Posts

Showing posts from 2012

A housewife’s ‘working’ dilemma!

Can convenience be priority when one decides to work? Not something you would appreciate when you hire someone. It could be so in some cases, when you look at the other side.  Everybody sees what works to one’s advantage and there is nothing wrong in it, is there? None other than you should decide what works for you. Being a working woman works out for me perfectly and so it does for most girls today. Work-life balance is something a woman has to master, I would always think. Of course, I never saw future replete with stay-at-home women and knew that working would be their financial and psychological need. Still I must admit I had seldom thought about a section of the stay-at-home, who would love to cross thresholds of their homes on work. Running around for assignments, I was unmindful of this side of the story. However, my recent back-to-back encounters with such housewives, looking at investing their time fruitfully, made me aware of many of their preferences and more importantly…

12-12-12!!!!!!!!!!

A little glamorous and a lot more clamorous; it’s a special day for those who want to cut a fine figure. There looks a strong build up around this numerologically unique date, 12-12-12, thanks to media hype and deep-rooted belief in auspicious occasions. Not being a person into astrology or numerology, it was very unlikely for me to keep tab on these types of dates. In spite of this, being a social animal, I had to take note of something happening around. I had too many programmes to attend this month and a few days ahead of 12-12-12, I was just taking scanning invitation cards. I suddenly found myself lost while making a wise choice. I failed to understand why too many programmes were scheduled on one single day.  With most of them must-attends, I was thinking of ways to make it humanly possible. As it that was not enough, I got a call from a close friend saying she was planning to arrange her wedding reception on the same day! Discussions pertaining to this day greeted me everywhe…

What’s your age?

Age is just a number but only for a few. Usually, it tells on many as it rises. At the same time, youthful exuberance has little to with age. However, those young at heart are a few and far between. Youthfulness generally takes you to nightclubs, treks, hotels, picnics and you automatically turn to temples as the age starts catching on. So-called youngsters want to avoid the company of ‘oldies’. Believe me, it (the company) could be a lot of fun. It’s my personal experience.  Needless to say I am young, by heart and age as well. I decided to attend a spiritual workshop at a renowned math. There would be hardly any people I thought but I saw the auditorium teeming with senior citizens. Little late (and in Western outfit), I naturally arrested attention! To tell you frankly, I was a little disappointed at the beginning. I warned myself I was there to hear what I wanted to and not to spend time in the company of anyone. To my surprise, all three days went off well. I enjoyed the compan…

A laugh a day…

Regardless of your resolutions to stay away from banters, there are certain things or people who can set your tongues wagging. At times, it’s not about how much control you exert upon yourself but some personalities come up with interesting anecdotes making you laugh. There is nothing exclusive in what they speak but the way they do it adds spice to the entire episode. Their manner of narration forces you to keep logic aside and be party to playful conversions. What’s more important, it prompts you to be sporting enough to take everything in a light vein. My recent encounter with a younger cousin kept me in humorous mindset for a couple of days. Naughty and mischievous, I recollect how he would give sleepless nights every person around him through inane activities in childhood. His mischief had landed many in trouble. Our family members, guests, kin, neighbours, teachers, even servants were victims of his impish ways. I wasn’t in touch with him for many years. And whenever we caught…

US and us...

What happens a thousand miles away concerns every nook and corner of the world. While the entire world had set its eyes on the US polls, let’s agree they have certain significance for everyone us included. Of course, not much was common in our and their procedures. Imagine how the things could have been in India on the Election Day. For America, it was a 24-hour affair. The game is over and result is out with the President firmly in the saddle. Ours is a different scenario altogether, isn’t it? Perhaps, we love the melodrama called election, event that runs for months, if not more. It’s no less than a circus where it’s tough to make out who are all performers and where’s the ringmaster. Perhaps, we wouldn’t be able to choose between two candidates. Perhaps, we require multiple choices. And profiles of candidates! Criminal background seems a plus and charges of graft appear to make one’s electoral claim stronger … Just before counting, Obama had a quiet dinner with wife and daughte…

What do you feel?

I am fed up of a typical question mediapersons ask in every interview: what’s your opinion on X issue? Let me put it straight. As a scribe, I haven’t asked anyone this question till date and pray, will never. I don’t feel it’s necessary for every person to react on everything under the sun. I know, what I feel hardly matters, as this question is almost invariably answered. A film personality may pass some comments on politics, sports or even international affairs. This isn’t confined to social or glamour fields; this is something we come across in day-to-day life. It’s not merely about making opinions but about passing instant judgments!  Generalising things often makes matters worse. This headline in a leading business paper caught my attention. It was about Marissa Mayor, Yahoo CEO, joining work within two weeks of her maternity leave.  The newspaper went to the extent of saying that she was setting a bad precedent for career-oriented women. After a few days, I saw her maternity le…

Nothing new under the sun

It was the song I was humming all yesterday and today but I wasn’t too keen on listening to it anymore. Song apart, first things first! Certain things we like at the very first go. What happens to them when they start getting older? Anything loses its sheen when it becomes common and overused, it seems. I have observed this pattern with myself. I desperately look for a new song that has arrested my attention. Mobile, internet, Bluetooth, i-pod and what not, I leave no stone unturned to find it out. Without exaggeration I must confess that I literally want the new song by hook or by crook! Since times immemorial, you never get anything you are looking for desperately for a song. That’s the reason you exploit every possible means to find it out. Yes, it feels so happy when one gets what one wants. You feel it was worth the effort you put in. Here I am, listening that newfound song umpteen times. I play certain songs at every possible opportunity. After a few days, there comes a point…

Keep in touch

It’s relatively relative matter! Visiting your kin or inviting them to your place, either of it may land you in soup. After a hectic weekend, sipping your morning coffee on Sunday, you plan to take it easy and enjoy your holiday to its fullest. And the cellphone rings… It’s perhaps the call you didn’t want to attend; someone is coming to your place or you have been called over… a tough ask! And there’s no ‘Not Applicable’ option. Wait, I am not referring to those who aren’t social or don’t like people around at all. After spending my lives only with and among relatives, I had to cut down on them due to job demands. Still I have been making it a point to attend major family functions to catch up with my folks. Trust me, these short meetings turn out to be very sweet. To me, that’s a wonderful way of staying in touch with everyone without letting yourself involved in gossips… Last weekend, I made a small deviation and spent a little longer time on relative meets, thanks to a cousin and…

Can you help it?

That’s not the way but can’t help it…this is the refrain I am used to hearing. Before wondering who keeps sounding me this, let me clarify right away; this is what I tell myself umpteen times! Agreed everyone knows what fair and what’s not but we have to often ‘adjust’ a bit. Every time when I find it a bit difficult to follow a fixed set of principles, I let go. Probably, that’s the best thing I can do. I was unmindful of it till yesterday. I was supposed to catch up with a professional at a coffee house and I was getting late. And here I was trying to find a parking slot. Finally I could locate a relatively empty space, the best possible for my bike. As I went near, I saw a cycle parked in between two-wheelers. I moved the cycle to make room for my bike. When I relocated the cycle to a nearby place, I observed its stand was too weak to make it stand! On seeing the person I was supposed to meet, I left the cycle to its fate. Somehow I wasn’t able to focus during the meeting. What…

Hamari mange…

Can driving on crowed roads be ever pleasurable? It would drive me to my wit’s end but I have gradually learnt to enjoy it. I am careful about using the right expression. ‘Gradually’ holds significance; it cannot become pleasurable at once. The 15-km drive from home to office isn’t something I look forward to. At night, when roads are relatively clear, those 15 kilometers appear like 5 km and during a mad rush, they are like, what, 50 km! When I couldn’t enjoy the drive, it seemed a never-ending journey. Today, hardly do I realise how time passes. I wonder what has made me find peace on the road amid no chances of traffic getting thinner. A major hurdle during the voyage (!) was the road that has several central and state government offices and more importantly the collectorate. Rallies, processions and morchas not only block the road but lead to chaos. What once used to be something that caused stress has now turned out be a stress buster. While commuters have to drive a hard bar…

Lull before the storm…

Lull before the storm…
One evening, a close friend called me to inform that her husband had died of heart attack. Too shocked, I didn’t know how to react. A couple of days ago I was talking to the couple and everything seemed fine. A healthy man in early 30s, how can he die? I rushed to her place. She was inconsolable. While it took her almost a month to come to terms, she was getting worried about her and her little son’s future. It was so unforeseen that she was too unprepared to handle the situation. What made me think was a sentence she kept repeating: ‘All was well till he had a heart attack….’. Is everything really well till a bolt from the blue strikes? Do catastrophes come unheralded? Do certain difficulties give us signals before they actually arrive? Here the man had died of heart attack. When I asked her about his lifestyle, I understood that the trouble was somewhat invited. When the reality finally sunk in, she too agreed that there had been indications. Excessive stress …

Who’s this, by the way?

Is this real me? I ask myself at times and I am sure everybody does. Some of our rowdy avatars bother us. I particularly observed this the other day. If you otherwise ask me, am I capable of creating a scene in public? I would say I generally avoid it. Which wise person wouldn’t? In a fit of rage, I did…thanks to my encounter with a disabled beggar who came rolling on a small wooden platform with wheels. I neither encourage begging nor oblige a beggar. However, I’ve no issues if they don’t create nuisance in traffic. I would see this beggar everyday on my way to office. That day, he landed before me and I had a narrow escape from meeting an accident. I had heard and seen this beggar’s tale from many. It was my first-hand experience. He just refused to move unless I paid him. I didn’t have change. I lost my cool when the beggar refused to move. I decided not to move till he did. It being a road with heavy traffic, vehicles started honking. Brazen (I don’t like to call him this way bu…

Tally with this…

An Economist is a person who knows everything about money but doesn’t have it.
I am happy to hear it as this is the only sentence I understand about the ‘boring’ subject called economics. It’s tough for me to relate with any discussion pertaining to finances, banking and accounting. I am sure in future too I have no plans to learn anything about these subjects at any cost! Of course, I don’t underestimate the importance of learning these topics but nothing has gone drastically wrong with me so far by not understanding them. And there may be many like me who will buy this. All we know is money doesn’t grow on trees, isn’t that enough? However, those who show how much they know about finances and accounting aren’t strikingly different from us in day-to-day affairs. I never bothered to observe people’s financial management until I saw them getting confused handling simple matters. The latest VAT on flat for buyers came as a reference point. It has left many in the lurch as thousands o…

An Anxious Idiot

This post was somehow lingering and here I was surfing the net! Was I getting into the bad habit of postponing a job? I feared for a moment. Even if I was, it wouldn’t really be the case, I was sure. I know how to tighten screws and I guess, everyone does. Everybody knows freedom is allowed up to a point. Great are the ones who don’t reach that point. Still those who reach it but pull up their socks aren’t that bad, are they? Crossing that point probably defines anxiety and it starts taking its toll; stress, strain, depression, frustration, despair, give it any name. Analyses of these words would unfold myriad psychological shades and symptoms. However, for the common people, me included, it means the same. The person who isn’t happy is sad, as simple as that. Though it could be put in simple terms in common man’s language, ‘stress’, in general, seems complicated. Could it be simple? A headline of a New York Times column, which arrested my attention, indicated it could be. An Anxiou…

Keep the pace or else…

Generation gap is something most of us experience almost in every walk of life. Be it home, workplace, college campus or even a public place, ‘seniors’ are seen giving a scornful look to the GenX. While elderly people think youngsters are forward, for the latter elderly are always orthodox. One such interesting discussion unfolded in my family after a birthday party. Veterans in the family felt out-of- place at the retro theme party. Dressing, games and food serving style were as per the theme. Of course, some ‘funky’ ways were inevitable though those couldn’t relate to them found them ‘weird’. That party was a hot topic in my family for a couple of days as the orthodox had something to debate. One of my aunts, who had probably not understood relevance of the theme, jumped the gun. “What kind of the dresses are they wearing? The birthday boy’s mother should be in a saree or a nice Salwar suit. Bell-bottom doesn’t make sense…” After she set the tone, there were many to follow suit.…

Wrong? No I wasn’t…

Everyone loves going down memory lane. So did I the other day when I came across a magazine with which I had worked as co-editor. Not that I had any special association with it but yes, I had worked for it very hard. In fact, it marked the beginning of my professional writing. Though there was nothing to brag about, content in the magazine for school children was reasonably fine. Turning its pages, I came across a few articles I had written. As I ran through them, I was a little taken aback. Was it I? Was I so immature? I must confess I wasn’t comfortable reading what I had written a couple of years ago. An article I had written about nature and poems could be the worst of it. I had quoted eminent English poets, mentioned their rhymes and written my own interpretations. Today, I feel most of the interpretations were wrong. The article didn’t have flow, flair or some message! Adding to my guilt feeling was this poem. Yes, of course, mine. It was worse than the write-up (Remember, I’…

Don’t slip this for sound sleep…

The definition of happiness may differ from person to person but most would agree that the happiest man is the one who gets an uninterrupted sleep. Not that I suddenly started talking about sleep as I’ve lost my sleep over something or I am suffering from insomnia. I felt like talking about it after I saw such a happy man the other day. Cozy beds and comfortable houses don’t necessarily bring undisturbed sleep. Those who retire for the day under the open sky or find shelter at public places like bus stands and railway stations or find refuge in huge water pipes lying by the roadside would certainly bust the myth of ‘comfort sleep’.  However, all those days, I believed that people, no matter how desperately wanted to sleep, would choose at least safe places! This is where our happy man stands out; he was sleeping on the road divider in the middle of a maddening traffic. I chanced to look at him while crossing the road. Honking vehicles and the usual mess we are used to on our roads w…

See your reflection!!!

I was happy to get my most favourite dress back. A small blot that had played a spoilsport with my white kurta drove me to my wit’s end. God knows from where the stain came but it just refused to go. What a stubborn spirit! It withstood the strongest and the costliest of the detergents. With ‘heavy’ heart, I accepted that I might not be able to wear it again. Finally I ran into something, which not only helped the stain vanish but also added shine to my kurta. The magic stuff was bought from a roadside vendor. I generally refrain from roadside shopping but I had resolved to find the stain removers no matter where it dwelt. I got it on a handcart. I didn’t expect it to work but it surprised me. It was a breaking story among my friends and family. Many started borrowing it from me and everyone wore a smile after using it. One day, I observed a spot in my house. After spending so much on high-end tiles the blot was bothering us. Who would like to spoil the show of a spanking house? I …

To you, my friends

‘Who is your best friend?’ The question posed by one of my friends made me a bit inquisitive. I’ve so many friends. When I said I couldn’t name any of them as the best, she didn’t look convinced. According to her, there had to be one. But yes, people do label friendships as good, better and best. What do they keep in mind while being friends with someone? Do they go analysing? Do they expect something in return? The e-world and social networking seem to have compounded the issue. I often pull my cousin’s leg, who boasts of having innumerable friends (It’s a different story when the situation demands, none turns up!). Every time we meet, she introduces me to a new face. That face could be a college friend, a tuition friend, a hostel friend and even a friend ‘just like that’! The list doesn’t end here. She has specific friends for specific place and time. Those who accompany her to movies are different than those who join her in eateries. The ones who help in studies are ‘sacred’. In…

Through an observer’s eye

It was an unusual day when I had a lot of spare time. The gap between my two assignments was nearly three-and-a-half hours. It wasn’t wise to go to office and return. As my vehicle was given for servicing, those couple of hours appeared even longer. Little did I know that killing time could be so challenging. However, the ‘test’ turned out to be an interesting one. The location I had to go was some 10 kms off and I decided to walk part of the distance. Familiar roads and localities somehow appeared different. Observing things carefully, I realised our social set-up was a strange mix of mindsets and economic strata. A towering structure next to a crumbling wada, a plush bungalow in a dingy lane, a swanky complex amid cramped shops…people live like this too…I was getting upset looking at some dilapidated buildings. Still veterans sitting in the balconies of those houses looked calm. The busy road was a connecting ground for people haling from different walks of life. A lady with a di…

No beating about the bush, please

Nothing less than water can quench your thirst when your throat is parched. You request the nearest man, with a water bottle in hand, and he gives you a long lecture on the region facing severe water scarcity. All you need this moment is a sip of water and not a dose of wisdom! I don’t turn to people for solutions often. Not that everyone around me is incompetent. However, they tend to offer philosophy while we seek solutions. I have experienced it a couple of times. The other day, a sudden development on a professional front shook me a little. A few of my plans went topsy-turvy. Time had come for me to make a concrete decision and as the things stood, any move I would have made could have backfired.  Naturally, I asked some people what should be the right choice and interesting answers came my way. Some opined that one must surrender before circumstances; others told me believe that everything that happens is for the best. A so-called learned chap gave this mantra: ‘Hope for the be…

ASK ME

God helps those who help themselves, they say. There are some people who not only help themselves but help others more. Yes, these souls are as entertaining as characters in a fiction, if not more.  They arrest attention by selflessly working for others expecting a mere thank-you in return. These are not people but a tendency that greets us in every walk of life. Initially, I would think of them as people who love to help. I used to wonder why they always walked that extra mile to lend a helping hand when they were not getting benefitted. As I observed them closely, interesting facets of this ilk started surfacing. This lot simply loves to help never saying a no! What’s more intriguing is you needn’t approach them always; on their own they will ask if you want anything.  They will always be forthcoming to help just for that thank-you. This peculiar character trait is dominant, inherent and obvious at every stage. No wonder they cut across age groups. In schools, these guys usuall…

My cup of tea…

The other day, I suddenly thought of doing away with tea. It was just a matter of decision as I have never had the real craving for it although I am not averse to it. Apart from the morning ritual, there is, at times, no ceiling to the number tea/coffee cups I have in a day. Again, there are days when I don’t even have a sip. Drinking too much of tea or not having it at all, none of them makes much difference to me. On health grounds, I thought it would be better to call it quits. But it hasn’t still happened. Until I casually referred to what I was thinking about, I had no idea my decision would displease others to an extent of hurting them! Soon I realised it wasn’t just tea but a lot that came in its trail. When I spoke about not having tea or coffee, eyebrows were raised. At home, I was told that I should have at least morning tea and the rest of the day, I was free to do whatever I wanted. On the professional front, it was tougher. At workplace, tea break is as important as the …

What type are you in?

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Nevertheless, it’s tough to find individuals who judge others strictly on merit. First impression could be the last impression but it may not always be true. Do we become too judgmental about something or someone a little too fast? Indian weddings are the best occasions to observe this trait. A bride would be naturally a touch anxious on the big day. However, people tend to draw hasty conclusions; ‘She seems reserved’, ‘She doesn’t look a person who will mix-up’ and the like are in the air! And the facts could be otherwise. Why weddings alone, many tend to form an opinion about a person in the very first meeting. What’s more intriguing is they often see negative sides. Barely have I observed people noticing positives. One who comes to mind is one of my distant relatives. He is a director of an MNC. One of my friends recently joined his organisation. On asking about her, he told me that it was too early to pass any judgment. Not only did he not pas…

When mango works magic!

How about quitting something that you love the most? It’s an uphill task to exercise control. It’s a different story how much you stand by the decision but many interesting things unfold when you decide something like that. From my own experience, I can tell you it’s both fine and amazing. The other day, all of us were having as informal chat at office and a colleague walked with a painful face. She had just visited a dentist (even the idea is monstrous for me!).  Soon we learnt that it wasn’t the tooth pain that was hurting her but it was the doctor’s ultimatum about chucking chocolates. “It’s my lifeline yaar. I have too much of sweet tooth,” she grumbled. Surprised, I asked her what was a big deal in quitting chocolates. She was barely 25 and had damaged her teeth. I couldn’t buy the argument that she couldn’t resist her temptation even for health. Her grudge was different. More than bidding adieu to chocolates, what was bigger deal for her was how to deal with offers! “I am syn…

Programmed to perceive…

Technology is making your life easier like never before. You needn’t use your ‘brains’ and ‘hearts’ too much but hands you will have to with everything available at your fingertips. You have to take the pulse if your sweetheart is upset, haven’t you? How about a device that keeps you posted? Your only job is to love and technology will take care of the rest. Such a machine for all could be a distant dream but yeah, for your baby, it will soon be reality. Here is good news for mums and to-be mums who can receive an email from their baby asking for a nappy change, thanks to scientists who have invented a device for busy parents. The monitoring system, built into a babaygro, can send emails and text messages to parents informing them about nappy change. That’s not all; the new tool can also detect a baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing pattern. It can be programmed to let you know if your tiny-tot is happy, sad, irritated or upset. A British daily reported that this system dete…