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