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Are you a Phubber?

Speaking to everybody is one’s own language could be considered one of the best communication skills. An uphill task it must be as one has to be quite well-versed even with different terminologies in the same language. Though I can’t claim to have mastered the skill, I most certainly try it to the best of my ability. However, the other day, I was just searching for words to (politely) ask my brother to change his habits of abruptly cutting the call. I was used to the same with my mother. Anytime I call her, the first thing I tell her is, “Hold the phone.” When I observed the same pattern with my brother, I was wondering how I would convey it to him. I would probably say, “Hold the mobile, tab, iphone, note…” Earlier when there were no phones, people said, ‘Hold the wire’. Even before, it was “Hold the circuitry’. Language, being a reflection of the contemporary culture, evolves accommodating new words. Wait, it’s not evolution of language or communication skills that we are discussi…

A white lie!

Do you ever lie? ‘Never’ would be your first reaction. Now let’s turn it the other way round. Do you always tell the truth? After a brief pause, you will confess to yourself that you always don’t speak the truth! Let’s give ourselves a little of leeway, because we aren’t robots programmed to speak the truth. Well, next time when you lie, you just need to remember what you have told and have to be consistent, that’s it. We live more in dreams, less in reality. It’s a human tendency to ‘project’ facts. Talking about how things should be is so ingrained in us that how things are may not strike us at all. Everywhere; at homes, colleges, workplaces and even at eateries, we have the colourful narrations full of excitements, fun, humour or outbursts, sometimes blown out of proportion, sometimes skirting the details and at times, just to entertain… Once, one of my acquaintances was describing his neighbourhood businessman’s lifestyle. Needless to say he was enchanted by the rich man’s caref…

Stealing the show

Opportunity makes a thief, they say. It must be true as thieves aren’t born. That could be the reason many guard against valuables seldom leaving any chance for ‘probable’ thieves. It’s quite normal for any of us to protect our valuables at public places and even at homes when maids, construction workers or labourers engaged for some work are around and there is nothing wrong in it. If grabbing the opportunity is quite natural for a thief, shielding precious things is as much human. Of course, extra protective tendency or a sense of over-possession is absolutely unwelcome, but taking due care is both, obvious and necessary. What’s more interesting is in spite of all precautions, we can never predict anything as burglars, since times immemorial, have always been smarter and sharper than us! However, the other day, I was in a strange situation. I was safeguarding nothing and on the contrary, I wanted something to be stolen away! Yes, I repeat, as I am well aware of what I am saying. T…

Adults adulterating child’s play?

Hide-n-seek, house-house, snake-n-ladder, lock-n-key, cards and even dolls; all this could be a passé for today’s toddlers. Kiddies’ games aren’t anymore a child’s play. Can’t say if they have evolved (!) but surely, they have changed with time. The other day, a-four-year old niece of mine was crying for a gun! Wait, a toy gun!! Mind you, it was a lot more than a plaything for her. “Please mamma, get a gun for me at the earliest otherwise two of my friends will kill me as they possess big guns,” the girl was literally in tears.  She really feared for her life, at the tender age of four… Change is the only constant but transition in children’s games is something to be paid heed to. I particularly observed some children playing in housing societies, school grounds, even on gym and club house premises and also heard their discussions during the course of the games. This paradigm shift appeared somewhat striking. At times, it looked they were reproducing adult dialogues, but yes, it was…

Her medical choice

What she said went viral and evoked spontaneous responses because she was no other than Angelina Jolie! Who’s who, being in the limelight, is a subject of scrutiny. I beg to differ a little in this case. To me, though she is ‘the’ Angelina Jolie, ‘what’ is more important than ‘who’.  Her decision to undergo a double mastectomy (removing both breasts) to reduce the risk of breast cancer is certainly courageous as a woman and indeed inspiring as an Oscar winning actor. More than undergoing a surgery, her conviction to go public about it through New York Times ‘Co-Oped’ page is praiseworthy. She could very much keep it a very personal thing and there couldn’t have been any debate. Yet she consciously decided to announce it. Her mother being a victim of cancer and Joile herself at high risk, she has seen the dreaded world of cancer from close quarters. That could be the reason perhaps, she wore her heart on her sleeves. To quote her, “I have been able to keep this private and to carry o…

Sometimes, it’s okay!!!

It is said that you become what you think. Take it a step ahead and you know you become what you are told! For a few years, I preferred to stick to a definite schedule because I ‘thought’ it was good. I frequently heard from others though that it was a little boring. For those ‘free-spirited’ folks, following the same routine could be tedious. They felt it spoke of a conventional mindset and advised I needed to add a little spice to my life! I didn’t pay too much heed to them but I found their comments interesting. When the need for a break is unanimously imposed from all quarters, we tend to take it for real and do things differently. If you are an early riser and someone tells you need to sleep well, the next day, nothing can arouse you out of slumber. Maybe, you would find yourself too ‘fatigued’, home food would taste ‘mundane’, serious stuff could appear ‘uninteresting’ and the routine drive too ‘taxing’.  I had one such odd day when I had drastically deviated from my routine a…

Secret widely spoken about…

It spreads like wildfire or even faster when you try to conceal. It seems many can maintain anything but secrecy. Every family, office, or society has some ‘top secrets’ widely spoken about! Interestingly, anyone sharing ‘highly confidential’ matters doesn’t always have ill-intentions or loves gossiping; it seems a natural human tendency to speak out what is supposed to be hidden! The more you keep it under the wraps, greater the curiosity. After all, it’s never too easy to keep things to yourself. It’s a common experience in joint families where everybody talks about everybody else. Most of the times, it looks as if people are just waiting for a possible opportunity to target someone and make it a ‘hot’ topic of discussion. Of course, one thing needs to be mentioned that there is never any ill will here. Rest assured, they will all join hands and fight any adversity as one man. No matter how single-handedly one can handle things, it has to be a group activity in a joint family. You…

It's a mad world!!!

Neither exceptionally outstanding nor anything astounding; this is how I can describe myself. I am like most of you, a normal person. Of course, being ‘normal’ is very relative. Everyman’s concept of normality depends on the background one hails from and more importantly, on the expanse of one’s thinking and experience. Anything beyond one’s expanse could appear ‘abnormal’ or ‘shocking’. People, whose idea of leading a normal life is all about education, job, marriage and kids, not only love to go through the set pattern but also live to see the same cycle being repeated by their children and grandchildren. This is ‘normal’ for them. When they happen to meet persons who don’t believe in the social institution of marriage, they would be flabbergasted! They simply cannot imagine there could be a person who doesn’t want to get married or a couple not too keen on having kids. The later lot, on its part, would wonder how people could tirelessly go through set patterns generations after g…

Let’s agree to disagree!

Can there be a day without a conflict? Sounds difficult, perhaps impossible! Conflict could be too strong a word to describe this state of mind but minor differences of opinion are part and parcel of our day-to-day lives. It’s very difficult for two individuals to agree in totality always. Be it social, domestic or even professional, all interpersonal relationships work on the uniform principle, “Let’s agree to disagree.”  When you can’t agree and not argue as well, all you can do is to agree to disagree. Forget with the other person, it’s even tough to agree with oneself. However hard you try to agree, mind will always put you in a conflicting situation! Once it seemed happening to me. One fine day, I found it hard to agree with people. Everything was as usual. No specific disturbances to play a spoilsport, neither was there any reason to disagree every time. Nevertheless, it appeared that all I had to offer to others that day was an opposite view! Of course, I didn’t sound it acro…

All’s well!!!

Sometimes, you are not on a holiday yet you take a break! A tad tough, it may sound, but I can say it does happen after I worked it out with myself. Here I am, back writing after a gap of a few days, close to a month. I had never decided to give my writing a break. I didn’t require one either. It started happening for some reason or the other and later on, I extended it for some more days. Let me mention that I had not stopped scribbling but like I said, I had taken a break though I wasn’t on a holiday!! I knew it well that neither would life stop nor would heavens fall if I didn’t write! Mind you, writings are more original (self-praise?) once you keep in mind that you are not doing anything earth shattering. Still I found the gap bothering others more than it did me! Some asked why I was off the scene. A few thought I was unwell. A few felt the workload was too much or I was perhaps outstation. I was okay with all of them. Interestingly, a friend of mine called to enquire if all …

A debt of gratitude…

A bagful of books! This is what the owner of a nearby library brought for me while closing it down. He told that me it was a loving gift for a regular and honest visitor and he had personally chosen the books. While leaving, he asked me to let him know about the book I like most. Thanking him for the gesture, I opened the heavy bag. Looking at the giant volume, I thought it would take me at least a year even to go through them. As soon as I opened the bag, I came across some brand-new and some rickety books, a few in shambles! Oh, he had given me the books which people had donated to his library! So, it was third or the forth hand!! I laid my hands on a half torn diary….I wouldn’t dare touch anyone’s personal diary, I opened it with a view to return it to the person to which it belonged. There was no name. As I moved on, I realised the diary of anonymous comprised only some figures. Someone had maintained an account of daily expenses. Just debit, credit and total, nothing more for …

Touch of smartness

You can neither accept it right away nor can you reject it outright! Most parents are likely to have experienced this while dealing with ‘the father of man’ and today’s children could be the grandfathers of men! Parenting is no child’s play. Yet many of them seem resorting to spare-the-rod-and-spoil-the-child mantra when it comes to disciplining kids. That’s the reason most of the so-called naughty children get their knuckles rapped as their moms and dads don’t know how to handle them beyond a point. It goes without saying that parenting has become more demanding in today’s age with technology throwing newer challenges. However, I invariably feel that it’s high time modern parents understood that kids are as good as you are! The other day when I was sitting at a friend’s place, I saw her nine-year-old daughter demanding her latest iPhone. Mother refused saying it’s expensive. The girl was adamant and the mother not bothered to explain why she was being denied what she badly wanted. …

Turning a new leaf …

A replacement is always a replacement; it can never be the original. It’s difficult to get over the loss of persons and even things close to you. I was feeling a lot more disconnected when I lost my mobile. One is bound to feel a vacuum when something or someone close departs forever. Not that cellphone was something I couldn’t do without but it was the one that accompanied me everywhere every time. It was something I was too used to if not fond of… It wasn’t mere mobile, what I had lost was a treasure trove of memories. Encouraging words, some heated debates, a few magnificent moments captured in its tiny camera, a huge collection of songs, professional contacts, it was all there. My new phone was smarter and slicker yet I couldn’t connect to it. A dead device without life, that’s how it appeared. I couldn’t get that ‘my’ feel. I felt helpless…something was amiss … What I had lost with the phone was part of my personality. Things it had stored spoke a lot of traits, likes and disl…