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Showing posts from January, 2012

A big yes to ‘no’

Are you an upright person? Give yourself a small test. How many times can you say ‘no’ with conviction? It’s tough. Inability to pronounce this word has spelt trouble for me several times. And the inability of making this dignified denial seems to have gifted me with a recurring cough pattern! For over a month I was unable to tackle my cough in spite of medication. After a little introspection, I realised diet was the problem. I avoided eating everything that could have caused cough. In came a loud ‘no’ to all sorts of cold and oily stuff, rice and curd. At my level, I succeeded but when it came to saying ‘no’ to people, I fumbled. At office, home or a relative’s place, people could find a soft target in me. They would find all ways to convince me to eat ‘restricted’ stuff. If I refused to have vadapav, they would say At least eat these two small bhajis, they wouldn’t harm.”If I put my foot down and say no to cold drink, someone would ‘request’ me to have a sip. Arre it’s not chille…

Nice to be nice, isn’t it?

A few are gifted with the art of being happy. They can be cheerful no matter how sad things around are. Beautiful within, little does one need an external kick to burst with joy. Happiness quotient determines such luck ones’ course of life. This is what I felt reading a story in an American tabloid about this fattish, average looking girl chosen as the ‘best model’ at a fashion show. Amid many size-zero dazzling damsels, judges zeroed in on her, thanks to her innocence and cheerfulness. Her smile was more genuine and natural than better looking lasses, the judges opined. Later on, she modeled for an international body-care brand. The model succeeded in making women believe that the secret of her beauty was in her happiness. However, not always such happy people are smiling and goody-goody. What I feel special about my friend, who is easy-going but brutally honest and surprisingly straightforward. She makes no bones about talking out the shortcomings of people in professional, personal…

Not our 'Fort'e

Reading a lot about our country’s prosperous heritage, foreigners tread India with high expectations. What greets them in this land may be as strange as its people, if not more… Turn the pages of any history book glorifying historical places. The description is enchanting enough to make you proud. Visit them and see if you can still maintain the same pride. What we experienced at Murud Janjira fort, located on a tiny island in the Arabian Sea, was no different. Haling from Konkan, seaside forts weren’t a novelty for me. However, this visit opened my eyes to the facts I was oblivious of.  It was a daylong excursion with my colleagues, who had hardly seen Konkan and I was happy to give them a glimpse of the Western Cost of Maharashtra. We headed for Murud Janjira but what unfolded wasn’t all that impressive. “How’s the fort?” I was asked assuming I had been there before and I said it was worth visiting. We went to catch a boat. The place that lacked good tourist facilities, of course, di…

Bitter pill for sweeter deal…

It could well be called a no argument day. People swear to talk sweet on this festival. Sugary promises, some of us might have made on Makarsankranti, should be still fresh. It’s a Hindu festival when people exchange a sweet called Tilgul and resolve to talk cordially. Niceties need to be maintained to shun bitterness. You need to be nice to avoid arguments. We understand the spirit of the fest yet I wonder how far can we conceal the truth — that is often bitter — in sugarcoated wraps? I find it tough to correlate to the logic of being sweet all the time. It’s easy to be, actually. You are liked as long as you stay goody-goody. Talk the truth and you are bound to become unpopular. Hence comes a choice: talk sweet no matter if it’s a lie or put the facts plain, which may not go down well with others. Majority chooses sweetness and a few who beg to differ seem inviting wrath… This is what seems to have happened with the ace tennis-star Rafael Nadal when he openly criticised the authorit…

Never mind minding it!

Team India’s placid performance against Aussies talks about a lot more than cricket…particularly about a peculiar Indian trait of not rising to the occasion. Everyone is grabbing every possible chance to criticise Dhoni and his men for their consistent poor performance in Test cricket. I don’t want to add to it. After losing six Test matches oversees on the trot — four in England and two in Australia — Team India and millions of cricket fans must be heartbroken. As a cricket fan, you may have no incentive to follow the game but as an ardent lover of the game, you can still appreciate Australia.  To me, our team’s showing points at something beyond cricket. Things haven’t changed in the third Test in Perth. Even as I am writing this, the Team India stands bundled for 160 odd runs. For the first two Test matches of the series Down Under, I would at least bother to get up at 5 am and check the score. If I were 15/20 minutes late, we would have already lost a couple of wickets! I soon found…

Dedicated to comic characters…

Why am I destined to meet all sorts of strange people in the world? I keep asking this question every time I come across such a person. After seeing that ‘omnipresent’ woman, the same thought crossed my mind. I wondered what she was doing in Pune. Her presence was striking. She was from my hometown in Konkan and was well-informed about every small development in the vicinity. Right from wedding to funeral, she was seen everywhere. She wouldn’t need an invitation, as she considered it was her privilege. Everyday she would frequent every house to break the news she had. Whenever I went to my hometown even for a brief stay, she would inform one and all. If I went to her neighbour’s house first, she would point out how long I sat there! She kept watch on every person. Yes, she irritated me no end, as she would be eternally seen moving from one place to another. And there she was in Pune! I learnt from my mom that the woman’s daughter had bought a flat close to my place. The woman started …