Friday, December 31, 2010


There were a couple of things that I've been wanting to write about in the past few months but then I kept putting it off because I couldn't think of enough things to write about each of them. So today it occurred to me the best way to get the ideas out of my head would be to just compile those little thoughts together into one post. That way I could write as little about them as I wanted without having strange 5-line posts on my blog. So here goes...

a. It is so hard to BEGIN writing a post. The first few lines never seem to sound impressive & I'm never sure of how much of context to provide or what to say by means of explanation & when to stop. Given my tendency to ramble, that is certainly a concern. Also of concern is how my attention tends to waver in between. Come to think of it, it is hard to begin writing anything!

b. We (the so called 'youth) like to criticise soaps for their drama & unrealistic story lines. We (or maybe just I) are put off by the sobbing wives/daughters-in-law, the feuding families, the inter-familial rivalry, the break-ups, the getting back together, the re-births & the makeovers & post cosmetic surgery formations etc. But, the same fare dished up by reality shows is lapped up? We want the drama, every unbelievable, sickening bit of it so long as some (even though unknown) person can ratify it to be the true story of real people. As an aside, some of those real people come across as unbelievably mentally unstable. So for all our criticism of housewives who religiously tune into soaps, how are we with (with our advanced sense of voyeurism) any different? How's that for hypocrisy?

c. If Politics, Bollywood & Cricket were the top three topics of conversation for the average Indian; sickness would be next on the list. (Actually, even if they were not the favourite topics of conversation, sickness would still be a favourite topic!). And not just sickness of the self but also of our neighbours, friends siblings, parents, grandparents, spouses, in-laws, grand in-laws so on & so forth.

Such conversations typically entail detailed descriptions of the symptoms, methods of diagnosis, the listener's opinions on cures, recounting experiences of other people with similar ailments (usually, by the listener), discussions on the actual cures prescribed by the doctors & recommendations of other doctors who could be consulted.

d. People don't listen to what one says. They assume what the other person is about to say & hear only those parts that fall in line with their assumptions. And this whole complex process of guessing & 'hearing' is somehow accomplished in a fraction of a second!?!

That sort of rounds up things I can think of now... So that's 'The End' for this post now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Free Falling...

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… that you really are strong, and you really do have worth.” ~Veronica A. Shoffstall

Came across this quote on some one's Facebook page a while back. The quote is quite a 'feel-good' one but it was that one line about accepting defeats with the grace of an adult & not the grief of a child that I found resonance in & it's that one line that's been going on in my head which led to a number of other thoughts- Not connected but certainly related.

Firstly, the reason the line stuck was because I've been getting a lot of flak for behaving like a child at times. When I look at my actions or thoughts, it IS true & despite all my attempts to curb such responses & think rationally, my instinctive reactions are irrational. I'd rather react than understand, sulk than reason, live in denial than make a change, hide than confront.

Secondly, since reading this quote, there were some (separate) conversations with friends that got me thinking... How is it that the basic story in people's lives are the same? Our reaction to grief & disappointment is the same... We question our self worth!

"Why is this happening to me?"
"What am I lacking?"
"Why am I so imperfect?"
"Why do I make the same mistakes twice over?"
"Maybe, I deserve this..."
"Maybe everyhting happens for a reason..."
"Maybe there's something better in store..."

And that's the funny thing... We all think we're inferior to the rest of the world. So even though we might feel really crappy & look at others & envy their happiness, the truth is that everyone is just as vulnerable to being in the dumps & feeling like they lack something in them.

I'm realizing that women & relationships always seem to have the same outcome irrespective of the woman! Maybe it even applies to the men, but I don't know enough of that to comment.

Take any kind of woman... She could be the hopelessly romantic, thinks-with-the-heart, homely kinds or the brazen, no-nonsense, thinks-with-her-head kinds or she could be the anywhere- in-between kinds. Along comes a guy, and the differences in the kinds blur. Then there's just one kind: the woman in love kinds! And then, there comes a heartbreak... the differences blur again. Then again there's just one kind: The heart-broken woman who deals with insecurities. Wonders why her. Wonders about her (mostly, imagined) shortcomings. Wonders if she'd ever have her shot at true, long lasting love. And then, there are the friends for reassurance. And there is the little speech they give about how to forget & move on. How to love oneself & give our own selves priority & that love would follow (Much like the quote above, love yourself & grow your own garden of flowers rather than waiting for someone to love you & get you the flowers)

I'm not trying to sound cynical or mock anything or anyone here. However, what is catching my interest here is that we (women) all feel singular in our grief. When our heart breaks, we feel like we're bearing the brunt of the worst. But... the irony of it all is that somehow or the other all our lives are similar, our grieving process is the same, our insecurities are the same, our reassurances are the same & our faith & hope is also the same.

I guess the best is to wait till we've grown up some more & can look back & smile wisely, fondly (maybe, even ruefully) & nostalgically at what passed. Until then, I guess we keep going on & on, repeating our mistakes over & over again. Maybe, our mistakes don't teach us to be perfect. Maybe, they just teach us to be less imperfect the next time round...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Life. Some City.

It's a coincidence but over the past few weeks, I've had a lot of people ask me the same question in different ways. How do I like living in Delhi, now that it's been a little over than a year? My answer is usually also different variants of the same... I'm used to it here & am not really looking to change.

To this, people who've been living in Delhi proudly murmur something about how people tend to fall in love with Delhi or how it's hard to leave Delhi once you've been here (Coincidentally, that's exactly what people living in Bombay say about Bombay).

People who don't live in Delhi usually berate me about being lazy & say Bombay is a much nicer place to be in.

I hear both sides with the same blankness. The fact of the matter is that I don't care about the place. For me, one is as good as the other.

I don't like Delhi for the heat & hot-headedness/misplaced aggression. I don't like Bombay for the fact that I feel like a rat in a horde of rats (what's the name for a group of rats anyway?) running helter-skelter to make space in a crowded city & for the monsoon-induced floods.

I like Delhi for the laid-backness & space. I like Bombay for the convenience, liveliness at odd hours & the beach by the night.

I also like Chennai for the beach; Ahmedabad for its budding city nature, mango juice at the red stalls & street food; Calcutta for it's street food; Hyderabad for Necklace Road & the lake; Munger for not being a city; Manipal for being over-run by students; Bangalore for the weather; Pondicherry for looking like a small colonial colony, etc etc...

And that's the point I'm trying to make. Each city has its own merits & demerits. When I left Chennai, I felt I had grown attached to the place. Now when I go back, it doesn't feel so familiar & welcome anymore. The point being that I am not attached to places... I'm attached to my life there. For me a city grows around the time I've spent there & the life I've lived there and not the other way around.

So what my previously stated attachments boil down to is that I like Bombay for my internship period. I also like Chennai for having lived there for a majority of my life; Ahmedabad for my time at MICA; Calcutta for it's street food (yes, still!) & for visits to my maternal family; Hyderabad for visits to my paternal family; Munger for spending 6 years of my life; Manipal for a week-long trip in Pooja's hostel room; Bangalore for hiding with Guinea inside a store because we saw a teacher of ours across the road (after having bunked a retreat at college with some cock & bull story); Pondicherry for a lovely drive with parents, etc etc...

Likewise for Delhi. I like it here for the friends I have, for the comfort of a home & for familiarity. But all of it could easily be recreated in a different place. Hence, I can't find myself connecting with people who feel almost patriotic towards the cities they've grown up in. What I can connect to are shared memories & reminiscing about the times gone.

Moving around is nice to get a feel a new things. However, self-initiating change isn't so nice. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Below is something that my Mom recently wrote (after a really long hiatus). I really liked it and so am putting it up.

Power is yours if you let it go
If you let it show
If you let it flow…
Just give it a start
With all of your heart
Give it your best shot
And it will never part
You've got the power

Did is a word of achievement
Won't is a word of retreat
Might is a word of bereavement
Can't is a word of defeat
Ought is a word of duty
Try is a word of the hour
Will is a word of beauty


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Little Things Along The Way...

I'm not sure what this post will turn out to be, but when I started it, it was with the intention of trying to pen down the year that went by and the little things I learnt along the way...

Nothing is constant. Not circumstances. Not options. Not people. Not choices. Not friends. Not feelings. Not even change. They say "Death is the only constant".

Emotions can be treacherous... They betray even the best of intentions.

Going with the flow, instead of fighting it, has brought its share of advantages.

Restlessness is beginning to become second nature.

Re-discovered old friends who were there when needed. Some old friends became better friends. Some friends I began to understand better. Some began to understand me better. Some I've stopped trying to understand. Some grew distant. And some new-found friends felt like old friends.

Learnt from a friend to appreciate that I was indeed lucky to have parents like mine. Parents, whose presence, has allowed me to experiment with choices which may or may not be the best, but which allow me the opportunity to learn from them on my own terms. Thank you S. for that conversation a long time back and thank you Pa & Ma for letting me learn without feeling pressurised to show results.

It takes a lot of humility to try changing things. This I learnt from my sister who's shown a maturity far beyond her age in allowing things to affect her and then reacting upon them in a publicly visible way instead of pretending to be a tough cookie and not a 'sentimental fool.'

It is not important to know things. It is more important that people understand and know what you know. A friend recently pointed out that he wouldn't read what I'd written in my blog because he couldn't understand it. Though, the fact that he didn't seem to want to make the effort to read what I'd written did annoy me initially, his criticism was completely valid.

The amount of time you've known a person is not proportional to how well you know him/her.

People are difficult to understand. Men think women are complicated. Women would love a manual on how to understand men. Older people wish youngsters had their priorities more sorted. Youngsters wish older people would empathise more. Bosses think their juniors are shirking. Subordinates think their bosses are interfering... In short, mayhem!

Every second person can write. Every third wants to do their own thing (professionally) and among them, every second person wants to open a restaurant/bistro/cafe. :P
[Disclaimer: The statistics are not accurate, but to me they seem to be... :) ]

Nobody wants to be the first or the last... It seems to be the season of weddings now and this certainly is on my mind as much as it is on my friends'.

Hard as we may try, there are some mistakes that we cannot help but repeat.

When one has lost touch with a friend, it may not be because either has grown apart from the other. It may just be that both don't know how to break the silence beause they're afraid of how the other would react or what to expect. Each one would rather the other took the first step.

And finally, summing up with words from a song that's playing on the radio now, as I write...

"Old enough to look back at my mistakes
Young enough to look at my future and like what I see..."