Monday, December 26, 2011

oh!

oh, how would it be to roll in the snow with gay abandon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The maintenance staff

The maintenance staff of my apartment complex is amazing. We pay a certain amount every month. They however charge for things that get replaced, and a service charge over that, which goes to the plumber or the electrician. So, it often happens that whenever you complain about anything, the automatic reply is that it needs to be replaced. I am seeing this pattern over all complaints that i made. The sink got clogged. S and i used to remove the pipe from below and clean it up. This time, since he was not around, i sought help, and the suggestion was that i need to change the pipe. One pipe on the geyser was leaking. i checked the pipe and saw it was in the joint and nowhere in the pipe, that had to be replaced. On top of that, he left two more holes in the false ceiling. Looks like my geyser is looking down on me through the holes or wearing spectacles. The water was leaking in the toilet. Again his suggestion was that the pipe has to be replaced. This time, i did not buy it and told him to tighten the valve in the edge and lo! it is working fine. We have an owners' forum where we mail our experiences and it seems to be the same everywhere. Sometimes, we even joke over this. So, ideally i am paying maintenance only for the beautiful complex, and everyting inside my house goes from my pocket. Staying in a huge complex has its sour points i say. Should my new year resolution be to learn plumbing?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tired

Tired- Physically, mentally, and emotionally.

And they say it is Christmas and there is cheer all around.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Downton Abbey-Super like

Watched the day slip away, and as the night unfolded, plonked myself on the bed and watched the second season of Downton Abbey in one shot. If drama is for you, if you like classics, if you like romance, if you like period movies (this is a series and even more reason to watch. The story starts at April 1912), if you like ladies in gowns and corsets, flowing dresses, the works... emancipation of women, chambermaids, servants, family titles, Earl, Dukes, Countess, good storyline, and some class acting, please please please watch it. It starts in the early years leading to the first world world war, with a family's quest for a male heir to protect the family title and fortune, and i can't get enough of it. i almost starved myself watching it. Slept at 3 am and looking like a zombie now. Don't know if anything that i have written here is making any sense at all, but it is so nice...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

who is the most lovable of them all?

i have many nieces and nephews from my 3 other siblings.

Ankita somehow seem to be the sweetest among them all. It is not even her nature or looks, the fact that she is the eldest and the first child of the next generation perhaps, has to do with it. My parents say her younger brother is the more sensible one and he talks and does the right thing, while she is very naughty. Yet i seem to like her the most. Yes, the rest of them came one after the other from the rest of the siblings and i did not really see them, but i did not see Anki either for long. When i think about this, sometimes, i do wonder if parents do love all their children equally. i think it is possible for some parents to have a favorite child. Perhaps, they do feel guilty to admit it. Mom says parents love all kids equally, but worry constantly for the weaker one. i don't know. Perhaps, she is right. Perhaps, i am wrong.

Monday, December 05, 2011

honey, where is the sofa?

My long distance marriage has been going on for almost a year now. Before that, S travelled for a couple of months. He came back and was asked to travel again when we just shifted to the new place. He said 'no' as i was not well and we were winding up the interiors and monitoring the wood work day in a day out. His tickets were booked the next time around, but i met with the accident just two days before his travel due date and he had to postpone again until i could stand on my feet. i had become very popular with his management and clients alike. However, he did go and it has been almost a year now. Time for us to take stock of things and decide what we want to do. P.V Narasimha Rao, i think, had famously said in his book, " the decision not to take a decision is also a decision." Well, i lived this for a year and it was never an easy thing. No doubt, he never looked happy in any of the pics that i saw of him on T.V while he was the P.M.

When i went for the two months vacation, i didn't know S wanted me to weigh the options and see for myself how i liked the U.S and if we would wish to stay there, or want him to come back. Emotional as i am, i never expected myself to love my job so much. i tried being a house wife for the two months, burnt my fingers while cooking, cribbed and cried and made sure S take over as the official cook, and came back. i am pampered silly by my husband and i am surprised that i can still stay away from him. Anyway, confused mind leads to confused post and this is not going to end in a proper way. Instead, i will share what i did while coming back to india. Without asking him, i packed the lava lamp, brought it to India, forgot about the voltage difference and the moment i inserted it on the plug point, the power tripped and darkness prevailed. It was nice and pretty in his apartment. Now, it is wasted and repairing it doesn't list even in my to-do list. i also carried candles, picture frames, and a lot of stuff for the house. S did tease me saying that if i could, i would have packed the sofa too in my suitcase, which is actually true.

Coming back to the U.S, it was not possible not to be bewildered the first time i saw the country. Most of my friends, and half the world have already travelled or are settled there, so i did not shout it out loud. It was mind blowing at times. I did travel a lot. The most thrilling experience was the south-rim walk at the Grand Canyon, where we stood small and admired mother nature in her vastness, mystery, and beauty. Vegas was amazing too, and i lived every moment to the fullest in the brightest spot on earth. Rest, i flew up and down meeting up with childhood friends and family. The icing on the cake was the business class from Atlanta to Paris on my return journey. i had been crying until i reached Atlanta for leaving my hubby behind, but i cheered up when i saw that i was getting business class in an economy ticket.

Why am i writing all these only now when i had actually come back in the end of August? This is how i live through my separation from the hubby, re-living each moment we had together as if it happened just today morning. The months have somehow passed and we are trying to be together again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

gaata rahe

The 3 months young little one who just promoted me to grand aunt has started looking at people for a long time, and she smiles a lot these days. She also makes a lot of noise. The other day, she was in my arms and i sang to her. She seemed to enjoy. As it is, it is difficult to get an audience these days, so i belted out one Lata Mangeshkar number after another while she was enjoying. Hola, she slept off. I lost my audience, but it was a very peaceful moment. :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

growing up

Wearing the red sleeveless top for my sister's wedding, i felt on top of the world. Mom suddenly looked through her bifocal lens and insisted i wear another red, with sleeves. Both the tops looked similar in my eyes as we had to wear a shawl anyway over it, and been away from home for a long time, i was also shocked that someone could actually be strongly opinionated about what i should be wearing. ( i mean the past 10 yrs, i had roomies saying, "this might look better, but you eventually wore what you wanted and nobody mined.)  i said, "i am not going to change". Well, the talk moved away from clothing to how we are brought up and how we rebel because we stay away from parents. Mom got all emotional. i found it funny, but eventually changed and made her happy. i wore the top of her choice, which no one noticed under the shawl.
.............................

Another time, dad and mom came visiting Bangalore to meet with S before we tied the knot. i fought with dad over something. it was lunch time. it was over the way he spoke to mom if i remember correctly. i was so pissed that i said, "i am not having lunch." (yeah, like you did in childhood and wait for your parents to threaten or coax you at least three times. :-)) Suddenly, mom took dad's side and told me, i shouldn't be doing like that as they have come to my house. i didn't know when parents became so emotional and started saying your house, my house. i guess parents are sometimes insecure in their own children's homes.

umm, you can't be that kid forever with your parents, nor can you be all grown up in front of your parents.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

pomfret-tomfret, babies and antakshari

The husband called up from the U.S of A (Those of you who asked if i am in the U.S. i was there, i sat pretty on his beautiful couch, and came back. No, wait. i travelled too, a lot actually.) and asked how to cook Pomfret. i found it so sweet that he expected me to know a little more than him about cooking. (shows how well i have bakrafied him before marriage. :-) ) i always give expert advice in that department. Well, i know how to eat Pomfret, but i don't know how to fry or cook one. So, i was shooting in the air trying to act as the Pomfret Consultant. He caught me obviously. Then i gave him the expert advice and asked him to Google it up. To overcome the embarrassment, my new year's resolution this time is to learn how to cook Pomfret. Be it from the husband.
..................................................
i am staying at my niece's place right now. i am about 2 yrs older than her. She has given birth to a baby girl promoting me to grandma or grand aunt, so to say. Well, the little one is very cute and is about 3 months old now, but she cries, especially when you are trying to sleep, and i am now seriously scared about having a baby. i see my niece sitting up the whole night with the little one in her arms. Her husband tries to help her and then struggles to get up in the morning to reach office. i am starting to think that babies, esp those in the frequently pooping, peeing, crying age group, look better on T.V and posters more than 50 metres around you.
..........................................
And this time, we did win the Antakshari competition at the office. Last year, i had to go for the visa interview and missed the show. i remember writing about the debacle the last time i participated. Our team has always been reaching the final round. Ending the post with something to cheer. yay yay yay dhing chak dhing chak...

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am scared

I am at my relative's place these days. I am scared to tread outside the house. I am afraid SRK and his Ra.one banner will just appear out of no where.  He is chamak chalo-ing on every channel, every show, and every ad and thank God, I personally do not own a T.V. I work from home these days.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

when a woman wants to be a mother

If you are under 18, go and read something else.

When I wanted to buy a microwave oven some years back, I saw a print ad with the image of Lord Ganesh on the front panel. I wondered how it could be possible for a microwave to have Ganesha on the face. I realized it was the ad of a digital camera but I wanted to see an oven so, I assumed it to be one. When I wanted to buy a house, I saw only ads of flats, on the billboards, the papers, magazines, just about everywhere. Paulo Coelho and whatever the ding dong about the universe conspiring you to get what you want, the mind definitely play tricks and makes you see what you want to see. Now, I seem to see only pregnant women, or women with small babies. In the U.S specially, the complex where we lived was Indian dominated. Many of the women there were in their twenties or early thirties, and I guess they felt it was the best time to have kids. I saw only preggy or young mothers everywhere to add more pressure to a wannabe like me. The following is written after some group therapy with fellow women in their 30s.
 
So, when a woman badly wants to get pregnant: 
• She looks longingly at the wine bottle in the fridge every day, just to open it the day her periods start and repeats this every month.  
• She reads up all possible articles on pregnancy. 
• She tracks her ovulation cycle and calculates and recalculates the same thing over and over again. 
• She suffers from IPS (Imaginary Pregnancy Syndrome). She feels pukish or pee often for no reason. 
• She does pregnancy tests before time, and stocks the test kits. 
• She doesn’t care whether her husband has just had a long day and then a long overseas call after work, her ovulation cycle is the most important thing in the world.  
• She sees only babies everywhere and pregnant mothers. 
• The whole world seem to be pregnant. 
• Babies are suddenly cute, even when they pluck flowers, which bloomed after 6 months in the apartment complex, and destroy them.
• She doesn’t wonder anymore why parents have to bring them kids to malls, and leave them everywhere, howling and bawling.

 
To prove my point about pregnant moms and kids everywhere, I have this photo as a proof. Isn’t the whole world pregnant!?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

hoin hoin hoin

Hoin hoin hoin! wondering what? well, this is how the song, "Genda Phool" in Dilli 6 start and ends. And obviously, i am singing it in my mind. So, Amrika it is via Paris on Air France. i will blog more regularly from there. i am going for a vacation for two months and not quitting my job. One main reason is that i have too many clothes to wear. lol!
Have identified some places where i could get free food and stay: Arkansas, Texas, Washington D.C, Virginia, NewYork, and Rhode Islands. There are other offers, but it is difficult to plan the itinerary as everybody is everywhere. Anyho, i may also end up playing Garfield and not move my butt at all.
so, people see you on the other side. hoin hoin hoin! :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

why?

Why is the amount of work inversely proportional to the number of days left to do it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

4 Lions

i remember S and i laughing till it hurt while watching the movie, 4 Lions. It is a black comedy about four British Jihadists and their ideology. You can laugh over the demented logic of the dim-wits, and how they execute their plan. This movie is about the moral idiocy of suicide bombing itself. There was a scene where they go to some training camp in Pakistan and make an utter fool of themselves. i think some U.S drones struck at the camp or something. There is a recruiter among them who doesn't speak proper Urdu and he is scolded in pure Urdu by his colleague by using the choicest bad words. It is funny and crazy at the same time, yet boldly provocative. Watch it if you still haven't.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

the american geography

i never knew that America would be so important to my life someday. Agreed many of us work for American MNCs in Bangalore, but all i cared about friends is that they are in the U.S. East coast, west cost, south central, the wtf coast that never mattered are beginning to make a lot of sense. So, i have been busy figuring out the American geography and checking out where are the places that i could get free food and stay. :-) Want to catch up at least with the childhood buddies, the ex-roomie, the bro-in-law and family, and of course my dear S :-) America, why are you so big?!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Marriage

I married when I was barely 18. We were young and madly in love. He was from a very rich family and showered me with gifts. His parents were happy thinking that marriage would make their wayward son settle down and promised my parents to take care of me. I knew he was on drugs, but thought our love would make him give it up as he had promised. I stopped studying, but he continued. He went back to Delhi to do his graduation. When he was in the second year, one day, he was found dead in the toilet due to an overdose. Already, I was like a maid in that house, with him studying and not staying with me, and my situation worsened after he passed away. I came home to be with my parents.

My parents sent me to Bangalore to do a BSc course in Biotechnology to keep me away from the talks of the neighbours and relatives. During this time, I met my second husband. This was my second chance in love and life, and he stood by me through thick and thin. He was disowned by his parents when he decided to marry me. He started working for a BPO to support me. I had two children in quick succession and decided to be a house-wife. After a couple of years, he started his own business. We have come a long way from where we started.

Things however, did not turn out as good as I expected. He started having an extra-marital affair. He hired her as a Manager and people started telling me about the late night dinners and client meetings. I fought and confronted him and it became very ugly. He said he picked me up from the ditch, severed ties with his family and married me, and now, I doubt him. I managed to get the girl fired. Now, there is another management trainee and I heard the same things have started with her. The business trips are getting frequent, and he is coming late very often. I am in my late thirties now. He is a good father to my kids, and I have decided to live in this house for them. I am past questioning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Me too Saina-chasing the feather

Past: December, 2006. Badminton tournament in ex-office. (too many exes in too many categories i say. tsk tsk! ) Me and my manager were thrashed all over the court by two huge and married ladies. Well, we were single then. Slim and trim, may i add and assumed we had a better chance of winning. Oh, they were merciless. One of our colleagues advised us and said, i told you guys to hit hard and high. It looked like you were showering flowers on them. We lost but, we decided in unison, to change the coach. :-)

Present: With my past experience of excellent sportsmanship, ladies and gentlemen, i played badminton the week before last and lost gracefully, with honour and consistency, in all matches that i participated. A colleague of mine gave her name but backed out in the last minute. i had metioned i would have been interested, so i was asked to stand in her place. M was my partner in the women's doubles. i went, encouraged by the fact that she has fractured her right ankle and me, my left. We limped together to the court and decided we would point out the cock (as we also call shuttles) to each other and play spot-the-shuttle.

We did not run at all, but made the other party run so much that we almost won the match. We lost 14-15. Then i partnered my current manager and participated in the mixed-doubles. This time, not only the opponents, but i made my partner also run around that it almost looked like we would win.
However, i suddenly remembered his feedback on appraisal that one needs to be consistent, and maintained it. We lost again. This time 12-15.

My partner M, went on to win many matches and reached the women's finals without running much. Many people wanted to act that they were all great players and stuck to the line, "i have not played for 5 yrs. i am out of practice etc" i stuck to, "if only i hadn't fractured my ankle" :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The mother and i

Me: Mom, why are you bringing rice of all the things from brother's.
Mom: It is really nice. i don't like the rice at your place.
Me: huh! Mama, you don't want to carry some salt too?
Mom: laughs.

Sometimes, i do think i have taken the crazy genes from my mother.

Went over to the brother's place over the weekend to bring back mom. We came back by train and all my mom could think of bringing back from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu to Bangalore was rice. :-)

The nephew looked like a little monk with his head tonsured. He used to sleep with mom the past one month that she was there with them so, we did not wake him when we left. Heard he cried a lot after he woke up.

The train journey was amazing though.  i blocked out office, work, the dilemma over my undecidedness, and chatted away with mom over all trivialities of life. How much of the world could we see from that small window! It was not green everywhere, but in patches. Between many drylands, we could see patches of tomatoes, yellow flowers, roses, maize etc. Mom and i would point out to each other between our chit chats and cups of tea and coffee. Also, beautiful were the trees among rocks and boulders, beating the hot weather and burgeoning with bright green leaves, breathing new life, creating new landscape, drawing new scenery.

Finally, i was home and nothing compared to the comfort and familiarity of my pillow.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Visa interview

Being my first Visa interview, i had butterflies in my stomach though i tried to act nonchalant. i always wanted to travel on work, and not travel as a spouse or a dependant but i have to agree it doesn’t happen too often in my field of work. Between us, S was the experienced one and he gave me a lot of gyaan.


S carried a fat file, while i had to follow him carrying a few documents, which talked nothing about my work or qualification, but only about my identity, whom am i married to etc. Suddenly, i realized my life and key to the US depended on S, so i clung to him like number 10 on Tendulkar’s playing shirt.

Then the question started. First they asked S all the what, where, why, hows of his job profile. i was prepared for myself too. You see, i have never stayed for 3 yrs in any company and that tells about my interview facing skills. With utmost pride, i was prepared to say i work for a biiiigggggggggg IT company , the RandD division, no, not Rand, but R and D as in Research and Development . i was about to answer like a self-appraisal meeting. Suddenly, he asked me, “Ma’am how long have you been married?” i looked at S and mentally calculated how long we have been married. Ok, ask something about my job i thought to myself. The next question was, how did we meet? i replied, ‘online’ thinking what a famous blogger i am and how widely unread it is, but how S was a fan and started mailing me. i almost gave my URL to this guy, but he was not bothered. Finally, he asked me “Where are you working?” i was dying to answer all that i had prepared. i whispered the name of my company and he concluded for me that i am going to quit as i have to go as a dependant. i stared at S, and S nodded on my behalf. The visa got stamped and i can visit or be with him as long as he is in the U.S. but i cannot work. However, i am looking at freelance or part-time opportunities, pole- dancing for one.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Going back

When shit happens, shit happens.

This was my general mood today and i was getting stressed out over small issues.

i thought i was having the most rough day. However, i somehow had the good sense to reach out to an ex-colleague and a wonderful friend. We work for competitors, but in the same campus. i joined her for lunch. i told her i think i could do with a drink. i was not lucky with the drink though she happily offered lassi.

When she introduced me to her colleague and we started talking about our old place, she said that it was an amazing place to work for and it was also because of me as i went out of the way to make the new joinees feel really comfortable. It is something which she learnt from me. Holy goodness, it came at a time when i needed the most that i even felt like crying. it was like the first drops of rain to my parched soul. Couldn't thank her enough.

mental note:

Reach out to friends. They'll never let you down.
A good conversation is sometimes even better than sex. (why i am writing this, i don't know)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

cat on a hot tin roof

Thought i was going through a cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof phase, and just read Elizabeth Taylor has died
i see only home d├ęcor these days. When i watch a movie or a serial, i am more interested in the background. In No one killed Jessica, i noticed Manu and Sabrina's houses had the same curtains in certain scenes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

amir khan-shah rukh khan

Wonder why the title? Will come there. i could have tagged along with S to the U.S. i didn't because i loved my job and it meant something to me. i was not working for the sake of money alone. i wanted to make a career out of it. i have put a little over 8 yrs to my profession. S got convinced by his management to get foreign exposure, and i didn't want to stop him, though we could still have a good life here.

Well, the appraisal feedback happened today, and for the first time in my life, i was not happy with what i got. i know your expectations and management's seldom match, but it wasn't even that. Worse is the cock and bull story later about you are technically reporting but not technically reporting to me. If you feel screwed, it is not me reassurance after the series of  you are doing greats.

Thinking that i have sacrificed my personal life for this makes me feel worthless.
Came back, ate potato chips and cried in that order. Tomorrow, i may see some sense. i know.

So, i want to feel important today and have this urge to show off my blog awards given by fellow bloggers. i had saved the images of some awards, but for some, i have forgotten who gave it. So, like Aamir Khan, i want to shun awards, but the Shah Rukh Khan (got the title?) in me is awakened and i want to display them. i know i had got some silly blogger award or so :-) . Please own up. Else, i am going to display whatever i like. i will derive some cheap pleasure out of it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

On women's day

i open your wardrobe. i get a faint smell of you, warm and fresh. Wonder how you remain smelling good throughout the day even when i cannot do it. i close the wardrobe immediately, fearing the smell would fade. It was my wish to stay back and hold on to my job. Thank you for understanding, and giving me that space.

The house seem big and the bed even bigger. i miss curling up to you, i miss you keeping my feet warm, i miss you reaching out for me and for my hands; even when you are asleep.  i miss the talk and updates between morsels of rice, and also the cleaning together after dinner. i miss the small pleasure of watching movies together on the laptop. i have not finished "band of brothers" because we started it together and we couldn't continue. i miss you complimenting me, and forcing you to compliment. i miss you saying,"You look really nice. For tomorrow also, 'You look really nice'. So, don't ask. :-) ". i miss the weekend evenings on our balcony, you on the guitar and me singing out of tune, over chicken and drinks. Now, i stand in the balcony all alone, and look at the lights trailing in the distance from vehicles, only the cool night breeze and my thoughts for company. Everything seem so distant. i miss the financial planning and THE financial planning and the financial planning over and over again.

The days go on. i keep myself busy. Work is cool. Colleagues are good. The pay is nice. i am managing well, but through it all, i have missed you.  i hope this separation pays off.

And today is the day we celebrate Women's day. The woman that i am, the woman that i want to be somehow doesn't add up without you. i pray the months fly, and i could be with you as soon as possible.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My tryst with bribe and corruption

As a child, I took a wooden scale home from school and lied at home that it was given by my teacher. My brother complained to mom. Trying to act cute and innocent did not work with mom, and I had to take it back. We had Moral Science classes where we figured that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Being honest and ethical then slowly became part of our value system through parents and teachers. During induction in companies, we are taken through a lot of online courses on ethics and what is expected of us. The companies too, are very strict about it. Sometimes, I do wonder what the employees of Satyam must have felt if they do have a course on Ethics. We crib about our salaries and managers once in a while, but deep down, all of us want to believe in the values, vision and mission of the organizations that we work for. I do feel many politicians must have come with the intention to serve, and right the wrong, but get mired in POLITICS.


My tryst with corruption started with my marriage registration. We were adults nearing 30 with all the right papers. The clerk in the registrar office smiled and asked us money when we submitted the form. S and I were shocked. We saw another lady who was his supervisor. She was in her late forties, well dressed with a huge gold chain and bangles. S said, “She is the supervisor and the others will not dare in front of her. Let us submit to her only.” We went to her and to our horror; she demanded money even without fluttering an eye-lid. S asked why, and she said everybody gives. We gave a few hundreds and left to get back after 1 month. We went after 29 days, as it was a weekend. We were not allowed to get married as we did not complete 1 month notice, for all the money that we paid. We had to go back again after a week. We were married, but to celebrate our wedding, they asked money again. S gave a hundred rupee note this time and we left.

Then I applied for my Passport. I had the marriage certificate too as a proof this time. I went through an agent and submitted all the documents. The policeman who came to verify the address and identity was so thrilled to talk to my bro-in-law who was in the army. They shook hands, one soldier to another, and then he asked me money. I gave him a few hundreds again. My passport to foreign travels was at stake you see.

With financial independence and staying alone, came the need to set up my own kitchen. I know these days, Facebook and blogs are where we cook and praise each other’s culinary skills, but we need some kind of fuel for whoever is doing it behind the scenes. I left home when I turned 19. Never voted. I was told; in Karnataka, you need the ration card or the voter’s id to get a gas connection. I shifted hostels and never got my name registered; as you need to be in one address for a certain no. of years. I tried registering through many of the corporate initiatives that came my way, but none of them worked. I pulled along a Kannada speaking friend to help me get a Ration card, for identity purpose. The officer told me that I need to bring the list where my name has been stricken off from the ration card holders’ list at home. Asked mom. She said, we never had our names in any list like this. I ran from pillar to post for 5 years, while paying exorbitant amounts through private players. When people have paid Rs.320 for a cylinder, I have paid Rs 800 and above. Finally, one neighbor told me to pay Rs 5500, and I got the connection without ration or voter’s Id, my citizenship, my Indianness, identity all established.

Marriage gave wings to many dreams together as a couple, and we booked a flat. When we had to get our flat registered, we were asked to shell out 20k over and above the registration fee. The builder advised our file will not move otherwise. We asked around to fellow flat buyers. All of them seemed to have paid and we toed the line.

Yes, I never opposed to any of these. I stooped in front of whoever exercised power, even when I was right.  But, i have recorded these incidents on my mind because they did not agree with  my values. Tomorrow, I may pay huge capitation fee to get my child admitted to a good school. Like all parents, I will continue giving him/her the values about right and wrong.

Wish life was as simple as it were in childhood. All you bothered was about homework and getting good marks. You could still afford to be uncorrupted.

Friday, February 25, 2011

photo mosaic

I read about this from Asha. Then a couple of days back, i downloaded the AndreaMosaic software and tried it. I am liking the result. Sharing one of them here.


Photo Mosaic: Pics from my holiday album


Wallpaper from Imagine India: Base Pic





Monday, February 21, 2011

Before I was a mom

Itching to write, but i have no time today. So, thought of sharing a Forward by a colleague and a wonderful friend of mine, about being a mother. This is for all my friends J, Lin, R, and those of you who've entered momhood and for people like me, who are under peer pressure. :-)

Before I was a Mom I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing, I even took pleasure in shopping.
I had quiet, uninterrupted conversations on the phone.
I had privacy in the bathroom.
Before I was a Mom, I slept as late as I wanted and never cared about the time I went to bed.
I was able to sleep the entire night uninterrupted and woke up with a feeling of being well-rested and ready for a new day.
Before I was a Mom, I never got up every few minutes, stopping whatever I was doing - voluntarily, just to be sure all in the house was okay or to lay my hand on the back of a sleeping child to be sure they were breathing and not feverish.
I brushed my hair and my teeth every day. I enjoyed leisurely bubble baths whenever I wanted.
I had time to clean house and read a magazine.
Before I was a Mom, I renewed my spirit by having lit candles burning all through the house; never nervous about that practice injuring fingers or being a fire hazard.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies and nursery rhymes. I was confident.
I was not concerned about the paint on the wall, leaving a window open or the front gate unlocked.
I never worried whether or not my houseplants were poisonous or what I kept under the kitchen sink or where I kept the sharp knives.
I never gave a second thought to the safety of electrical outlets or the accessibility of the medicine chest.
Before I was a Mom, the word "immunizations" meant almost nothing to me.
I had never held down a screaming, fearful child so that a doctor could do tests or give shots.
I had never been puked on, spit on, chewed on, pooped and peed on or pinched by tiny fingers.
I had forgotten how real monsters hide in closets without a night-light on and that bed-bugs bite too.
Before I was a Mom, I had complete control of my thoughts, my emotions, my body and my money.
I never looked into little teary eyes and cried myself.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late watching a child sleep, while praying over their future and being thankful to God for today.
Before I was a Mom, I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the physical pain or ease the emotional hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom, I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body, or the necessity of having eyes in the back of my head, or the importance of having three hands.
I didn't know how special it would feel to hold and feed a hungry baby, kiss a boo-boo or to offer comfort in the middle of a thunder storm. I never held a sleeping infant because I did not want to let go.
I never knew the delight of small arms hugging my neck.
I didn't know the bond between a Mother and her child could be so strong.
Before I was a Mom, I did not know anyone so small could make me feel so important and needed.
I had taken for granted the special moments and milestones I had been blessed to witnessed in the lives of others - like first steps and first words - the sound of a tiny voice whispering "Mommy?" for the first time - the discovery of rain and snow - the first taste of a cookie - and so much more.
No, I had never experienced the warmth, joy, heartache, wonderment, commitment, responsibility or the satisfaction that comes from the knowledge and understanding of what it means to be willing to self-sacrifice.
Now, I can appreciate the over-protectiveness of my own Mom, because I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much - before I was a Mom.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Romance

S: Hey, did you get the e-card that i sent you?
Me: No, which email id?
S: Office. Check your Spam folder.
Me: We have no Spam folder.
S: Shit!
Me: Did you get the card that i sent you?
S: No, which e-mail id?
Me: Actually, i didn't. Since, i did not get what you sent, it's the same. How does it matter? :-)
S: :-) Saali!
Me and S: challo, goodnight/have a great day!

We are trying to romance each other online. And i wonder what was it that we talked about from Friday evening to Saturday morning before we got married.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

let us all shop, shop and shop some more

The whole city is on sale. At least, i think so. i shopped a lot online when i was recovering from my accident. My excuse was that i had to make myself feel like i am going on with my normal life. Now, i realise i am shopping even more. online, offline, anyline... i am registered at many online shopping sites. Surprisingly, i take that much time as i would when i really go shopping:

Does anybody else at work have it?
Will it make me look fat/too skinny?
can i afford t?
Can i wear it to work? (i have no other social life these days)
Will the husband mind (he doesn't care, but it is part of protocol and i act concerned)
is the colour right?
can i hide it in the closet?
offline, i walk closer and then walk away and look at it from a distance, then take it to the trial room. Online, i zoom in and zoom out the image, then read the specifications, again and again.

If you feel guilty, what do you do? Spread the virus, or let's say, spread the love. And a blessing in disguise happened in the name of Fashion and you. Now, we have been exposed to all kinds of brands from the comfort of our drawing rooms and the various media available. We don't wear them, but ya ya, we know them. And then there are these fashion weeks that happen, almost every week. After a point, you'll see Wills ShivajiNagar Fashion week, Wills Kengeri Fashion week, Wills Dharvi Fashion week etc. Without diverting anymore, Fashion and You empowers you (bakra banaos) to reach out to some labels. The products are good and the prices are reasonable. It works only through reference, and you get discounts each time your friends buy for a certain amount. So, you buy and she buys, and he buys, and all of you buy and they make merry and also the money. So, if you want to feel less guilty about shopping too much, refer your friends. i can send the invite too. Drop me a mail.

Right now, there is Happiness Sale @Central (what are they happy about, i don't know), Shoppers' Stop and LifeStyle too. I am into Home Decor right now. Lifestyle had better and cheaper stuffs than Shoppers' Stop. Bought candles, vases, decorative stones etc. Took me about 2 hours to select them. i felt, smelt, touched, looked, sighed and then bought.
Today, i am living up to this thought that came through my Word-of-the-day subscription.

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen. -Jerome K. Jerome, humorist and playwright (1859-1927)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Back to mundanity

Gave back my walker to the hospital yesterday. Started taking the bike to the colleague's (with whom i carpool) place from today. couldn't stop living.


i try to leave work early these days. To reach home, to my mom, craning her neck from the balcony.
i don't know how many decades ago i turned 18, but i am back to being a child.

*********
Finally, i spoke to lady Bernes of Femina and got my reward. i did not shout or try to solve their problem. just that i had sent my address 5 times. i am glad i followed up. The little rewards inspire me to write. i write for joy, only here. even the social networks do not give me joy, just some momentary gratification. everywhere else, i eye the rewards or i get paid. Money is what separates us from animals, like they say in Sienfeld. :-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

And it is that time of the year-my shoddy state of finance

i am not proud to say this, but my finance is in a shoddy state. And it is not too late to make resolutions. started thinking if i were to die, what a financial mess i would leave behind. i had freelanced for a company
long time back. i never submitted my invoice. i hadn't done anything about the PFs in the past two organizations. i have changes (coins) in the name of Mutual Funds in many places. Some are tracked, some untracked. i used to tell myself i need to do something about it, but never got to doing anything and just went about my un-exciting life.

The only saving grace is that unlike some of my female colleagues, i haven't left it to the husband to take care of all financial investments of the household. i know my fund houses and investments and i take responsibility for any mess that comes along with it. (book idea-The pride of a financial moron)
While being bed-ridden, i decided i must pull up my financial socks and be financially fit too. i mailed to the people i freelanced for and got a fair amount. i have applied for withdrawal of one PF and the transfer of another. In one case, i even had to get an affidavit declaring i was working there as it has been more than 3 years that i left the place. i have initiated transfer of PF for the other organization to my current one.
Next, i need to fill up some forms for some superannuation fund in the ex-organization. Don't know how! yes, it is in English but the enormity of the no. of forms gave me a mental block and it has been pending.
And i don't like this new Know Your Customer thingy happening for the fund houses. Mine are not KYC compliant and you cannot do everything online.
HDFC doesn't allow you to update address online. Don't like it. ICICI allows you to do it.
So, here are the things to be done:
  • Withdraw PF from so and so company (submitted forms, waiting for Govt to act)
  • Transfer PF from ex-company (waiting for govt to act, DO NOT change too many companies)
  • Follow up on payment for past freelance work (got it. honey, i got money!!!:-))
  • Follow up with landlord and collect documents ( i ended up paying the electricty bill for his new tenant. forgot to remove online registration. collect mails. we live poles apart now, and i am just back on my feet.)  
  • Combine all MFs to one account (Let CAMS to do their job and manage only one account online. came to know this is not possible. Done for 2 MFs. They are not partners with Reliance.)
  • Pull out the non-sensical ones (wait for market to stabilise. Probaby post March)
  • Visit branch and submit address proof. (done. 14/2/2011)
  • Submit KYC form (keep all docs ready. Done. 9/2/2011)
  • Nominate S for all investments (how much money i am gonna leave you! it was just a fracture. me not dying so soon. haha.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Names and Pseudonames

i have been getting a lot of emails to my id arunima@gmail(dot)com about kidney transplant. No, i do not need one nor am i selling, or donating. i get emails about prime time T.V programs of some t.v channels. i know there are a couple of Arunimas in the media, but i am not one of them.

Registered myself to Blogadda, and my username and id also got mixed up with a certain Arunima Singh. Blogadda is trying to figure it out for me. My blog couldn't do anything at Blogadda. At least, they are doing something for me hahaha.

Dear arunimas with extensions(eg: arunima2010@gmaildotcom etc), i am glad i got my gmail id as arunima(without_any_extension)@gmail(dot)com. There is a saying about early bird catching worm and all that, you see. :-) That doesn't mean you could drop my email id wherever you want, for all registrations as a secondary email_id and create a lot of confusion.

The hubby started blogging and he has already started generating revenue. I thought it was joke, blogs generating revenue and making online money, but it happened with his blog. No, i am not linking it here. It's a technical blog, maths and all that jazz. No, actually not jazz, it will be pi, ki, sigma etc. I don't let him bring it to the bedroom, though i love the money. Considering that i have been around for 7 yrs; well almost, his is in the stage of infancy. So, i give him expert advice and say, "make it more colorful. add graphs and stuffs." Not that he listens, but i feel important.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Femina

i was elated when i came to know that my LTTE to Femina (Letters to the Editor, courtesy Amit) was one of the winners for the November (1-15) issue and i declared it here with equal exuberance. i was bed-ridden and it did good to my morale. i was told i would receive a mobile phone cover from miss sixty.

However, a lady, Bernes Mendes of Femina magazine ended asking for my contact details 5 times. The first two times, i did it patiently. The third time, i followed up CCing the mail ID to which i had sent my letter (cos i know they checked that mail) again. So, lady Bernes with an apology, asked for my contact details again. i replied with a grrr and then again and yet again, i was asked for my contact details. Finally, i copied all the e-mails that i had received (2 chains) into one and asked them to read it and told them they are very unprofessional. She gave me two numbers, which were unreachable too when i tried from my landline. (my cell phone was stolen and i was in no mood to buy another online, and i wanted a phone to suit the cover from Miss Sixty, perhaps a smart phone or so). i have not received any more mail, gift or love from Femina thereafter.

In the mean time,  i received 5k discount coupon and bought diamond earrings with 5k discounted from Surat diamonds, i shopped online from Shoppers' Stop with another discount coupon, i got a stole delivered for free from imint, all from the luxury of my bed. i mean my virtual life was rocking, but no sign of gift from Femina.

It is not about not getting the gift but, for the fact that Femina is a good magazine (answer-for-everything, tech savy and all, no???) . i went to their website, and gave this feedback.

"Hi,
I was one of the winners of the "Letters to the editor" for Nov 15 issue. A certain Bernes Mendes has been asking me for my address 5 times even after I have replied to each and every mail with my address and contact number. Now, I am not interested in the prize, but it has left me with a bitter taste of the way Femina is functioning. You claim to be many things to many women, but I see a' technology-retard-sob' in the behavior, if her excuse for asking my contact 5 times is due to some problem in checking her mails. Her action is actually invading my personal space."

Monday, January 10, 2011

2 months tomorrow

It will be two months tomorrow that i met with the accident. i have started working though i work from home often. i don't know if i took any new year resolutions. It's funny how one's focus and perspective in life changes completely. This new year, i gifted myself legs, which are of two different shapes, sizes and colors. When the cast came off, i wanted to disown the leg that was underneath it, but it was mine and i had to get it home. :-)

If there is anything remotely close to being called a resolution, it is to get my legs to be of the same color, shape and size. Yes, the ankle is swelled up and bluish in color still. The back pains when i strain or stress myself, and i limp slightly when i walk. Every bloody activity takes longer; infact, much longer than it used to take and sometimes frustrates me.

Parting from S was tough this time as he will be away for a long time and also because of my health. i know i am being selfish, but i think i married for this give and take. Next post will be about how i blasted Femina. yeah, i am one scorned woman.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

hurting loneliness, sleeplessness, and some such

“I think the place where poets meet
lies in an inner space between
the ribs, the lungs, and hurting loneliness.

A poet fills his bags with rose petals and
empties it on the head of another poet.
Her hair is full of petals.

There love poems rhymed and metered bloom
and in that moment of raining flowers
is the place I want to be.” Nina sorreno

Perhaps, that place is the blog for me. I had this strong urge to type even when the body said, it is time I call it a day as I have to limp myself to work early tomorrow. Dad left on 31st of December for our hometown. Mom is still with me. I hated his guts when he was around. Perhaps, hate is too strong a word. I disliked his guts around mom, dominating and oh so self-righteous. Somehow, I wanted him to know I DISAPPROVE. Perhaps, this is all because of my teens, where I grew up worrying too much they’ll fight, or cried too much that they are fighting, or I was too idealistic, or just plain crazy. Yet, if I were to die, I’d want one of my friends to let dad know that I blogged here, and I know he’ll be the only person who will appreciate this place and his daughter as she is, very emotional, imperfect, suddenly funny and so full of anger. See, even in death, there is a part of me seeking daddy’s approval. He dotes on my husband. It was important to me that he approves of S. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have married S if dad did not like him.


They say the internet is written in ink, but I had to tell my story somewhere. Sometimes, I regret letting some friends know I blog here. I miss my old template too. I am missing sleep right now, and S. He is in the US. I am craving for some potato chips too.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

aha, 2011 and resolutions

may your dreams bear wings, and may those take flight!
may you be amazed, bewildered, and thirst for something!
may you aspire or be inspired!
may you grow and help others too!
may you kiss with all your heart, be it your spouse, a child, or that one true love!
may 2011 be a year of possibilities!

Here are some resolutions I created for them solely for fun:

Salman Khan: Find new girl, find another look-alike of the girlfriend and cast her in new movie if the relationship with girlfriend turns sour.
Sonam Kapoor: Take acting tips from Papa darling apart from sizzling in the designer clothes that he's been providing me with.
Arun Nayyar: My life is not on lease (liz!)
Abhishek Bachchan: Stop following the wife everywhere and start acting.
Aishwarya: Support a new cause. Say 'no' to plastic!
Deepika Padukone: Continue being happy and gay (at least one of us seems to be)
Hrithik: No more kites, only more, mori, i mean meaningful cinema
Tiger Woods: Not take my surname seriously. There is nothing called woods. Everything becomes public.
Priety Zinta: Act busy with cricket if i don't get any movies!
Rani Mukherji: Keep saying, "I am not getting married" if i don't have movies to talk about.
Yana Gupta: Pant*ies, pant*ies, pant*ies!