Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Recap 2008

This is a quick post as it will not make much sense if I write it tomorrow, for tomorrow will be a new day, a new year, a year of promises and hopes.

I have much to look forward next year, which is if things go as planned. More of that later.

For now, I wanted to write about my biggest achievement and my biggest disappointments for the year. So here are a few highlights -

- I finally learnt driving this year. Yes and not just learnt but learnt it well. Well enough to drive on the highway at the speed of 120 km an hour. Am I being narcissist?? If yes then please excuse me for this one time I truly feel I deserve all the kudos.

- This year too like the last 2 years, I managed to put on some more weight. Not that I tried too hard to loose some :( (hangs head in shame).

- This year saw me making my maiden foreign trip and then some more :)

- Career wise also this year was good with me making some strategic moves. (pun intended for readers from office).

- We ended up spending a lot of money this year too (like always) but this was more due to some unavoidable circumstances so no regrets there.

- And like the last 4 years this year too I fell more in love with my man :)

A very happy new year to one and all. See you on the other side of this break.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Award and The tag of 18

The good times continue, with IHM giving me the “Bloggers for World Peace” award. {unable to paste the award here, will do so later.}

Would like to pass this to some special people but internet is slow and linking people is getting on my nerves. So will do this a little later.

Now, moving to the tag, this is my first ever tag (lol) yeah yeah, frown. I have conveniently escaped taking any before and that can be attributed to lack of interest or time or to sheer laziness. I do this today as its one of those days when I have so much on my plate that I have no clue what to do and what to leave. I do this today because I hate to be back after the fun weekend in Pondicherry. I do this today as none other than the Diva Tagged me.

So ladies and gentleman, here is an attempt to let people know a little more about myself. Rules are simple; I need to Google an image for each of my response and paste the one that appears on first page. Now as I said before Internet is giving me trouble so googling an image won’t work. I will take the convenient route and go without the images

1. The age you will be on your next birthday: on my next birthday I’ll be one year more than what I am now

2. A place you’d like to travel to: the exceptionally romantic city of Venice

3. Your favorite place:Home and Aman’s arms..

4. Your favorite food/drink: that’s a trick question for a foodie like me, but like most Punjabi’s me too will go ahead with
home made Rajma chawal

Drink: non alcoholic
Coffee Coffee and some more Coffee
Drink: Alcoholic – Mojito
The combination of crushed ice, mint and lemon sure makes this my most fav drink.

5. Your favorite pet: Not an animal person at all. I have never had a pet dog. We had 2 rabbits at home as kids but they died and I couldn’t bring myself to ever having any again. More recently I got myself a fish bowl with 2 gold fishes. They too died in a few weeks. People told me that it was normal and goldfishes didn’t have a long life span but I somehow felt responsible. With the death of my second goldfish my pet dream too ended. (Maybe I should do a post on it)

6. Your favorite color combination: there are many I like; most colors with black; black & red, black & white, black & beige.

7. Your favorite piece of clothing: Saree, that surely is my fav piece (???) of clothing…I wish I had it in me to wear it more often. (I hover at 5 times a year run rate)

8. Your all time favorite song: Very difficult to choose 1, I have so many of them.
If I have to pick one it will be “everything I do, I do it for you” by Bryan Adams. Actually I love all his songs.

Another one will be a Punjabi Song – “Nit Khair Manga Sohneya”

9. Your favorite TV show: F.R.I.E.N.D.S
I jus looove iittt !!!!

10. Full name of your significant other: No secret there – Aman Malhotra

11. The town in which you live in: Bangalore, for the past 3 and half years…

12. Your screen name/nickname: My screen name is same as my name – Iya Bhatia Malhotra

13. Your first job: Was in Oracle as a Business Development Consultant after my MBA

14. Your dream job: no jobs, I want to have my own business, a boutique that sells super expensive and super exclusive stuff to super rich people.

15. Bad habit you have: Spider Solitaire. I am so hooked to it. Wrote about it earlier too

16. Your worst fear: to lose a loved one

17. The one thing you’ll like to do before you die: Travel, explore the world obviously with Aman

18. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000:
Will invest half and from the rest I will indulge in a mansion with a huge garden, 100 pairs of shoes, a BMW, diamonds, and then open tickets to travel the world… I am not that mean so all this I’ll share with Aman, Neha and a few more special people.

Now that was fun, and I would love to know more about Mampi, Pinku, Monika and Aarti. So ladies please pick up this tag.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some more awards....

have come my way over past week and I feel miserable for not accepting them earlier.
These awards are special for 2 reasons. Firstly that all 3 have come from 3 different bloggers and secondly the fact that I don’t know any of them personally.
The first one is this ultra cool Brillante Weblog award which I received from Mampi. She thinks “Iya deserves this award because of the sweet and the unassuming stuff she writes on her blog.”
Thanks Mampi, you know how much this means to me.

I would like to pass this to my best friend Anu for inspiring me to start my own blog. She is too good with words; I only wish she would write more frequently

The second is Proximidade award that has been bestowed on me by none other than the great Indian Home Maker. And according to her this is why I deserve this - “Iya for initiative in Jago Re campaigns and for her strong conscience” This award is special because it came from IHM and also because I love the reason she quoted.

“This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Now the first person I would have given this award would be Pinku but she has already got this from Mampi.
The second person that so much deserves this one is MumbaiDiva for the kind of warmth she eludes.
There are a few more whom I would have given this award like Mampi, Monika but these babes already have it. So for now I’ll hold on and give it to bloggers later on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little Hungry Gods

A poor child working to have a meal twice a day is surely child labor and none here will have an opinion otherwise.

But isn’t this Child Labor too?? Only because these children are well fed for and belong to affluent families, doesn’t their working to earn money qualify as child labor??

Agreed that the second set is doing this more out of choice rather than out of compulsion but does that make things any different.

Why do I talk about this today – because it hurts me no end when this young boy barely 10 comes to my home every Sunday morning and asks me if I want something to be cleaned. He insists I make him do anything, just anything. He knows very well I won’t, but he still tries. He knows the pattern, he asks for work and we give him food. This has been a ritual for the past one year.

I tried asking him where he stays and where his parents were, but he doesn’t understand either Hindi or English. He doesn’t go to school and does these random errands to earn some money.
I see him take the food and happily walk to the next house. I see him either washing cars or cutting grass. Yes this pains me no end.

Of all the vices we have as a society nothing precedes this, nothing at all.
Here we have such a huge problem in hand, and people are busy talking about religion and fighting for God we aren’t even sure exists when these little gods are sleeping hungry each day.
My giving food to a boy will not change anything. We need a social awakening, imagine if all the money that is being spent on strengthening the security, in weapons and on arms could be utilized in creating a robust system which would ensure that each and every child is well fed, healthy and gets education, won’t our world be a better place?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Of Vada Pav and Chai

Love doesn’t need fancy restaurants and exotic places to flourish. It will if it has too.
Case in point as always is your’s truly – Aman and me spent most of our pre dating time on this small tapri right outside the college campus.
Our College (it was a residential one) was far from the city; add to that the hectic schedule of a B – School. That left us with no time and little energy to venture into the so called cool hangouts that Pune specializes in.
Most evenings were spent hanging in and around the college campus.

On a typical evening, right after the last lecture finished and there would be exactly 30 minutes before the group sat down and brain stormed on the upcoming presentation, half the college would rush to the Tapri outside. For the uninitiated a tapri is a small, dingy looking eating joint. There is usually no place to sit and eat in these tapris. Tapri’s are also makeshift and will relocate with much ease. The tapri outside my college didn’t believe in variety. The menu was limited to “The great Maharashtrian Vada Pav and the equally great Indian Chai”. But like any other roadside eatery the best part of this tapri was that the stuff was absolutely mouth watering.

It was the lethal combination of Vada Pav and Chai, combined with the lovely Pune evenings that did the trick. Aman and I spent most evenings at this tapri, talking about everything possible while we devoured the Vada Pav and enjoyed the tea. The lady who manned the shop charged Rs3 for the Vada Pav and Rs2.50 for the tea. Rs5.50 wasn’t a bad deal at all and this kept us going till dinner time.

And not to anyone’s surprise Aman popped the crucial question at the same Tapri. There couldn’t have been a better place. After all our friendship had started, grew and had flourished at this very Tapri.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Butterfly Effect

Thanks to Mumbai Diva, I have the butterfly on my page. It feels absolutely great.

About Diva – the best thing about her writing is the fact that she does it with sincerity. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog a few months back. That helped me discover yours.

I started blogging last year and am now completely hooked to it. Not just writing but also reading. Blogging has given me a whole new perspective to things. I have met people so different from me and so similar to me that it’s amazing.

It now my turn to spread the cheer. These are the people who so deserve this award. I so hope you will accept it.

Pinku - for the sheer honesty with which she writes
Mampi - for the way her posts touch my heart
Masood - for he was the first one to blog roll me J
IHM - for the fact that she really believes in what she says, no pretence there.
Cynic in the Wonderland - Humour at its best !!!

Its time for me to cherish my first award !!! Corner House it is then..

Monday, December 1, 2008

The least we expect our sick, dirty politicians to do is to respect the Martyrs. This is utterly disgusting, the comment that Achuthanandan, the Kerela CM has made.

And this is because the grieved father didnt want to meet him –

This is beyond me. What I am feeling is beyond anger and rage.

NSG Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan - I salute you!!! Each and every Indian is very very proud of you.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

At the Changi Airport – Part II

Stranger and his attempts were not the only thing that happened at the Changi airport. There is more to it. I was traveling light, with just my laptop bag and a small suitcase. I happily took the boarding pass and went off without getting any luggage checked in. Cleared the emigration and went shopping at the duty free for the customary stuff.
I walked towards the boarding gate when there were some 45 minutes for my flight. As luck had it mine was the farthermost one.
At the security clearance the guard asked me to open my suitcase. This has never happened with me before and I did quick recall of what all I had stuffed in. There is a limit of carrying only 100 ml of liquid content and that is when it struck me that my suitcase contained my brand new perfume bottle. An Elizabeth Arden, 125 ml.

The security guard told me I had to dispose it off. No. How could I do that?? I had paid a fortune for it. No no no. I am a sucker for perfumes. Let alone a full bottle I don’t even throw empty ones. I couldn’t believe what was happening. And in a la Indian style I started pleading and getting all emotional. But that lady was made of steel. My innocent requests had no impact on her. She said I could either throw the perfume or miss my flight. I was completely heart broken and then I conceded. There didn’t seem any other option.

That’s when the guard picked my perfume and moved towards the bin in slow motion. She pushed the lid but it didn’t open, she tried again and it still didn’t open and then once again and it still didn’t open. That was it. That was the signal of the divine forces. Even God didn’t want my perfume to be wasted. Instantly I screamed asking her to stop. I realized that there were some 50 more people staring at me at this point of time.

I told her I wanted my perfume back. I was going to go back and get my luggage checked in. She gave an incredulous laugh and said that I couldn’t go out as I had already cleared the immigration. I insisted that I wanted to try. With a shrug of the shoulder she handed my perfume back to me. I stuffed it in my suitcase and ran towards the immigration. There was some 40 minutes before my flight’s departure and the immigration was at quite a distance.

At the immigration counter I had to come up with a heart wrenching story of how important this perfume bottle was for me. A story of how this was the last gift from my now non existent dead Aunt. Finally the immigration officer gave in to my requests and let me out. I ran to the ticket counter and got my baggage checked in.
But the ordeal was not yet over. There was quite a distance that I had to run to get back to my departure gate. There were some 20 minutes left. With all the energy I sprinted towards the gate. The same security guard was there and she almost fainted when she saw me without my baggage.

Ah, and did I mention that this perfume smells even better now??

There is more to what happen when I landed, but that’s another post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

At the Changi Airport

A rather strange incident happened with me on my way back to Bangalore from Singapore.
I was standing at the counter to get my boarding pass. Suddenly out of no where this tall well built guy comes to me and says “I have extra baggage and I see that you are traveling light, please take some of it on your name” and with that he placed a huge suitcase on the conveyor belt and immediately stepped back. No introduction, no identity proof, just a statement and there he goes. I called out to him asking what his suitcase had to which he gave some gibberish reply which I couldn’t decipher and with that he retreated a bit more.
I am not a suspicious person by nature but this person sure made me uncomfortable.
The entire act was mistrustful. And he wasn’t looking me in the eye either. There was no time to think so I quickly turned to the lady processing my ticket and asked her if I was allowed to help a passenger, knowing very well that I wasn’t.
This time both of us called out to this guy who was now standing a good 15 feet away and was giving me stealing glances. He finally came up and spoke to me in Hindi saying that I could tell the ticket lady that I was his friend. I refused point blank. I was sure I wasn’t getting into any such mess especially in a foreign country. At this point the ticket lady very sternly told him to remove his bag from the conveyor belt otherwise she will summon the security.
Having done that I took my boarding pass and walked away briskly.

I am not sure what happened to that guy. Was he able to convince some other passenger to help him? Or did he pay extra money for extra baggage or did he throw away stuff?

I don’t know what I did was right or not. Was I over skeptical and behaved like a paranoid? Should I have helped a fellow Indian in that foreign land? Maybe this was a harmless situation and I over reacted.

Maybe yes maybe no. This is what omnipresent violence and terrorism was done to our psyche. Being careful can save a lot of trouble but did I go a little overboard?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Of Forgiveness

Z and I have been friends for almost a decade. And not just any friends but really good ones.
I know Z well enough. She isn’t bad at all and neither does she mean any disrespect. She is plain lazy. She promises and forgets about it. She doesn’t mean to but she simply does. But as I said I have known her for a long time and I understand her. I actually have been stood up by her a million times. But she apologizes and I forgive. That’s how our friendship has been. I am otherwise quite unforgiving but with Z I am a little enduring. I hate waiting but with Z I do wait. Like I said that’s how our friendship has been.

Now about 3 months back she made plans of going out for dinner with me and this time we included Aman too. It was all set, she was to come to my place and then we were to leave for the restaurant.
But last moment she got busy with some stuff and didn’t turn up. I called her once but her phone was busy. Although I wasn’t shocked at her behavior but this time I was truly angry. Breaking promises with me who is her long time friend is one thing but how could she do so with Aman?

It’s been 3 months and I haven’t spoken to her. I can’t bring myself to forgiving her.

Why is it so difficult for me to forgive her this time around when similar stuff has happened in the past as well?
Why is my anger not receding?
Why am I stuck on this?
Is it because this time Aman is there in the picture. Is it because I can take things on myself but I couldn’t handle her breaking the commitment when Aman was involved too?
Am I right? Or am I over reacting?

Monday, November 10, 2008

On the Highway

This weekend Aman and me packed our bags and drove down to Yelagiri. Just like that. Without a plan and without any resort reservations. We did some basic googling, downloaded the route map, picked up loads of food, music, some clothes, sunglasses and off we went.
2.5 hours of driving on a fantastic road brought us to the foot of the hills. And then the drive uphill through some 14 hair pin turns.

We needed this break and the enjoyment was enhanced since it was impromptu.

There isn’t much to see or do in Yelagiri. It’s a quite place. It has a trekking track, a lake, a few temples and some sunset points. That’s about it. And we didn’t do any of those.

We just drove around aimlessly through the narrow roads of the villages. We covered the length and the breath of the hilly town. We had chai at the small road side tapirs, we went for walks, we ran, we talked, we played, we sang. We had fun.

We slept till late and we had long leisurely breakfast and lunch and dinner.

We kept the camera aside, we didn’t open the laptop and we switched off our cell phones.

Excellent weekend.
Energized us
To the world - Bring it on!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Should kids be allowed in movie theaters?

Why, oh why, parents - why do you do this? Why do you get your oh so sweet kids to the movie halls? When you know the kind of energy your child has, when you are aware that your child is incapable of sitting quietly for 2.5 to 3 hours?

I am mighty agitated. Yesterday Aman and I went to watch a movie at the neighborhood multiplex. Fashion to be precise. If you have seen the movie, you would know that it has its share of serious moments.

In the same row as mine there was this family seated and with them they had a small boy not more than 3 years old. This kid was oblivious the fact that one needs to sit quietly in a theater. He was continuously loud and screechy.

My anger is certainly not on the kid. He was obviously unaware of how one behaves in a movie theater. But what were his parents doing? I mean why do parents get small kids to movie halls and if they do why cant they teach them to sit quietly. I mean we all will understand a couple of disturbances here and there but if the kid is on a joy ride through out the duration of the movie then isn’t it the onus of the parents to keep a check?

Let alone keeping a check, the parents yesterday seemed too happy to let the kid have his own share of fun while they watched the movie.

When I couldn’t take it any longer I decided to go talk to the boy’s mom during the interval. With utmost politeness I told her that it would be great if she could ask her son to be a little quieter as it was spoiling the movie for others. And I swear I was polite. She measured me up and down and with a frown said she’ll try. I could sense how much she despised my touching on this topic.

Anyways my request didn’t have much impact. The kid continued his jabber till we exited.

Is it right on part of these parents to spoil the entire movie watching experience for so many people? Shouldn’t parents be more conscious of the surroundings?

Is putting a ban the only way out? Or can parents behave in a more matured manner and keep a check on their little angels?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Walk into the sunset

And yet another argument ended with Her turning around and sleeping. This had become the way of life for them. For Him the kick was that He had the last word and so He was correct. For Her the solace was the fact that She turned Her back to Him thus acting mature and putting an end to the argument.

She only wanted one thing – that He shouldn’t take Her for granted
He too only complained of one thing - that She lacked the understanding and the patience expected out of a married women.

When did things go so wrong? Weren’t they madly in love and crazy about each other. They still are. Then why do they have such bitter arguments?

Life was all pink for them till a few months back when both of them were working. Things took a drastic turn after She decided to quit and pursue a life of a home maker. She wanted to have a child. But He wasn’t convinced. Some persistent insistence from Her side finally made Him give up and agree. She did get pregnant only to have a miscarriage in the third month. And that made things sour. He got busier with work and she couldn’t gather courage or energy to go back to Hers. The feeling of being a looser started to creep in. The gloom of being all by herself through the days and sometimes week was killing Her within. They stopped communicating. The longish conversations that both so enjoyed were replaced by silence.
The fact that She had lost Her child was taking its toll on Her. She felt stretched in anguish.

He woke up with the shrill ringing of the alarm, bathed and left for the airport without bothering to wake Her up and say goodbye. He was off to New York for a week. Little did He realize He would be coming back to an empty home.

That evening She walked into the sunset beyond the sea and became one with waves. That evening she was relieved.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Karwa Chauth in Bangalore

I have lived in Bangalore for about than 3 and half years now. And with each passing moment I have felt more at home in this city. The first 6-8 months were a struggle in adapting to a city so different from what ever I had seen before in terms of language and food. Add to it the nuisance of house hunting coupled with the regular problems of getting a telephone connection, buying furniture, getting a gas connection and many such things.

But things got better after Aman moved here and we got married. Now he was there for me and my fight to do everything by myself eased out. This made me see Bangalore in a totally different light. The city I found difficult to understand became warmer to me.

From finding our kind of food to starting liking the Bangalore cuisine we did it all. We made friends and started a life here. Gradually Bangalore started offering us everything we craved for, from Pani Puri in BTM layout to the dal makhni in Mast Kalandar. We discovered the tandori chicken in Chandni Chowk and the Chole Bhature in Indra Nagar. We found places where we could get the Jalabis as crispy as we wanted them. I even found tailors who could stitch the Patiala suits just as I got them at home.

But the utmost expression of homecoming was the Karwa Chauth this year. This is my most favorite festival. I love the preparation that goes into it. I love the fact that I don’t eat or drink for a day for Aman. And I love the way Aman behaves. From coaxing to pleading to threatening he does everything to make me eat. I love the fact that he calls me every 30 minutes to see if I am ok.

Along with all this there is a feeling of goodness that surrounds this festival which I had missed last year. But this year it was different. It was like the city had made a decision to make all fasting married women feel at ease. There are a couple of things that are a characteristic to this festival. The foremost being the Mehndi or the Henna and the second being the “pheenia” (a sweet like sevai/sweet vermicelli) Last year I had struggled to find someone who could apply the henna on my hands. Thanks to P and her MIL I was lucky and got the mehndi anyway.

But this year the festivity reached its peak. In a la Delhi mode, the Koramangala Street was full of Mehndi artist. Right from mid morning to late in the night there were number of artisans sitting and churning out colored hands by the minutes. Same was the scene in the Forum Mall. Along with this, the sweet shops had provisioned for the lesser know “pheenia” as well. Number of shops had sprouted in and around these areas selling the other things needed for the Karwa Chauth Festival. The pre festive homework was complete. My elation knew no bounds. Last year finding the festival pre requisites was a pain but this year the same thing was so much joy.

This might not sound like a big deal but after this Karwa Chauth I really feel like I am at home in Bangalore.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What can we do to make our world a better place to live in

Following up from what Pinku has written here are my thoughts on what can be done to make India a better place to live in. I believe in the fact that “I have to be the change I want to see”. I am doing my bit and urging all who read this to be doing their’s

- Stop bribing – you did jump the light or you were talking on the phone while driving, so get your act together and pay up. If you pay penalty once for an offence rest assured you will not do it again. For official work stand in the queue and get it done rather than finding shortcuts by giving a 100 here and a 500 there.

- Start voting – yes it will make a difference and if you will be citing reasons like the process if difficult then here is how it has been made simple

- Contribute to education – either through cash or kind (books, stationery etc) or through time.
- Stop Honking – no one stops on the road just for the heck of it. Be patient. Honking only makes the driver nervous. How often we comment on the fact the one hardly hears the horns blowing in the streets of Sydney or Singapore. We can emulate the same thing here too. It’s just a little bit of conscious effort.

There are many more and this is just the laundry list. Will add to it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jaago Re - Tata Tea

The roads here suck.
There is just too much corruption.
Look at the horrible traffic condition.
Another murder, the crime control has gone down to dogs.
It’s impossible for women to walk alone on the streets after dark.
You can’t get anything done without bribing the officials.
And so on…

Complaining is but a second nature. But someone did hear us out. TATA Tea this time. I am not saying it’s purely a socially conscious move. But so what, they are here to do business and if they can do something socially relevant with energy and muscle of being “the TATA’s”, then why not.

The Jaago Re campaign has been in existence since Oct 2007. With this campaign they have successfully clubbed all 4 of their brand into 1 giant “Tata Tea” brand.

Jaago Re campaign was all talk with interesting TVC till the recent launch of the website.

We all know how important it is to stop complaining and start voting. But the fact remains that getting oneself on the voters list is a mammoth task.

The Jaago Re “1 Billion Votes” movement primarily aims at making the process of enlisting oneself into the voters list a breeze. I am talking from my own experience. The entire online registrations process took not more than 3 minutes. The second step is to submit the online form, age proof and address proof to the electoral registration office which nearest to your residence (in my case it is a mere 4 km from where I stay).
Thereafter I will be alerted through email and via sms (that is if I choose so) about the status of my application.

For people who have already registered to vote, registering with Jaago Re still makes sense. Haven’t we heard of people whose name mysteriously disappear from the list on the day of the voting? For people who have changed cities and have no clue where to go to update the status, is the answer.

As for the website
– It’s fairly simple and easy to navigate.
– Quite self explanatory and matter of fact
– Interesting interface
– A comprehensive list of FAQ’s and sensible bifurcation between the different kinds of voters’ query.
– Good content from information and educational point of view.

This movement is aimed at the youth and for a country whose majority of population is under the age of 35 years this targeting makes a lot of sense.

Tea drinking is as deeply engraved into our lifestyles. For Indians (especially North Indians) tea is more than just another beverage. Its part of our culture. Most people I know can’t imagine a day without a hot steaming cup of tea. Now Tata Tea’s Jaago Re has taken this physically and emotionally stimulating beverage to another level. The level of Social awakening.

So if you already don’t vote and are not listed on the electoral list do so now. Here is the link for your convenience.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Married to a Workaholic

You don’t become a workaholic by choice. You are forced to become one. The phenomenon is happening right under my nose and sadly I am unable to put a speed breaker here. Long hours are something most of us have adjusted to. It’s but a part of work and no eyebrows are raised. But what Aman is doing is a lot more. Its not just about long hours. And the sad part is that this is not his choice. Now before you send me sympathy messages let me clarify that it’s not as if he is being made to work at gun point. It’s the circle of “responsibility, ownership and recognition”.

When you dream of meetings, presentations and revenues there has to be something amiss. When you have your phone ringing day in and day out there has to something incorrect their. When even on a Sunday you can’t help but check your mail first thing in the morning then its time to stop and think. When every lunch and dinner with wife and friends is interrupted with calls its time to take a break.
Isn’t it important to say no to work at least sometimes??

Aman – I hope you read this and get the message L

Monday, September 29, 2008

And I still haven’t seen Rock On…

Yes that’s true. I still haven’t seen the movie. Talk about dependency here. Aman saw the premier show way back while I was in Australia. And the dude is not ready to watch it again. So that leaves me with the option of watching it with friends or watching it alone. I am a sucker for company so obviously watching alone doesn’t work out. As for friends I have made plans more than a couple of times only to cancel it last moment. I think destiny is playing a role here. Maybe the divine forces don’t want me to watch this movie. So what if Arjun Rampal looks absolutely hot and Farhan Akhtar is jaw dropping good looking. Who cares???

And did someone say that “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. Now why isn’t the universe listening?? I really do want to watch this movie. Please please, someone conspire and make this possible. I would love a surprise from any of my friends reading this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Balika Vadhu on Colors

I have read quite a few blog posts lambasting the serial “Balika Vadhu” being shown on Colors.
Well I don’t agree.
“Balika Vadhu” is set up in the rural Rajasthan and as the name suggests, the serial is about the ill practice of Child Marriage.
We might want to believe otherwise but the fact of the matter remains that Child Marriage although illegal is still quite prevalent in India.
Personally I had never given too much thought to this practice ever before till I saw a few episodes. Its heart wrenching to realize that these customs are being followed with enthusiasm almost 60 years post the independence.
The young girl who plays the role of the protagonist “Anandi” is quite convincing in her act. I don’t want to get into the story and the screenplay here. That’s for you to watch.

What I wanted to write about was the fact that after a long time I have found a prime time soap that I quite like. I am no fan of Hindi Saas Bahu kinda soaps. The only programs I like watching other than the good old “Friends” are the reality shows and now even these are putting me off.
But Balika Vadhu is different. Its keeps me hooked. The timing (Monday to Friday, 8:00 pm) doesn’t suit me so I end up watching the back to back reruns on Saturday afternoons. Balika Vadhu has topped the TRP ratings with 4.2 points.
What has worked for the serial is the plot. Child marriage is something completely alien to the Urban TV watchers. We have hardly seen any movies and not even a single serial made on this plot. The fact that this custom is so alien yet so prevalent in rural India makes this serial a hit. It’s a definite risk that the content team from Colors has taken and no doubt it has worked in their favor. They have touched upon a custom deeply engraved in our rural society. It is something we don’t see or experience in our city lives and that’s exactly what gives this program the punch. And this is contrary to the latest trend where the focus is on the hip and urban youth. And this proves only 1 fact – “there is no formula for success”.

It’s been on air for about 3 months and so far so good. Not sure how it will turn out in the due course of time. But as of now – I am loving it!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do we see a pattern here???

Check this out:

Shah Rukh Khan is the Brand Ambassador for Pepsi, and sooner than later we find Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador for Coke.
Shah Rukh Khan sells Sunfeast, and Aamir has been recently signed for selling Monaco from Parle
Shah Rukh Khan endorses Nokia and lately we see Aamir doing so for Samsung
Shah Rukh Khan has been screaming Hyundai Santro and now I10 for a long time and after some delay we saw Aamir Khan subtly promoting Toyota Innova
Shah Rukh Khan started promoting the Tag Heuer and Aamir followed suit with Titan.
And the most recent one, where Shah Rukh Khan has been the face of Dish TV, Aamir has started selling Tata Sky

Is this the simple formula the industry has been following or is it mere coincidence?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The High Heel Story

Can someone please explain to me how ladies manage stilettos? I mean how is it humanly possible to wear something so uncomfortable and still look fresh and cheerful? Its not that I don’t wear heels. I do. But I am immensely on edge. Half my attention is on ensuring that the discomfort is not quite apparent on my face.

For me it’s a vicious circle. Let me explain. There isn’t any denying that these high heeled shoes come in the most mouth watering designs. And that fact forces me to buy them. Now buying and not wearing obviously makes me feel guilty. Therefore I end up wearing them too. And there begins my tale of woes.

The first couple of hours usually pass like a dream giving me the impression that finally I have learnt the art of walking properly in the high heeled shoes.

It’s in the next few hours that the early feeling of numbness sets in.

And then it keeps getting worse. Worse to the extent that after a full day in those heels I almost always limp back home with shoes not in my feet but in my hand.

What follows is a series of remedial measures of soaking my feet in hot water, getting a massage, antiseptic treatments and finally pain killers.

Almost vindictive, what I do next is anybodies guess. I keep these high heels in the lowest shelf of the shoe rack where there are already dozen such high heels to even avoid looking at them.

But like all wounds these wounds also heal. And then I am back with the excuse to myself that my attire would look hideous if I don’t pair it up with the appropriate “high heeled shoes”. And so the story continues.

But coming back to where I started, can someone please explain how women manage those “High Heels”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moment of Truth

The show is finally being aired in India.9:00 pm Tuesday on Star World. And man it is scary. After creating quite a furor in USA the show has now found its way to the Indian television.
The contestants are asked personal questions and they have to say the truth to win money. Now as you go on from one question to another the prize money increases and simultaneously the questions become more and more personal. The moment you answer a question untruthfully you lose the game and all your money. And yes there is a polygraph in use so one can’t escape lying either.

Now let me give you an example of the kind of questions that are asked -
To a guy who has been married for 3 years – “one of the reasons why you haven’t had a child with your wife yet is because you aren’t sure if you want to spend the rest of your life with her”. This question was asked with the wifey sitting right in front of him. Now that is a complete Catch 22 Situation. If he says the truth he is dead but at least rich. If he says a lie, it will anyways be detected.
And imagine the plight of the wife. Yes it surely would have hurt.

Take another – This guy was asked “if he thought he was superior to his friends when looks where concerned”… huh… poor thing… there goes all the narcissism for the rest of his life…

This one is my personal fav – to a physical trainer – “have you touched your female clients more that it was needed”…hehe… I surely hope he won some money as he would have definitely lost his job after that…

Actually there are a lot more which get even more personal. But since mine is a Universal Blog I wont venture into those. Although I have managed to see only 1 episode till now I am sure there are lot more firecrackers in there. Do catch it.

I am sitting on 31st floor of our Melbourne office and looking straight out of the window. Thank god for the Air Conditioning, the chill can’t reach me. I can see the shore line and a few random ships. And there is only one thought in my mind - get me home.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Can we please ban movie reviews???

It has happened with me so many times now. Before I get a chance to see a movie I have read and heard so many reviews about it already that I am far from forming an opinion. In the interest of all those who love watching movies, all kinds of reviews should be completely banned.
Now you’ll ask if I was forced to read or listen to the review. I wasn’t but I still do as there is no escape. Its on the TV, it’s in the newspaper, it’s on the radio, people blog about it, colleagues discuss it over lunch and coffee. Now how the hell do I escape all this? In my media savvy world ignoring so much noise is practically not possible. I can’t virtually insulate myself.

Case in point – Remember Mithya?? I was keenly waiting for it. And then just before going for the movie I happened to hear what Rajiv Masand had to say. He went all out praising Mithya giving it 4 stars and calling it an answer to everyone who feels Hindi movies are mindless and predictable.
So whoop goes my expectations. And ironically I didn’t find it too great.
No doubt it is an interesting movie, with a brilliant performance by Ranvir Shorey and an exciting plot too. So why was I not all that thrilled after watching it??
The answer is “EXPECTATIONS”. Yes expectations - the mother of all agony. Expectations - that build up as an after effect of these reviews.

Another example is of Jodha Akbar, a movie that received comparatively sad reviews but I liked it. my colleagues hated it and they made it a point to come and tell me so. And as a result throughout watching the movie more of my attention was on being critical about it rather than enjoying it.

Not just these two but many more movie watching experience has been spoiled because of listening to people talk about them. So in the general interest of many more sufferers like myself I plead all the day 1 watchers – zip your mouth and don’t solicit information unless I ask for it.

I essentially dash away from the sight of these reviews but it feels like I am being bombarded with these reviews from all possible directions. Looks like there is no escape. Ahhmmm.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am finally legally married...

After 2 and half years of our traditional wedding, Aman and I finally registered our marriage on 7th July’ 08.
Its not that we didn’t want or try to get our marriage registered before but our great Indian Judicial System was a huge deterrent.
And this is how –
We got married in Kapurthala, Punjab (Aman’s hometown) and there wasn’t time to get the wedding registered. We just had a couple of days there and all that time went in meeting relatives and visiting temples.
The next logical step was to get the wedding registered in Bangalore (the place where we live). Again we didn’t fulfill lot many conditions –
- The wedding didn’t take place in Bangalore and so the court couldn’t register it
- Both Aman and me hadn’t stayed here long enough to be recognized as domicile citizens???
- we didn’t have important (??) documents like Ration card or the Voters id card

Fine, so we thought we’ll do this holy task in Ranchi (my hometown). Now who ever is familiar with the working of a town like Ranchi will know that even if you have all the documents in place and even if you have all the right contacts you still need to make almost all the people in the ladder “happy”. Thanks to Dad who did all that and much more, we were given a date to come and register the wedding.
It was a bright Friday morning, while I was getting ready to be married once again to the same man, we got some awesome news. Apparently one man in protest of some new government policy had tried committing suicide in public. He was battling for life for past week and finally on the same morning as my wedding registration he succumbed to his injuries and died. As a result all government organizations including the court were abruptly shut to mourn his death. And with that the possibility of our registering the wedding too died.

Now in this recent trip for Bhiaya’s wedding, we finally managed to finish this mammoth task. The actual registration didn’t take more than 5 minutes. That was disappointing. They should have atleast respected our efforts and made it a look big. But anyways, all said and done, I am finally legally married :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

July Update

It’s been a rather funny month. Rains in Orissa were very heavy on our pockets. We (Aman, me and parents – in – law) were to travel from Bangalore to Ranchi for Bhai’s wedding. All tickets were booked on the comparatively economical mode of travel - the TRAIN. But just a day prior to our departure, all trains to the eastern part of the country were cancelled. As a result we had to fly to Calcutta (as there is no direct connectivity) and then take the train to Ranchi. There goes all the planning to be sane and reasonable for a change. Return was also the same story. But this time more than rains it was Aman and his work. So we had to pre-pone our return by a day, again making the already light wallets some more lighter.

Wedding was a grand affair. All money shopping for it feels like a worth while expenditure. I actually like weddings. I like the state of happiness the entire family is in. I like the fact that my otherwise short tempered family is quite patient for a change. I like meeting all relatives and catching up on the lives of distant cousins. I like food and lastly I like dressing up. And bhaiya’s wedding in all possible manners did live upto these expectations.

One incident worth a mention is Aman and his "Suit". We reached Ranchi on the morning of 4th July. The engagement was scheduled for 5th July. Packing is almost always a last minute affair for us and in this last minute Aman conveniently forgot to pack "The Suit" he was planning to wear for the engagement. "The Suit" that he had got made more than a month back after a lot of trips to all possible malls and stores. In such scenarios the most viable and the only possible option looks like wearing something else. And in case you don’t have an extra dress then buy one. But unfortunately or rather stubbornly these options weren’t available for him.

The solution – he asked his brother who was in Bangalore but not in our home to break the lock, pick up "The Suit" and air cargo it the same day. All this did happen although with a whole lot of twists and turns mostly credited to the landlord who vehemently opposed the idea of breaking the lock. "The Suit" was sent through air cargo on the night of 4th to Delhi. After spending a night in Delhi the suit was sent to Ranchi on 5th. Some million phone calls followed to keep a track of "The Suit" and ensure it was boarding all the right flights. We picked it up from the airport at 7 pm and Aman was wearing it at 8pm.

Talk about being determined to make things happen

For Records, this is the Suit I am talking about !!! And for those who don’t recognize him already, he is the tall guy in the center.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Writing after a long time...

The earlier post is only a Ctrl+C Ctrl+V of something I had written long back. And this absence can be attributed to, among other things, my addiction.
Its been a pretty exciting phase in terms of professional life. I have changed my role and subsequently my team. From doing demand generation and bid management for a specific business unit, I have moved to handling the marketing for the entire Asia Pacific Geography for my company. Quite a move I must say, and this is when I am not usually easy on myself. New role, new team and new set of bosses and colleagues. Continuing the newness, I have moved to the corporate head office and as a result of that my traveling time has been reduced by 50%.

Bhai is getting married on 6th July. This time I’ll surely come back with snaps that will capture the essence of a Punjabi wedding.
Shopping is on full frenzy, and this is when I had promised mom that I’ll make use of all those heavy saris and dresses that are just lying unused (for the benefit of all – I got married 2 years back and have loads of beautiful not used clothing).

Home looks like a mini medical center, with Aman being down with Viral Fever the whole of last week. And the moment he got better it was Neha’s turn to grab the attention. Poor kid is down with a horrid acute case of tonsillitis. It’s not only difficult for her to eat but even drink.

There was a lot more that I wanted to write, but as I have said earlier too, things become irrelevant when mentioned beyond their time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Red and Cream Bangles

One thing that I really miss about "no longer being newly married" are the Red and Cream Bangles more commonly referred to as “the Churha”. Churhas are a set of red and cream ivory bangles that are slipped on to the wrist of the bride by her maternal uncle and aunt. These are traditionally worn on the day of the wedding and the bride continues to wear them for a few months some even wearing them for over a year.

My Churhas were exceptionally beautiful with an energetic shade of burgundy and were ornamented with exquisite stone work.

I wore them for over 9 months and they never failed to make me feel special. I live in Bangalore, a city where unlike north India you will not find too many girls wearing these. One extremely hilarious incident that I remember is when a colleague in office commented “Iya, I know your bangles are very beautiful but why do you wear them everyday??”

During those 9 months, I took it on as a personal agenda to educate one and all who bothered asking me about these bangles and in turn educated quite a few Bangaloreans as to what their significance was.

Now every time I look at a newly wed Punjabi girl wearing Churhas, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. Some things are meant to happen only once in life and wearing the Churahas is surely one of those.

Ps: Looks a bit incomplete, right??? Actually it is. I wrote this ages back and never posted. Today when I re-looked at this, I just wanted it to be on my blog. I am not going to add the anything more to the post as I am unable to get my thoughts together.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I guess I am addicted

And it is not what you are thinking. It’s the Spider Solitaire. I have played this game over and over again so much so that now my fingers are numb. I am so sick of myself and this game. I don’t want to see that green screen again but I am not able to resist. Time and again my fingers travel to the Game tab and I restart a new game. If I win I play again to celebrate and if I loose I still play again to recuperate. Eeergh.. and now its getting on my nerves....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Write..II

I write..

I am in love
Yes in love
Love so deep
It makes me feel
Like dancing
And singing
I wish there was a way
To tell him
The magic he creates
Since there is none
I write…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mills and Boons !!

While grocery shopping yesterday I was most pleasantly shocked to find loads of Mills and Boons novels sitting pretty right near the entrance of the store and memories came flooding back. In my early teens Mills and boons were the most sought after books and ours was one school that had a huge collection of these in the school’s library (and we were a girls’ convent at that). As a norm girls were only allowed to issue these highly romanticized literary gyan once they reached the coveted 9th standard and became part of the school senior community. So being promoted to class 9th meant a lot.

However my batch had the unique distinction of being one of the naughtiest batches of all times. After a series of exceptional events all of which were classified as “not so pleasant” we were reprimanded in the cruelest of fashion. Umpteen warnings and admonitions by the teachers and still no respite made our principle announce the hideous of all punishments “No Mills and Boons for the current 9th Class” and there went all our M&B dreams.

Luckily a few of my classmates had elder sisters in the same school. This breed of elder sisters didn’t flinch even once before asking us for all sorts of favors which meant dreadful things like preparing their project reports, copying the lab assignments and what not in return of lending us the M&B.

Ha, those were the days....I read so many M&B that I could predict the plot, the story (as if it had any). I must have read a 100 or so. Actually I was good enough to write one myself. And then on day I gave up reading them.

Yesterday when I saw these books I couldn’t help but browse through the shelf and ultimately picked up one and safely got it billed without Aman noticing. Although I am sure of what’s in it I can’t wait to start reading it.

Cheers to the good old days.. Sigh...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Coffee Anu and Me

Work work work....
And then the call at 7:00 pm – “Iya wanna have coffee ???”
Quick walk to the Café coffee day, the regular take away and the walk back to my desk.
Only 15 minutes... but very precious 15 minutes.....
15 minutes that take me back to my college days...
In this clutter of work where all the time I am thinking of deadlines, submissions, calls, proposals and presentations, there is one person who absolutely brigs a smile to my face.
And that someone I none other than my best friend - Anu .
We have been friends for a nearly a decade. And it was only by chance that I landed in this company where Anu had been working for quite some time.

Since my first day here, having that evening coffee together is nothing less than a ritual. No matter how caught up both of us are with work, we ensure that we meet each day to have our daily dose of caffeine.

This is a godsend and not sure how many of you guys out there are as lucky.

So this is to say thanks to the friend who has stood by me through all the good and the bad that I have done. She has seen me travel my million moods in a span of a day without flinching. It is with her that I have had some of my most hysterical laughter bouts. She has been a constant in this ever changing world. This is to the friend I really treasure.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Trip to Ranchi and Back....

I don’t believe I am back from Ranchi already. I mean just the other day I was frantically packing for this break. And it was like only yesterday that I took that flight to Calcutta and it was like just a moment ago that Aman and I sat at Flury’s for an elaborate breakfast to fill time before the connecting train.

Home was such a delight. Mom has kept my room just the same as I had left it years ago, 5 years to be precise. All my soft toys and dolls still sit pretty on the shelves. She has even preserved all those little trinkets and accessories Neha and I picked up every now and then.

It was such a pleasure to be woken up by the familiar noises and the aromas that I have grown up with. Home is just the same.

But Ranchi looks like a whole new world. It is much more crowded than I can remember. Ranchi is loosing on the small town charm that we so proudly boasted about. There are more vehicles, more shopping complexes, more theaters, more restaurants and more of everything than ever before. So much so that even Big Bazaar hasn’t missed the opportunity.

But in-spite of all these “on your face” kinda changes I still feel the same about my home town. And taking Aman around was a joy of a different dimension. I get such a thrill in showing him places I frequented from my college to school to the ground I played in to the market I went to and the places I ate at.
Another highlight of the trip was the ever delectable delicacies my mom prepared. From breakfast to lunch to dinner each meal was better that the previous one. It was amazingly cute to watch her fuss over Aman.

This break has done wonders to our systems. Both of us are geared for some more grueling months ahead. Bring it on till we collapse once again to embark on another journey....

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Roshni – for introducing me to Harry Potter books. The first one I read was on your insistence and ever since I have cherished each one, so much so that I have read and reread all.
And Aman, thanks for ensuring that I was among the first ones to get my hand on the 7th Book.
(Now why I wrote this today – generally)

Friday, March 14, 2008


With all the things that I missed while working like a maniac, I also missed my blogs birthday!!! sob sob...
My blog turned 1 in Feb... Muuaahhhhaaaaa.....
Belated wishes and gifts are most welcome :)

Missed it

I have missed this place immensely in the last couple of weeks. The thought of coming here and writing had struck me not less than a hundred times but work was like crazy. So much so that I didn’t see Aman for weeks and this is when we stay in the same home.
Last 4-5 weeks have been one of the most hectic, drilling and high energy weeks of my professional life. But it was fun.

Finally today I stole some minutes for myself. And here I am. But all those things that I wanted to write seem redundant. That’s the trick time plays. Things that seem the most significant today become really miniscule tomorrow.

Other than work a lot happened over the last month. I goofed up on our travel plans, almost broke my ankle, Aman managed to hurt himself, I fought with Boss, got appreciation from seniors and yes indulged in some heavy duty shopping.

I am off to Ranchi tomorrow for a week. 1 week a year. Yes that’s the amount of time I have been spending at my home since I started working. Sucks..

But the good part is that I will be home for Holi. This will also be the first time Aman will be in Ranchi for a festival. Now that surely brings a smile on my face.
I really want to leave my laptop behind and switch off the phone. But that will be asking a lot.

Wishing everyone a very colorful Holi !!

Friday, February 22, 2008

This one is for you M

She – a bong bombshell, a dynamite of a girl. Some one who justifies the saying that all good things come in small packages.
He – tall, lanky, unkempt and extremely intelligent. Some one with a perfect “I care a damn attitude”.

We saw them getting acquainted, then becoming friends and then lovers.

They got married last week and thanks to work I couldn’t attend it. They are now man and wife and here’s wishing them a very very happy married life.

Can’t wait to see the both of you together.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Power of Mind

Came across this beautiful thought and wanted to share it with all those who bother visiting my Blog.

POWER of Mind
P – Picture
O – Ownership
W – Watch for evidence
E – Expect
R – Receive

When we meet someone we form a Picture of that person and we are the Owner of that picture. There after, we start Watching for Evidence to validate the picture that has been created. Further on we Expect only those evidences that justify the picture and as a result we only Receive those indications that once again confirm the picture we had created in the first place. And in this we loose out on knowing and understanding what and how the person is.
This is the POWER of mind which can lead us to the most deep rooted biases.
Can we, for a change leave the canvas blank and let the image take shape on its own.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A request

Please take care of your Health, Family and Career – necessarily in that order.
Sadly, we have our priorities all wrong.
Some things are non negotiable and this is on top of that list. I am trying and I will succeed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do I need more Wisdom??

Technically speaking I don’t. Neither do I need and nor do I want any more wisdom. Now before you write me off as some arrogant snob, poor me is only talking about the wisdom tooth. The wisdom tooth on my right lower jaw is desperate to come out, the only problem is that it has lost its way, so instead of growing vertically up, this wisdom tooth went on a joyride and banged horizontally into my molar. On one hand the Molar is defending its spot with all its glory and on the other hand the wisdom tooth is trying very hard to make its way to god only knows where.

And in between this battle for supremacy I am being subjected to the most awful pain bouts. Pain as I have never experienced before. After all wasn’t I just fine with 28 teeth?? I really don’t need 32 of them. Oh god, please deliver me from this. I don’t need any more wisdom.