Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Hap Hap Happy New Year 2010

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year 2010. May all your wishes come true and your life is filled with health and Happiness.

Glitter Graphics




Take care and see you all in the New Year.




Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Leaping Lizards

In a recently conducted survey by 'The sanity of women' Foundation, it has been concluded that 'House Lizards' have again topped the list beating 'Cockroaches' as the top ranking pests to scare the living daylights of women, worldwide.

The survey was carried out by an independent consultant associated with 'Lazy Pineapple'. The survey was conducted when it was found that a phenomenal number of women and some men turned temporarily insane at the sight of a Lizard, crawling on the wall of their homes. Though, the number of men was significantly low, they comprised of nearly 20% of the sample population.

I had always been intrigued by the creature called 'House lizard'.This unpredictable reptile has been my middle sister's nemesis from when she was a moppet. I remember her practically jumping out of her skin at the sight of 'lizzy' on a far off wall. She still has a the same hate relationship with the creature. It used to amuse me to see her screaming hysterically and leaping on the bed to safety as if, 'lizzy' was going to miraculously sprout wings and attack her. I am sure 'lizzy' was equally scared of her since, he knew that his days of peacefully clinging to walls and eating flies in our household, was to come to an end.

My father and I were officially appointed to send 'lizzy' into exile every time he or one of his relatives paid us a visit. We usually did it by shaking a stick or broom near his vicinity and that usually did the trick. Many a times 'Lizzy' became obstinate and refused to relinquish his place and some serious action was needed.

Even after marriage, I have still retained my post. Hubs has the same hate relationship with 'lizzy' and I am left to do the dirty work. Ma-in-law is just short of fainting at the sight of 'lizzy'. She is always on the lookout for new products in the market which will fortify her apartment against 'lizzy'. The usual scene is Hubs and Ma-in-law standing atop a chair and giving me encouragement and directions about how to make 'lizzy' go away.

I admit, I myself do get queasy sometimes when 'Lizzy' suddenly decides to change direction and starts moving in my direction when I am trying to make him run for his life.

I have seen many people just start shivering at the sight of 'Lizards'. It must be the most hated and feared household pest in the entire world. There have been many innovative ideas to get rid of 'Lizards' which have made me laugh aloud.

1) Using Peacock Feathers- Apparently Lizards hate peacocks.
2) Using Broken Eggshells- Lizards hate the smell of Eggshells?
3) Adopt a Cat.
4) Invite some Chinese friends over and point out to the luncheon menu on the wall.

If you know of anymore ideas, do send them to me.

Note: 'The Sanity of Women' Foundation is a fictitious organisation. The survey is a figment of my imagination.

Note: I am going to be thrown to the 'Lizards' by hubs and Sis for revealing their secrets.

And it's a 100

I hit a Century with this post. (Imagine, I am taking a bow to your thunderous clapping)

A big thanks to all the Readers who so valiantly have still stuck around since the start of this Blog. A big welcome to new Readers.

This blog started off as a whim. It has now become an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. I am very happy and surprised that I have authored 100 stories. Posts which have topics ranging from Tiger conservation, movie reviews and personal life.

I look forward to writing the next 100 with equal gusto for which I will need your continued readership, comments and motivation. Thank you once again.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Haagen Daz- A bitter aftertaste


There is a big uproar in the online media about Haagen Dazs brand of Ice cream committing a terrible Faux- Pas during the launch of their outlet in Delhi. They have stated it as a teaser campaign.

Have a look at this picture and things will be clear why Indians have their panties in knots.

It's a franchisee owned by an Indian Company and it's opening an outlet in India. It means they want to sell the product to Indians, Right???

The 'Access restricted only to holders of International Passports' part kuch jama nahi.

I really wonder about the advertising agency that made this poster and the people in marketing department of Haagen Daz, who approved this poster. This is a blatant insult and racial discrimination done by Indians to Indians. As if, we already do not face that in other countries.

We now say that 'India is a happening Place' then why do we feel like a second grade citizen in our own country. Does it mean that a person with a International Passport is superior and hence will get special treatment? I feel, we Indians suffer from a 'Gori Chamdi (Skin)' syndrome. We think anything made abroad is always better than 'Made in India'. Please wake up and smell the coffee. I am living in 'UK' for past two years and all I have seen is 'Made in India' tags or 'Made in some other Asian country' tag on all the stuff. Here in the 'UK' , they proudly sell their goods as 'Homegrown' or 'Made in UK'. Why are we so ashamed of 'Made in India'?

International Passport Holders have already tasted Haagen-Dazs. For them, it is how 'Amul' or 'Vadilal' is for us. I too admit Haagen Dazs is delicious. But, it's just an Ice cream for God sakes.

Haagen-Dazs came to India with a Bang. I am sure they must have done some research on Bollywood Stars on 'how to get free publicity'. This controversy has given them free publicity and free advertising.

In spite of the uproar and so many blog posts written on this insult, people will soon forget what the whole fuss was about and enjoy a delicious scoop of their 'Baileys Irish Cream'.

'We are like this only'


P.S: Photo Courtesy 'Times of India'

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Things that made me go, Huh?

When you are a kid, a lot of things remain unexplained and you are just left with lots of questions in your mind. You try to make sense of them on your own. Some mysteries get solved, when a older sibling obliges you with their vast intelligence (at that age, you think everyone is a genius). Other mysteries get solved as you grow older and some linger on till you forget about them.

As a kid, TV became the biggest source of unexplained things. Ads and movies sometimes were not what they seemed. Let me explain it to you at length.

1) Condom Ads: I came to know of, what a condom is, much later in life compared to today's generation of kids. Hey! now forget the picture of 'Condom' in your head and now picture a scene where a family is sitting down to watch 'Hum Log' , baccha company an all and suddenly a 'Nirodh' ad comes on TV, the reactions of all members should be noted carefully. My family excepting me, suddenly used to become busy with what-nots. My father used to dive behind the newspaper as if his life depended on it, my mother suddenly used to become engrossed in cleaning beans, my eldest sister would join my mother and my elder sis was left as clueless as I was. Everybody evaded my eyes, lest I raise a curious question. There was an uncomfortable silence which made me wonder about the ad.

2) Pointy Boobs : Most of the actresses of Hindi movies in the sixties had a set attire. A big bird's nest on the head, a tight sari, bloodless lips and pointy boobs. Though I saw these movies much later, I always wondered about their bust line. They looked pointy enough to pierce the hero in the chest. Normal women had normal boobs so why theirs looked unreal. My eldest sister always cracked jokes about them. I pretended to understand and laugh along but was clueless till I had left puberty around a corner.

3) Mysterious Barfing: In today's movies there are no mysteries left for imagination. But there was time when things were subtle. The hero and heroine fall in love. They dance around trees, then they kiss, which was always portrayed by two flowers coming close or the director gave you a shot of bright blue skies. After a few days inevitably the heroine goes on a puking spree and then the evil vamp who is usually her stepmom starts spewing 'Kulakshini','Kulta' 'Kahan mooh kala karke aayi hai? I could not understand ,why she said that. The heroines face seemed all right to me. Maybe a stomach upset had caused all that barfing.

4) Neem Trees: I knew what Neem trees were, don't think of me as a slow kid. There were assorted tales of ghosts and demons that put the mystery in Neem Trees. I always had a penchant for ghoulish tales and still do. I used to lap them up like butter. Most of the so called ghost stories, started in a cemetery and ended with the ghost vanishing in the Neem or Banyan tree.
My childhood home has a soaring Neem tree in its front yard. When I was a child, my whole family slept out on the terrace on summer nights, the swaying tree always made me shit scared. I always used to wonder why all the ghosts prefer uncomfortable places as their homes like cemeteries and trees.

Though, all the Huh!! quotient has evaporated from these things now, I spent a better part of my childhood and adolescent life mulling about such inane stuff. I still do, about unexplained facts like UFO'S, U.S. banking industry and honest politicians.



Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Scrooge or a Confused Hindu?

Please find below a Guest post from my friend 'Radhika'. She has a funny bone and I bet you will be tickled silly with the below Blog post.

Christmas in America is the single most frustrating event of the year for me. I love the lights and the feel good movies on TV as much as the next person, but Christmas in America confuses the hell out of me.

Since all my education in India was in a Catholic establishment, Christmas was about the nativity play, cake on the last day of school, before holidays began, getting bebinkas and cakes from Christian friends(kind of a thank you for the Diwali Besan Ladoos I gave them) etc, etc.
In short it was about Christianity, the birth of Jesus, the three wise men , the star and so on.

Cut to 17 years later in America. Arguably, the most conservative nation in the western hemisphere, where every 4 years politicians are out to prove what good Christians they are, where you could win or lose the presidency depending on your Good Christian quotient , where Bible thumping is a way of life. So why is it that this nation founded apparently on Judeo Christian values has a hard time saying, ”Merry Christmas” during Christmas?? Why are people supposed to have Holiday Trees and not Christmas Trees, why is Santa Claus, an acceptable secular God?? I have often wondered about these people , who are so easily offended by the obvious?

My sons, who are in Pre kindergarten had to take holiday goody bags with treats for everybody in their class. But we were told, the bags can have no religious items, the bags can say, Happy Holiday, but not Merry Christmas, but Santa is of course acceptable! ARRRRGH!! So after 17 years here, I now look forward to Christmas like the next wave of H1N1 scare news. It is inevitable, but I don’t have to like it!! And I’m still looking for that Hyper Politically Correct person, who is offended by my, Merrry Christmas, so I can say to him/ her, “Enjoy your holidays and by the way, Merry Christmas to You and Yours”. You know, Scrooge loved to be evil during the HOLIDAYS!!!!!! HA, ha, ha…..

I wonder where does political correctness end and going off the deep end lunacy begin???

P.S: I would like to thank Vinita for letting me write/vent on her blog. We are related, our husbands grew up together in the same building, back home, but Vinita and I have never met! We became friends because of her blog, which I love! So, thank you, Internet friend. I hope to meet you soon….

Monday, 14 December 2009

DawG Days

Yesterday, while going for a quick visit to friends in neighboring town, I saw many people out walking their dogs. All walked/trotted peacefully with their human companions.

I remember that all my walks with my canine companion were disastrous, just like tug of war with both of us vying to win the top post. Exceptions to this were the first few months when 'Buddy' was still a clumsy puppy. I had an upper hand then and could lead him where I wished to go with just a slight tug of my wrist.

Within a few months, things dramatically changed and the balance of power tipped on his side. In spite of being a superior(That is what I was made to believe) being with two arms to perform any complex task, I was unable to be the ultimate victor in this war. His powerful neck was capable of dragging me in any-which direction as he wanted.

Our walks used to start off fairly routine with me walking and talking calmly as a rational human being, belying the sudden dramatic change in events to happen in the very next moments. The minute we stepped out of the parking lot onto the road, a sudden dose of adrenalin would gush into his being and I was dragged along in the flow of action. Most of the times I used to be half asleep in the mornings and used to be easily coaxed into running helter-skelter behind him. We fought most of these battles during my conscious moments which were during the evening walks.

The war used to start of akin to dialogues between India and Pakistan about 'Kasab'. Both of us would maintain decorum in the beginning with me giving slight tugs to his leash to maintain control and him pulling with only a bit of force. Just like these dialogues, things would deteriorate at a very high speed with both of us trying to maintain our stands.

To walk your dog in India means, everyone in your neighbourhood would know that the fun has begun. Its an activity in which you will always have spectators around and people just waiting to see you embarrass yourself. At first you give polite apologetic smile to passersby and shopkeepers and try to ignore their looks.

Slowly as 'Buddy' would get more determined (just like Pakistan, still demanding for proof and vehemently denying everything) his nose would be stuck to the ground and he would just plow on without thinking of his mistress and best friend supposedly, still attached to the end of his leash. I, in spite of my considerable bulk (to make you understand the gravity of the situation, no snigger's please) used to practically half jog and half walk behind him screaming epithets in a language you would not want to hear now.

He would give me one look of sheer joy and his tongue lolling out of his mouth always used to make me feel he did all that 'Tamasha' on purpose. As if, he was secretly in cohorts with my neighbors and other dog owners and has to win the bet he placed on me to see 'how fast he can make me look like a raving lunatic'.

Other dog owners would give me a look of pity and took their dogs as far away from 'Buddy' as not to have a bad influence on their 'Best Friends'. Some courageous ones did befriend me and we became members of a club called 'Our dogs rule and we bite dust'.

Yesterday watching those pooches walking serenely besides their masters brought a smile to my lips. I miss 'Buddy' and my crazy walks with him. Hold on with the tissues and tears. 'Buddy' - The crazy brown Labrador is hale and hearty and is now waging this war with his adoptive parents in Nagpur. Someone else has now become the victim of his shenanigans. He is ruling the roost strong as ever with a whip of his neck and the swish of his tail and those laughing green eyes.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Bored with Boredom

Define Fun? Can you ? I am so bored at this point that FUN has become 'Fantastically Uninteresting Notion'. No wonder the posts are not being updated regularly on this blog.

Have you ever been bored so much that you thought life was just a blur of picture frames and you wanted to pull your hair out?

Well, I am not so desperate yet, but going there at warp speed.

I am too old for dressing up and going clubbing and pubbing on weekdays and weekends. Old for getting sloshed and waking up with a massive hangover. And too young for being a grumpy old woman, sitting in warm woollen booties and talking of the good old days.

I feel like a misfit these days. Some of my friends are a decade younger and in their mid twenties and those about my age, are busy with families and kids to give me the time of the day. The younger friends are caught up in partying, work, boyfriends and having a good time.

I get along very well with younger friends. I can actually still identify with them on some level but been there,done that makes me feel jaded. Friends my age, have complicated lives . They have children, one area where I cannot share any pearls of wisdom. Also, I always feel like once they start talking about their kids, its all Greek and Latin to me. Believe me, I do try to use my minuscule grey matter, but sometimes it fails to generate the required enthusiasm. Where do I fit in?

These days my mind is full of mixture of bloody, violent scenes and cleaning products. A result of watching too much Law and Order and How clean is your home? Well, nothing good to watch on telly any more.

Myriad thoughts about my next post and the desperate attempts at humour (Somewhat like this post) are taking up most of my time. Rest is spent in reading novels and hunting for jobs (something, I am least motivated at this point of time).

I guess, I have to absolve myself with a really funny post, real fast, to avoid being thrashed by friends.

Do any of you feel like a misfit any-time? Do let me know your thoughts.




Friday, 11 December 2009

Why I hate Shopping!!!

Hey! I don't mean that literally. It was just a ruse to grab your attention. Plus, I don't want to disappoint those people, specially men, who like to package women into stereotypes . For instance, how much women talk and shop, how they want their husbands to change after marriage and such other nonsense. Bah!!!

I love shopping. To be more explicit, I love shopping when I get to buy stuff for myself (I can feel the negative vibes people). I don't mind being the go along person too....remember the don't mind part. My idea of shopping is to go and make quick decisions and buy what you want quickly. I am not so much of a fan of endless shop hopping for e.g. a dress ,that is the exact shade of 'Mauve' that will go with my Nail Varnish types. I hope you get my drift. I call such people Pain-in-the Ass-Shoppers (PITAS).

And god knows why, I am surrounded by people like that. My eldest bro-in-law and sister are both fanatic about shopping and are complete PITAS. I remember going shopping with them one time 10 years ago and we must have visited all the shops on M.G. Road in Bangalore for one brown coloured trouser. How finicky can one be? After that experience I still get nervous jitters when I am invited as a go along person with them.

Another PITAS is my darling Hubs. He is a sweetheart, but going shopping with him to buy stuff puts a sudden urge in me to make a 100 metre dash and disappear. Just yesterday we went shopping for a new mobile handset for him. It started off with a innocent little trip to buy groceries and a visit to the bank. On the way, he gave me a casual, 'I just want to go and check the mobile deals' statement. I am a sucker for his sweet statements and I went along dutifully. The mobile deal version turned out to be a 4 hour walkathon in the biting cold. We walked and checked out deals in all the mobile shops. Finally, when I was about to pass out he finalised the deal and I gasped a sigh of relief. At the end of it my butt was numb from the cold and my legs were about to fall off. Hence the name Pain in the Ass shopper.

Another time it was to buy a Suit. I had picked out a suit within 5 minutes of entering the first shop. But as you now know he is a PITAS. We spent an entire day searching for one black suit and ultimately ended up buying the one which I had chosen the first time. At the end of the day, I was about to collapse. And I get to hear statements like 'You are selfish and don't like to shop with me'. How was I to be excited at the end of the day and also that none of the shopping was for me.

I believe shopping should be fun and not a chore. When its starts becoming a torture then its time to make a quick and painless exit. So, I hate Shopping.

P.S: Please call emergency number in case you don't hear from me soon. Hubs and my sister will be thirsty for my blood after they read this post.




Thursday, 26 November 2009

Tum Mile - A Sensible Movie

After watching a spate of rotten and over hyped movies like 'Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani', which should have been named 'Ajab Kahani' and the Saifeena starrer 'Kurbaan', I was really skeptical while watching 'Tum Mile'.

The movie starring Emraan smoochie hashmi and Soha Ali Khan turned out be surprisingly sensible. Set against the backdrop of Mumbai floods of 2005, the movie is out an out a romantic movie. People who go to watch it expecting it to be about nature's fury, will come out disappointed. Go watch the angrezi movie ' 2012' if you want to see large scale destruction (I found that movie too predictable and was actually trying to stay awake).

Even though I am not a big fan of Emraan Hashmi, his performance was super. He is quite restrained and mature in the movie. Soha was always a good actor but she always ends up picking the wrong movies. This movie gave her a lot of screen time to show her acting talent.

The chemistry between the two actors is good, the ups and downs in the relationship are very realistic. There is no faltu filmy hungama and rona dhona. There are not too many characters cluttering the scene to confuse you. The difference in financial status of Emraan- A struggling Artist and a Super Rich Soha is believable. The characters have been etched out so well that we empathise with their situation.

All the songs are wonderful. They are part of the movie and take the movie forward rather than acting as just fillers. Even though Smoochie Hashmi has given a lot of smooches in the movie, thankfully they just fade in the background because of his powerful performance.The director has put in the flashbacks really well. They do not confuse you.



The filming of the flood scenes is also good. Only drawback I felt was, that the 'Movie Promo' mislead the viewer into thinking that it is about the 'Mumbai Floods' and how people coped during that disaster. People, especially 'Mumbaikers' who have witnessed and experienced the horror of that day might feel cheated after watching the movie

'Tum Mile' is a completely feel good, mature and romantic movie. It is a complete 'Paisa Vasool' and a movie to make you feel good after you step out of the cinema. I would suggest you folks to definitely give it a look.

Video: Courtesy 'Youtube'

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Conversion Phobia

I clearly remember our first day in foreign land. Hubs and I were waiting at Heathrow for our connecting flight to Manchester. After a exhausting flight, some water and a cup of coffee was in order. That was the first time we transacted in Pounds.

In India, there is only one type of bottled water i.e. mineral water or 'Bisleri', a generic term used for any bottled water. After having collided with a rows of neatly stacked bottles of various names and shapes at the airport lounge, I committed a faux pas by picking up a bottle labeled 'Sparkling Water'. The name suggested water and that's what we wanted. It turned out to be fizzy water and with a heavy heart we had to buy another bottle of Water. This time though the bottle was scrutinized thoroughly to avoid making another error. It was quite painful to pay a lot of money for a teeny bottle of water. I could hear my brain whir, quickly converting the amount paid in pounds to Rupees and calculating the cost of bottle in Indian Currency. It was an enormous amount and we made the water last quite a while. The cost could have fed 4 people a nice vegetarian lunch.

My family knows me as a spender and not a saver. My father would have been extremely proud to see me in a misers uniform. When you put your entire savings on moving to a foreign country, its inevitable that you take care of the pennies and also the pounds.

The first few months in UK, I was a virtual walking and talking human calculator...every expense made was converted in Indian currency without wasting a second. Every purchase was followed by astonished exclaims about the cost and a quick comparison to India.

As the days passed, this phobia lessened but has still not gone away. In spite of spending 2 years away I still cannot get over this habit.

Do any of you living outside India ever faced this phobia?

Monday, 16 November 2009

What Ho? What Ho?What Ho?

Sorry for being AWOL for a longish period. I had been undergoing Wodehouse Mania for some time. Ardent fans of this renowned author 'Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse' would have easily grasped the title of my Post.

'YouTube' has an excellent collection of 'Jeeves and Wooster' Series. For those blighters who are still unaware of what I am talking about here is a peek..



Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry have played the characters of 'Bertram Wooster' the upper class twit and 'Jeeves' his intellectually brilliant Valet with aplomb.

I have been reading P.G.Wodehouse books since my school days and they still invoke laughter in me even after having read them for the nth time. He had such a wonderfully funny language. And he named his characters with ridiculous names like 'Gussie Finknottle' , 'Tuppie Glossop' and 'Chuffy Chuffnell'.

Though Wodehouse has written about a lot of characters, 'Jeeves and Wooster' have always remained my personal favorites. Wodehouse was famous for his portrayal of aristocrats as buffoons and his books revolve around plots in which the upper class due to their negligent brain power get into scrapes and continue to worsen the situation with their dumb half-witted schemes to make the situation better.

Especially in the case of 'Bertram aka Bertie Wooster' where Jeeves pulls out Bertie from worst situations. Bertie is a rich chappie who has never worked in his life and spends his days playing the Piano or lunching at the 'Drones Club'. He is forever sent on missions to pinch things for his Aunt Dahlia from other aristocrats or is playing hookie to avoid his Aunt Agatha who makes his life miserable. His friends also blackmail him into doing things for them out of friendship.

Jeeves his valet is shown to be a man with razor sharp intelligence and an impeccable taste in clothes. He is in complete control of his rich, young employer's life. When Bertie gets into any unwanted social obligation, engagement to marry or legal trouble, Jeeves comes up with a subtle plan to save him.

My favourite has been the part in which 'Bertie' pinches the cow creamer for his Aunt Dahlia and all hell breaks loose.

Wodehouse's writing style is easy and you can actually imagine the things he describes in his books. Anyone who has read his books will agree with me that there is no other writer who has written rib tickling funny stories like Wodehouse. He is and will always be the master of FUNNY stories.

As Bertie would say 'Pip Pip or Toodle 'oo' till next time.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Fair maidens or plain slobs?

To most people, I come across as a calm, collected and level headed person. My childhood and college friends know me as a very different person . I was notorious in my neighbourhood as a gang leader of kids. I was a fair leader, broke up fights, and introduced new games. I always had the passion for directing plays and even script writing. I made all my young friends perform in the plays I wrote. Unfortunately, the only bit of direction I now do is, 'try' to make Hubs do the dishes (mostly things don't work as per my script now).

I stepped out of my hometown after my graduation and moved to another city for my post graduation. That was my first taste of freedom and I managed to have a good time in spite of my elder sister watching my every move. After graduation, I moved to another city for my first job. Soon I came back licking my wounds after having been made redundant after the dot.com crash in my first job.

Soon after, I started living in an apartment shared by six other girls. We were three girls in one bedroom; there were three in another and another girl in the third room. We all shared a kitchen, loo, and bathroom. As per rota, each of the girls was to clean the common areas once every 2 days. Four of us were diligent and proceeded to clean as per the rota. The other three always skipped their turn and never paid heed to our requests. I am a neat freak when it comes to the loo and the kitchen; their behaviour really ticked me off. One fine day, after tolerating the gruesome threesome (GT) for a few weeks, I went and purchased a huge lock and locked the loo with it. Four of us shared the key. The 'GT' were in for a shock when they found a huge padlock hanging on the loo door. It was a Kodak moment. I wish I had clicked a picture then. First they got angry, then amazed, then begged me to open the door and when I refused, they were on the verge of tears (Evil me).

They ran to the Landlord to make a complaint (He stayed in a flat just above ours). I had already roped in Mr. Landlord in our scheme and he had agreed with my idea. The result was that the girls got back on track and never tried to pull a fast one by not cleaning up.

I recall another horror story from one of my hostel living days. I shared a room with a girl from Mauritius. I became an object of pity when other girls in the hostel came to know who my roommate was. Soon enough the mystery was solved. My roommate was a pig in human clothing. In the entire 2 months I stayed in that room, I never saw her wash any clothes. Leave aside jeans and tops not even undergarments. She stank and always looked like a street person, I always wondered if she ever bathed. One fine day I come back to the hostel from work and I see her wearing a pair of my socks. I donated her that pair and arranged to move to a different room the same day.

The whole gender based assumption ‘Men in general are untidy and not too high on personal cleanliness’ actually went out of the window after staying with slobs in my hostel days. I found that women are equally untidy and unclean. Moreover, given a chance can even make men appear to be the 'epitome of cleanliness'.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Wake up Sid- A Movie Review

I saw this movie last week. It’s such a rare experience for me to watch a Hindi Movie in a cinema. Most of the times I am left with watching grainy prints on the web trying to decipher the faces of actors.

The movie revolves round a character called 'Sid' played by Ranbir Kapoor. In short, he is a spoilt brat whose father has sacrificed and worked hard and is now loaded with money. Sid is oblivious of the hardships his parents had faced and is completely pampered by his mother and father. His life revolves round his friends a geeky guy and an overweight girl. He spends his time loafing around and blowing cash. He meets a girl called 'Aisha' played by Konkona Sen-sharma at the college farewell party. They become friends in spite of having nothing in common. Aisha is new in Mumbai and is here from Kolkata to become a professional writer. She is older than Sid and is mature. She finds Sid as immature and without any aim in life. Sid is good hearted kid who has lost his way in life. He helps Aisha get settled in a new flat and they become good friends.

Sid gets a reality check, when he fails in the last year of his graduation and finds out that his friends have cleared it. In a fit of anger, over his failure some heated words are exchanged between him and his parents. Sid walks out of the house with no job, no skills and no place to stay. He ends up living in Aisha's flat. His journey of self discovery starts from there. Slowly he realizes that he needs to have his own identity and ends up getting a job as a photographer at the same Magazine where Aisha is working. Aisha starts falling in love with him whereas Sid is oblivious of it. In the end, all is well and Sid also realizes he is in love with Aisha.

This movie is refreshing without any heavy emotional drama. It’s a surprise to see Karan Johar not signing up his usual clan of friends for this movie. It’s a good movie to watch when you want a break from serious stuff. I feel it reflects the lifestyle of today's generation of youngsters very well. Ranbir fits the character of Sid to a 'T'. His performance is very good. I am a big fan of Konkona and she plays each of her roles with aplomb. This movie reminded me of 'Lakshya' a lot, wherein Hrithik wrestles with the same demons as Sid.

Some parts of the movie are debatable. I feel that Sid's parents played a major role in spoiling him. Putting the blame entirely on him was a bit unfair. Also, the pieces fit together too smoothly. Sid never saw the harshness of life. He stayed protected and dependant, first on his parents and then on Aisha. The sudden turnaround in him and the self-discovery part were too slick and candy-coated. I wish life was so easy for all the struggling souls in this world.

In nutshell, the movie is a good one-time watch. It will entertain you without jarring your senses but it will not leave any lasting impression to make you want to see it again.






Monday, 5 October 2009

Highway Glory

It started as a usual lazy Sunday morning. Getting up late and having breakfast at a leisurely pace. I was trawling the Internet looking for entertainment and found that 'Wake up Sid' the new Bollywood movie was running at a cinema in a nearby town. Anytime we want to watch a Hindi movie, we have to drive to another town which has more of a Hindi speaking population. This time it turned out to be a town called 'Blackburn', around 35 miles from where we live. We made it to the movie and found that there were only two other people besides us to see the movie. After the movie, we decided to head to another town called 'Bolton' another 12 miles from 'Blackburn'. My boss owns an amazing restaurant called 'Sizzling Palate' in Bolton.

After having skipped lunch, I was looking forward to a well deserved Sizzler. Working for the boss does have some privileges. Hubs and I were bombarded with special treatment and yummy food. Never have I tasted such delicious sizzler..not even in India. With fully satisfied taste buds and a memorable day, we decided to make the finale with a 'Meetha Paan'.

I was looking forward to reaching home and crawling into a warm bed after eating so much that my stomach was about to burst at the seams. We tootled off on the motorway towards home. After driving for about 10 miles, a weird sound emanating from the car broke our daze. The engine temperature needle had swerved towards the red end. Heeding to the motorway rules we pulled on the hard shoulder of the road and put up the hazard lights . As the norm goes hubs proceeded to poke his nose under the hood and tinker around a bit. (Why do all men think that they are super duper mechanics?)

It was a cold night with the mercury dipping below 10 deg, which on open roads and countryside feels close to freezing. With hubs spurting ominous statistics about number of accidents happening on motorway while sitting in broken down vehicles, I dragged myself out from the car just like a reluctant bride on the altar.

Hubs in the meantime had called up our Insurance company and a vehicle recovery request was put across. The estimated time for the pick-up was 'Within one hour'. To suppress the need to pee and to bring to life my freezing butt both of us started an impromptu dance by the roadside. Thankfully, it was dark and people in passing vehicles could not see our faces.

The recovery guy arrived 45 minutes later and towed our car and gave us a lift back home. All in all, a decent film, a fantastic dinner and dancing on the highway turned out to be a pretty interesting weekend.

Monday, 28 September 2009

To Catch a Thief

This was one of the two nerve-wracking incidents that still gives me the heebie-jeebies whenever I flashback to that day.

It was the same apartment with the water issue that I had mentioned in my earlier post.
One fine day, I had stepped out in the afternoon for a few hours in search of gainful employment. Hubby having left early in the morning, the apartment was left to amuse itself. As usual I had locked the door with a heavy brass lock from the trusty 'Godrej' brand and had left with my mind on more important things. I came to the apartment with its door ajar and I thought I must have forgotten to lock it... one step inside our bedroom and my whole world came crashing down.

Both the hand me down cupboards were ransacked and our beds were littered with our entire possessions. The thief had broken into our stash of gold trinkets and that too he had forced the doors open with a pair of steel tongs from my own kitchen. With shaking hands I had called up hubs and he in turn had informed the police. Within a few hours an Inspector and a hawaldar were at our doorstep. They did the initial assessment and found that the thief had run off with Hubs brand new slippers and had left a kind donation of his raggedly slippers hidden deep inside the laundry basket(this was a bit funny).

With a few 'tch tch ' sounds emitting from their mouths and knitted brows the policia summoned a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator). Please do not let your imagination run wild on hearing the word CSI. All you 'Grissom' fans (including me) would have sobbed buckets in your tissues after one look at the so called 'CSI'. In came an old long bearded gent with a cloth bag hung on his shoulder. After surveying the crime scene through his thick glasses he set upon recovering a fingerprint from the side of the cupboard. I was all excited to see a CSI in action and was glued to the spot even forgetting for sometime that it was my own house which was broken into.

Oh yes siree and was I in for some shock. The 'CSI' took out an ancient brush which must have been his companion for a decade or two and an equally ancient plastic bag tied with a rubber band which contained the dusting powder. He did not put any gloves neither did he carry a smart kit. He lifted the so-called fingerprint and also marked it on the cupboard for us to admire and remember this incident every time we opened the cupboard.

After that we were asked to come to the police station and they smeared our hands with ink to take our fingerprints. I was still confused as to why were we giving our fingerprints (this mystery is still unsolved). By the time this whole episode was over I was pretty sure the 'Gold' stolen from our house had already changed many hands and had eventually been turned into a completely different ornament. We have not yet recovered any of the stolen goods.

P.S: The next incident will posted as a separate post.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Punch Drunk on Water

As I wrote in my previous post, Hubs and I have moved to a lot of different cities and houses for the past 10 years. Our first move was to a city called 'Pune' in Western India to a one bedroom apartment owned by one of hubs aunts.

Being on a frugal income and me being unemployed, we had to adjust in a very limited budget. It meant being without a refrigerator, television or any decent furniture. The apartment was comfortable but it had a very peculiar and exasperating factor, Water !!!

Every apartment used to get water supply for exactly 20 minutes for the entire day. This water was to be used for bathing, washing clothes and flushing the loo etc.. The water pump started at unearthly hours every morning, which meant getting up and making sure that every pot and pan, tub & bucket in the house was filled to its brim with water, which would then be sparingly used for the entire day.

Everyday without fail at that unearthly hour, I would manage to rub sleep from my eyes and pray for a miracle to happen, the water pump man should forget to shut off the pump . I am sure, all that praying has definitely wiped out all the sins I've ever committed.

The anguish of water shortage was whipped up when we had a guest over for Lunch/Dinner and reached a frenzied pitch when a guest planned to stay with us for a day or two. I could have given 'FBI' a run for their money as I monitored every move the guest made and kept tabs on how many trips they made to the loo or washed their hands.

Even the simplest of activities like washing my face was like a 'Manna' at that time. This experience made me realize that, I always took 'Water' for granted and thought that it will always be available in plenty. I then realised that water was as precious as GOLD and now treat it with great respect.

P.S: Even after moving away from that apartment, I had a recurring nightmare for many months. 'I get up to fill the buckets and just kept waiting and waiting and there is no water in the taps'.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Close to my heart

Hubby and I will be celebrating our 10th Wedding anniversary this December. It has been a ride full of ups and downs, exploring new cities each year ( hubby had a transferable job), new people to meet , settle down for a brief period and to be uprooted again. I tagged along, albeit with a bit of screaming and cussing.

In spite of moving to different cities, the quintessential nature of an Indian has remained the same. An Indian by nature is an inquisitive person and the intrinsic good nature can be perceived as being nosy. They will never falter while asking you about extremely personal things, right from your salary to your relationship with your in-laws. There is no malice in the way the way we Indians shoot straight questions without missing a beat. Its just a way of showing concern and making the other person feel comfortable.

Sometimes this well practiced art of shooting straight questions can be extremely annoying. Countless number of times I have been at the wrong side of this question " You've been married x years, no kids? why?" . This has been asked by friends, relatives, friends I met on chat after number of years and not to forget nosy aunties.

This question is like a 'Sach ka Samna' question. Damned if I answer, damned if I don't. What will be the best answer to this question?? It's a slippery slope. Here are a few samples of situations I've faced.

Scene 1
Me:We tried but its not happened yet.
Nosy Indian: Did you go a fertility expert?? You should. Don't lose hope. I have a friend whose daughter/ sister tried for 8 years and see now she has twins blah blah blah

Scene 2
Me: I don't care about children. I am happy.
NI: What?? How can you say that?? life is incomplete without children.

Scene 3
Me: Mind your own Business.
NI: Oh!! I am sorry If hurt your feelings. I can understand how frustrating it must be. I will give you the number of this gynecologist blah blah

Scene 4
Me: Hmmmm no answer from me...just a dirty glare.
NI: Hope your in-laws are understanding...

I am sure you must have got the picture by now. I have been asked this question countless times in my life. I have sometimes not been spared even by close friends. They don't mean to be hurtful but frankly it does hurt.

Just like me, an unmarried girl over the age of 25 years will be hounded with questions about marriage. Especially irritating are the people who meet you on chat after a number of years and take it as their birthright to advice you on children and what a loser I am for not having children?
Why is it that we fail to understand boundaries on certain topics?

Some things are restricted and its time people are a little sensitive about others feelings. Few things are close to my heart and I REFUSE to discuss them with the whole world.

p.s: This rant has been festering in my mind for many months. Finally I was bold enough to write it.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Misleading Mannequins

My everyday walk to work takes me through the High street in Lancaster. The street is lined by shops selling branded clothes. Each of them have a display window displaying , dressed up mannequins. Are these shops selling a dream or merely making us depressed.

You ask me why depressed?? Oh I promise, I have never ever been envious of any inanimate objects in my life to be termed as loony. But then why do I have this sudden desire to smash the display window and wring the necks of these wooden people ermmm... actually break it with an axe? Before you think I've gone totally mad... let me take some deep breaths...and continue

Next time you are out shopping...please do observe a mannequin. The slender figure, the perfect body...the perfect posture...no wonder any outfit looks amazing on it. The same dress will make you look like a sack of potatoes.

If you will see all about you, you will very rarely find women with the perfect curves. All of us have unwanted curves and the curves we have are all in the wrong place.

You will never find a mannequin with lumps and bumps like a living and breathing human. Also, in fashion shows the models are stick thin and we cannot look like her/him in reality. Have you ever seen a mannequin which might resemble an actual human perhaps??

Even after purchasing an outfit...one always feels dissatisfied after seeing the same dress draped on a mannequin. There is always that singular hope of looking as good in reality. The shops do mislead us into believing that a particular dress draped on a mannequin will look equally good on us too.


P.S: This is a out and out rant. People with model/ mannequin like figures please, do not get offended.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Conversations

I overheard this in the post office the other day. A 20 something girl was telling the guy at the counter.

'Oh you know my Hubby sent an amazing bouquet of flowers to me at the office. It was such a surprise. There was also a note there " I bet this will put a smile on your face".

How romantic I must say...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

My post was selected by Blogadda

Hi guys....

A bit of news I forgot to post

I received this last month :)

This was for my post 911?

Congratulations! Your post has been selected by BlogAdda as one of the top posts for this week's 'Tangy Tuesday Picks'. Here is the link where your amazing post has been featured http://blog.blogadda.com/2009/07/28/blogaddas-tangy-tuesday-picks-jul-28-09


BlogAdda has started 'Tangy Tuesdays' and 'Spicy Saturdays' where BlogAdda picks up good posts from Indian blogosphere and serves it to the readers on tuesdays and saturdays. This way, good posts are acknowledged and readers get to read quality content.

I am so glad that my post was selected. Thanks to Blogadda for choosing me(ear to ear grin).

Back on Track!!

Hello fellas and fellis....

Looking at the comments on my blog...not many people missed me...alas that's the bitter truth of life...

Although I am quite happy with the hit counter and the speed with which its increasing....(My new mantra...stop being bitter and see the silver lining and all that crap spewed by my friends and well-wishers and Moi as well)

I will not let this renewed enthusiasm to write the nonsense I write, die down so easily.

I was dealing with the silent killer for a few days, 'stress' as the guys in white-coats put it.
The thing about it is...it just creeps on you without a sign of warning. I am sure all of us handle it in everyday life in some form or other.

I was working at a extremely stressful place for nearly a year and recently quit that job. That is the start of all the positive things I want to bring back in my life.

Mind is such a weird thing....if you are happy everything looks wonderful...even a cloudy morning whereas even a sunny day spells doom when you are in the dumps.

I am still dealing with some things but am getting there...slowly. The key is to bounce back and not let anything or anyone make you feel this way.

Hurrah!!! to a fresh start.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Tag 'o' Mania

Amit tagged me recently and I thought this as a good way to put up something on my blog after ages. Here it is

A.Attached or Single?
Attached and very Happily

B. Best Friend?
Very many good friends...

C: Cake or pie?
Cake it is

D. Drink of choice?
Water or Orange Juice.

E. Essential item you use every day?
Laptop and mobile.

F. Favorite color?
Red

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Neither.:)

H. Hometown?
Nagpur- The orange city

I. Favorite indulgence?
Reading and watching movies

J. January or July?
January when in India. July since I am in UK.

K. Kids & their names?

None so far.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
Family and friends, good food, good books and travelling to new places.

M. Marriage date?
Dec'99

N.Number of Siblings?
2 older sisters

O. Oranges or Apples?
Oranges and more oranges.

P. Phobias?

Dirty Restrooms.

Q. Quotes?

'Whatever Happens, Happens for the best'

R. Reasons to smile?

a good joke.

S. Season?
The winters in India and the summer in UK.

T. Tag people:
Anyone reading this post and finding the tag interesting.

U. Unknown fact about me?

I am a good cook.


V. Vegetable?

Tomatoes.

W. Worst habit?

I hate exercising.

X. X-ray you've had?
Arm and chest Xray.

Y. Your favorite food?
Pasta.

Z. Zodiac sign?
Aquarius.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

911?

I have recently started watching a Hindi TV series called Ladies Special. I like it cause its refreshingly realistic compared to other sagas dished out these days.

It is a story of four women who are travel together in a train called 'Ladies Special' in Mumbai. It revolves around their day-to-day lives and issues faced by them. One of the protagonists is 'Pooja' who is married to a guy who is evil personified. He constantly keeps a watch on her and is abusive to her physically and mentally. In spite of being educated and earning well, he is very mean and cruel and uses his physical strength to control her.



I have a friend who is going through a similar situation. The worst part is she is in USA without a support system of family and friends. SHe comes from a middle class family with parents who are retired and an elder sister who is also facing problems in her marriage. Not being financially independent has added to her woes and in spite of knowing the risks, she has decided to go back to her husband.

'Domestic Abuse' which was a word I had read many times and seen in movies has now become a reality. This word does not only mean physical abuse but even mental and psychological in which the abuser will use words, body language and other means to steal your self confidence, respect and wear you down to gain complete power over you.

A recent government survey said that one in every three Indian women are victims of Domestic Violence and the numbers are escalating each year not taking into consideration the number of unreported cases.

India has a Domestic Violence act, that was passed in 2005, but the long held attitudes about Domestic violence in India makes deliverance of justice remote. With the cases dragging for years together, do the abused women have any actual relief?

In addition, the social stigma attached to Divorce or going against family integrity stops many women from taking any steps. Financial Independence is another hindrance in the path of getting any relief. Even though this law has, many such provisions the relief is hard to come with the cases adjourned and bribes being paid by the husbands to stall cases.

Does it ultimately boil down to a woman's fate or luck? If she has good luck, she will be happily married or say 'Uska naseeb hi kharab hai'. Do we just shrug our shoulders and let other people deal with it?

What do I say to her? How do I comfort her? There is a whirlwind of emotions and questions in my mind and depressingly no answers.

P.S: The views in this article are mine and I have written only about violence against Women. I am aware that even women abuse men and there is no intention of disregarding this fact.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Papa kehte hain

Its said that 'Most girls want to marry a guy just like their father'. That says so much about Dads. 'Fathers Day' gives me the chance to say thanks to my father.

My dad is the strong silent types. Anyone who meets him for the first time will get slightly intimidated because of his quietness. He is bad at making conversation and sometimes can sit alone for hours together lost in his thoughts. Very people know about his funny bone and the laugh which comes from the bottom of his soul when he finds something amusing

I remember my childhood days, he used to teach me maths which was a dreaded subject and encouraged me to follow my dreams and passions. He gladly funded my different hobbies be it my painting classes, guitar classes or joining a book library in summer holidays.

He very enthusiastically enjoyed, my initial experiments with cooking. He always appreciated the food I made, which was mostly unpalatable and sometimes undercooked(Which even I could not eat myself). Though he is not very verbal with his affection towards my sisters and me, his support and guidance speak for itself.

I always marvel at his practicality and foresightedness. I have learnt so much from him about taking decisions and thinking practically.

On 'Fathers Day', I would like to tell him that I love and respect him so much. Thank you 'Baba' for giving me such a great childhood. For making me capable of taking decisions and facing the world. For standing by me through my good and bad decisions and never saying 'I told you so'. For giving me the courage to face my bad decisions and to celebrate the good ones.
Thank you for your vast reservoir of patience and above all for being so kind and understanding and for being my Father.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Mad AD world

Its no fun sitting in front of the idiot box after coming to UK. In India, I used to switch channels whenever any ads featured between programmes. But now I miss them so much.

Here the same boring ads for debt cancellation, Injury claim and some travel companies run over and over again in the same dry tone.

I find Indian ads so much more entertaining and lively. There is colour and music and a sentiment added to selling of the product. Who can forget the old ads that became so famous. Here are a few of my favourite old ads.

1) The twirling girl of Nirma Washing Powder

2) Lalitaji and the 'Dhoondhte Reh jaooge' campaign surf campaign.

3) Jab main chota Baccha tha- Bajaj Bulbs

4) 'Buland bharat ki buland tasveer' - Humara Bajaj

5) 'I Love u Rasna'

6) Vicks ki goli lo Khich khich door karo

7) Lime and lemony Limca

8) Kuch khaas hai hum sabhi mein...Kuch swad hai....kya swad hai zindagi mein- Cadburys dairy milk

9) Jalebi ad from Dhara

10 ) Karram Kurram- Lijjat Pappad.


The best of them was 'Mile sur Mera tumhara' campaign. Whenever I hear that song old memories come rushing back and I feel so proud to be an Indian. Here's the video for you all.




Did you all not hum to the tunes of these ads? Did you not sing along when the ad was telecast?

Now think hard and let me know which were your personal favourites.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

When times are tough, the tough get going!!!

I got this video clip from 'Zeeshan' who wanted to motivate me .
I dedicate this clip to all my friends and people who are fighting to survive in today's times.
For some its an everyday fight to just survive. I am sure most of us will remember this time in future and take it as a test of determination and patience and above all HOPE.

Let not Hope be lost.



As Winston Churchill said :

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Magical Parenting

I have the privilege of being an aunt to 1 niece and 2 nephews. One of them has already surpassed me in the height department ages ago and is on the brink of arming himself with a razor to mow the barely sprouted undergrowth under his nose. He is the only son of my eldest sister.

The other two chipmunks are twin kids of my middle sister. Both A (Girl) & B (Boy) have just been potty trained and are on the category of ' I can express my feelings in words now' age. Though I met them when they were tiny bundles, I do get regular updates from my sister about their latest antics.

After a recent update from her I got to know 'What all parents do to fool a child into eating his/her food'. Here is how it went...

'A' was refusing to eat her food so her dad 'D' said

D: If you taste this new dish mom made, you can speak to 'Princess Snow white'.

Skeptical though she was 'A' relented and finished her food. So my sis and Bro-In-law decided to call up Snow white.

My sister snuck up in the bedroom and called on Bro-in-laws cell phone pretending to be Snow White. 'A' was left utterly speechless with wonderment when she came to know that Snow white wanted to speak to her.

Snow White: What are you doing 'A'?

A: I just finished my food.

Snow white: You are a big girl.

A: What are you doing Snow White?

Snow White: I am playing with Seven Dwarfs.

A: Dad, you know Snow White is playing with seven dwarfs.

Now, 'B' had to speak to one of his favourite cartoon characters 'OSO'.

So 'D' rang back on my sister’s cell phone and this time my sister became 'OSO' and 'B' was mesmerized that his favourite character was talking to him.

I think its time for me to make a call home and check up with my parents about things they did to fool me .

And here I used to think Parents are simple folk.
Who knew what goes on in their mind!!!!

P.S.: The kids are aged 3 and in that age when they are still ready to believe everything parents tell them.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Its raining 'creativity'

As you all know I recently moved my blog to my own domain name. When I decided to do that I went through a really exhausting time deciding which template to use and how could I make my blog look nice and appealing.

While surfing on the internet I came across really amazing and absolutely brilliant designers who are letting people use their templates for free.

I would like to acknowledge their work in this post and thank them for their hard work and creativity and letting me use their stuff for free.

My blog template is from 'Template Mama' and the cute Comments Blinkie and the other colourful buttons are from another Creative lady called 'April Showers'.

Friends do visit these blogs and have a look at the wonderful assortment of Templates and accessories you can use to decorate your blog.

Happy Hunting!!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Hobby Horse

Since childhood my parents were very particular that all of us (Me and my two elder sisters) had a wide spectrum of choices in the arts and crafts field. They let us follow our creative pursuits and explore our natural talent.

As far as I can remember I have attended 'Kathak Classes' (Indian Classical dance), Singing lessons, drawing and painting, Judo and Karate, Guitar Classes.

The dance classes fizzled out after the excitement of one summer. There was a hobby class near our house and mom diligently took us to all the lessons. She also bought us a pair of 'Ghungroos'(Musical anklets...I really don't know the English version). The fun part was to tie them to our legs and make as much noise we can rather than actually practicing the steps.

My music lessons died a horrible death. I was in grade 6Th and my mom took us to a renowned singer who stayed close by. My good friend 'M' also joined the class with us. There were many other girls with us including one who was out of tune and completely oblivious of it for the entire time I was there in spite of the teachers best efforts. She sang with all the gusto she could muster which reminded me of a donkey's bray (Bitchy!!!). Also 'M' and I were more interested in the outside world rather than singing ourselves hoarse. One day, we were asked to all sing together, I thought it was more fun to just move your lips without bringing out the sound. It went on for a few sessions when one day I got a firing from mom since the teacher had complained (Spoilsport). 'M' was my naughty confidant in all these escapades. The turning point was the day 'Tuneless babe' was asked to sing a number. The moment she started braying oops..I mean singing, 'M' and I just could not hold it. We literally rolled on the floor (we used to sit cross legged on the floor) with laughter. It was just uncontrollable. My teacher decided she did not want to waste any efforts on me and I was promptly kicked out from the class (She fondly remembers my naughtiness now).

I loved drawing from early age and people said I had a knack for it. My grandfather used to drop me and pick me up from the class for many years since I started the lessons in 5th grade . I enjoyed it then and I still do but haven't dabbled in it since a few years.

I took up Judo and Karate for a year and actually enjoyed it. It needs a lot of dedication and practice and I got a yellow belt. If you ask me to defend myself now, the only thing I can do is scream my loudest which will be totally inspired by 'Tuneless babe.

Guitar playing is akin to riding a bicycle. You can never forget it once you've learnt how to do it. Just need to shake off the stiffness from my finger.

And finally 'blogging'. It’s my latest hobby and hope I will enjoy it for many years.
It’s helped me make friends and I am interacting with fabulous writers. Its opened avenues for me I had never thought of. I want to turn this hobby into a full time profession by doing content writing and also taking this website to a new level.

Hey!! you guys with the online jobs are you listening?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Welcome to my new address

Dear Friends,


Welcome to my new destination on the internet.

I recently moved my blog to this new site www.lazypineapple.com.

You already know that since you are here.

Why name your blog 'Lazy Pineapple' you might ask?

Its funny ,wacky and different.

And life is a gamble so isn't it apt to name it after a type of poker game.

I hope you will give the same love and affection to this site as you gave to 'Musings of my Mind'.

Do keep popping in, to say Hello and share your ideas and comments.

I look forward to meeting you here.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sometimes I sit and wonder



is it correct? The path I have taken.


The life I am living, was it meant to be this way?


Fate, destiny, luck are these just mere words?


Or they really play a role in my life?



Every Crossroad in life is a challenge.


Is it there to mock me or make me what I am supposed to be?




The road to peace and happiness is full of struggle.


Will I have the spirit to reach my goal?




Everyone says once you are grown up you have answers to questions.


I have more questions than answers.



Sometimes I sit and wonder.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Saga of Designer Spectacles

It all began one day when I started getting a severe headache in spite of using my spectacles the whole day at work. In addition, the constant staring at the computer monitor was not helping much. Eventually I stopped wearing them for a couple of days and then concluded that either my visibility has increased or decreased. This conclusion needed to be checked out by having an eye test.

Walking in town during my lunch break, my eyes fell upon a sign that said 'Free Eye Tests'. Nothing like 'Free' right? I rushed to the shop and booked an appointment. An ‘Optical Wear’ shop provided free eye tests. The catch was 'You had to buy your spectacles from them as they did not give you your test results'. I fell hook, line and sinker since I came to know of this only after I had completed the eye test.

The 'Eye Test’ itself was routine. In India, I had my eye doctor who funnily enough went by the name 'Andhare' which means 'darkness' in Marathi. I used to look forward to the eye tests, as he was quite jovial and used to wear fantastic colognes/perfumes. It was definitely worth it after sitting for 30 minutes with an itchy and burning solution in your eyes, which helped dilate your pupils.

I was reminiscing about the eye tests in India when I met up with the doctor here. The same routine of reading the lit up board with alphabets whose size goes on decreasing from top to bottom. The same itchy solution and at that point I sorely missed the joviality and cologne of Dr. Andhare.

After boring my eyes with piercing light and pressing my eyeballs the doctor declared that, my eyes are healthy and there is nothing to worry about only for a slight change in the power of my glasses.

Now I had two options. To forget this eye test ever happened or make a new pair of glasses. I chose the second option and lo behold! I made my first mistake. I was so excited by the prospect of changing my look with new glasses that, I enthusiastically was hooked into the trap of the shops selling strategy. They had a scheme- three designer glasses for the cost of one. I thought Wow! What a deal! I exuberantly tried glasses on to chose the three pairs. Caught up in the moment I threw caution to the wind.

After I had chosen the three pairs, I asked for the bill and my eyes popped out after I saw figure. Too embarrassed to walk out and excited at the prospect of wearing 'J K London', I caved in and bought them all.

The impulsive purchase for glasses gave me sleepless nights 2 days in a row. I eventually accepted my decision and am using them now. Family and friends complementing on my look has finally put my mind at peace.

Has it ever happened to you? You bought something and then cursed yourself for buying it. You dreamed of all the money you spent on an impulsive purchase that can be used for paying bills or buying something useful. Do share with me your embarrassing shopping sprees and what you wish you should not have ever bought.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Till Death do us part

In spite of the title sounding so ominous most of you must have guessed. I am talking about marriage and that too specifically arranged marriages. Recently, a few of my friends have decided to venture on this well trodden path and the experiences that they shared with me prompted me into putting this post.

Even though the trend is more towards love marriages now a days, there are many who go by the age old routine of getting hooked the traditional way. Parents of the prospective brides and grooms have become quite lenient with the 'Ladki/Ladka dekhna routine'. Gone are the days when, if the grooms family come to meet the family of prospective bride, the bride is not inspected as a piece of furniture or like a cattle whose qualities and virtues have to be spelled out in bold.

Now, the girl and the boy are both given an opportunity to chat, go out and talk to each other at length to find out if their attitudes match and whether they like each other or not. Since the advent of Internet, Matrimonial sites are doing brisk business. The task of matchmaking which was earlier performed by relatives and friends has been replaced. Its refreshing to parents changing their stance and gradually changing with the times.

A new trend is also becoming very common, love-cum arranged marriages. Here the boy and the girl decide to get married and the families are also giving their support whole hearted. This seems like a win-win situation.

Personally, I am all for this love-cum arranged marriages. I have never been a fan of arranged marriage in spite of my parents having been married that way.It is such a tough task to choose your life partner in just two or three meetings. That too when both are at their best behaviour and trying hard to impress each other. You have to make adjustments in every marriage be it love or arranged but in a love marriage you are ready for compromises.

I know that everyone cannot have a love marriage and they choose to have their parents find the right match. It must be a tough task to choose someone without knowing him/her well and to decide to spend your entire life with them. Thankfully I never had to go through that experience. How do you decide?? What criteria to look for? Which people to avoid?? Are you taking the right decision?? Is that the right family for me?? the list is endless.

The age old question remains When do you know you have found the right person as your life partner??

I have a sincere admiration for the people who have the courage to embark on such a difficult journey. And for people who want to have a glimpse of what I am saying, please go and see the movie 'Just Married'.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Yey!!! I got my first blogging award

Thank you 'Sumit' for giving me this Award.
This is my first blogging award and I am honoured (Taliyan).



I would like to nominate this award to the following friends

Kaustubh
Amit
Ayon


Kaustubh is a good friend and to him I give this award for his Humorous writing style.

Ayon is my ex-boss and now a blogging pal- I give him this award for his tips on Management and for his punch in the gut fiction writing.

and to Amit who became a pal when I started blogging - I give this award to him for writing from the heart.

Each of these people have their unique writing styles. Folks do go and have a look at their fabulous blogs.

Happy Mothers Day!!

Tommorow is 'Mothers Day' and I wanted to dedicate this post to my mother and many other wonderful mothers I know.

My mother is a wonderful person. She is a chatter box and from her I got the quality of being a talkative person. She cooks amazing food and is a very good singer. She is a great mom and quite emotional even though she vehemently denies that accusation.

I know that if she would have got a chance to follow her dreams, she would have been a very successful singer or a Master Chef. The choices were made for her and she like dutiful daughter and wife played by the rules. Even though she is emotional and soft when it comes to her daughters, at the core she is a strong person who has been with my father every step of the way for over 40 years.

She has an immense reservoir of patience. I do wonder sometimes that did my mother get exasperated when I learnt to walk and eat? When I spilled something on my clothes or when I must have puked on her clothes. The endless hours of going without sleep and feeding, diaper changing and pacifying my cries. I am sure it must be difficult and she must have definitely wanted to scream with exasperation.

I remember that she was always there for me and is still there when I need a word of advice or just to cry because I am exhausted and confused with the ups and downs of life. Even now after having my own family and being far away from her I still turn towards her for support and eternal wisdom.

This 'Mothers Day', I would like to thank her for all the sleepless nights she spent worried about me. Her loving and wise words. Her patience and love. Her selfless devotion. Her encouraging and supportive nature and for never getting angry at me even when I was behaving like a Incorrigible child.

Thank You 'Aai ' .

The following poem says it all even things I was unable to express:

Without You

Mom, without you, there would be no me.
Your love, your attention, your guidance,
have made me who I am.
Without you, I would be lost,
wandering aimlessly,
without direction or purpose.
You showed me the way
to serve, to accomplish, to persevere.
Without you, there would be an empty space
I could never fill, no matter how I tried.
Instead, because of you,
I have joy, contentment, satisfaction and peace.
Thank you, mom.
I have always loved you
and I always will.

-By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, 25 April 2009

What should I name this post...?

Its one of those weeks when your mind is really sluggish and even the 'C' of creativity has abandoned you. You can actually guess that from the title of this post as to how bad my situation is.

There also the guilt of not updating your blog hanging on your head. So my blogging pals be dears and tolerate this post of mine :). I racked my brains to bring out a funny post or even a serious one for that matter but, words are eluding me.

Work wise life has been quite hectic for the past few weeks. For those who don't know me personally. I am doing 2 part time jobs in a week. At both places I work in accounts (Least of preferred job profiles by me). Though I had definitely worked longer hours in India but, the longer hours included gossiping with colleagues, catching up with friends on chat/phone and working as well. So, the stress of work did not make so much of an impact.Whereas here my nose is to the grind for 7.5 hours of the day.

At one job I am the only employee so, interaction with another human being throughout the day is just limited to my boss who pops in to office for just a couple of hours. At the other job I do have colleagues but all of them sit one floor above me and are in sales and so are always on the phone. There goes my gossiping out of the window. With nothing to break the monotony of the job, it becomes quite difficult sometimes to get away from the pressures at work.

I miss the gossiping and general yakking sessions with colleagues when I was in India. They provided so much of fun and distraction. The day passed off quickly and I never had to keep glancing at the watch to see when the day would end.

P.S.: Sorry guys for being such a drag in this post. Hopefully I will bounce back soon.

Monday, 13 April 2009

To lose friends and avoid people

There are times in your life when each one of us wanted to avoid certain category of people. We have actually taken efforts to run away from them and disappear. Here are a few people whom most of us tend to avoid.

1) MLM (Multi level Marketing) or the AMWAY person : I have been hounded by these people for so long, I became a pro at avoiding them really well. They are mostly your friends or acquaintances at one point of time.

Once they join any MLM company with dreams of getting rich in a jiffy, there persona completely changes. Supercharged with the idea of spreading the riches around, they start roping in all the people they have ever met in their life with a wild frenzy to climb the MLM ladder.

The poor suckers who get temporary blindness with rupee signs flashing in their eyes fall for it really hard. Whereas cynical and jaded people like 'yours truly' run as fast they can.

When I was in college, this mad wave of people joining the company 'Amway' suddenly attacked my city. My neighbours, my cousin and many friends became members and tried all their wily tactics to make me a member. I was looked down upon by many as a brainless critter who is running away from prosperity. I thank God that I did not join the bandwagon.

2) Insurance Salesman: Again, this category can be made up of friends but they are mainly people you know in passing or are distant relatives.

They are like a dog with a bone. They will literally make your life a living hell. Since you know them, you have to entertain their calls and visits and sit through painful and descriptive narration of the Insurance Policies. How the policy is beneficial to your well being will be reiterated to you again and again.

To make them go away you have to either take a policy which is an expensive affair or desperately search for someone who is thinking of taking up a policy and quickly shifting the spotlight to the victim you have searched.

3) Credit Card Salesman: These people are like octopus. They will use their tentacles to catch their prey and literally squeeze life out of them. I am very cautious with such people. With their slick tongues and their glittering eyes they will make you dream many a dreams and that too with just a swish of the card. They will make shopping sound like a dream come true and will completely forget to highlight the most important aspect of paying up.

Many a sucker has fallen for there shenanigans and have been woken up rudely from their dreams when the monthly bill arrived by post.

4) The complainer : These people are never satisfied in life. They are always waiting for that perfect life to happen. To feel good all they do is complain. Also, they are unhappy with other people's success. Comparing assets and bank balances is one of their favourite hobbies.

All of us meet this type at least once in our life. More than not they are related quite closely to us and some are even friends who never showed their true colours in the beginning of friendship. It is difficult to avoid such people so the best way to deal with them is to stuff your ears with cotton, put on a sad face and nod your head after every few minutes and keep saying 'Yes, I understand.

5) The Mr. Know it all : The name says it all. There is not a topic on earth on which they cannot speak on. They have an opinion on everything whether they actually know anything about the subject or not.

They are opinionated and bombastic and will never leave an opportunity to show you what a nincompoop you are. You just cannot have an opinion and even if you do have one or even are an expert in that area your word does not hold any meaning. They can actually harm our self esteem.

There are milder version of such people all around us. They can be usually found in the position of our bosses. But, if you meet the original specimen all you should do is, run for your life like a rabid dog is after you.

It is not possible to avoid all these people. Some of them are in your social circle whom you do meet in everyday life. You need to be able to master the art of tackling these personalities with practice and patience. Though sometimes you do wish that 'Houdini' could have taught you the disappearing act.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Games We played

I really pity today's generation of kids who really don't know what its like to go out and play with kids your own age.

They lack social skills and most of them are either glued to the 'Idiot Box' or the computer to even explore their surroundings or discover new games.

Oh this not a bitchy post but just an observation. I was chatting with my cousin and suddenly remembered the weird games we invented and had a gala time when we were growing up together.


I grew up with a younger cousin(X) and a sister (Y) just a year older than me. My eldest sis (Z) is quite a bit older so was never interested in what we were up to.

'Y' was a mature and disciplined kid for her age and she expected her wayward and curious sibling (Moi) and her unruly cousin 'X' to behave and fall in line. She was a enthusiastic participant in our games in the beginning but eventually gave up when she saw that we were getting more innovative and adventurous in our games.


These are a few games we played :

1) Dead Dog : You need a bed sheet, a willing dead dog and two people to pull the sheet. The technique is simple. We took turns to play the much coveted role of 'Dead Dog' and the other two would be pulling the dead dog through the house. Basically being the dead dog was the best deal. You got a free joyride in spite of being labelled a stinky dead animal. This game was discovered when we saw Muncipality workers in our city piling up dead dogs on a blanket and dragging them to be carried away. I know our minds were really a wealth of imagination.


2) Dark Room: This was a favourite game in summers when it was scorching outside and not possible to play in the sun.

You cover all the windows of a room with dark curtains to block any light coming in and make the room pitch dark . One person will try searching for the others who are hiding in the same room. It so much fun when no one can see anyone.

3) Burrowing : This was a bane for our mother. She used to send us to play dressed neat and tidy and we came back looking like street urchins.
The ingredients required are a big mound of sand and eager children who want to burrow in the sand.
The lane we grew up in (mysteriously) always had a big mound of sand throughout the year. Looking back I think it must be a kindly neighbour who knew how precious the sand pile was for us kids. The game was to dig a big hole in the sand and then sit in it and cover yourself up completely with sand.

4) Mudslides : We never needed any equipment to have fun. Whatever was available suited us just fine.
Our House was getting some repairs so the workers had dug up mud at the back of our house and had dumped it in our front yard. The mud pile was nearly 6 feet high. Added to that, it was the monsoon season so the mud was quite slick and wet. Here it was, a readymade slide for us. We used to slide down whooping with joy. This was not only for us but the entire klan of kids from our neighbourhood. I can only imagine the scrubbing we must have got from my mother. Poor Mom.

5) Make your own swimming pool : This was a special favourite of my cousin 'X' and me. In the monsoon we used to go up on the terrace and block all the outlets on the terrace so that we could collect water in the torrential downpour. Once the water was upto our knees it was good enough for a swim.
This game of ours went on for a couple of years and was immediately banned by my parents when they discovered the mystery behind the leaky roof.

Childhood was such a wondrous time for me. I never needed any games to entertain myself. Anything and everything could be used to play with. A pile of rocks, a length of clothes line or even a 'Guavava ' tree were used to invent new games.

I never needed a computer, a PS2 or game CD's to stir my imagination. I am sure most of us were more interested in waiting for play time with friends from our neighbourhood. The eager wait to come from school and just gather all friends and start a game of Hide n' Seek, waiting for the summer holidays to begin and the thrill of learning to master a new game was all the head rush we needed.