Jan 31, 2007

of temples & shoes

i've never been very religious. i do have faith that there is something there. or someone. but who or what it is, i do not know. i think they term this as being agnostic.
but i very sincerely do not believe in idol worship. i don't believe that god *as we know him* exists in temples. and that to visit him u have to leave ur shoes outside. or maybe, it's because we have to leave our shoes outside, that i don't want to go inside?

i've been like this since i was a kid *as far back as i can remember*. i think it all started when i was warned by some well-meaning relative to leave my shoes in the car while we visited the temple. *i must've been 5 or 6 then*. on being asked the reason *yeah, i was just as irritating back then as well. i HAD to know y*, they told me that there was a possibility of my shoes being stolen! STOLEN? if they can't take care of my shoes, why do they want me to take them off? *i don't think they had paid shoe-racks back then* that had such a deep impact on me that i stopped going to temples. unless dragged or emotionally blackmailed.

that's how i realized that i have a very strong connection with my footwear. i don't remember the last time i walked bare foot *after the age of 5. before that, i barely remember anything!* except for the beach, where i keep my footwear safe in the car. this also helps to keep sand out of both - the car & the footwear. even if they're flip-flops!

i even dislike removing my footwear outside someone's house when there're lots of people there. i dread the thought of someone else's footwear finding it's way on top of mine, or toppling mine over. my aunt had explained the logic of this process to me, which i have now forgotten. *it did make sense then, tho*

i also, preferred churches to temples. this had little to do with me having gone to a convent *like my relatives thought* and more with the fact that i could keep my footwear where it belonged! i think that's why i feel more at peace in churches than in temples. my mind's not outside!

come to think of it, it's actually been an awful lot of years since i visited a temple. i think i must try it sometime. now, i've heard, they even have paid shoe-racks. where they ensure that our footwear is safe. must give it a try.

Jan 30, 2007

things i can't get right

the top 9 things i really really can't get right! there are loads more, but 9's my number!
1. phone conversations. i run out of things to say after 3 sentences. this holds true even for close frenz and hubby. i just can't speak on the phone! there's nothing i can think of saying. i can chat for HOURS, but speak? umm... well, 5 mins is a really long call! one hint: MAIL me, or even better, drop over for a visit! i SO hate telephones!!
2. socialising. i am very anti-social. i can't for the life of me figure out why people need to have big parties or huge get-togethers or wotever they're called. where hoards of people are in one place and appear to have fun. it's SO not fun for me.
3. being a morning person. keep me up all night, but PLZ don't ask me to wake up early! even 9.00 a.m. is early! i CAN wake up *used to, once upon a time, to reach work* but i SO can't speak to anyone for at least an hour after waking up!
4. not buying footwear. i find them irresistible. this urge has now diminished. in india, i HAD to buy even semi-decent looking footwear. the thought was "i CUD wear it SOME place?" i just think there's nothing as sexy as multiple pairs of footwear! *don't ask how many multiples. i don't wanna count!*
5. accepting compliments. i have NO clue how to react to ANY of them. i smile stupidly and say a "thanks" in a volume so low, i doubt even dogs'd be able to hear it!
6. wearing sports shoes. i can make the sexiest sports shoes look like osho slippers. no clue how or why, but i just can't carry them off! gimme those stilletos anyday!
7. chopping onions. i can't. that makes my chopper a treasured accessory. wonder how i'd manage to cook one decent indian meal without it!
8. managing money. i could never figure out what happened to my salary at the end of the month! *and i did get paid well, even by bbay standards!* life's a lot easier now. no income. no money management!
9. maths. i have a mental block when it comes to maths. sure, i can calculate and add small numbers etc. complicate that a TAD bit more, and out comes the calculator!

p.s.: these are not listed in any order of priority, except top of mind!

Jan 29, 2007

blast from the past

this clip not only brings back memories, but still manages to amaze me. an animation way back in the '80s, aired on d only channel then *Doordarshan*, it's so simple! conveys so many mesgs in one 7 min 6 sec slot! it's a catchy jingle, has a story, shows bonding between siblings, national integration... everything! i've loved the 'mera bharat mahaan' series of ads, but this one still rocks!

came across it on google videos : ek, anek aur ekta...

Jan 27, 2007

never give up...!

p.s.: to remind myself... to never give up! nothing says it as well as the above lines.

Jan 26, 2007

cellular freedom...?

i hate being interrupted. more so, when it's early in the morning. when, on an idyllic morning, am sipping my nice, warm mug of coffee, playing boggle/bookworm/cubis, wondering whether this is for real, and the phone rings. if it's a fren, it's still fine. but people call arbitly. with loans/insurance to sell, information to give, blank calls, wrong numbers? whew!

sometimes, i think it was a beautiful world without cell phones. *i have to really strain to r'ber it, tho!* i know, they've provided croissants, cheese & coffee to me for a long while. but they don't now! and today, i can finally say "i don't understand cellphones!" wow! that was a relief. after years of pretending to be tech savvy, it feels great when u can come out & say that u're as ignorant as can be! sure, i understand mobile content and technology, but i don't understand the device, the way it has evolved today. the phone, to me, is something that is used to get in touch. to call/text. that too, in cases of emergency or if u have some work with the other person. *i suck at small talk* that's it. it is NOT a device to download music/listen to it *that's what i'd use a sound system for*, have fancy, psychedelic ringtones/ring-back tones and surely not to download celebrity imagery! geez! it's so hard to believe that there're LOADS of people who use their mobiles for all such purposes. and they pay for it, too! *i used to do it, too. but that was a work hazard*

it is strange to know how something that was so indispensable to me, something that was an integral part of my life, has become so insignificant today. there was a time when i couldn't live without my cell phone. i didn't go to restaurants/pubs where my cell phone would be unreachable, i'd panic if i misplaced it or couldn't trace it. *i'd forgotten it in the closet once, and once in the fridge!*
today, i couldn't care less. sure, i still like mobiles & can go on for hours about how they've brought the world closer and made us reachable. *like that were a good thing only!* but i think those are just traces of my addiction. and they'll go away soon. coz honestly, i can almost imagine a world without cell phones. and it seems pretty nice.

i've already started using the phone only as a matter of emergency. wonder how long before i stop using it & go back to being digitally challenged. at least i won't have anyone interrupting me, while i do nothing.

Jan 22, 2007

dreamz pvt. ltd.

"everyone must have big dreams; something that is slightly beyond the realms of achievement."
well, when i first heard this last night, i thought, true. we must.
but it's SO subjective. who are we to decide whether somebody's dream is big or not? whether he/she can achieve it or not.

'A' might dream of being a movie star, 'B' might dream of becoming a heroin trader, 'C' may dream of converting lead to gold *i know, that's what alchemists do!*, 'D' may just dream of having a happy life!
who's to say which is bigger. or more "realistic".

it set me thinking too. what's my big dream? and strangely, i don't have any.
when i was about 8, my big dream was to become a figure skater. *thanks to watching ice skating on tv!* then, when i was abt 10 or so, my big dream was to own a ranch. with LOTS of horses AND no help. *i wanted to look after them myself!* around the age of 15/16, i wanted to start an animal orphanage. after that, i don't think i've had any "big" dreams. *for the purview of this piece, dreaming of the manish malhotra outfit & wanting to buy it is NOT considered a dream*
i also noticed something peculiar about me. i never expected these dreams to turn into reality. i never wanted to make the effort to convert them either. i was happy living my life, knowing that i had dreams. i never learnt how to skate, always knew i wouldn't own horses and well, affording to support myself was a task, so an animal orphanage with MY money was completely out of the question! *mind u, i never had a dream of earning a lot of money!*

and no, i'm not disappointed that i haven't converted any of these dreams. there's no feeling of loss. what would i do with an animal orphanage? would i be able to manage it? same for the ranch! *moving to texas is the closest thing that's happened to realizing it* and well, though i still like horses, i wouldn't be able to live with that "horse" smell around me! but they were nice dreams.

maybe it's part of growing up. maybe it's a process, which made me realize that i needed to live each day. and be happy. and let my dreams be just that. dreams.

p.s.: i still DO dream of getting a tiger cub. and that dream, i will pursue!

disclaimer: wanting to pursue ur dreams is good. readers are encouraged to keep following their dreams. the writer is bound to contradict ideas. esp her own.

Jan 19, 2007


someone recently asked me "where do u see urself 5 years from now". so i decided to twist the question & ask hubby of where we saw us 5 years from now!. snippets of how confusing conversations can be. and how very doofusy!

me: we can get a dog. he can entertain me now. and later, when we have a kid, he can take care of it too.
v: yeah, good idea. but i thought u wanted a cat?
me: yeah, but cats aren't good with kids and vice-versa. besides, we'll be shifting, so no point getting a cat. he may not be able to adapt. we can get a nice big doggie, though. a tan labrador or a golden retriever.
v: so 5 years from now, job, kid & dog.
me: yeah. plus a house and bigger car as a result of the dog & kid. no more sexy 2-door car!
v: yeah. true. so many changes. but i guess we'd be ready for them by then. ok... can i choose the name already? or will that make u feel like distant future is near future?
me: oh no! not at all! in fact, i've already chosen the name.
v: u have? y didn't u tell me?
me: i thot u'd feel pressured. same thing u sed, u know!
v: so...?
me: *beaming at my own intelligence* doofus.
v: stunned into silence, expression bordering panic.
me: *surprised & confused* u don't like it?
v: *knowing there will be no other opportunity to say this*
um... NO! that's a weird name!

me: *defiantly* what's weird with doofus?
v: imagine! we'll say "doofus, come here!" "doofus, do this", "doofus, don't do that!" poor thing will never get an opportunity to be perceived as bright. he'll be a born doofus.
me: he doesn't need to be perceived bright! he'll look doofusy too, u know.
v: look doofusy? WHY? how do u know!?
me: what's wrong with u? all labs or retrievers look doofusy. they're not, but they sure do look it! that's partly why i like them!
v: *kind of relieved* oh! we were talking about the dog, eh? i wanted to think of a name for the kid...

we couldn't stop laughing. and as far as d kid's name's concerned, we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it...!

Jan 17, 2007

simply profound...

according to me, alice in wonderland is the most profound books of all times.
i finished reading it in a day. *i wasn't ONLY reading!* and i understood, was fascinated & completely awed by the fact that SO much could be said so simply! for me, it isn't just a fairy tale. it isn't a children's book. it's a book every individual must read. it's a book which lends perspective. which even a non-reader can read and appreciate.

there's a section of literary critics who believed that lewis carroll intended the cheshire cat to be the "god" of wonderland. *i, of course, read it somewhere!* an omniscient and omnipresent character, who appeared and disappeared at will, doing it so frequently that eventually there was nothing left of him but his grin. the cat engaged alice in sometimes amusing, sometimes rather deep conversation, often using a logic *which only he thought was logic* to offer non-solutions to Alice's many questions.
the cheshire cat was also MY favourite character in d book. aside from being a cat *and i DO love cats!* he imparted the most profound wisdom in a truly simple manner.

f.i. when alice's trying to decide which path she must take to proceed & the cat appears;
alice: which of these roads do i follow?
cc: where do u want to go?
a: i don't know.
cc: then it doesn't really matter which way u go.

try applying that to life.
i guess i learnt at a very early age that u don't have to confirm. that u can choose ur own path as long as u know where u're headed. or choose any path & make sure to enjoy the journey and the destination. because it's a choice u made! and alice and the cheshire cat are to be credited *or blamed* for that! i realised that philosophy doesn't entail big words, complex ideas. that life isn't necessarily complicated. that there are no perfect solutions to questions/issues.
that the most important things in life are very simple. and in their simplicity, very profound.

d truth abt cats/dogs...

i'd love to have my own pets. and when i DO have them, this is what i'd probably do!

A Letter to My Cats and/or Dogs

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort.

Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, bark, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered.

Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following 'Rules' on our front door.

Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Complain About Our Pets

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy and walks on all fours. Although they doesn't speak clearly, they communicate extremely well, especially cats.
5. Dogs and cats are better than kids... they eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called (this does not apply to cats), never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about having to buy the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, and don't need a gazillion dollars for college. Also, if they get pregnant, you can sell the children!

p.s.: i didn't draft this. this was sent to me by a very close friend who knew i'd love it!

Jan 16, 2007

let it snow!

i've never liked the cold.

i hate the way it dries my skin, the sudden increase of frizz in my already frizzy tresses, the amount of time it takes to put on & then pull off those clothes, the fact that you can't step out in sandals/slippers, that u've got to check the weather & road conditions before even going out to get groceries, that u can't go for long walks...

i've also realised that i'm a very flexible person when it comes to the weather. i have somehow, figured out how to be content with whatever mother nature throws my way!

today, sitting inside a warm house, looking at the white lawns outside, the beautiful ice formations on the patio railing... i've made peace with winter.

i'd never noticed how beautiful the lush green grass looks when it's specked with white dots. had never known the joys of sitting in a warm house when it's below zero outside. didn't know that hot chocolate, warm food and dark choc ice cream could ever taste so delish! *i love all 3. in all weathers. but they taste special when it's freezing outside!* and now that i know it, i'm beginning to like it. *won't say i love it, because well, i'd like it to go back to normal soon!*

back home, it usually starts getting warmer from this point of time in the year. and i'd thought maybe, that's the case here as well. but, never mind... every thing's strange here! so why should the weather be any different?!

they say it never snows in texas. all i say is hmm... it doesn't, eh? i know it won't snow enuf to build even the paw of a snowman, but well, at least it proves that there're NO definite statements. that i also need to think before defining things/life in black & white. coz always, there is the grey, which rules! which says, don't be so sure. u might change your mind!

now, finally, i'm ready for it all. rain, fog or wind, cold, snow or sunshine!

p.s.: i still DO want to hibernate all winter!

of quirks & hygiene...!

me: can i trash these extra toothbrushes?
V: NO! i use them. they're mine.
me: they're used.
V: uh huh. they're currently in use.
me: all of them??
V: hmm... yeah. why?
me: why do u need 4 toothbrushes & three toothpastes???
V: smiles proudly. says nothing.
me: don't tell me you get bored of using the same one? *i'm confused coz I'M d one with that trait! could it be contagious?*
V: still smiling. evidently enjoying my state of confusion.
me: there're FOUR toothbrushes there. in & around the holder. they all look the same AND used to me. it's looking littered. and i'm going to trash them unless u tell me what they're for.
V: *suddenly panicking* don't trash them. depends on which one i feel like using. they're all different.
me: HOW?
V: let me explain. the dark blue one is kind of hard, the lemon is very soft, the mint green is moderately soft and the olive green is moderately hard.
i decide to let that pass. i need time to comprehend what he just said!
me: and the three toothpastes?
V: u can't throw them.
me: *menacingly* why?
V: u also use them, r'ber?
me: i use ONE toothpaste. only!
V: i use all of them. it depends on what we eat. there's one i like to use after eating red meat, one after white meat, and the third after veggies.
me: *deciding to NOT pursue this conversation* okay. there's no place to put my ONE toothbrush. we need to get a bigger paste & brush holder. maybe we shud get a rack! remind me to put it on the list.
V: *smiling like d cat who got the cream...*

boy! and i thought i was quirky!

Jan 9, 2007

a bagful of memories?

photographs. they have this amazing ability to transport u into a different time & age. moments, which are encapsulated. in that one 4X6 frame. one picture. but so many emotions wound around it. so many memories.
so do clothes. and accessories. *for me, at least!*

as i unpacked my 23-kgs-full-of-goodies bag *my cousin got me an entire bag load of stuff from india*, there were so many things going through my mind. every piece of clothing - be it a T, a skirt, a saree, footwear, picture or belt - had it's own unique memories attached to it.

and to top it, my mother's sent me clothes which i wore over 6 years back. *YES, i still fit into them!* trying to put the pieces together, wondering which was bought when? when had i worn it? why do i remember? have i forgotten already?
some have good memories - like the black one-shoulder remanika top? i bought it over lunch coz we had to bring in a close frenz b'day that night. some not-so-good - like the maroon bandhani skirt. i lost my favourite silver anklet the last time i wore it *i thot it was d anklet tinkling, it was actually the ghungroos on the skirt*. some, i can't place. i have NO clue when & why i'd bought that multi-colored *red, orange, yellow AND green* short, strappy dress! but i've been smiling since i opened the bag.

also, now i have no place to stuff/hang the contents of the bag. my closet, though huge, isn't all encompassing! so here i am, sitting in my living room, which now looks like a chor-bazaar - trinkets, flashy earrings, beaded belts/stoles, osho slippers - all lying rite here! wondering. is this a bag filled with my belongings or a bag filled with my memories...?

Jan 4, 2007

finding neverland

as a child, i believed that neverland exists and sought it for quite a while. *till what age, is something i choose not to tell* i was never clear of what exactly happened there, or what it *MY neverland* looked like, who lived there, or what they did. so i sought it in my life. sought it in the glittering, chaotic routines of mumbai, the eerie silences of shela, the cosy comfort of pune, the beaches & desserts of muscat, the oasis-like beauty of salalah.
last week we went to a different world. sea world. right here, in texas. a world of beautiful sea creatures. a world where penguins marched to their own drumbeat. a world where dolphins dance to music, a world where sea lions act in a skit & please audiences, a world where anything's possible. u just have to believe.

was that my neverland? i don't know. it sure was a different world, walking hand-in-hand in
the rain, watching sea lions upto their antics, wondering whether we wanted to go on the never-ending ride, watching a 4D movie & laughing when they splashed water on us! it was just a day, but it transported us into an entirely different world. one which we'll miss.

but i think there's more to neverland than that. it's a place which is inside us all the while. it never goes away. u can always take a quick dip into it, whenever u're feeling low or whenever u just want to! we decide WHAT we store in there. memories, people, places - whatever we wish! and then, whenever we want, we can go back & relive those moments - almost magically. it's a place which houses my deepest, liveliest moments. a place i love & cherish. and will all my life. a place which i may never be able to describe in words.

i think i've found my neverland. for happily ever after.

people friendly, me...?

i've realised i'm not after all, that much of a people's person. i AM a friends person, not people's. there're a lot of people who catch me on the wrong foot. at least where communicating goes.

some call up & say "recognise me?" umm... hell NO! i even have to store my mother's number with her name *i'm TERRIBLE at remembering voices OR faces!*
i sure have heard of them before, even spoken to them on the phone maybe. but YES, u still need to tell me who u are. there're lots of people i know. and even more in the world. and unless u have some uncanny, audible characteristic *like a lisp or stammer or smthng* i aint going to know u from adam/eve.

but, a lot of people do that!

one of hubby's labmates met me for the first time after i came here. the first thing she thought she'd say to me was "hi! do i need an introduction?" well, sure u do. who do u think u are? julia roberts?? i DIDN'T say that to her, tho! i gave her my 'lost-kitty' look till she told me her name. i am nice, sometimes.

at an office party once, a colleague was introducing me to his client. and the latter, holding up a glass of whiskey, back-slapped me and said, "we know each other quite well, rite?" umm... well, NO! i couldn't for the life of me be sure whether i knew him or not! neither could i decipher whether he was drunk & hitting on me, *literally, too* trying to be friendly or was just plain obnoxious! i usually settle for option 3 and then, may d lord bless his soul for having spoken to me! but this was official, so i had to 'grin & bear it.' *i mentioned i was nice, didn't i?* and yes, later, i realised i DID know him from a previous job and a couple of mutual frenz. geez! we DID know each other well!

i remember a guy in one of the places where i worked. he worked in a diff dept, but was working with us on a campaign. early one morning, he walked up to me, asked if my colleague had come in yet. *he hadn't, apparently.* then, the conversation veered, drifted... and i lost interest. so i was barely listening to him when he mentioned something with the words "want coffee." *he meant, do YOU want to go OUT for coffee?" i comprehended "I want coffee"*
me, being in one of my "am-nice-to-colleagues" moods, immediately summoned the coffee-wala bhaiyya & said "inko ek coffee dena." then i turned to the by then thoroughly embarrassed dude & asked "u don't get coffee on ur floor? poor thing!"

later, when i had been told of his intent by a well-meaning colleague & close fren; i was amused! so, each time after that, when i passed this guy in the building, i'd ask him if he'd had coffee. and watch his flushed face & laugh! *i can't always be nice.*

i wish people would be more considerate towards souls like me. *speaking directly & clearly is d only way i can ever understand something* it'll help me be more considerate towards souls like them!

Jan 3, 2007

money matterz...

was going through a friend's profile on orkut. under 5 things he can't live without, he lists "money" as number one. interesting. having never had a dearth of it, i couldn't ever relate to the ideology that money is mandatory to being happy. or that it has anything to do with happiness. yes, i agree that u need money, but how much is subjective! and it sure didn't occur to me as one of the things i couldn't live without. i've always believed that money is not a factor which would change the way i perceive anyone.

that's why when my mind wandered this morning & i found myself thinking about whether money affects my perceptions, i surprised myself. more so, because i found myself agreeing that it does. at least to a certain extent.
it's like, plenty of women kiss their lovers. but if u know she's been paid for it, the kiss changes it's taste. it's not love or lust anymore. it's just a kiss. the way you look at her changes. the fabric of her being changes. when she walks down a sidewalk, the meaning of the street corner changes.

whether this is appropriate or not, i don't know. but yeah, maybe money does change people's perceptions. also, i guess it's situational & subjective... it may change for the better or worse. that's something we each have to figure out for ourselves.