : So how’s life ?
Me : Good ? What about you ?
Friend : Ok, so how’s Hubby ?
Me : Fine
Friend : How’s work ?
Me : Hectic as usual
Friend : So, tell me what’s new …?

Me : Ummmmm
(Long Pause…….as I try to think of something to say, the mind starts to whir but no thoughts come to carry on the conversation )…..ummmmm nothing new. Same old stuff. What about you ?

Friend : Chol che (translated as Chal raha hain)

Friend : So, we must catch up sometime, it’s been a long time since we met.
Me : yeah, lets.

Friend : Ok then give me a call.
Me : Bye.

This call wasn't from some one I barely knew but from one of my best friends. We spent hours discussing everything from Aamir Khan's latest look to the bitchy colleague at work . The highlight of our days were the end of day phone call that we made to each other and caught up with the day's happening. It didn't matter how tired we were or what we simply "had" to do. We talked. Lately all my telephone conversations seem to go this way...even with my mother.

It's not that this friend and I have grown apart or anything. We are still very close and still turn to each other for comfort and pep talk....and yet things have changed. We have grown in our jobs to more responsibilities...we got married within months of each other and we both have two sets of families to look after..... RESPONSIBILTY seems to have got the better of us as we rush to live up to them.

What say people ...has this sense of "reposnsibilty" taken its toll on our relationships ?

There was a time when we split hairs on the phone on whether that good looking colleague who filled out her coffee cup from the machine had finally noticed her or was he merely being polite ? Today we dont even bother to discuss the underlying meaning of something the husband says or something the MIL's all so "same" and "boring".

I mean I dont feel like discussing my hard day at work any more...I dont want to tell anyone about my latest gadget, the I-pod Nano....I dont want to ask about some one's upset stomach....i dont want to talk about how horrible Nishabd was .....or how nice it is to read the Chronicles of Narnia. I just want silence. The presures of daily living...the job, the home, the family are all driving me to seek this silence ....and goodness me...I dont even have a kid !

Its not that I am cribbing.

I am really grateful for my job..which gives me my independence and purpose in life.
I am grateful for the supportive and understanding husband.
I am grateful for my caring parents and in-laws......and yet I feel that some where along the I live up to expectations...I am letting go of ME.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Pass it Forward …..

When was the last time when we actually helped a stranger? When was the last time a stranger helped you? When was the last time you looked at a stranger without suspicion or cynicism?

Ok…now let’s think about how we view our colleagues…neighbors…relatives and even friends ….envy, indifference, bare tolerance?

Were we always like this or have the years and regular betrayals have built a hard shell around us which we wear like a protective armour to defend us from yet another disappointment or yet another heart-break.

I suppose that all of us began as trusting individuals…. at least I did and I believed in people and I believed in goodness and I thought that the world was they way I thought it was , but what happened ? I got let down, hurt, insulted , used and betrayed and with each such sad incident a layer of indifference began to develop and strengthen around my heart . So gradually with the passage of time, I developed a degree of aloofness, and indifference it became easier for me to have sympathy for a street dog than for a human being.
I started controlling the emotions and got rid of relationships which I felt were a waste of my emotions.

In spite of all this, I have experienced miracles and acts of kindness which in some little corner of my heart have kept the faith alive.

When I had stopped believing in love, stopped that there would be a person who would accept me for what I was and not what I pretended to be, in walked a mad cap who forced himself into my life and started to take care of me…what a relief it was to know that, yes some one cared….and I believed once more.

When I had stopped believing in friends there was this girl who held my hand and stayed with me through some of the most difficult days of my life. There was not much that she could do to help me, but she listened and encouraged me…and I believed once more.

When I had lost faith in strangers, a person who barely knew me gave me the biggest break in my career and turned my life around forever. He never waited for me to keel over in gratitude and smiled in embarrassment whenever I tried to thank him…and I believed once more.

Thanks to these people , I still find myself stretching out a little bit and helping some one without expectation and once of my best satisfaction comes from helping freshers get their first break….because these people have taught me to believe and I am just passing it forward…

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hello !

After days of reading some fantastic blogs and plenty of questions from Aqua as to when I am going to start my own I am ! What does one write in her first post...about the books she has read ...or the movies she has watched....or about the music she likes ? Don't most blogs being this way ?

Well...who am I ? I am thirty year old lady (?!) trying to get somewhere. I work and I have an opinion on everything but no one cares to listen . I used to be good with the written word but nine years in the financial sector has taken its toll, and I intend to use this blog to try and revive what used to be described as my "way with words".

Why have I called my blog " The Weekend Blogger", well , 5 days a week , I am balancing...trying to be a good worker, being a good wife...and with absolutely no time to call my own, but two hours of the 48 hour week-end is mine do what I feel, read , play sudoku, solve my humunhous 1000 piece puzzle or just blog !

So people, wish me luck as I begin this journey !