Monday, December 28, 2009

The end and a new Beginning.

2 lost cellphones. one exams. one new niece. 4 more kilos. one pair of killer strappy black heels.
one more birthday. one almost wedding.3 terrorists. one aniversary. moving homes. brother beginning junior college. two haircuts. a million bruises and scrapes. one new watch. two exams. 3 more inches of hair. one boyfriend. 3 married friends. 2 pregnant ones. photo in paper. the beginning of Indiahelps. my first 'own' saree. 3 injections, a million spasmobars. one friend lost forever. Learning. Yearning. Earning. one dance class. 9 months in the new home. wasted gym membership. one dent 0n car. a million hours of studying, another million applying. 8 new books. my first stocks. one painful wart treatment. one bad fight. one sorry.

2010 here I come. I hope its happy. For all of us.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Riding the Elephant...

Title derived from Shashi Tharoors - The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone. (Currently reading)

I'm in an enamored phase - with my country. India. Call it the rub off effect of the two back to back books I just read - 'We are like that only' - Rama Bijapurkar and 'The elephant the tiger and the cellphone'. While the former turned out to be a light read given the industry I work in, the latter was a wonderful experience with its sophisticated language, insightful details and substantiated opinions. Shashi Tharoor is an intelligent man, one Ive grown to respect through the years.

Ive begun understanding Why we are like that only! from a few culturally rooted customs in India which our parents pass down to us. Surely we are a confusing lot, the really rich and the not so rich, the middle class and its upper and lower, the have some's and the have not's. But one things for certain -- India is represented in its plurality, its heterogeneity and the intertwining of cultures, religions, languages and the juxtaposition of classes. Tharoor says The Spanish speak Spanish, French speak French and Indians speak Marathi, Bengali, Gujarathi, Parsi, Sindhi and so on. So what defines brand India?

We know that the purpose of a brand remains the ability to spontaneously associate values, images and differentiators to a product offering. Say Life Insurance, and your likely to say LIC or say LIC and your likely to think trust, stability and security. Either way, your associating a brand with a category or vice versa. Unfortunately, think of brand India and we're likely to come up with myriad answers - foreigners are likely to conjure images of people squatting on public places, poverty drizzled all over the cityscape while Indians are likely to think of a more westernized answer - the IT/BPO rise of a new generation, Slumdog Millionaire etc.

India's getting richer -- but where is it going? We're certainly not investing in stocks or mutual funds. They're too risky a proposition for our conservative liking. The number of billionaires in India nearly doubled to 52 in 2009 and their combined net worth reached $276 billion, or a quarter of the country's GDP, the India Rich List published by Forbes magazine revealed. Not much of this money's going out of India though, most are settled within the country itself.

As we move into another year -- this one hopeful of a recovering economy, hesitant to exult much too early until results are backed up with a tremendous final quarter. Things do look good on the financial front though - the GDP forcecast exceeded expectations and stocks have slowly begun giving positive returns as well. Retail Investors had many opportunities of rallies and short term gains with a see-sawing index. A very senior person at a Broking firm I once presented to once told me "We guy get scared when the sensex plateaus - its when there are ups and downs that we're really geared up" Well, he sure had plenty opportunities this year.

I want to see reform in 2010. Delivery of promises. Burial of Ajmal Kasab. Burning to death actually. I want to see the end of the Trial and want my city to finally have its peace.

I want my country not to back down at Copenhagen in the future -- maintain its resolve on issues that are important. I want India to rise to the questions that surround its very existence - the success or failure of democracy, the globalization of its civilization and the threats to Indians from within India itself. I want this bird of gold*, to take flight.

(*bird of gold - name borrowed from Mc. Kinsey Global Institute report 2008)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mc Dreamy? More like Mc Dorky

I spent a few minutes trying to caption the title of this post appropriately. However, there seems no word to describe this feeling of insignificant little bittersweet teeny-tiny victory, this slightly nasty, very glorious, surprising exciting feeling.

There just isnt a word to describe how you feel when you see a boy you had a big crush on as a kid, a boy who you thought you will end up marrying (but did'nt of course because you well err umm, never spoke) GO BALD!!!

This is sweeter because this boy never spoke with you much because you were too much of a tomboy and beat him at basketball and flirted with that little punt in the mini.

I feel like prancing about in all my hotness and saying TAKE THAT :D

Boy, it feels good to be a little naughty sometimes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Living in an Uptown World

I just got back from Pune recently. Had gone to take a test to prove my proficiency in English. Could I not have sent them my blog link I wondered? But then that’s as good as wanting to send a link to your facebook profile to demonstrate personality facets. Come to think of it, it does seem rather efficient to do no?

Pune gave me what Mumbai hasn’t in many years... A cold winter morning. To think that I was dropped to the station in the biting cold in a two wheeler that only served to intensify the chattering of teeth, is strangely a delicious thought. It was great fun. Of course, being a typical low immunity Mumbaikar I was wrapped in ONLY about 4 layers of clothes and socks. The plurality of weather in the same day – the chilly wind meets mid afternoon sun makes one want to dance between shadows and sun. And this is only Pune, a few hundred kilometres from Mumbai. I remember my Delhi stint as a child – thats where the real winters are.

I have relatives in Pune, the closest to Mumbai. My folks are not from this city, and we moved here on dads posting and have been here ever since. Relatives interaction was restricted to vacations and there has little or no influence of extended family in my life. No societal pressure, no obligations whatsoever. Its strange then, that I envy friends who envy me. Friends who have large circles of family scattered around them in the city they live, often in the same buildings. Friends whose families all gather on occasions for gregarious parties, whose cousins are roughly the same age and who keep each other’s secrets, whose extended families are a wonderful, secure safety net, whose presence is redolent of a nourishing growing up and a symbiotic life.

Sometimes I don’t envy my privacy, the distance from family you meet once in 2-3 years, the family who doesn’t know your life and your formative years. I find myself in an extremely difficult conundrum – my parents, and therefore me have extremely modest backgrounds, as do most children of the post liberalization era. My life and identity with my extended family I feel, is another side of me, a mask I don when I’m around them. From not going out partying to when my granny’s visiting to not being vocal about how much time I exactly spend outside my house, how much money Id spend on apparel or a cocktail I like (or that I like cocktails, for that matter)its all a careful composition of the Serendipity that they’d expect from a branch of the family tree. Not to sound as though I have a very flashy lifestyle or that Im a social butterfly with her daily dose of cosmo’s, but I am a Mumbai girl after all – who likes her coffee shops, shoes, clothes, bags and shades. I almost fear that If I were to completely be me in my natural avatar, they wouldn’t associate with the external me. The congruence in core values among us, however is never an act or an enhancement, the fruit never falls far from the tree after all.

A lot of people my age in today’s day and age have grown up in an India of the free economy and are the post liberalisation generation (well almost, Im not THAT old), we have a multitude of opportunities for education, career, we have brands spoiling us silly, companies paying us more at a younger age, we’re not afraid of consumption – in fact we live by it. In short, we’ve not seen the frugal, thrifty side of India. The one our parents grew up in. The one my parents and relatives still live in. Luckily my parents have found a wonderful middle ground of modernity and traditionalism and embraced and imbibed it into our lives. They grew out of their small town roots and suffused all restricting thoughts and beliefs and have grown to be parents of the new India, striking a harmonious balance between luxuries accorded to us and other do’s and dont’s.

A major metro and small(er) town upbringing also plays its part in augmenting in dissimilar backdrops and hence differing attitudes. Again, not to say that I have differences with my EF, we get along just fine, its the feeling of not being as integrated into one another’s lives that I refer to here.

When we were planning my wedding a thought of how my metro crowd and my relatives would gel together would keep cropping up. A distinct difference between can be noticed even by the most ignorant of people – the affluence of the metro-folk and the modesty of the smaller-town folk. How the confluence of the two would play out at my wedding would play on my mind. Both would, in their right would enjoy the wedding I know, but how would cousins who’re used to speaking the native tongue most often gel with my friends with their articulate English? Minor inconsistencies and major ranting, I realize. But what’s on my mind is on my mind right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

26/11 - You Heard My story, now hear his.

Last year, on the 26th Of November, My Dad walked into the Trident after hearing of some 'random bomb blast' in the Lobby. We didnt know what was happening as the media had reported stories ranging from Shiv Sena to local gangs to what not. We werent strangers to Hostile situations. 26/11 was certainly the worst, but not the first time My dads put his life on the line in the Call of Duty.

Little did we know what he was getting into.
You Heard my story - Now Hear His. My Dad, My hero.
(click on picture for embedded video)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Serendipity of 10 years ago

Wo. 26 in a months time? That's huge! Thats the age you made fun of when you were 16, thinking its over the hill. Your right about that though, what follows 26 is'nt very pretty. 27-blabla-30!

Your doing ok though, your kind of taking the round-about route for everything. For instance, remember you wanted to take up journalism, and then changed your mind and thought Medicine was your true calling? You ended up taking Engineering instead after you realized you pretty much pass out at the sight of blood. You did deal with the compassion you wanted to channelise into medicine in a different way though, you'll see. After 4 rigorous and testing years, Your not working in an engineering related job though. Your too fiery to be holed up in an IT/Software job. The Archer (Saggitarian) instincts in you meant you somehow found your way into a stream which you did'nt know of until you took it up. But it does give you a rush, Presenting to an audience of Senior Professionals, knowing what your doing counts for something gives you that adrenaline rush you love.

Oh, btw, Abhi and you didn't work out. Neither did most people you thought would. I cant believe you thought everyone who dated one year and above were serious enough to get married. Were you that Naive? Of course you were! You wanted to 'save up' for your husband, thinking of words such as purity, virginity and steadfast love were reasons enough. Well, hang on you did. Not that it matters in today's world anyway.

You know that guy who you were introduced to, who you though was a nerd-bomber cause he'd be studying in the library all time in the 11th standard when the rest of the world was bunking and having fun? That guy you barely even said hi to, and who wore shorts with socks and floaters just like you and that's the only thing other than his dimple you noticed about him? He grew to be one of your bestest friends, the guy you almost married, and then the friend you miss. Life sure is strange.

Do you remember being every body's buddy, the 'cute' one, but never 'sexy', and secretly wishing sometimes, maybe sometimes its the other way round? Do you remember your baggy trousers, short boyish hair, careless attitude and gruff unpolished tomboyishness? That you thought you'll always be the 'boy' in the group, the one whose always slapped around on the back and challenged to a basketball game? That sometimes you wished you had long pretty hair and made a guys head turn as you walked into a room? I got news for you. Your hair grew out, and you lost weight and boy did you make some heads turn. It was like a makeover story gone right. Well, almost. You still guffaw and burst into peals of unconfined unabashed laughter when you feel like it and vociferously let your opinion be known. A Leopard cant change its spots?


Monday, November 9, 2009

A Reality Check?

Was well overdue. I very excitedly exclaimed my new found poker and teen patti abilities on the facebook world, fueled by a recent winning spurt on Diwali day. 'Beginners luck shigginers luck' I told myself, 'you won by sheer talent woman'. Now a person like me dismissing beginners luck or any kind of luck is extremely justified given the strokes of (un)luckiness Im usually thick in the midst of. You know the person who waits in line for an hour to reach the ticket window and it shuts just when its her turn? Or the person who will make 7 trips to a government office, each time rejected for different missing documents, or the person who always plays Housie or cards and never wins? That's me!

[To be fair, I did win 5 bottles of citra in kids housie one time when i was 10, and another time i won a pair of plastic cockroaches for my rendition of a brilliant Hindi poem. (I thought they liked it?)] Heck, I was Memory game champ in Delhi and I STILL never won birthday party memory games - you know the one with the tray covered with 10 items and you have a minute to look at them and recollect? My all-Delhi champ status suffered a heavy bruising by these childish birthday party games. Its like Miss India losing in a Miss Lokhandwalla competition or something. [well, not exactly but you get my point.]

So, the point being that My initial assumption of acquisition of supreme poker playing skills were trashed (rather badly) when I cleaned out my first bank in a matter of 20 minutes. Clearly playing at 20 blind is an expensive affair with pots reaching the magnitude of 1500 rs in no time. I stared wistfully at my chips, long gone, and doing the rounds in other peoples kitty. Fortunately I lacked the courage of taking another bank immediately, choosing instead to be a spectator for the last two hours of the game. phew.

Must watch This video - Gus Hansen, known to be a reckless Poker player, and one of the highest poker pots in the history of the game. I feel ashamed missing my 500 bucks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unsaid but heard

Its like I can almost FEEL my blog glaring at me, angrily shunning typed words and loving caresses on the keyboards with arrogance. 'Check the number of drafts you have', I feel as though its saying back to me. 'I thought we were friends!'
Im here now, and thats what matters, Im saying. No?
'But Your the unquestioning, non judgemental part of my life!' I hear myself saying and then I do a double think. Is it really the case? Am I really in a place (or link) which is unquestioning and non judgemental? Am I putting myself out there for people I dont want to find out about me to know all about my life?
'You thought about changing the link, dint you?' My blog asks me, in disbelief. Im almost afraid to answer.

I don't know why Ive been away. Its not as though things have been tremendously bad, or gloriously blissful. They sort of evened themselves out. A great day, followed by a terrible one, followed by a mellowness of sorts. I still felt the need to keep to myself, to not give off myself and hang on tight to myself.

I have a bunch of questions to ask and things to say and thoughts to unload. To be continued...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You know your not the only one...

Whose Losing track of time when your friend calls you excitedly, half asleep and wishes you
"Happy birthday!" when its a month away, assuming its December.

I feel better already!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All you need

.....To cheer up sometimes is Chaai, cheesecake and an old friend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Its easy to tell the months I had the most work from the frequency of blog posts, in inverse proportion. More the work --> fewer the blog posts. A cursory glance at the archives now tells me that last time this year, work began dwindling slowly, but surely, reaching an all time low nearing the first quarter of the year (J-F-M) and slowly building up again. August has been the busiest month so far, apparently. Well, I can credit that to the exam that I took which completely devoured my waking hours.

Right now is a strange state of existence. Euphoric markets, Burgeoning Gold prices and the overall positivity in a revival has overtaken the conservative and cynical mindset that had crept in. Good news is everywhere, the unemployment level in the US, where it all started is looking up, growth ratios are rising and inflation is finally over the negative level. Now is the turn of the people who missed the bus to lament. I'm already hearing the 'Damn, I shouldve invested in the stock market in March (it was at 8,000 - the lowest since the last few years)' or 'I should've looked at buying a house the rates are bound to increase at some point' (they already have). Shoulda coulda woulda.

It started with the optimists who had invested at 21k levels going near bankrupt, then came the smart Alec's who stocked up even at 8k levels and didn't let market sentiment cloud their judgement, and now finally the last kind, the "I shoulda's". I'm of the opinion that weigh the pros and cons one must, but at the end of the day also have a heart for a little win-lose situation, else it is better to stick to safer (low return) investments for the faint hearted.

Citing my own example, I took a huge risk by investing a significant amount of money right before counting day [declaration of elections]- a decision that was critiqued by many. However given that I had a balanced portfolio with a backup safety net well in place, I went ahead and took the risk. Turned out well in my favor (sensex has grown 5000 points since) but I can see the difference in the way I'm handling my account. The initial boldness, the quick decisions and snap actions have given way to reserved deliberation, more informed decisions and a more thought out strategy.

I wonder whats in store, some people assure me a correction is on its way. Book profits now and buy again on dips, I'm told. But then again, this coming from the same people who told me to wait till after the election results since the sensex tanking was but a certainty then. Others say the only way now is UP. Buy and Hold is their mantra. I, on the other hand am caught on a fence between both. I'm not a fan of getting caught up in short lived market sentiment and riding the wave of exhilaration unless its backed by strong fundamentals fueling the growth, and neither a fan of being far too conservative and losing the opportunity in the process.

I'm a DIY (Do -it-yourself) girl. I've navigated investments and the unknown territories of life with enthusiastic fervour and optimistic anticipation. I've taken responsibilities for my mistakes and (more than enough) credit for my good decisions (which is to say I've relentless made sure they remain top-of-mind among my people). I've pored over my ITR's and understood long and short forms in my account documents. I enjoy the complete command over my finances and personal life, both. Which is why you can imagine how unsettled I feel when I'm unsure what to do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You'd think one would get enough of losing one phone a year. And then for some reason, you feel the need to outdo your expectations and lose another one. In-less-than-a-year. Although there were near-misses many times in the past year. Remember this guide? Turns out, it doesn't work if you drop your phone in a parking lot. (Who would've thought eh?)

I've come to believe that I need to staple my belongings on my person in order to retain them. How else can I explain losing the one item i check for furiously every fifteen mins in a wildly neurotic fashion? Incredibly upset doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right about now.

Every time I figure out a way of making sure I don't lose it in a moving vehicle or a restaurant, a new explored territory (e.g. parking lot) takes me by surprise, or the item rotates (remember this?) Among the many mysteries that engulf my everyday life are why I'm insistent on losing important, expensive and impossible to recover things. Why cant I just lose simple things like hair clips and pens. (Err No, wait scrap that, I do those already).

After reading this, I can no longer claim to be 'fairly responsible', and the boy has taken it upon himself as one of his key 'to-do' things to remind me of every few hours (minutes). I'm still trying to figure out suitable come-backs as currently, I have nothing that can fly. Any help in this department will be greatly appreciated via honourable mentions on blog and oodles and oodles of free publicity and increased blog hits. (I'll tell all 4 people who read this blog to visit yours).

To add to my already morose mood, Patrick Swazye passed away. He was one of my first crushes (Not counting Nick Carter of the backstreet boys uggh) and had a goosebumps inducing, flip-flop stimulating, voice and smile. The scene where he runs his finger down her hand? Can picture it with my eyes open. Patrick, for being the first man who made me want to dance with a boy *like that* and for being a complete dreamboat, You will be missed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Fugly Truth

Watch this. For a Fun filled 2 hours something and an inside on what Kaminas Men actually are (Read: Pretend to be).

Having been movie-less for the past two months on account of an extremely packed schedule, I finally broke the monotony with a regrettable experience watching Life Partner which frustrated me even more than I was to begin with. Enough said.

The Ugly truth caters to both sexes. For the Men, it serves a generous sprinkling of sexist jokes mostly all referring to the fact that Men like two things in a woman (I leave this to your imagination, though I will hint that they're both referring to two very prominent features of a woman's anatomy) lol. Gerard Butler pulls off being a typical Male Chauvinist with the arrogance of a suave Ladies man with a side order of adoring Uncle. A typical girls fantasy - A Bad guy gone good :D I know I DIG the kind.

For the ladies, there are generous doses of Eric Winters and Gerard Butler who fit into the Rom-com mode fantastically, though for me, he'll always be King Leonidas. (h-a-w-t). Katherine Heigl fits the role perfectly, a causal sexy smart and sophisticated virginal woman. Her metamorphosis into a more out-there sexy and Gerard Butlers tips for attracting men are a riot. 'Women should have longer hair', he says, 'since men like to have something to hold onto other than a woman's arse'. The movie is full of gems of wisdom such as this.

I think most women would identify with Katherine's character - the ones who believe the right guy is out there. Most men would also identify with Gerard - the ones who believe that Lust is easier to obtain than Love and also not so hard on the knees. But most of all, we all identify with the dilemma, of being completely swept away by what your feeling, when you least expected it.
Yes, the truth as Gerard finds out, is really out there. And sometimes, its pretty. Very pretty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Bloggers block? Hellyeah.

Either Life isn't interesting enough or I'm way too busy. Fortunately its the second one this time around. I cant imagine my life being uninteresting with the chaos that its always neatly ensconced in :D

Plenty things happening though, My (little?) brothers begun (the same) junior college (as me) and its induced major bouts of nostalgia. Do they serve the same naram sada dosa? Is the same Chinese Aunty (err, Catholic Aunty who served Chinese food during lunch) there? Did the Principal use the 'Even our dustbins are pretty' phrase during this years induction as well (he did for the 2 years we were attending). Is the same South Indian Math teacher still teaching? (The answer to this was derived from a short mimicry of her expanding the expression - (m+n)^2 = eyum esquaya plus yunn esquaya the WHOLE esquayaa) p.s. no offence intended at all, she was a sweetheart. and yes, she's still there)

Given that he's attending college and has now become image conscious, my brothers taken it upon himself to look as old and mature as possible. This he feels, is best accomplished by sporting a rough-hazy-puberty-ish moustache (?) and stubble (?) as well as a rough matty, uncombed (just out of bed, is it called?) look. My mother, on the other hand is horrified at this blatant disregard for hygiene and insists he shave it off and comb his hair. (More like tame his hair). He has (and I say this in the most affectionate of tones) a mane of sharp pointy angry gruff hair that have clung to his scalp so well that I'm positive his scalp receives little or no sunshine under the foliage. I stay out of this discourse as it is in my best interest to have both like me. Which basically means I agree with both, individually in the absence of the other.

Also, much progress seems to have been made on the *ahem* ladies front. What started off as a class full of shy adolescents, has now formed into over 50 facebook friends in a few days and the mega expansion of phone numbers. Since he's lost two phone's already, currently he's on penalty time and phone-less. He was relegated to sharing my mom's phone since the past few days. In an amusing turn of events, the names that were initially labelled completely and corectly have all been condensed into alphabets. Namrata is now N, Aditya is A and Aditi is Ai :D

I'm glad though, I always wanted my brother to be a charming young man and I'm pleased (as punch?!) to see him becoming a fine young man, youthful, naughty, witty and smart.

Speaking of Nostalgia, and age 16. Its amusing to see that whenever he's talking to a boy on the phone, its in a loud, boisterous fashion, whereas if its a girl, you can barely hear his voice even if your seated by his side. Reminiscent of my childhood calls when Akshay's used to be Akruti's, Rahuls used to be Radhika's and Sahil's - Sarikas or any other girls name closest to it, for the purpose of the call :D

He's also taken to wearing smart-Alec t-shirts with slogans on them like 'If found please return to bar' and 'Beer is where the home is' and other alcohol related wisecracks, gelling his hair and generally a heightened sense of appearance. What good does it do I keep thinking, when 10 years later, your going to realize how horrible you looked at that age. I have plenty boycut-shorts and floaters-braces on teeth photos that I cringe when I look at. There's one picture of me in a sweatshirt (Chicago Bulls baby), shorts, socks and Floaters. Arghh. Someones autographed it asking me whether i was feeling hot or cold :S omg. yikes.

Memories are like a breath of fresh air, they just engulf you with their refulgent glow, enthuse you with happy pasts and suffuse your aura with pleasing hues. My favorite 'pick-me-up'

(p.s Mumbaikars will be familiar with the full form of the title of the post)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Charade Parade

Its been a while, I know. But I allow myself the luxury sometimes, of slipping into mindless emptiness or self preservation without splashing my feelings all over the Internet and the phone, of drifting away into a land where there's just me. We all should. Its liberating, (to say the least) to live within the walls of your own confinement, free from boundaries yet bound by your solitude. Its therapeutic too, a complete detoxification of all thoughts and feelings re-lived and rekindled, a dialysis of thoughts where I think the things I put away and don't think about, confront fears I assume wont happen to me, refresh my present and envisage my future and in short, just re-know me.

Its been a rough couple weeks. A pattern, as always, a domino effect of things just all coming together at once which sets me back a little bit, overwhelmed with the magnitude, awed by the challenges to be overcome. It always comes together, all at once. If only I carefully heeded M. Scott Pecks advice - 'Life is supposed to be hard', he says, 'I don't know why people assume it isnt!'

A bit of growing up has been accomplished in the past few weeks. Some startling conversations with a few loved ones set me back emotionally considerably, while at the same time, the magnitude of respect I have in me, for those individuals, multiplying manifold.

Nothing is as it seems. Life is led with a hidden interconnected web of underlying relationships, moments, tangential emotions and most of all, superficial masks, Underneath which lies the real deal, the whole enchilada. Some people, such as I, wear their hearts on their sleeves. For such people, masks are the equivalent of nothingness. Every emotion and agenda displayed clearly on body language and faces. Life is clearly demarcated into crests and troughs, all dealt with at an unsteady pace, but for all to know.

Most people wear masks, projecting selective profiling information that would lead you to believe exactly what they want you to believe. A happy marriage, or an enviable relationship perhaps? Both can be had by clever manipulation of stories and fancy adjectives by the willing and the capable. The real story could be the converse of what you are given to believe. More often than not, this manipulation is often for themselves, rather than a third person. They want to believe he loves them, or that they have a happy marriage, or that they have a great job and hence project only information that portrays the same. While this could be a great way of self motivation and positive therapy (You cant run away from all your problems, or cut off people at the drop of a hat), this could lead to serious repercussions. This person could live in his or her fantasy, convinced the play he or shes leading is, in fact the reality of his or her life. Any person who would speak otherwise or see the truth in another light, would then, naturally be deemed to be lying, or wrong, or hurtful.

There's another kind too, The kind who are not riddled by disillusion, well aware of the inconsistencies of their life, who lead it with quiet dignity and contained anguish. I recently discovered someone whose so so close to me leading a life I never imagined her to, and taken aback by her strength, perseverance and grit. She overcame her weakness, confronted her vulnerabilities and is moving on with her life with the gusto of a naive young untainted child. She inspires me, and that conversation with her changed a part of me, forever. Never give of yourself completely to anyone, she said, holding my hand in hers, shaking from grit and silent despair. I wont I promised her, and I know Ill have to do so. I will.

We've all heard about the story of the Jackal (or was it the wolf) and sour grapes. It applies to us more than we think. Most often the things we joke about or claim we don't want, are in fact, the few things that we want the MOST. We're just not ready to accept it. I find however, that the minute I say 'I want something' its easier for me to work towards it rather than going in the converse direction. After all, We are not what Life makes of us, life is what WE make of it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How do you know?

Everyone around me is either taking the plunge, about to take it, or obsessing about taking it. How do you know when he's the one? How do you know if She's the one? One life is all we've got... how do we understand whose the best person to share it with, to be witness to our ups and downs. There are no right answers - only perspectives.

Having been through a fair share of 'I think its him' and 'Oh god NO's' I'm more certain of what I don't want - than what I actually do want. Ive turned from a girl easily influenced by Romantic Comedies who identified with all the heartbroken leading ladies except for the last bit when they're swept by the man of their dreams (When that part came on, I'd cry).... to one who knows Real life is more subdued, there's no background music and sometimes what isn't said, but felt - is prettier than a romantic line from a love song...

A girlfriend almost in a relationship with someone did background checks on his family and standard of living etc.. this was purely genuine protecting herself - before she got into something she dint have a clue about. A good mix of rational thinking in love. I wholly agreed with her decision, but at the same time thought back to the time A happened. I went along with the feeling in my heart and just let go. I have not met his parents yet, and am not willing to do so until my parents come around (They haven't yet). Here i realized how my claims of being more rational and realistic than a few years ago got rubbished in an instant. Somehow love for me has always been something I cant mix procedures with, But I see how important it is. I do.

I want to be married to a man who balances me... who I can talk nineteen to a dozen with, but whom I can also be silent with -- content with the moment, and his being, comforted by his Aura, silenced by his strength and rejuvenated with his presence... Less than perfect is perfect. Exactly what I want. I dont want to wonder if A is the one, imagine a wedding and a 'beyond'. I want to KNOW.

So how do you know? Will you know when you have a fight all day but the minute you feel slightly sick he's forgotten that it was your fault to begin with? Or that the first person you want to call when your happy or your sad is him? Or that you love how he treats your kid brother? Or how he doesnt say the perfect things all the time, but when he does say somethign nice your day is made? Maybe. Maybe not.

In a way Im tired of not knowing. I want my life to move on, I want to unveil 'him', that person whose mine all mine. I want to be proposed to, and have a ring on my finger and belong to someone. I want to add another name to mine and have a ridiculously long and crazy mixed breed surname, and have a home and decide what colour tiles my bathroom will have. Give in, completely - mind and body and know what its like. Finding out what its like to go home to someone and lie down next to someone and wake up next to him and know he's yours.

Comeone life, get a move on!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two Years and Writing...

We turned two yesterday. Happy birthday to us, Nomad!

2 years, one steady job, one massive heartbreak, 4 extra kgs, 2 lesser piercings, 5 inches of longer hair later, here I am. Im not sure if Im back at square one, or far from it. Im still in pursuit of that higher education, insistent on a top notch school, still not happy with that extra inch here and there, still hoping that the boy who holds my heart is the one, still hoping, still pursuing all these dreams that 2 years ago I thought I would be living now.

It feels like nothing's changed, yet so different Im speed dialing a few different people now, Im seated in and around colleagues none of who were around when I joined, Im living in a new home yet Im going old-homewards every weekend...

This blog is a part of me, piece by piece put together, sugarcoating the upsets and livening up the bright spots in my life... and Im glad Im still at it, two years and writing. Unlike most other hobbies that come and go, have sharp crests and troughs, this one has been relatively stable. I feel as though I went through so many things here, and got so much support during 26/11, the Indiahelps venture, the other random incosistansies of life.

I'd been meaning to do so since a long time... Nomad I love ya! For your support, love, warm hugs and enthusiasm for any and every plan. For coming over to my house this birthday, for the tears you cried for me, for the feeling that I can tell you anything at all and you wont judge me, for being fun and really really cute, for loving shopping and cheecakes and brownies as much as I do and for happening to me when I needed a bright spot in life. You happened at the right time, and I wish you were still at the same office so we could take off on impromptu friday evening plans and trade books for coffee. There are a few things I DONT like about you though and this is for all to know. Your a woman and married. You ought to have been a man and single. (hmmpf) You never take me on your vacations. (Double hmpff). You PERPETUALLY have guests over = lesser opportunities to meet. and last, You mean the world to me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How I wish...

I could go back.

**Update! For Aniket and Howdoweknow who are instigating me, Ive decided to oblige :D but this wont be easy. Spot me. Two EXCRUTIATINGLY easy clues.
  1. I was the class Tomboy with the shortest hair, and no I dont have curly hair.
  2. I have one of the largest smiles in this picture.

Watchyouwaiting for :P

and for the rest, second row from top, third from your right (when your facing the photo) :D

Friday, July 3, 2009

Help Abhishek..

Crosslinked here.

I woke this morning to a very disturbing story, one that jarred me out of my somnolent stupor and quickly hastened my heartbeat to a zillion knots. This is a true story, I can vouch for since I picked up the phone and spoke to this mans brother. Here is his story ...

Abhishek is a young 30 year old man, who was working as a brand manager in Britannia Industries until recently. An innocuous fever led to the discovery of cancer within his body - and he has been diagnosed with Bi-phenothypic Acute Leukimia (BAL) a type of blood cancer. He is to undergo matched unrelated donor transplant - the cost for which is USD 20,000 or roughly Rs 1 crore.

He has undergone three sessions of chemotherapy till now, and donors are being sourced by doctors from the Apollo hospital (Chennai) and CMC (Christian Medical college, Vellore). Currently Rs 55 lakhs needs to be updated for the transplant. The family does not need any financial support other than raising this mammoth amount for medical bills.

I have spoken to his brother, Abhijit, and he has said he will keep in touch with me regarding progress.

This case is curable, and the operation can save his life. He has a young wife, and no children.

Visit the link for more details and pictures - In case anyone wants to help out, please mail us at or leave me a comment and ill get back to you or contact Abhisheks family directly through contact details available on the site.

Would request other bloggers/tweeters to take this up and display on your blogs if possible. Thanks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What? Already!

On Monday night was J's 26th birthday. 26?? Since when did my friends start going over the hill! (Anything over 25 is on THAT side of life). As soon as I turn 26 this Dec, this shall be suitably altered to Anything above 30.... and so on. Also, under and over 25 year old jokes shall not be entertained.

J's a friend I know since 2nd grade, second oldest only to a certain boy who wanted to marry me in 1st grade. (Whose proposal I accepted of course, and since then he and only he had rights sit next to me in class, pack my bag and sacrifice the sweets and biscuits or any item of food that could be considered fancy to please the love of his life, namely me. This love story had an abrupt ending as my mom, having already given me benefit of doubt over the discovery of remnants of sweets and chocolates, none of which were given by her, for more than a few days, quizzed me about the source of aforementioned goodies. I bravely informed her of my decision and impending marriage and well, that was that. Being mature and sophisticated even at that age, I moved past a broken heart with laudable poise and assured him well always be friends.)

We celebrated with a fun grand party indoors - Lord praise Airconditioning and the indoor Bar area - Flamboyante @ Seven. GO!

It was when this song started playing and we ran to each other, screeching half way across the dance floor, hugged for a whole minute, it being the song we danced to, for a Teachers day performance in Nineteen Ninety freakin five 1995!!! That was my only dance performance till date and more so, the only one in which I, played a girl, having been always relegated to playing the male character in every performance. Ive been Jesus, Krishna, the male escort to a beauty queen, a male train commuter (who insisted on getting a moustache painted on for a genuine appearance), a wicked Qazi (Who forgot a section of her lines, which meant that the other characters dint get to say theirs, which meant a whole section of the pay was skipped ).

J being a typical girlie with longish hair was forced to stuff her hair into a hideous cap borrowed from a *ugh* boy, and I had to dig out the ONLY skirt I owned and find a pair of shoes that were not sneakers. The importance of make up being completely lost on me then, my opposition to the same was callously subdued and red goop spattered on my lips. Needless to say, a tomboy with hair as short as a boy + girly clothes and makeup = almost crossdresser appearance.

Come to think of it, it was after this 'performance' that I was always assigned speaking roles - Narrators, Main leads, but NONE close to dancing. All that genuine effort to display womanly grace gone to waste. Some people just aren't appreciated before they're long gone. Ah well, either ways, its the last time they got to see this boo-t-ay.

J and I were also together in the aformentioned wicked Qazi play together, where she was the farmer, and I was the wicked Qazi where my Prized genuine 'Hornets' t-shirt (Basketball = sport of choice) made its stage debut, and was coupled with an ankle sized (knee length to Mom) overcoat so as not to make the character appear too frivolrous. I was a cold-blooded treacherous oppresive Qazi who cheated innocents out of thir hard earned money after all. While there was no mistaking the cartoon tee under the black overcoat, Im sure the audience appreciated the efforts of getting into the skin of the character whilst interpreting him as a basketball enthusiast, thereby giving him an identity, through my sheer actors instinct. I think.

I have now come to terms with having been a kook most of my life. And so has she. She's still around, and so am I. And I hope we always will be.

The wicked Qazi and the hapless farmer remained best friends for the rest of time. The end.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Almost Family

Remember this? Its still there. And very painful. Although after considerable pain and uncomfortable toe stubbing and foot stepping instances, I have been regularly visiting my doctor every saturday morning at 7.30, bright and early. I drive down to town (a.k.a. Colaba!!) get a bloody (and I mean that literally) scraping done, the resultant wound cleaned and dressed and proceed to begin getting all my other errands done. Being a dutiful homely (!) girl I buy the weeks vegetables, get the passbook updated (yes some banks still use them), buy groceries (or, in Defence kids terms, go to the canteen), and other adhoc things that crop up during the week.

Its odd, we've moved, but we still visit the same tailor, the same doctor, buy our vegetables from the same vendors in Navy Nagar (the Fruitwala bhaiyya always cuts me a fruit when he sees me, and insists he's going to supply the fruits at my wedding, whether or not we invite him. Needless to say, he's invited), get our sheets laundered from Moti Bhaiyya (whose Dad was our Dhobi, so to say from the time we've moved to Mumbai) who operates from inside Navy Nagar, but insists on still picking up our laundry by kinetic and dropping it off.

The More I grumbled about having a million errands to run each time I head this side of town, the more I realize that these aren't errands, they're contact points that we've maintained since over 20 years. They're people and faces we've been living around. We've seen Moti Bhaiyya come to our house as a pimply faced teenager on his cycle, been invited to his wedding and met his babies. The fruit and Vegetable bhaiyyas dont let me carry my bag to the car, they call me Bitiya - having seen me scamper around my folks impatiently as a small girl. Prem Bhaiyya (Moti Bhaiyyas younger brother) grew from taking laundry on a bicycle to a top executive working in an IT firm, and yet last year, to invite us for his wedding, he came in shorts armed with our clean and ironed clothes - a lesson to us in Humility and being down to earth.

These aren't errands. They're all people my Dad's help find jobs, place kids, give advice on schools and colleges and what not, who repay him with ardent respect and relentless dedication.
They're people who called us every few hours on the 26th 27th and 28th of Nov when Daddy was inside the Trident, knowing he wouldve driven in, to find out if he's alive, and stopped only when I assured them on friday (29th) that he is ok, and wont be coming home anytime soon, but is fine neverthless. RamNiwas, Daddys masseur whose duty is fixed at my house on saturday evenings since nearly the last 15 years, spoke to me in broken tones saying he couldnt work until I call and tell him Dad's ok. They prayed with us and cried with us. And they're not family and technically not friends. But so much more.

Sometimes in life there are people who impact your lives in ways you never knew, because you never had to think about it. Relations beyond the skeletal definitions of relatives, family and friends.

26/11 gave me a reason to think of all the people who called and messaged and prayed with us. A reason to think of all the people who affect my family's lives and whose lives we affect. The first few days were spent in shocked stupor, the next few in exhausted haze. Its only a week or two after the event that happenings of those few days would come back suddenly and I would remember someone unexpected who would have called or messaged, and Id sit back and feel overwhelmed. People who we hadnt heard from in years, some even decades, but they came through for us.
Something we don't care to give a thought to, in our frenzied haste to get through our lives. In most cases we're left to realize how much a person impacted our lives after they're gone, and remembering tiny symbolic instances of their love or our connection with them.

I wish I could convince you how important it is to love wholly and deeply, to give completely and unrepentantly, do away with ego and high handedness, apologise appropriately and act responsibly, hold together tight and close people who're worth it, and have them know it. Because it is so, very important. If you can manage, tell me how.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I cant believe it still. More than a day later I cannot yet believe
that my friend... Sam, all of 25 years of age is no more... He met
with an accident on his bike and had a headlong collision with an
oncoming truck which sped out of control. I wish he hadnt passed away
on the spot... I wish he had a chance... I wish someone, anyone called
me and told me that this is a miserable joke being played on us.

People are not meant to die at this age.. 25. Its as though god showed
you a glimpse of what life is, and before you could enjoy it, your
times up. I cannot start to imagine what his parents and younger
sister must be feeling... Given that I, who used to meet him once a
year and speak to him on and off have been shocked out of my mind and
spent the last two days in complete denial and shock. I wish i dint
have to learn the hard way that life is too short to take anyone for
granted. promise me youll learn from my mistake.

Its such an irony that he spent the last two years working in a
foreign country, came back for good only this saturday and passed away
yesterday. Its almost as though he came to say goodbye. I can hear his
voice telling me hes coming to Mumbai this weekend and well go to theo
and eat the brownie and gaylord and eat the muffin like old times and
me making fun that hes competing with a football.

I can hear his voice which i spoke with just a few days ago and it
seems impossible that it wont be around.

He was one of those friends who just made his way into your life, just by being there so unquestioningly. Whenever he was in Mumbai, he'd come from one end of town to the other just to make it a point to meet me. I on my behalf was horrible and caught up in my routine. What do I even say... Im remembering that time I just wanted to take a break and quit for no reason, and he offered to sponsor me for two months!! Knowing him, he wouldve done it.

I took him for granted on
more than one occasion and shamefully have to admit that I dint
deserve someone who stood by me unconditionally, no matter how i
behaved... I dint deserve to know hell always be around.
None of us do. If you love and care for someone, let him or her know.
Dont leave home or go to bed unresolved.
Lifes way too short...
Sam, you will be missed. Forever.

To everyone else - We had a safety workshop organised by Castrol a few months ago. The one thing that reverbrates in my mind from that workshop was the line 'The ONE time you didnt wear your helmet/seatbelt was the ONLY time you needed it'. And how true it is. Sampath was not wearing a Helmet, and I beg everyone reading this, to NEVER EVER drive without precaution. Anything can happen even in those ten minutes that you dont wear it, please dont learn it the hard way.

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Its all in the Drafts

Its already midway through the year. I did a double take as I corrected an excel file date to '06' as the month yesterday. So whats the hurry? Why does time have to fly so fast? When do we catch up? DO we catch up at all? Each year I go through the same 'Holy hell, its (insert name of month) already, Im still in March-April mode.

This time it feels different. I feel different. Older. Like I need to substantiate my life with purpose. Except a few hiccups along the way I can safely say my life is in the same place it was 2 years ago. Plus and minus a few people, a little weight, longer hair, a new home, everything else maintains status quo. While this sounds comforting to few, to a fiery saggitarian like me this is a scary state of affairs, and the complacency of the past few years and my uncharacteristically non aggresive approach to life is catching up with me.

Somewhere in the midst of the things Im posting on my blog and the things Im not, my life's going on. And more often than not in recent times, the hard times are being swept under the rug, and kept in the drafts.

It was so much easier when we were in school. The biggest milestone to cross then was getting a good grade in the 10th standard and an admit into a good college. Then came clearing the 12th Boards and getting into a Graduate course of choice. Then came selecting a Masters degree, one which is mandatory these days, given that colleges are churning out engineers like cattle now a days, followed by getting a job. And then?

Friends are getting married left right and center. Facebook albums of friends are filled with pictures of the recent wedding/engagement/roka/baby. December is very nearly on the brink of being usurped by wedding festivities to be attended. Those who're not getting hooked are being cajoled into looking at suitable candidates from their own caste through our age old 'Arranged marriage' ritual.

Im not saying I want to jump onto the married bandwagon. Im not saying I dont either. Bring me a pretty ring and a pretty proposal and Ill say one of the two ;)

Upheaval is necessary. Unless I do something drastic, life's not going anywhere. I was never the one to be afraid of risks. When did I get so caught up in being cautious? A few years ago I could aptly be described as happy go lucky, who would take each day as it came. That was the time when I needed to get serious and take control of my life... I just did'nt realize when I walked past the line of equanimity and inched towards wanting obsessive control over every aspect of my life. There ought to have been a beeper. Life's a sadist. One can spend their entire lives running to and from one one end of the see saw to the other hoping to acheive that perfect balance little knowing that this is the game we're meant to play each day every day - but perfect harmony eludes us, because its not meant to be.

We're meant to struggle, to lose people we love, to not get what we want, or to get what we want and then realize that its not what we want, or to fight like the mouse that whipped milk into butter and made his way out of the bowl, to test our mental and physical endurance everyday whilst fielding life's many riddles, trying to outwit hurt, escape heartbreak, defy unhappiness, relentlessly. To put on smiles and be cheerful or bubbly or whatever else it is that our personality demands of us, to play our part in this preordained web and hope that we have a happy ending.

Pessimism from me sounds rather odd, even to myself. Im just ready to change the gears in my life and Im scared stiff. Should I go the safe, backed up way, or full throttle guns blazing all or nothing way. I hate crossroads.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wasabi? No Mujh

In a continuation of how old I'm beginning to feel, I spent half the day yesterday fretting over having to go out last night for a friends birthday and another friends return from the US of A, on a weekday no less. Fully aware of what time I will be getting home, this is what I back calculated many times through the day.

[7.45 a.m. (wake up time)] - [Time of getting home (a.m.) + 30 mins (Bath+Brush+Prayer+make bed) ] = VERRRYY late in the a.m. = Wayy too little sleep.

...And dealing with the repercussions of a late night mid-work week such as the Multiple Yawn syndrome, The Non concentrationlexia, Torpidity of movements and an overall mellow in usual gregarious self.

Although the night out itself wasn't as bad. We went here. Hugely terrific place, but as hard on the wallet. I have distant memories of having a diet coke here once for a princely sum of 350 Rupees (taxes inclusive Thank god). I would say a better option is to just shell out some more moolah and actually have a drink which is totally worth the hype (in terms of taste, presentation, originality and the experience), but this is advice Ive followed very conservatively. The Mojito, which is generally my drink of choice comes in a tall glass. And boy is it tall :\
Also, they serve free Wasabi peas and Insane Macadamia nuts from Tong garden which I'm confident, given the chance, I can single handedly polish each pea and each nut from each table (bar included), given the rate at which I munch these. Needless to say, the one other night I went here and they had run out, I was Ms. Grump-a-lot.

An example of how small the world is was demonstrated last night, which I naturally spent over half an hour screeching and exclaiming to half a dozen people around me. I got introduced to a friends friends friend (Yep, you read that right) and it turns out that her best friend is a girl from my team at work. The highlight of my morning today was recounting the unfolding of events and conversation that led to this discovery.

The only Damper (or not) of the night was that it rained, and I missed it. BAH.
Now I'm going back to wishing for it again, and wondering when Ill hit the sack.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The soon to be All-New-And-Fantisically-Awesome One

Loads has been happening in life! After much ranting, Gym has been joined! Very convenient location, almost easy on the pocket. (7.5k for 6 months, which is a giant relief from the 19.5k for 6 months the earlier gym was quoting) and exceeding my expectations in terms of equipment, trainers and general ambience. P-h-e-w and double p-h-e-w.

Some semblance of discipline has been infused into otherwise disorderly lifestyle. Home-office-home-gym-home. is the new routine. I passed up a movie with The Brat since I had gym last evening. In case you've noticed, A will hereafter be renamed the brat owing to cheeky behaviour, which I secretly find cute, but dont tell him I said so. [One of his favorite jokes all of last week was 'Its almost as though I signed up for a Mercedes Benz, but got a Maruti 800] The cars in question here, being a reference to me :/ And also the poor dear is having to work on some new Business with a girl he used to find cute insisting that she 'might' ask him to discuss it over dinner and he wont be able to refuse. Professionally of course :\ he's just enjoying the slight possesiveness Im displaying for the first time. Im trying to be my usual cool and unruffled self but even Im not perfect. [Who Would've thought].

On the first day of gym, measurements were taken. Owing to a previously rigorous routine of uninterrupted gym for 3 years, I used to be pretty well turned out. Until the last year of course. I shuddered as measurements increased their way to 2 inches EVERYWHERE. <woe is me>
I almost passed out when I had to hold this thingamajig to measure BMR which oscillated dangerously between 'Muscular' and 'Latent Obesity' and it finally decided 'Latent Obesity'. I know. Im diagnosed with the 'Indian Woman Syndrome' the ever loving Pear shape. Just a year ago that damn needle would settle on the other one, oscillation-less. Top it off with this website with its words of wisdom and I quote "Finally, you should know that losing weight will not change your pear-shaped body - it will only make you a smaller pear"

In line with other gym related funnies, I saw my liftman wearing ONE gym glove while operating the lift. He's an unofficial liftman and currently arrives in jeans and t shirts, and is not yet given a uniform (My buildings new rememeber). I was wondering why the man was sporting one glove, that too a gym glove nonetheless. That was before I realized (2 days later) that I had only one glove in my bag, and had probably dropped it in the building :/ Im wondering if i ought to surreptitiously drop the other glove that i have so that At least one of us has a complete set!

The (free) Dieticians appointment was also a laugh riot, reminiscent of college days. I was already confused when the floor manager asked FIVE of us to go a small cabin and wait. I was under the impression that a diet plan will be made etc and just out of curiousity, I stayed. After being ushered into the cabin, a sweet gentleman walks in with a bunch of papers stapled together and after a few minutes of introduction begins to read out from the pages. Things like what is the definition of Fitness, Nutrition. NO, THE EXACT DEFINITION. I couldnt control the idea of sitting through 5 pages of a monologue while i could easily spend that time killing myself over leg curls and squats and spent the first 10 minutes of the lecture snickering in a badly disguised fashion.
Im given to laugh uncontrollably in extremely embarassing situations so yesterday's situation of snickering away to glory on the poor mans face was a cakewalk. I am tottering around with a slight limp after being delivered one tight kick under the table by B, a friend and colleague who also comes to gym.

The New Opal Mehta

This is UNACCEPTABLE. Im amazed someone can Copy feelings! Blatantly and HOW.

This post from SAG is a straight copy paste job from Kirans post here. Knowing Kiran, yuo dont need to verify the time stamp to see which one was posted first. But If you must, verify it.

Does SAG mean to say she feels the EXACT same thing for her husband that Kiran does? A blatantly copy pasted post, with no cross reference, and moreover apparently modest reponses to comments and compliments and even an award Which are not deserved is ridiculous.

Im seething with anger. She isnt accepting any comments which tonnes of us have written in telling her shes copied Kirans post. This really gets my goat.


Blogger isnt allowing me to reply to comments :S Blogger is officially OFF my list of things I like. Latest news, shes deleted her blog! Coward. Why would you do something so silly and think youll get away with it? Hasnt she learnt ANYTHING from her?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reply to comments in previous post

For some reason, Blogger is not allowing me to reply to the comments, so for the most part, my response was Mainly thank you's, do let us know if you would ike to be of any help. There are cases that need urgent attention, so if you feel you could be of any help, please mail us. or

Shravan of Shravans blog, Your comment in the last post made my day. Although I am not completely deserving, it totally put a smile on my face and I went about the rest of the day beaming. Cheers to you kiddo :)

The knife, Mystery - thank you! How do i mail you the html for the badge?

@ Smita - Apologies, Ill mail you very soon :)

@ Muthu - thanks M. Do spread the word.

@ Prplxd - thanks sweetheart! :) I saw the link on your blog. very cool of you. If you could also put the email id somewhere beneath it, would be great.

@Utopia, Mesolioquy - thank you.. :)

@Orangejammies - Anyone who doesnt believe how strong, rational and fantastic you are, has me to answer to :)

Anyone else who would like to put up the badge on their blog, please feel free to pick it up..or mail me and ill send it out to you. I also have a fancy email id but i cant give it out here :(


Mumbai Diva, Scarlett? Aniket? And Snow? Utopia? Muthu, Smita? Aditya?

(was meaning to ask you guys if you'll put up the IH badge on your blog!! somehow the sentence got deleted!!)

Friday, May 15, 2009


We're growing. We're working harder than ever. And we've come a LONG way from being 10 strangers meeting in the aftermath of 26/11 to address our angst.

Today we stand, a larger group of volunteers, working after our days jobs on calls and visits with the affected, not only of the 26/11 attacks, but also other causes which could use our help. Morally, financially or otherwise.

It will be hard for me to find words to explain what a feeling this is, how undeserving it feels being thanked by someone whose life has been shattered by a tragedy, how we well up with pride when we see they're picking up the pieces as bravely as they can, reduced to taking help from wherever they can get it.

I found the meaning to my life. This is what I'm supposed to do. Give off myself and find myself at the same time. There is no joy greater than giving, of yourself, your time, energy, love and patience. In doing this, my life is richer in a way I thought was not possible, I value happiness more than I could do so before, and I thank god for the luxuries I have and realise that I'm blessed. And my own troubles seem insignificant and trivial.

Then there are the people. Kiran, the one who began it all. OJ whose the voice of reason and calm, Sangeeta whose the straight talking no nonsense rational one. The women I admire. and HOW. Priyanka whose the behind-the-scenes one, running the pavement schools. And I could go on. All in all, Indiahelps is full of dedicated, brave women, who go beyond their call of duty and find time in their hectic lives to accomodate others. How much I admire them only Ill know.

Please do follow us on and We're made of people like you and me... and we need to come together when our fellow citizens need us.

At the risk of shamelessly promoting Indiahelps, Could I request followers/readers of this blog to also help spread the word of Indiahelps around? Leave me a comment if you'd like to display the badge on your blog, ill mail you the html. Follow us if you will, Link us. Indiahelps is a movement, help spread the word. Even you, first time reader and lurker :)

Cause at the end of the day, if we don't help ourselves in time of need, no one will.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Money, I blew up the kids

After kicking myself for not having entered the jig when the market was at the 8k mark, I finally (phew) made my entry into the big bad world of the stock market. 9th May 2009, you'll be a day Ill fondly remember.

As is with most events in my life, this foray was accompanied by much trademark-serendipity excitement. I had shortlisted two longterm shares and two highly volatile traders shares. Very excitedly dialed the ICICI Direct phone banking number, selected the required option in the IVR and called slightly nervously to place my first ever 'buy order'.

Of course, nothing in my life gets accomplished without initial glitches and a lot of back and forth. Two phone calls, two log ins later, equipped with my account number and access code which I had to source and generate from my online account, information which was given to me sequentially as opposed to simultaneously (which would have obviously saved me time AND effort, but no. Im not that lucky), I heard the magic words 'Order executed'

And so the deal was done. Beginners luck meant that on friday, the day I actually purchased the share, the sensex dipped below 12k levels, which meant that I got really good deals already. Since then Ive followed up with many a transaction until I finally realised Ive put in a good chunk of money and now need to hang on and play around with what I have.

Since then Im given to refreshing the rediff page at a frequency proportional to the amount of times I tie and untie my hair (which if u know me, is a LOT). Its FUN to watch the net gain (and loss) each day, to understand market sentiments, interesting to learn how to evaluate whether a stock is good and other gyaan which Im fast catching onto. People sitting around me at work are renaming me the new go-to guru of the stocks given that my screen which earlier had multiple blog pages open now has only stock related articles and pages open. My name is now being replaced by other monikers of the stock market.

My first phone call after the first order was to Dad. Who congratulated me and promptly asked me which sectors, companies and who my broker was. I felt fantastic giving him accurate information regarding the investments, and finally about the fact that Im doing my own research and transactions, the middle man of course being the guy at ICICI Direct who executes the transaction. Whoever said women are bad at finance please step forward, so I may have a word with you.

Mistakes are of course, a part of this game. You win some, you lose some. Unfortunately having invested lump sums in MF's when the sensex was at 21k levels means Ive begun on a losing note anyway both MF's showing annual returns of - 32% :\ BAH and double BAH.

If anyones reading this, and a novice like me, here are a few tips.
  • This is THE best time to invest. A lot of Stocks are just at or slightly above their rock bottom and therefore affordable.
  • The Sensex crossed over to 12k in the last two months. People smart enough to have invested a few months ago have made a fortune already. (given the right choices etc)
  • The most money is made and returns achieved in a bearish market as opposed to bullish contrary to popular opinion.
  • You need a DEMAT account. Just call a broking house (ICICI Direct/Reliance Money/HDFC) or your broker and complete the formalities
  • Broking charges are nothing daunting, approx 70paise per 100 rs of transaction. This could vary, but nominal charges is what I'm trying to get at.
  • Diversify your portfolio. Don't buy stocks of more then 2 companies in the same sector.
  • Keep an eye on Government controlled sectors, since a change in Govt and policies could affect the entire sector.
  • Don't borrow ANY money to invest in stocks. Invest only what you can afford to. My thumb rule is that even if I Lose all of it, I should not be bankrupt. In other words, make sure you have some good ole safe options giving 8.5% returns. PPF, VPF Zindabaad.
  • Stay away from Derivatives unless you have sound knowledge and resources to do so. Higher the returns, higher the risk.
  • If you don't have a good risk appetite, but looking for higher returns anyway, then invest in Mutual funds, but ensure that it is an SIP (systematic investment plan) which will average out cost of units when the market shows a steep incline/decline which would be a good buffer. I learnt this the hard way :( Equity Linked Saving schemes are also tax saving so you could claim this during tax calculations.

Now Get out there!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Making a beeline for the exit

Last evening I took to dining at a nearby fancy 7 star restaurant with a friend I haven't met in ages. We decided on dinner after work, and I very pompously selected the venue - a highly recommended mucho expensive place, an aside from my other favorites. The price of the Buffet at Hornby's (1200 per person) did not deter me since I am a woman of the world, with fine refined taste, a certified epicure, and err I had discount coupons. :) thanks to her.!

Owing to the fact that Ive just moved homes, and this building is completely new, some parts of it still under construction, its a given that its dusty as hell. Which means that the car gathers dust as though its mileage depends on it. Dad being a stickler for cleanliness, our car is used to be spanking squeaky clean, but even he's given up temporarily in this current state of affairs.
Having conveniently forgotten this, I left home, dressed for dinner go down to the garage and stand faced with the dustiest I have EVER seen my car. Since G was already waiting for me, I had no choice but to ignore the dust and two bird poos and drive.

I felt as though even my car was feeling embarrassed to be brought out in this state, as though each person on the street wants to offer to just dust it a bit. Bird poo was of course, strategically placed such that If i were to start the water and just run my wiper over the screen, it would effectively be smattered all over my windscreen as opposed to just in one corner. I made it somehow and picked G up, apologising profusely for being slightly late, while explaining all the reasons (that were not in my control and neither my fault) that conspired against me being on time.

We then drove into the lobby of the Hotel, where I resumed feeling mortified and disconcerted driving such an unkempt car. It didn't help that there was a grand wedding in the hotel on that day and mighty grand cars were pulling in to the valet. G and I of course took to trying to laugh off the situation in our aloof style hoping the valet isn't too embarrassed to park the car.

Of course, Me being the confident woman of the world, unruffled by these mundane occurrences in life type woman, shrugged this off and had my haughty look on as I exited.
That and loudly exclaiming 'Oh dear, I cant believe the car got this dusty' en route entrance. Bas.

We finally moved past the current state of embarrassment and proceeded towards dinner. The Buffet is SO good, that one ought to fast for a few days and devour all the goodies on the menu. Trust me, that extra kg after this meal can be worked off.

When we got our first course, the extremely polite waiter approached our table and asked if we would like some drinks. He ordered Beer and I nothing, since my appetite generally diminishes by intake of drinks, soups and such. He then proceeded to recite the list of all possible tempting options I could have, Mock tails, beer, a glass of wine maybe. To which I still declined. 'I don't want to kill my appetite' I said.

As I watched him saunter over to the Maitre'D, them possibly discussing my non drink policy, they mustve arrived at a suitable conclusion for my negative response.

"Madam, the drink is included in the cost of the Buffet" he said with a large accommodating smile.

I of course declined once again. And what did they think I wasn't ordering cause I was thinking of paying the extra price? I exclaimed to G. To which, his usual cheeky male response was -

'Maybe he saw your car'

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The 6th of May

Hi Mamma and Daddy,

You guys complete 28 years of being Married today. I almost cant believe its been that long. I still feel like your little girl. The kiss you insist on giving me everyday before I go out anywhere goes a long way in ensuring that, Mum.

You both are so predictable. Obviously Daddy forgot the date and Mom you were reading the paper Nonchalantly so that in case he doesn't remember the entire day you can give him hell for it. But of course I reminded him that today was indeed the 6th and not the 5th like he thought. And Of course, you two shook hands with Daddy congratulating you on having borne him and his far from perfect nature for so long, until I insist on a proper hug. (It is OK to do that in front of you 25 yr old daughter and 16 year old son you know).

Have you heard of Yin and Yang? The two diametrically opposing pieces that fit so comfortably within each other? Your that. Hard and Soft, Aggressive and Gentle, Careless and Meticulate, Loud and soft, Restless and calm, Impatient and unruffled, . Which qualities are encompassed in whom are anybody's guess. Mom, you find it easier to tell us you love us, make us our favorite food, knit us our sweaters, and buy us small surprises that endear you to us. Daddy, on the other hand, quietly endured being the sole bread earner in the family for the past 23 years, providing for all of us, our needs, wants, unnecessary luxuries even, while planning judiciously for our futures, ensuring we have a wonderful home to move into once he retires, even one in our native place, all on his own, with no backing from anyone. Yet, he never let us feel like we missed out on anything large in life. Oh, material things come and go, and wants are replaced easily with fancier, shinier things. But we had a good life, he never compromised on anything that would ensure a good upbringing for me or my baby brother.

Daddy plays the bad guy many times because he's horrible at explaining how he feels about a person. Most of the times he's goofing up and saying it wrong, and thats only because hes very bad at expressing his feelings like most men. Maybe its an alpha male syndrome. But you have to know how much he loves us, when he looks at you admiringly when your dressed up and going out, or when he has that look when I tell him I got a nice Bonus, or when he'd call Babybro up when he was in hostel and have that softness in his voice.

In spite of all this difference, Mum and Dad, you two are strikingly similar individuals.

You'll are both caring and kind, you treat the lesser sections of society and other helpers with utmost dignity and respect, something you should know both your kids have imbibed in their daily life as well. You both are stylish, dignified, and graceful and this is just amplifying day by day as you grow older. Mom thank you for the beautiful hair and eyes you gave me, Dad I Seem to have taken from you your ardent, restless, street smart and aggressive nature. While my kid brother, though too young to exhibit the values you wish to see in him, is shaping into a cute, well mannered, poised and smart young man.

It is of little surprise that you have two kids who carry themselves off with confidence and self belief, making a lot of others wish their kids had so much humility, grounded attitude that we do, when we were brought up with equal quantities of indulgence and strict withholding. We see now how not having everything we Wanted but everything we needed has shaped our personality to value the things we have.

As my would be wedding fell apart last year and I spent sleepless nights wondering how to break the news to you, you surprised me with your faith in me, your calm acceptance, your words of advice trying to understand what went wrong, your unshaken support of me and my decision and the feeling of protectiveness and calm. I'm ashamed thinking you would not support me and will fly off the handle hearing the news. I now know the true meaning when they say 'Parents will do anything for their children's happiness'.

For the people you've made us, for giving us values that money cant buy and no one can shake, for preparing us so beautifully for the tough world out there, thanks is not enough. Still, here's a promise. That we two will love you, cherish you and hope to be even a fraction of the parents you've been to us. We'll buy you unnecessary things that you want but dont need, write you letters like these to make your day, hopefully give you grandkids you'll love more than us, and make you feel like the two most important people in our lives, which by the way, you are.