Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Success

I came across this while looking for something else.

Success

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is an adaptation of a poem published in 1905 by Bessie Stanley.
I like.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The aftermath

It's almost exactly a week, to the hour, since it all began. Since India saw the beginnings of what would turn into 60 hours of unending horror.

I was in a conference in Chennai all of Friday and Saturday, and had told my father and my friend to keep updating me. All my friend would keep saying in her SMS' all through Friday was "It's still not over." Saturday morning I was about to leave the hotel when I saw the Taj catch fire again on the ground floor and first floor. Half an hour later, en route to the conference, I got the news: It was over.

My brother's friend's uncle. My friend's aunt's friends. My dad's former colleague's nephew. These are not people I would have ever met. But they're impacted. Greeting people online in the past week, we haven't been saying "how're you doing?"; we've been asking, "is everyone you know alright?"

It's hard to put down thoughts about all that has happened. I could talk about how anguished I am at all the deaths and the injuries. I could talk about how awed I am at the courage displayed by the hotel staff of the three hotels, all the NSG commandos and to some extent, the journalists who were out there for three days, telling us what was happening. I could tell you how grateful I am to know my immediate near and dear ones are safe. I could tell you how weird and guilt-inducing it feels to realise that we are back to our regular lives, when for so many, life will never be the same again.

Or I could tell you how sickened I feel when I hear R R Patil quote DDLJ, or watch Naqvi talk about "paschimi poshak". How exasperated I feel when I watch the Congress and the NCP squabble over who could be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. How disgusted I feel when I hear about Narendra Modi offer compensation to the widow of the man he said all kinds of things about when he was alive - well, that I don't really need to; you all know I hate the man.

There are, however, three things I would like to say.

First of all, the BJP has no bloody business talking about the Congress' ineffectiveness against terror and demanding the whole government resigns. Their Prime Ministerial candidate, L K Advani, was Home Minister when the IC 814 hijacking took place; he didn't resign when his Foreign Minister escorted those terrorists to the border. He didn't resign when Parliament was attacked; he didn't resign when hundreds of Muslims were killed in Gujarat. So, no, I'm not particularly impressed with the Congress, but the BJP has no right to say anything.

Secondly, there's been a lot of comment all round on the role of the media in this entire incident. I am impressed with the courage they have shown, and if not for them, we would have had no idea about what was happening. I watched only three channels all through the events - NDTV 24x7, CNN IBN, and Times Now. Of the three, I thought NDTV was the sanest, Barkha Dutt's increasing stupidity notwithstanding. I could have whacked all the channels on the head for showing minute details of the rescue operations while the operations were on, but that's 24-hour news channels for you. They don't think terrorists with satellite phones have access to cable television.

What is annoying me, however, is the way they're carrying on after the attack is over. By carrying on and on about how ineffective our government is, they're pretty much telling the whole world the state of our country, and scaring the people of the country even more. So the terrorists might be dead, but you're just adding to the success of their mission, aren't you?

And finally, this entire campaign that the citizens of India have begun. Candle light marches, rallies in all the metros, and a strong desire to make our authorities understand what we need.

Here's my question: why has this come about? Because the "elite" of the country were hit. You can talk all you want about wanting a better India; the only reason this is happening is because the moneyed people have woken up to the fact that they are vulnerable as well.

The TV channels were up in arms talking about injustice to Jessica Lall when Manu Sharma got acquitted; other than Tehelka, name one newspaper, magazine, or channel which even mentioned the Dalit killings in Maharashtra? Plenty of soldiers die everyday in J&K and in the North East; which politician goes to visit their homes?

For three days, we saw cameras focused constantly on the Taj, the Oberoi, the Trident, and Nariman House. Can someone tell me the sequence of events VT station? How many people died there? What really happened at Cama Hospital? I don't know. Because amidst all the media reports, the blog entries, everything, these events are barely mentioned.

I can understand the focus being on the Taj. The people trapped inside for 58 hours, the commandos who went in and battled it out - they all have my utmost sympathies. But don't forget the aam aadmi in the concern for the rich.

If this campaign by the citizens lasts, I'll be extremely happy. If it achieves some good, I'm all for it. But please, be honest about why this has happened.

And on a lighter note, here's Jon Stewart for you:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The horror continues

After my post of midnight, I was up till 1.30 AM last night, watching with increasing horror at the situation in Mumbai. For the first time since I left college I think, i was up before 6.30 AM, to see the latest updates, only to realise that, far from being better, things were the same, if not worse. I did absolutely nothing productive at work today, spending most of my time tracking things on Twitter. This is by far the most horrifying thing to happen to India in my living memory, although the parents may counter that.

I am also feeling extremely guilty about the way I spoke of the Taj and the incident in my last post; considering the gravity and the widespread nature of incidents across our "commercial capital", it was completely unjustifiable.

There are people who have been inside their hotel rooms, unable to leave, for more than 20 hours now. Luckily, in this modern age of technology, almost all of them have mobile phones and are in touch with their near and dear ones. But does that lessen their trauma in any way?

Amidst all the reactions in the blogosphere, the most evocative first-hand accounts come from two of my favourite bloggers, who happened to be together at the time - Amit Varma and Sonia Faleiro. Another first-hand account which I heard on the news this morning was from a guy named Deepak, who was/is a guest in the Taj. He talked of how the hotel staff had kept him and his neighbour updated through the night, how he could see the terrorists from his room window, and how he was staying calm by reading the Hanuman Chalisa. Does it ever strike you as strange, how religion can calm and destroy at the very same moment?

I'm so very scared for the future of my country.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And again

My one and only visit to Mumbai was in May this year. It was soon after the Jaipur blasts, if I remember correctly, and we happened to go to both the Taj and the J W Marriott. The latter had actually beefed up security to the extent that my purse was put through one of those screening machines - the kind you see at the airport.

The day of the second Delhi blast in October - the one which happened exactly a week after the GK ones - I was in Connaught Place. A friend called from Mumbai to find out if I'm fine and mentioned that he's actually made groups in his phone's contact list - one for each metro city of the country. Makes it easier for him to react and find out about family and friends every time a blast happens.

I'm beginning to realise he has a point.

Back in May, the Taj had no security to speak of. What're you betting that'll change for the next six months at least?

This is sickening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wouldja look at that?!?

This is what the 47th over of the third ODI being played today between India and England in Kanpur looked like (Read from the bottom; makes more sense that way!):

 1 . 1nb 1nb 5wd 1 W W 1wd

46.6 I Sharma to Broad, no run, good length outside off stump, Broad swings and misses Ishant runs in for the tenth time in the over. 46.6 I Sharma to Broad, 1 wide, and he's sprayed it wide outside off stump! It's a huge wide! Stuart Broad to face the hat-trick ball. 

46.5 I Sharma to Prior, OUT, what a crazy over this is! Ishant's now on a hat-trick! Prior walks across his stumps to try and flick the ball towards long leg, he misses and the ball swings past him and clips leg stump. Two no balls, one wide that cost five, and two wickets in the over so far
J Prior b I Sharma 5 (13b 0x4 0x6) SR: 38.46 

46.4 I Sharma to Patel, OUT, caught in the deep! Patel charges to loft Ishant down the ground, it's another slower ball from Ishant and Patel mis-hits it high in the air towards long-off where Raina settles under the catch and takes it easily 
SR Patel c Raina b I Sharma 26 (29b 1x4 1x6) SR: 89.65 

46.3 I Sharma to Prior, 1 run, Prior chips the free hit towards midwicket, and Ishant hasn't over-stepped this time! 

46.3 I Sharma to Prior, 5 wides, Ishant's lost it today, the ball slips out of his hand and goes way down leg side, Dhoni had no hope to reaching that and the ball goes down for five wides, the free hit carries over to the next ball 

46.3 I Sharma to Prior, 1 no ball, Prior swings and misses the free hit outside off stump but would you believe it, Ishant's over-stepped one more time, Prior gets another opportunity 

46.3 I Sharma to Prior, 1 no ball, now he's got beaten by another lower one, this time outside off stump, Ishant's over-stepped yet again, that's his fourth, a criminal offence in this age of free-hits 

46.2 I Sharma to Prior, no run, Prior attempts a wild heave over the leg side but gets completely foxed by a slower ball that just misses the leg stump 

46.1 I Sharma to Patel, 1 run, Ishant looks for the yorker and Patel plays it towards the off side for a single

 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

As time goes by

All our lives, my father has always made sure that he's not traveling on our birthdays. If it was unavoidable, he would always try and either get back on the D-day or leave the next morning, or something. But he would be there.

Tomorrow's my mother's birthday, and I'll be catching the night flight out to Mumbai for work. For the first time ever, I won't be there for the family birthday dinner in a restaurant. For the first time in many years, my mother won't have either of her kids with her for dinner on her birthday.

Feels weird.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Stylish Indian

I love Shoba Narayan's latest column, especially the ending, in which she talks about just how stylish Indians are.
Style is hard to define. Reams of pages in fashion magazines are devoted to it. Designers take it apart and even then it is useless because style is subjective — the exuberant overdose that John Galliano thinks is stylish would be anathema to a Japanese.
As a people, I believe that we Indians are stylish. I don’t mean the Page 3 socialites who have fallen prey to Western dictates (and brand names) of what constitutes style. I mean that rural India has a style that is entirely and uniquely our own. It is in the upturned jootis and the dignified walk of a turban-clad farmer in Rajasthan; in the crisp folds of a Bengal cotton sari, especially when worn by pretty much any woman in Kolkata; in the green bangles of a koli fisherwoman who goes to Crawford Market; in the pristine white “mundu” dhoti of Kerala politicians including defence minister A.K. Antony; in the graceful walk of any woman who balances a pot of water on her head. Wherever you look in India, we have a style and grace that is a mixture of Bauhaus functionality and Baroquean exuberance. It follows Mies van der Rohe’s dictate that form must follow function and then adds a fillip of colour and je ne sais quoi to it.
Every morning after putting my kids in the school bus, I sit down and watch the line of maids who enter our building complex. Not one of them is poorly put together and I’ve heard this said about bais (maids) all over India. They take pride in their appearance and come in wearing neatly-pinned saris, perhaps some jasmine in their hair, maybe a bangle or two and a dangling earring as a nod to current fashion. No make-up, no expensive accessories, just professionals dressed up for their jobs. Are they stylish? I doubt that they think in those terms. They are unstudied but not nonchalant. They pay attention to their clothes but don’t fuss over them. Most of all, their outfits stay true to themselves, with a little extra fillip. If that’s not style, I don’t know what is.
On another note, I started another blog, dear visitors. You may visit it here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

And here we go again...

Who do you believe: The commission set up by the government, or the undercover investigation by a magazine kind of known for sting operations?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Y'know what I don't like about Blogger?

When you leave a comment on someone's blog, and they click on your name, they come to your profile. Then they click on your blog and get to visit it. Which totally messes up my visitor stats. How do I know which blog they saw my comment on and decided to come?

Bah.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Overheard...

This post reminds of a conversation I once overheard.

A while ago, I listened to two women discussing their love for animals. One of the women claimed that she didn't know a single human she trusted more than dogs. Apparently, "no bloody human can be trusted. I'll trust my dogs over people any day you know." The rant carried on for quite some time. Finally, the other lady asked her, "so what kind of dog do you have?"

"Oh, we have daschunds you know. It's impossible to keep bigger dogs because it's just so hard to manage them and take them for walks when you don't have a servant. At least daschunds are small enough to manage."

Yes, I totally see how much you love and trust dogs.

It's fascinating the kind of conversations you get to overhear while getting a manicure in the salon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

*sigh*

In one of those little ironies that life is so fond of throwing up at you, it may be noted that ever since I put this post, almost every email I have sent out, be it to family, friends, colleagues, or clients, there has either been at least one typo in the mail, or I have forgotten to attach the file I was supposed to attach.

Dear world, my apologies for everything I have ever said to you. For today at least. I shall probably be back to normal shortly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Il y a deux ans...

It suddenly struck me that this blog turned two last month. Which means I've been a blogger for more than three years. 

But as I read my old posts, both here and in the private blog I had for a year before that, I wonder if there's any growth or, for lack of a better word, maturity that comes across in my writings. Because I don't see it. I still seem to be as opinionated, obnoxious and self-obsessed as I was three years ago. 

And if so, and if I've just stagnated since I began blogging, then that's just a pity.

What do you think?

****

On another note, Max New York Life Insurance has come up with a fabulous ad. Even if you don't listen or understand to the background song, you still get the gist of it, so enjoy:



Incidentally, has anyone ever read that short story by Jeffrey Archer, The Grass is Always Greener?!?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A lil' too close to home

Mamma and I went shopping yesterday; usually a very painful experience because she and I have very different opinions on what should or should not be bought. However, there are weddings coming up, so we didn't really have an option.

Our first stop was GK - I. We visited a dozen shops there, and when we were on the verge of giving up, we went into a shop and found what we needed. I had a sore throat and body ache (think viral's about to hit), so I was miserable, and I desperately needed soup. We considered going to Pizza Hut, but since we were in a hurry, we decided to just pick up a couple of burgers from McD's and leave.

Our next stop was South Extension, where we had to visit exactly one shop and miraculously managed to exit from there within half an hour. Both GK and South Ex were crowded to hilt, full of either people shopping for the wedding season coming up, or excited Bengalis shopping for the upcoming Durga Puja festival.

Our last stop was Green Park where we had to visit someone. While we were there, we heard the news: Delhi had been hit by a series of bomb blasts, including GK's M-block market.

We left GK between 5.30 and 5.45 PM yesterday; the bombs went off between 6.30 and 6.45. An hour made all the difference.

Baba was at home; I managed to speak to him minutes after I heard the news. He had just heard the news on the radio, and wanted us to come home immediately. Soon after, all the networks in Delhi got jammed. I couldn't call or sms anyone to find out if people were fine.

When the bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmadabad happened last month, I was horrified. What sickened me even further was that they had actually targeted hospitals - those very hospitals where the injured were taken, where people had rushed to donate blood and died in the process.

This time, the horror is accompanied for the first time by a very real fear. As a friend told me last night, GK and CP are our hang-out places. The previous incidents involved fellow Indians, who I was extremely sorry for. This time, it could have any of my friends and family. A very dear friend is usually at the Barakhamba metro station at 6.30 every evening, waiting to get home; yesterday, she happened to be at home. What if she hadn't?

On another note, Operation BAD? Seriously? That's the best acronym/name they could come up with? Seriously?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Kindly note:

I'm a snob. You know it, I know it, we all know it. I want - no, I need - good grammar. I need proper punctuation. If you send me a document for reference, or just reading randomly, I will first spend ten minutes creating my personal version, with corrected grammar and punctuation in it. Only then will I proceed to read it.

I need spaces after full stops and commas, not before. I do not like double spaces. And you get extra points if you justify the document.

Thank you.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A snapshot of my weekend

Friday evening: Watched downloaded version of Batman Begins - awesome, but not as awesome as A Dark Knight.

Saturday: Pretend to clean my room; sleep; say things I shouldn't have to person I don't like; observe emotional telephonic reunions; eat dinner with the parents at close to midnight; surf the net from midnight to 3 A.M.; wonder whether skepticism is rooted in bitterness or cynicism.

Sunday: Clean cupboard; go to salon; vow to put up blog post about conversations overheard; have politely worded fight with school friend via SMS; hear cousin's cancer has probably returned; go to visit her; pick up empty cartons from neighbourhood stationery guy so I can empty out my h in the days to come; watch season finale of Grey's Anatomy and tornado episode of Desparate Housewives.

Tell me, between stationery and stationary... which is about staying still and which for pens, paper, etc.? I can never remember.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A piece of history

A story I read in Chicken Soup for the College Soul has stayed with me over the years, and has been coming to mind fairly often in recent times.

A college professor asks his class how many of them knew/know their grandparents. Almost the entire class raised their hands. On being asked how many know anything about their great-grandparents, about half raised their hands. On being asked how many know anything about their great-great-grandparents, barely one or two raised their hands. The prof's point was about making something of your life; to leave a mark that will make people remember you when you're gone.

When I think of this story, I don't think about making your mark in life or anything like that. I think about my parents, and their parents, and all our ancestors before them. My life, my family, my friends... all the memories I share with them are so precious to me. Do you realise no one will ever know about them a hundred years down the lane?

My father occasionally tells me stories from his childhood; Mamma used to tell me about hers when I was a kid. When I hear them, I always feel like I'm hearing about some stranger I've never met.

One of my biggest regrets is I never got to meet my maternal grandfather; by all accounts, he was a wonderful person. I recently discovered my ancestors on my father's side of the family were village priests somewhere in Bengal, and that a distant branch of the family is still there.

There are so many aspects to our family, so many anecdotes, so many pieces of history that we never hear about, never get to know. What a pity.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Dark Knight: My reaction

Oh my God I am just back from seeing The Dark Knight and I absolutely have to talk about it because it was so freakin' brilliant.

I sound like an excited teenager. Ok. Breathe.

Seriously, the movie is brilliant. For once, a movie lived up to every bit of hype there was regarding it. The screenplay is fantastic, and the music was giving me the heebie-jeebies. Every single performance in the movie was superb, but Heath Ledger just... beat everyone hollow. And it just pains me that he can never reprise that role. Because no other actor can ever take that role on. I was literally exhaling loudly after each of his scenes; they were that intense.

There's this line The Joker maaroes somewhere along the way:
“Do I look like i have a plan? No, I’m a dog chasing a car, if I caught it I’d have no idea what to do with it. I don’t plan things i just do.”
Forget how brilliant the line itself is, the way Ledger delivers it is actually mind blowing.

There is also this "social experiment" that he carries out in the movie, which I won't get into the details of, in case there's someone out there who still wants to see the movie and hasn't yet. Suffice to say that it was absolutely fascinating, and I really really wish some psychology prof would have the courage to carry it out for real. The movie's logic for the outcome was along the lines of the innate goodness of humans, which I don't really buy. I think in real life the outcome of that experiment would have been very different. However, as the brother pointed out, it may be the same, but not so much due to the goodness in people, but more because of a lack of guts to actually do it. And of course, The Joker's expression when he finds out how it turned out was perfect.

The brother is absolutely delighted that there is finally one action movie that he and I have both loved and can discuss. And it's true; I usually don't enjoy such movies. I prefer lighter movies and books; I'm very superficial that way. But this movie... God it was brilliant. Have you noticed the complete lack of side notes in brackets while writing this post? The conclusion notwithstanding?

I'm also a little bit in love with Christian Bale now. Although his mysterious Batman voice was a bit annoying. But I have to get hold of Batman Begins and see that now. And I need to get hold of more adjectives to describe brilliance. And I really should go to sleep now.

But this movie deserves a whole bunch of Oscars. Especially Screenplay and Actor.

Peekaboo








Heh. Kyra speaks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I just noticed this...

...at the bottom of my Gmail page (which is really down below because I have too many labels for my own good):
This account is open in 1 other location (my home IP address which I refuse to display here). Last account activity: 20 minutes ago on this computer.
Which is interesting, and informative, because it tells me my dad hasn't restarted his laptop in two days and that I am therefore still logged in on my domain there.

I also just noticed the new look of Blogger's Dashboard. I like. It's not as radical as some of MSN's changes used to be.

Hello people. I'm back. For how long, I don't know.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A random thought

I got this forward from someone today:
As I was passing the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. "Well," he said, "when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away.

They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free." I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn't, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
It's something that strikes me from time to time, although maybe not in this particular way. There's so much we could do, so much we want to do, but don't because we're conditioned not to do them, or not to even think about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Update on Antics

So I checked the BBC and CNN sites to see what, if anything, they had to say about yesterday's fiasco. Turns out the CNN only talks about the government winning a crucial vote and how this could impact the nuclear deal. BBC, on the other hand, does mention the entire drama enacted by the BJP and reactions to it.

In related news, the gits belonging to the CPM have proved just how low they are. I like Somnath Chaterjee.

Gah.

Antics and speeches

I haven't blogged in more than a month, and I really have no excuse other than a lack of effort. I have added yet another widget to my left sidebar, so you may take a look if you wish to do so.

Yesterday was an interesting day, for lack of a better word. For those not in the know, if there is any political stand I do hold, it is simply this: anti-BJP. And my disgust with that party grew tenfold yesterday.

Forget the fact that they were behaving like brattish school children with the way they were constantly interrupting various speeches and not letting Members speak. The entire drama they enacted with bringing money into the well of the House waving it about like frenzied idiots was absolutely sickening to see.

Let's accept for a while that their allegations are true - which I by no means do, if for no other reason than the facts that a) I'm biased, and b) I'd like to see some proof before I make up my mind. If the allegations are true, why couldn't those three MPs go the media or the Speaker (because I'm fairly sure going to the police, as Amar Singh suggested, is something no politician would ever do) as soon as it first happened? Why wait till an hour before the PM's speech, and 90 minutes before the actual vote?

I caught some of the speeches in the evening, including Omar Abdullah's absolutely brilliant speech. I had to go out after that, so i missed the whole part about the PM not being allowed to give his reply and therefore laying the text on the table, but I did read it this morning, and think it was pretty darn decent. I do wish our Prime Minister had more of a personality, however. His speech could be greatest thing since sliced bread, but one would never be able to tell because his delivery is usually so very... flat.

Another person I wish had better delivery is Rahul Gandhi. I caught his speech on the news channels at night, and while I appreciate most of what he said, including his responses to the idiots in the Opposition and the Speaker, his way of speaking was not that great. Omar Abdullah, on the other hand, was impassioned, furious, had conviction in his voice, and was just... brilliant.

While watching the news, I also happened to catch Rajdeep Sardesai on Cnn-IBN talking about the tapes he has and his statement that he is not part of any "larger political battle" and his decision to not telecast the tapes but instead hand them over to the Speaker. I admire his decision and all that, but I want to know what those tapes show.

I still hate the BJP though. And I'm extremely relieved the Congress is still in power. if only for another six months. And I really wonder what is going to happen to this country of ours.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feelin' extra Indian

I always did love those patriotic/ country-lovin' type of ads, and the latest Maruti ads are no different. Which is ironic, considering the majority stake in that company is no longer Indian.






These remind me of the Hamara Bajaj ads that used to come some time back, which I'd put up here if I wasn't worried about how long a post with three videos will take to load.

One of the things that makes Ranbaxy's sell-out to Daiichi that bit sadder is that Ranbaxy was one of those companies which really was an Indian multinational company that we as Indians could be proud of. Now, it's just another subsidiary of another Japanese company. I met someone this week who said that not only was this not an unexpected happening, but that eventually, all the big Indian companies will sell out. Now, I'm usually quite clueless about anything to do with the financial markets or the corporate world, but isn't this an extremely bleak view to take? I mean, do you really see the Tatas or the Birlas selling out anytime soon? Or at least in the next decade or so?

I'm just feeling extra Indian tonight. It must be the cold.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ice!

So the person using Bloglines came back to my blog after my last post, but didn't reveal his/her identity. And in case you're back again, whoever you are, please understand that this is a very blatant appeal for comments. I need more commenters. Just the Zig is simply not enough. And that goes for the person from down South who visits every few days too.

I was going through my unpublished drafts last night, and came across the following one. Seems like an interesting mix of thoughts, so figured I'll put it up. I'm just trying to remember what on earth I was up to in October 2006 that didn't let me sleep at night. And exactly which bus incident I'm referring to here. There've been too many of 'em for my liking.

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If you live in Delhi, and have never heard of Kake da Hotel, you're an ignorant fool, in my very humble opinion. So there.
My family has patronised that place for more than twenty years now, and it's amazing how unchanged it's stayed over the years. It's still in that dingy little corner shop opposite Nirula's in Connaught Place, with the same hustle bustle. And it's not just the food which draws you there (although that is scrumptious anyway), it's the ambience of the place.
Everyone's in a rush there, the refills keep coming without you even asking, everyone keeps chattering at the top of their voices despite their full mouths... It's brilliant! It's fascinating how people from all walks of life will share a table with utter strangers without batting an eyelid. I have seen the most snobbish of people walk in there and walk out completely satisfied. Ah... Kake! There's just something about that place.

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I love filling ice trays. There's something utterly mesmerising about watching how you can let the water fall constantly in just one spot, and then see how it flows from cubicle to cubicle to cubicle. Not the most interesting of things for y'all perhaps, but mundane things things like this are fascinating at times, if you just care to look around you.

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It's amazing how a normal night's sleep can completely rejuvenate you.
For the past three weeks or so, I have been surviving on an average of four to five hours of sleep a night, with maybe an hour in the afternoon if I'm lucky. I hit my all-time low since my class 10 Boards when I caught only three and a half hours the other night. My sadistic family (what can I say - it runs in the family) derived great pleasure from watching my bleary-eyed efforts the next morning to get from one room to another without bumping into something.
That night, I decided enough was enough, and made sure I got around six and a half hours of sleep (which is my usual average anyway) and voilĂ ! I was absolutely fit and fine and raring to face the world the next morning!
Of course, since then, I've been averaging about five hours a night again, so I think I'm heading for another breakdown soon.

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So I had a rather unnerving experience the other day. No, I won't go into the details, but I would like to say this: I hate the buses of Delhi. More specifically, I hate the men who travel by these buses. I think they're frustrated perverts, who should all be hung, drawn and quartered.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A useless lil' vent

Now who on earth uses Bloglines to subscribe to my blog?!?

Bloglines is funny, you know. One, I don't think I'll use it that often anyway, because why should I sign in there separately to read my feeds (is that what they're called? I'm little clueless about all this terminology) when I have Google Reader doing a very nice job for me, and two, for some reason they won't let me claim my blog. And believe you me, I've been trying every six months for nearly two years now - mainly because I forget all about it for the rest of the time. I suspect it's because of the whole old Blogger-new Blogger problem, because they basically don't accept my Gmail ID as my freakin' Blogger Username!

I have a cold. Because I got wet in the rain. The rain which apparently indicates that the monsoons have hit Delhi two week earlier than expected for the first time in 108 years. Which doesn't make sense to me at all, because as far as I'm concerned, there was no summer this year. It's been raining for months!

I had planned to vent about something else as well, and it's completely slipped my mind now.

I hate colds. They make me all miserable and lousy-feeling and drained of energy and even venting doesn't make me feel better. Sheesh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

This is home.

I swear to you, Bengalis are the only community I know of who, on being asked how they are, actually tell you how they are. Seriously.

Mamma and I spent a week in Kolkata last month, and it is just incredible how asking a person how he/she is will get you very comprehensive details of each illness/ailment suffered in the past week by not only the person you're speaking to, but by every member of his/her family as well. The trip was incredible though. This was the first time I actually went around the city on my own, and the first time we did more than just visiting various relatives. Most importantly, after years of looking for it, my mother and I finally found the shop in New Market she used to frequent in her college days for the purpose of buying silver jewelry. Apparently, I forgot the meaning of the word stinginess while there, because by the time I exited that shop, all the gift money I had saved for the past two years had been spent.

We also discovered, for the first time perhaps, just how exasperating and unprofessional doctors in Kolkata are. Doctors in the NCR may be mad and annoying, but at least they're in their chambers during their scheduled hours and at least they pick up the damn phone when there's an emergency! I still love Kolkata, but if I had to live there, I think I'd go quite mad.

The family also spent a week or so in Mumbai and it's nearby hill stations recently. Quite a lovely trip; the father took us around to his college, hostel, and haunts from college days. I also found the perfect bag while shopping in Linking Road; it is huge and everything I ever need to carry with me (which, as some of you may know, is quite a bit) and still have space left over. And those are just a few of the highlights of the trip.

We're now back home. Things are happening at home. Life is back to normal, or as normal as it ever gets with my clan. I'm back to disliking shopping with a fervour (although I do need to visit Fab India fairly soon). The princess of the house is getting used to having the whole family with her most of the time, and is throughly enjoying being taken for walks by the brother every morning (as much as I am enjoying the extra half an hour of sleep since that particular morning duty is taken care of for the next four months at any rate).

I have also come to realize the truth of something I have been trying to deny for the past nearly fourteen years - this city is my home. The NCR is where I feel most comfortable. Oh, I love traveling and visiting other cities. The people here are ridiculous, the weather is crazy, and the transport system is capable of driving me to suicide. I've got my whole life ahead of me and there's no saying where I'll end up eventually. But for now, this is home.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A few notes on the IPL

The Rajasthan Royals just won the first tournament of the DLF Indian Premier League - and I mean that both in terms of time and how it happened. I'm rather disappointed, because RR has been my least favourite team all through the tournament - primarily because I'm a sucker for underdogs, and I don't like teams that win everything they play. But then, I wasn't supporting Chennai either, because I'm not too fond of Dhoni.

Actually, once it got to the semi-final stage, I wasn't really fond of any of the teams. I thought I'd support the Delhi Daredevils, but when you think of the way they just gave in to the RRs, there's just no point. But I never thought Punjab's King's XI wouldn't make it to the finals, and I really thought they were the only team who would be able to beat Rajasthan, but that didn't happen either.

For a while today, I really did think Chennai would make it, but the last two balls of the match changed everything around. I was hoping for a bowl-out when they needed just one run off the last ball, but Sohail Tanveer managed to pull it off on the last ball.

Come to think of it, nothing in this tournament went the way I wanted it to go. I supported the Kolkata Knight Riders, and had very high hopes of their success in the first match when Brandan McCellum hit his 158 and the Bangalore Royal Challengers just didn't know what to do. But I am extremely glad I didn't get tickets for their match against the Mumbai Indians when I was in Bombay on the 16th of May, because the way KKR played was just ridiculous. I still think they could have made it through to the semis if that damn rain hadn't washed out the match in Delhi, but who knows?

The other teams I liked which didn't make it through were the Mumbai Indians and, well, the Deccan Chargers of Hyderabad. MI totally deserved to not make it through to the semis consideruing the way they fielded in their last few games. And that Dilhara character who gave a wide in that last over against God knows which team now, and following it up with dropping a catch on the last ball, is just a fool of the first order.

The thing with the Deccan Chargers is that you can't really figure out why they lost everything they played. They have two people in the top ten scoring batsmen list, R P Singh was one of the leading wicket takers, they made decent scores in quite a few matches, but then... something would just go wrong. They just couldn't close any of their matches on a winning note. I really admired VVS Laxman for giving up his icon status so their team could use the money to get more players, but that team... just didn't click when it mattered.

But at the end of the day, you've got to give credit to Shane Warne for bringing the Royals together the way he has, more so since half the players in the team probably don't speak English. Like them or not, the team completely deserved to win the IPL.

It's been a very exciting 40 days (which started during my exams) of cricket every single day. But at least I'll be allowed to watch my shows which come during matches. And I really really hope ravi Shastri didn't mean his statement about Makhaya Ntini "bringing a lot of colour to the tournament" the way I suspect he did.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Queen's Necklace

Many years ago, I read the following passage in Mary Higgins Clark's book Moonlight Becomes You, and the lines have stayed with me ever since for some reason:

Manhattan stretched before him, ablaze with lights. He looked at the East River bridges and remembered that when he had told Maggie his office was on the forty-second floor of the World Trade Center, she had told him about the first time she had gone for a cocktail at Windows on the World atop the center. “It was just becoming dusk. The lights of the bridges went on, and then all the building and streetlights started glowing. It was like watching a highborn Victorian lady put on her jewelry—necklace, bracelets, rings, even a tiara.”

We were driving along Marine Drive in Mumbai today evening, and the lights both on the road we were approaching and across the harbour were absolutely brilliant to watch. My father mentioned how the road used to be called a "Queen's Necklace" because of the lights lining the road, which immediately brought back this passage to mind.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Missing her already...

The family's off on a week-long vacation tomorrow, and the mother and I went to drop Kyra (the golden retriever) off at her usual boarding place today. I swear to you, there is no bigger heart-breaking sight in the world than Her Highness looking back at me oh-so-reproachfully as she's led away by the doctors there.

My mum was busy with the formalities when Kyra was taken away, so missed the departure. I told her not to go in and see Kyra one more time, but she insisted on doing so. Kyra, of course, seeing Mamma, bounded up to her, thinking it's time to go home already. Net result, Kyra was even more mournful when Mamma walked away, and Mamma was more upset than before.

I usually try to avoid dropping Kyra off when we go on vacation, because I inevitably break down. I couldn't get out of it today, but managed not to break down completely. The mother, on the other hand, has never ever dropped Kyra off before. I think she now knows why I try to avoid it.

*Sniff*

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm fine...

I don't have a particularly high opinion of Rahul Bose as an actor. Nonetheless, what little I've seen and read of him in interviews et al., I do think he's a fairly intelligent and sane person. (Some people will catch onto what I mean by sane here; most won't. It's the former minority which is impertinent enough to call me neurotic.)

Coming back to Rahul Bose, his directorial debut Everybody says I'm fine! is one of the most brilliant movies I have come across. Unfortunately, it's also made my life that bit more complicated. I swear to you, ever since I've seen that movie, I have not been able to sit through one hair cut or head massage without wondering if the person behind can hear my thoughts.

I had my annual hair cut today, and as usual, the second it started, I started wondering if the fellow could hear my thoughts. Then I started wondering what I was thinking about anyway. Then I started wondering what I shouldn't think about in case he can hear me. Then I tried to think of acceptable thoughts which wouldn't matter if they were heard. And then I thought about how gorgeous my hair.

*sigh* It happens every time. [Why is every time not one word?!?]

And in case you're wondering, I only got my hair trimmed; I like it long, but in this heat, it's impossible to handle.

Also, this post has been in the making for nearly six months, so I'm not too sure what exactly I meant by the first paragraph, but I'm letting it go. It seems right to me, although I'm pretty sure I'm taking it the same way I originally meant it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Of celebrities and their blogs...

*sigh* Just when you think the Bachchan family cannot get more in your face then it already is, you get proven wrong.

Amitabh Bachchan has started blogging. Now, a) he doesn't write particularly well, and b) his blog is in one of those irritating formats where not only does the whole entry not show up in Google Reader, but it doesn't even show up on the home page of the damn blog! You have to do the whole clicking on a link to read the rest of the entry bit to read every entry which is really annoying. And honestly, the man is just full of himself! If you're a "superstar" in India, the media is going to hound you. And if you're going to react to every single thing the media says about you, then we've had it! And, even if I choose not to read his blog, I can't get away from it, because both HT City or Delhi Times are bound by compulsion for some obscure reasons to quote his entries on a daily basis.

Don't get me wrong; I think the Bachchan family is tremendously talented. Jaya Bachchan has always been one of my favourite actresses. Amitabh Bachchan is above and beyond almost everyone else in the industry; you just have to look at Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies, Sholay, and Black to realise that, to name just a few. Aishwarya Rai can act quite decently if she has the right movie and the right director, and Abhishek Bachchan, of course, I had a huge crush on till the whole family started getting on my nerves. I mean, not only are they doing utterly ridiculous movies most of the time (just look at Jhoom Barabar Jhoom), but they're freaking everywhere!

Incidentally, can anyone tell me why Aamir Khan's blog doesn't have a feed to which I can subscribe to on Google Reader?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My latest aversion

I have recently discovered that I do not like spiders. I don't screech at the sight of them, or refuse to enter a room just because there's one around, like some people I shall not name do where lizards are concerned. I would, however, appreciate it if they stayed as far away from me as possible.

I caught the last scene of Charlotte's Web on television the other day, and all I could think while Wilbur was cooing over the zillions of baby spiders crawling all over the place was "Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!" Seriously, they were not cute.

And then I caught the Forbidden Forest scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I'm shuddering now even thinking of that scene. Have you seen how that thing landed on the car and grabbed Ron? Ugh.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An opinion on recent events

Abso-freakin'-lutely.

Admittedly, I don't know much about both this incident or the Scarlett Keeling case. But, I reiterate. You cannot blame a girl's lifestyle or background for the atrocities carried out to her. That's just cowardly and stoopid.

Yes, I do think it was completely irresponsible of Scarlett's mother to leave her 15-year-old daughter in a place like Goa, in a country like India, and go off, no matter what the reason. But to say that is why this happened is just sickening.

You know, when I was working with RAHI Foundation, I used to hear of cases where the mother knew the father was molesting his child(ren) but didn't do anything about it for various reasons. Whatever the reason, putting the entire blame on her for what happened to her child(ren) is just as ridiculous. Yes, there is some blame there too, but not entirely.

Why are people always so keen to blame anyone but the perpetrators themselves?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I hate thinking of titles for posts

Do you ever look up at the sky and watch those two white fuzzy lines which get and longer and longer as a jet flies overhead? Isn't it really cool?

Ahem. This is not what I meant to write about.

Right. So as most of you know by now, I am not particularly un-judgmental by nature. I am, in fact, a snob, forsooth. (Always wanted to use that word, don'tcha know? Should there be a comma before it though?)

Now despite my judgmentalness about most things, if there's something I don't get fussed about, it's the way people dress. As I've stated before, I think it's absolutely ridiculous to blame the way women to dress for the animalistic tendencies of men. I don't care if people want to wear mini skirts or tank tops, or if they want to wear saris or salwar-kameezes. I don't even know half the time (OK, a lot more than half the time) what is supposed to be in vogue at any given time, apart from the fact that it's never what I want to buy. If a girl wants to dress a certain way, and can carry it off, good for her. What's your problem anyway?

What I do get somewhat hassled by, however, is when some people insist on dressing a certain way, when it very obviously does not suit them. I know girls who can wear anything - even the ugliest pyjamas available in Sarojni Nagar - and still look gorgeous. But let's face it, not all of us are made that way. Most of us look nice in certain kinds of clothes, and not so great in other kind of clothes. And anyone with the slightest brain in their heads would figure out what suits us and wear that, rather than what's in fashion. Of course, if you're like me, you'd stick what makes you comfortable, and hang fashion altogether, but that's just me.

My point is, when you're short, and have a somewhat healthy build, wouldn't it be a better idea to not wear tight and short T-shirts? Or those clinging type of gowns which I didn't know people outside of the red carpet in Hollywood actually wore? And well, if you absolutely have to wear such T-shirts, and pair it up with low-waisted jeans to boot, would you please, oh please, not sit anywhere in my line of vision?

PS: I swear, the comments on the last post have convinced me this topic deserves a post. But it'll have to wait. Exams are on, and I barely come online these days. Quelle horreur!

PS2: I am beginning to feel I'm awfully opinionated. Ya think?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yippee dedda doo

Without meaning to sound conceited in any way, it is one of the facts of life that I am far better at giving viva voce exams than I am at giving written exams. Because in written exams, when I don't know something (which is rather frequently, considering the amount I study) I simpl blank out. In viva exams, on the other hand, when I'm asked something I don't know the answer to, I seem to have the knack of making up answers on the spot, which, luckily for me, seem to do the trick.

Today (well, yesterday, really) was my viva oral exam for my dissertation. After talking about my study, methodology, tools etc., and coming up with rather decent explanations for why on earth my study shows no significant differences between the two groups, the external examiner picked up on one my results pertaining to gender differences. He asked me why I thought such a result had come up, and from there, we went onto socialization of boys and girls in India, leading to a rather animated discussion about the state of women of India.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I'm in my element when I have to make up answers during interviews. They also know that the aforementioned topic is, honestly, something I can go on and on about*. So you can well imagine how my viva went and why I've been grinning since my exit line, which incidentally, was essentially a summary of this post.

See, it pays to be a feminist. Now if only the rest of my exams involve such discussions, I'm all set.

*Apparently, almost everyone does know this about me, because I hear the second some of my classmates I've never really spoken much to heard what turn my viva had taken, they were certain it had gone well. I need to become more enigmatic.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Meme #2: Page 123, Line 5

Meant to put this up weeks ago, but didn't quite get round to it. I can't believe I haven't blogged in nearly a month! It's like I'm going the Zig's way! ;)

Another meme doing the rounds of the blogosphere these days is this:
Open the nearest book to page 123, go down to the 5th sentence and type up the 3 following sentences. Then, pass the message along to other people you want to invite to contribute to the game.
So the only book around me right now is Udai Pareek's Training Instruments in HRD and OD (dear Lord, I sound like a nerd). The chapter is Relevant Conceptual Frameworks of Personal and Interpersonal Orientation, and the section is on Coercive Bases [of Power]. So here goes:

"For the same reason, charisma is included in coercive power, because a charismatic leader arouses strong emotions, and get things done. The leader does not treat his or her followers as mature people who are competent to make their own choices. Referent power is different, as we shall see in the next section."
Everyone who reads this and has a blog, you are tagged.



Friday, February 29, 2008

Ramblings...

I met a lady on the road the other day, while out with my dog for her evening walk. This lady obviously has some kind of puja that she does on a regular basis. As I passed her, she emptied a whole packet of vegetable peels in front of a cow, took a round of the cow muttering some chant under her breath, threw the empty packet on the side of the road, and walked off.

On the other hand, I met two very nice strangers today. I had only a 500 hundred rupees note in my wallet today, and needed change for my bus ride home. My usual source of change - the Xerox guy - let me down, so I stopped at the market near campus to try my luck there. The first shop I went to turned me down, but as I was leaving, one of the girls sitting there asked if 100 rupees notes would do. I said "sure!" and she handed them over. Not too many people part with their smaller notes so willingly.

I have so far very carefully resisted complaining about my issues with the public transport system on this blog. Suffice it to say, I don't like it. It is a complete pain, and getting home everyday takes me far longer than it should. Moving on. So today, classes got over early and the bus which brings me closer home wasn't due till two. Unwilling to wait two hours, I took the bus which brings me to just short of the border. From there, I took a cab to my usual bus stop, a ride that typically costs five bucks. There were three of us in the cab, and on the way to our regular bus stop, the driver asked us if we're students. All of us nodded. When we got to our destination, we held out the money but he actually refused to take it.

I've noticed the fact that I'm a student seems to get me some extra benefits from time to time. A couple of weeks back, I was late for class as usual, and there was no auto in sight. One finally showed up, and I hailed it with relief. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that there was an old army-type gentleman right behind me who had also hailed the same auto, and who therefore claimed he should get it. After growing increasingly belligerent for about five minutes, he finally asked me where I had to go. I said I have to go to college, and his entire demeanor changed. He made me get into the auto, and was practically blessing me by the time I left.

The point of this entry, you ask? You meet all sorts of people on the road. Plus I am fed up with my dissertation, and refuse to work on it tonight. And there's the fact that I wanted to cross last February's record of seven entries. Ooh, and today's the 29th of February. For another half an hour. Awfully apt title today, innit?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wotchoo lookin' for?

My blog's become extremely popular in the Google searches over the last two-three months, the most popular searches being "beautiful in my eyes", "empirical proof", and "haldi milk", in that order. Sundry searches for cures for hypochodriasis, a place to stay in San Francisco, the OotP movie (including one for "injuries in the harry potter and the order of the phoenix movie"!) and Uncle Chipps have also brought a lot of visitors to my blog. The funniest so far, in my opinion, have been "my friends call me a feminist", "cars for family of five", and "one quality to pass on ur kid." I mean, seriously, my blog giving advice on child-rearing?

These searches have also helped me correct a lot of spellings on my blog too. Had you noticed, for example, that for the first year of its existence, the word 'idiosyncrasies' was spelled incorrectly in the 'About Me' section?

I am particularly intrigued, however, by this morning's visitor's search: "explain how to open a email". Most people I know figure out the email bit before they learn to search for things online. This person obviously did it the other way round. Good for him/her!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Awake at 3 AM...

I love maths, I do. Not the overly complicated stuff, but statistics and trigonometry and algebra... it always gave me a rush in school when I could solve any particularly tricky problem.

I left maths as a subject after school, and my association with it has been limited to statistics. I'd almost forgotten how I used to love the subject till tonight. I put off the statistics part of my dissertation till tonight, and while working on my literature review invariably made me sleepy by midnight tops, here I am, at 3.15 AM, wide awake and alert.

I've missed this.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Meme #1: The GHM

Google Reader's blog search function helped me come across two posts with Georgette Heyer mentioned in them, and with a nice little meme.

Anyone who has ever fallen in love with her version of the GHM, I tag you. Write a post, it doesn't have to be very big, about that person – literary character, comic book hero, some guy in a movie, a random person you'll never meet – we’ll start a list that will probably never end.
The meme's interesting, but I honestly can't think of any one GHM who made me go weak at the knees. Books just never did that for me. I love Heyer's romances, yes, and I've been reading Mills & Boons for year now, but my issue with all the men in all these books has always been that they are just too... overbearing. And omniscient. Especially the Heyer-oes. Beaumaris, Alverstoke, Sylvester, Avon - you pick any of them, you'll see it. They just know everything. And I don't quite like that. By that logic though, my favourite Heyero would probably be Freddy Standen, who just stumbles through the whole book, finding unexpected depths to himself by sheer luck, and is just about the most endearing guy from any book. But know, he's not the GHM for me either.

But anyway, whoever you are, if you have or have had a GHM in your life, you are hereby tagged.

PS: After some more thought, I have realised that Jonathan Trager from Serendipity, followed very closely by Aditya Kashyap of Jab We Met, come extremely close to being my GHM. And Oliver Barrett IV from the only book which has ever made me cry (while every other movie makes me howl invariably) comes a very close third.

PS2: Dissertation due in just about a week; stress levels running high; no time whatsoever. You can therefore safely assume there will be frequent updates in the days to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The greatest love of all...

...to quote Whitney Houston (well, not her exactly, but she sang the version of the song I have, so we'll just go with that) is learning to love yourself.

I've never been particularly fond of myself, but I have now decided I must take baby steps towards being more positively inclined towards myself. And valentine's Day having ended less than two hours ago, it seemed like the appropriate time to blog about it.

The first step was achieved some weeks back, when I finally accepted that almost everyone I know is right: I do have gorgeous hair. It's black, straight, and has grown to a very nice length, thank you. (I could also tell you what I don't like about it, but we'll not go there; we're being positive here.)

I insert too many side comments during my posts.

Less self-criticism should probably be the next baby step no?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Brrr...

It's like the Weather Man just can't keep track of what the weather's supposed to be like in February.

What I don't like about winter: Washing my hands in that cold water.

What I really really don't like about winter: The wind!!! :(

What I do like about winter: Wearing a jacket after a few days' break and finding money in the pocket!!! :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Job satisfaction?!?

Oh dear dear... HR really does need to get its act together here.




Brilliant, ain't it?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturation point anyone?

Did you know I am fed up with hearing about what the Bachchan family is up to every time I happen to put on the news? And that I really don't care what Kareena and Saif are up to? Yet, this is the stuff the news channels keep harping about these days. Not much I can do about it, except stay away from Aaj Tak as much as possible.

There's a gentleman who happens to have reached his saturation point as far as reading about farmer suicides goes. Are we really to stop "harping" about things that are sad realities just because some people are fed up with these issues? Yet carry on with the intimate details of the lives of random people who just happen to be in the business of entertainment?

What's a 'poorist', by the bye? The Free Dictionary doesn't seem to know the word.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Announcement of the day

I usually don't announce the additions of any widgets, but leave it to y'all to discover them. However, this time round I suppose I feel the need to do so.

I've added an Article list to the left, right below the Blogs I Read section (which needs a major overhaul!). I'm going to put links to any interesting articles I come across there instead of dedicating one-line entries to them. If I feel the need to add a commentary to any article, I may do so, but I don't see that happening too often, do you?

Of course, this probably means my frequency of posting is going to drop sharply, but you'll just have to swallow the lump forming in your throat and live with it.

Also, I don't think Bloglines or Google Reader will catch updates happening to the list (yes, I do get to know when you use these; yay Statcounter!), so you'll probably just have to check every time you visit.

To start off the list, I've put up two articles. One is fairly outdated, but talks about Ganguly, so you should read it. The second is about a cause very close to my heart, and a person very dear to me - Anuja Gupta of RAHI Foundation and her work against child sexual abuse and incest. Read it, please.

Also, to know more about RAHI Foundation, you could visit their site, or even the Wikipedia entry I created for them. (Yers, I know, I'm very kewl.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nothing to say

I've been delaying putting this up because I haven't been able to figure out what to say in it. I've come to conclusion that there is nothing to say, except:

Read this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Prologue to a Comedy of Errors

I've been reading this blog for a while now, and this post filled me with complete glee.

You see, two years ago, my family was finally leaving for our dream vacation in Europe. Only the thing is, at ten in the night, just as we're about to leave for the airport, we discover my passport is missing. I, of course, promptly went into hysterics (by which I mean, I started giggling and couldn't stop) while the father opened up every piece of luggage that was supposed to go with us (and mind you, my family does not know the meaning of travelling light).

Possible locations for the passport included the photocopy shop I had visited earlier that evening. The father has a penchant for photocopying everything as many times as possible, and for some reason mine was the only one with no copies having been made. So at 2230 hours, the brother and I dash down to the market, where of course, all the shops were closed. Resourceful person that I am, I called up the cell phone that was listed in front of the neighbouring shop, got the photocopy shop's owner's number, and called him up. He, of course, claimed that he had been in the shop at eight when the entire shop had been searched for some person's missing cell phone and no passport had been seen anywhere.

By the time we got home, my dad had searched through pretty much the whole house with no luck. My hysteria was rapidly reaching a peak when, after some discussion, the father announces that the mother and the brother will proceed with the vacation while we shall stay back and see what can be done. I still don't know who was more shocked - me, at the fact that I wasn't going, or the two of them, considering the only thing they knew about the logistics of the entire trip (which I had planned and arranged) was that it would be somewhere in the aforementioned continent.

So anyway, we dropped them to the airport, and spoke to the airlines, who said that two of us could travel later. We came back home, and went to the market again, with a torch this time. So at two in the night, the father and I are searching the market alleys and carpark to see if I had dropped it somewhere by mistake. No such luck, so we came back home and went off to sleep.

I got up at eight in the morning, and the first thing I did was call up the xerox shop, where the chap who picked up the phone very coolly informed me that of course my passport was with them. As I said at the time, may all the Gods shower curses on that owner for being so clueless about what happens in his shop, and zillions of blessings on the chaps who run the shop for keeping my passport safely.

The airline came through as well, and exactly twenty-four hours after the first half of my family, the father and I were on our way to Austria for what was to be the most accident-filled yet best vacation I've had till date. Although I could've done without the big grin and the bright "So it was at the photocopy shop after all, was it?" I got from the airline lady.

And it's not just me who does these things anyway.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Moonlight

I'm utterly fascinated by the moon tonight.

It's a crescent tonight, which is nice by itself, but tonight it's a completely flat crescent. Crescents are usually at an angle, and this is the first time ever I've ever seen it lying flat.

I believe you could see the outline of the hidden part as well tonight, but by the time it was pointed out to me, we'd reached an area where there was too much light and dust to be able to see it.

I'm still fascinated by its position tonight.

I do love the moon.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

White Drums

For some reason that I have now forgotten, I found myself on this site today.

Now, I have nothing against the site and I'm sure it's a wonderful initiative which will make great contributions to our society. But take a look at their site header, and I quote:
"White Drums first Indian e-news paper by people."
*sigh* Was that really necessary? I mean, they're asking for it, aren't they?

So tell me... What are other "e-news papers" run by? Elephants?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The problem of choice...

Back in the good old Dark Ages, when I was a kid, if you felt like having a packet of chips, things were very simple. You either got the plain salted wafers, or you got the corrugated ones with masala. I never liked the latter, so for me good old Uncle Chips was just perfect.

Then came the wonderful era of privatisation and globalisation and what-not. Frito-Lays came in and squashed Uncle Chips right out of the market (I think they bought it and then squashed it, but I may be wrong on this one). And quite frankly, the initial offerings of Frito-Lays were nothing to write home about. Really.

Then came their American Onion and Cream flavour (or something of that sort; I can never remember the exact name) which I developed quite a fondness for, and is the flavour I always choose to have even today. They've introduced several other flavours since then, most of which I don't like. And they only came out with those corrugated-style chips, which are never nearly as nice as wafers.

Yesterday, we developed a craving for simple potato wafers. Not asking for much you would think. I headed to the market, but what do you know? Not one shop keeps ordinary wafers. You have onion and cream, tomato, masala, mint, even paneer tikka and chicken barbeque for crying out loud. But ordinary potato wafers are just about impossible to find in the market. Sheesh.