Monday, December 28, 2009

Dadu

If there is a person in history I wish I could meet, it is my Dadu, my maternal grandfather. I never had the fortune to meet him, but from everything I've heard about him, he would have been such a wonderful person to know.

It is his 31st death anniversary today. And life goes on.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who would I be?

Who would I be today if my life had taken different turns?

If we had stayed in Chandigarh and not moved to Delhi?

If I hadn't been ill so often as a child?

If I had gone to the US for college and not chosen to stay back?

If I had not insisted on taking up a subject all my near and dear ones advised me against?

If I had followed through with the idealistic dreams I was beginning to have back in college?

If I had taken the year off after college to figure out what I want to do, instead of joining a Master's program I just happened to get into?

Our experiences shape us, make us the person we are. I always wonder who I would've been if things hadn't happened the way they did. Would I be more focused, less negative? Would I be more confident and less insecure about my capabilities? Would I still have friends who love me the way mine do?

I've never really gone after a dream. Life has always happened to me, and I've gone with the flow.

For the first time in a very long time, I'm pursuing a dream. As my near and dear ones have been pointing out to me, it's timed badly, the going will be tough, the chances of things working out are slim, and I also know life won't be any easier if things do work out.

But I also know that if I don't give this thing one shot, I will always wonder "what if". And regret not going for it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thoughts while watching Avatar

Not much to say really, except:

The storyline could easily be mistaken for:
a) A Bollywood movie from the 80s
b) Pocahontas
c) Lion King, even

The visuals were indeed brilliant. And watching it in 2D really wouldn't have had the same impact.

The setting could as easily have been the forests of South America or somewhere similar, rather than a whole new planet.

And finally, something that struck me. What gives humans this unbearable arrogance to assume that they can go wherever they want and make it their own? They've done it through the centuries - the British did it to India and other countries, the Amercians did it to the Native Indians, and in Avatar, they do it to the Na’vi on Pandora. It's really quite stupid, if you ask me.

For another very interesting perspective, you may read this.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I like... (Part 2)

NB: In continuation of this, partly because I've been cribbing way too much on twitter and facebook lately, and partly because I need it.

I like *drumroll*:

Dhaba food. Cases in point: Kake da Hotel (CP), Giani da Dhaba, (Kasauli), and the tea-stall across the street.

The changing weather in my Tree theme on Gmail - especially there's lightning, rain, or snow!

An unexpected compliment.

The startled blush someone gets when I give them an unexpected compliment.

Gol gappas from the neighbourhood market.

Dairy Milk chocolate.

Anything with chocolate, really.

The high of closing a project assignment that was my lead.

The sound of raindrops on the roof and the windows.

Playing Life or Uno with the family or the friends - and winning.

Getting Fevicol all over my hands, and removing it once it dries up.

The first glimpse of the brother at the airport when he comes home for the holidays.

Appreciation from a client.

The satisfaction of a job well done.

Late night conversations.

My dog's reaction when I come back from a trip - a repetition, yes, but it is so heartwarming.

My dog's ability to make the onlooker feel she's never received a decent meal in her life - particularly when there's cake around.

And her tendency to come plonk herself right in front as soon as a camera is pulled out.

Getting a math problem figured out.

The tweets back and forth that make for such fun conversations.

Reunions.

My blanket on a winter night - which is where I'm headed right now.

This was fun! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taking the plunge

This post has been lying in my drafts for the past 5 days because I haven't been sure if I want to post it or not. But I have decided to go for it, because after all, what the hell?

WARNING:
long-drawn emotional venting post ahead. You may choose to leave now.

When you first meet me, depending on whether it is a familiar or unfamiliar setting for me, you will either think that I'm a snob who refuses to speak to anyone, or that I'm loud and obnoxious.

Being an introvert, I don't open up easily, and don't talk too much in situations where I'm not feeling very comfortable. Which, I've learned it the past, gets perceived in a certain way. Once I do open up, however, I am loud and unrestrained in my opinions, of which there are many - as I'm sure you know if you've been following this blog and/or my tweets.

Most people who know me or meet me regularly see this second side of me. And added to this the fact that I'm known to lose my cool quite easily, I suppose you can't blame people for thinking I'm aggressive and confrontational.

The problem is, and which a lot of the people closest to me don't realise, is that when it comes to things that really matter, I'm really not confrontational at all. I'm perfectly willing to get into a fight with the rickshaw-wallah for trying to fleece me, but I didn't scream at my best friend for believing I had lied to her till four years after the event. I'll sulk and throw tantrums over the most irrelevant things my family or friends may do, but not really bring up what's troubling me the most. I'd much rather let a relationship slip away than go to the effort of bringing up what's bothering me out in the open and thrashing it out.

There are currently at least three people - two of whom are extremely important to me - in my life with whom I should probably bring up things rather than simply let the resentment grow. But I haven't, and probably won't, because I simply don't seem to have it in me to lay things on the line when it comes to the really important things in life.

The only spot of sunshine in all of this is that none of these people have even realised that there could potentially be something bothering me; or if they have, they are choosing to be close-mouthed about it as me. And while this suits me, because it allows me to be an escapist for a while longer, it also peeves me that they haven't even noticed.

*sigh* Did I ever mention contradiction was my middle name?

Monday, December 07, 2009

What's in a phrase?

As a rule, I'm not someone who uses foul language. Well yes, I use bloody and hell and damn and several satisfying swear words, and all too frequently at that. But there are certain forms of profanity, which I have simply chosen not to include in my vocabulary, because I've never really felt I need them. I mean, it is so much more fun to call someone a schmuck and watch them become all puzzled while they try to figure out what that means.

At times of extreme irritation with any individual, I tend to tack on a "-and-a-half" to whatever I'm calling them - something I picked up from my friend while i was idle back in school. And at times of sheer out-and-out frustration, I label them a "dash-and-a-half" - and leave it to the listener to fill in the blanks. Juvenile? Perhaps. But it works for me.

In recent months, however, I have started finding comfort in the phrase "Je m'en fous". Loosely translated, for those not familiar with fran├žaise, it means "I don't give a damn." Literally, however, it translates into a line I wouldn't use in my everyday language.

I've always known it's one of those phrases you should be careful about using - our French professor warned us that the very first time she told us about it. But there's something so succinctly expressive about it, that honestly, my dear, je me'n fous.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: I am a Bhopali

Peter Griffin asks us all to declare ourselves Bhopali, to help bring attention to the gas leak tragedy that happened 25 years ago, on the blog he has started about this.

I have no hesitation calling myself a Bhopali, especially since my paternal grandparents were settled in Bhopal - well, Bairagarh - and my uncle still lives there.

As I wrote on his post:
I am indeed a Bhopali.

My mother was 6 months pregnant with me, and my father, based in Lagos, had sent her home to Bhopal to stay with my paternal grandparents till my birth. She refused to stay without him, and in the face of opposition from everyone in the family, went back to Lagos a couple of weeks before the gas leak happened.

I always say I get my stubbornness from my mother, and she always bemoans that fact. But her stubbornness gave me life, and you can't take that away.

Doesn't your heart go out for the scores who weren't that lucky?

(Link via India Uncut)