Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Late Wednesday night

Its very late. I just got back from work and I'm home alone. Its a nice feeling to not have people looking out for you some times.

Mum and Papa called later. Apparently getting them an aisle and a window on row 53 wasn't such a bad idea-- the only unoccupied seat was, as correctly estimated by the lovely little Megha, between their seats. Its a nicer feeling when your parents secretly thank you for insisting on checking them in, and actually see some usefulness in your otherwise nomad life.

My mind is a little fuzzy right now. I'm not faced with any big choices to make but it feels like I am. Its the same sort of anxiety. And its not because of work- that usually clears it up. I don't know what it is but I'm hoping, tomorrow morning brings some clarity.

In other news, I might end up spending Friday evening in Bombay. I want to be away Friday night, but I need to be back Saturday morning. I think the lovely PM (very lovely I might say) might be able to rescue me. I hope the Saturday meeting doesn't end up being a Saturday morning meeting.

Good night!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Should I be sending you a thank you note, Mr should I say....

I'm still facing the backlash. Even today, 18 months later, I get a snide remark here or there. Like a certain fat admin chick coming stealing a moment at the cafe to tell me 'easy love' doesn't lead to marriage (Seriously, we're talking about marriage here. I don't know about easy love , but marriage is going to come out of fabulous love not secret stories any way).

If it weren't for my support group and conviction in myself, it wouldn't have been possible. I was going to say 'easy' instead of 'possible' when my fingers stopped, almost substituting my brain for that moment.

I don't think much about the subject now. Its stale. As are all the people associated with it. That face is stale. What was good then.....rehearsed movie quotes, false stories about idealism and morality, and others that I'll probably remember if I try real hard, hardly makes the list now. Its probably the best thing that happened to me because when I do close my eyes, tune out of now and think of the time between now and then....looks like we've come a long way!

Crash Into Me, Dave Mathews Band should be mentioned here too.

Oh Father, let my country awake.

Sri Ram Sena?!?! Was Sri Ram so anti-women? I know there was some chaos on whether Sita was 'pure', but hadn't they sorted it out through the agni pariksha? I thought that would have put an end to this matter but clearly not. Sri Ram's frustrated bhakts are doing their bit for god by molesting women.

Here's what I'm referring to.

What is it with free India? Why are people in positions of influence so screwed up?!?!

*Political activists molest women when they see them drinking or dressed in anything that shows of their arms or legs

*Superstars (erstwhile criminals, but that's just incidental- not something that undermines his ability to form the leadership in the country) try to gather votes by condemning women for not taking their husbands' last names.

*Iconic filmstars publicly dis great foreign movies but don't even bother about Indian TV shows that show women in pathetic light

And this, when I had just started feeling warm and fuzzy about living in India.

There are ~2,500 people who have viewed this blog so far, so fat chance any of the intended readers of the following notes will read it. But if you do read this, and if you know any of these people, please pass on my message.

Dear women in Mangalore,

Please get together a group of 1,000 women and head to the same pub and order twice as much as you did last time. Do smoke if you can. And if these assholes do muster up the courage to come in, kick them in their balls...oops...did i say balls? Kick them where they should ideally have had balls.

Dear Sanjay Dutt,

I'm not surprised your self esteem depends on whether your wife assumed your last name. You've had a pretty crappy life, and I trust Manyata sweety is going to give you the ego boost you've been craving by OMG using the Dutt name!

Dear Amitabh Bachchan,

Understand you feel a bit unloved when you see 8 year old Latika do a better job than most Bollywood superstars. But there are millions like me who have some faith in your ability to influence this country. So do channel your energy, and eloquence to stop Ekta (Eakta, or Ektaaa) Kapoor and her types from making any more serials where women are treated worse than furniture from Sunday Bazaar

Love all,


P.S. I hope Papa never reads this. He'll love me for how angry I am, but I said balls. Papa doesn't know I know the word. Haw!

Monday, January 26, 2009


"(Marie Elena says) only unfulfilled love can be romantic"

I heard this in Vicky Christina Barcelona on the flight back from Pondicherry. Not taking away much, but its worth thinking about.

Pondicherry was nice, but the drive along the East Coast was it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nice times these

Its Republic Day soon, but I have pride of a slightly different type. These are good times to be alive, and here are a few things that make them more interesting

1. The recession.

Its a real one, and that is the reason I like it. My day and age saw too many people getting too rich, in too short a period- almost unreal. I don't enjoy the agony people are going through but I do love the perspective and humility its brought in. Even in myself, I can feel the change. Touchwood, my job isn't in danger- far from it, but these times have helped me think harder about my own goals, value what I have but not revel in it, and feel better about not subscribing to the Jimmy Choos and LV bags way of life.

2. Obama.

I'm definitely among the millions who're optimistic of the gorgeous new president of the United States of America. I love him for being non-white, having Harvard on his resume (Yes yes I'm a stickler for Pedigree, and have the highest standards therein), walking out of a party when a stripper walked in, disliking trousers that hang on the behind, loving Indian home furnishings, opposing the Iraq war from the beginning, and for being elected when I'm young, energetic and always looking for inspiration

3. Fitness.

I love fit people. I love how people are increasingly taking immense care of their health and their bodies. I find obsession with dress sizes (or even the mention of it sometimes) quite annoying, and don't equate fitness with flat-chested, ass-less women, or buffed up, gym obsessed men. I like being fit because it lets me prance around, breathe well and not tire easily. That's the size of it.

4. Living my youth in India.

Until a year back, I used to be quite fickle-minded about my decision to move back to India. May be because I didn't see a lot my peers doing it. I mean, while several hundreds moved back, I saw very few of my classmates/age groupies do it. I don't blame them- good money, great life and a lifetime ahead of them, where moving back could happen any time, so why the rush. I did it because I had made a commitment I couldn't break. But I wasn't entirely sure of my decision then. The last year gradually helped me develop conviction in India. My long term plans were always in India, but it was only recently that I decided that my short term will be here. I can't comment on my long term (given my love for several things American), as the long term seems kind of far. Obviously, I do grace other countries as often as I can.

5. Freedom.

I mean the freedom to choose the way you want to live. The freedom from image management! The freedom to be normal. And the freedom not have doctored responses to every situation.

I'm glad its not like the 1960s or 1980s when individual freedom was restricted because of norms set by the society. I'm also glad its not like the 1970s or the 1990s when it was almost uncool to not break away. I admire those who did it then. But I like that I don't have to bother now- there is no need for image management. I can totally be the girl who drank a bit last year but wasn't labeled for it, or the girl who doesn't drink now and is still not uncool. Even if its not this way, its good no one bothers enough for it to reach my ears. I like that I'm not longer straight-jacketed into a 'type' because of what I'm momentarily interested in (Ok, I don't mean I as in me, I mean anyone like you, or me). I like having the freedom to like shopping without being labeled a shopaholic, or go trekking without being regarded a trekker, or read the Newsweek or the Vogue without belonging to any of those 'types'.

Its a long weekend tomorrow. I'm driving along the East Coast with friends from school. Oooh, and A R Rehman got 3 Oscar nominations for Slumdog Millionaire. Its week 2 on my computer and I still love Jai Ho.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Buddy went

Ten years ago, I brought 3 weeks old Buddy home. We didn't know what breed she was until long after. She looked mixed, but she looked great. We didn't have a dog for 5 years before we brought her. It was a big step, because for a long time we weren't prepared to go through the grief of losing a pet. Papa had made me promise we would get a male. Hence, the name Buddy. He was fed up in our women-dominated house. It was only when he first held her, that I let him know Buddy was female. He couldn't say no then, and after that, Buddy spent 10 years with us.

In 2003, when she was 5 she attacked me once. This was when Buddy and I stopped being friends- I had developed a genuine fear of her. She was pretty ferocious. I didn't walk her even once after that. I was never the one to leash or unleash her, or to feed her. I moved out, went to Bangalore, then Singapore, then back, but only last year did we warm up to each other again.

Two weeks back, she developed an infection in her liver. Because she's mixed she always had tremendous immunity, except this time. She hadn't eaten a thing in over two weeks and with every difficult breath she took she gave up a bit. In the last 4 days she couldn't even walk. She fell as she tried to climb up to her little corner behind the stairs. Proud Buddy fell. Her eyes started drooping. Yesterday she looked desperate. While I was the one who first brought her home she was Papa's dog. He taught her whatever little manners she had. He used to walk her every day, for 10 years. In the last 2 weeks, he had been taking her to the doctor every day and standing next to her for hours as she was given her IV. Last evening we felt her suffering wasn't fair. The doctor said she'll live for another few days, but without being able to move. He asked us to think about easing her pain. I broke down. Thankfully Papa agreed to sleep over it last night. He couldn't cry, and I conveniently left the decision to him. Before I wished her Goodnight I secretly asked her to let go during the night.I wished she'd go herself.

This morning, she was alive but lifeless. We took the call. I bawled- at home, at the doctor's, while driving. I couldn't look at the Euthanasia Consent Form. Papa didn't let me see the final shot. He asked me to say my Bye and leave. I didn't see him cry, but I know he cried. She looked at us so trustingly; there were no tears; some discomfort- she knew we'd do everything to ease her pain. Apparently she went in less than 5 seconds.

She was my favorite dog. I'll miss her. I might get another pet, but later in life. And he'll have large shoes to fill.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm I-N-F-P

After I got back from United Coffee House last night, I wasn't able to get much sleep so decided to surf the web, blog hopping, iVillage-ing and ultimately doing the Myers Briggs Test. Here's the link:

I take the test quite seriously, so I try not attempt it more than once a year. This was my third time overall, and first time since November 2007- long enough for my personality to evolve further.

I'm still INFP. October 2006, November 2007 and January 2008.

Strength of the preferences %
56 12 50 67

While this means I haven't evolved much since 2006 (what good news!), this also makes me happy because I quite like the INFP type. It must take something to comprise less than 1 per cent of the world population.

INFP stands for Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving. And in the context of the test, these words shouldn't be taken literally. The connotation is different.

Here's an excerpt:

* I - Introversion preferred to Extraversion: INFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, preferring to interact with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances and expending energy in social situations (as opposed to extraverts, who tend to gain energy in social situations).[6]
* N - iNtuition preferred to Sensing: INFPs tend to focus on the "big picture" rather than the details, and the future rather than the "here and now".[7]
* F - Feeling preferred to Thinking: INFPs tend to rely on a personal, internal sense of right and wrong rather than external, objective criteria. They tend to make decisions based on feelings and social considerations rather than logic.[8]
* P - Perceiving preferred to Judging: INFPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.

I don't understand the I part. I'm not introvert. I like meeting friends, dancing, outdoor sports and coffee conversations. I don't like clubbing, I don't get my pictures clicked before the party begins and I don't dig social networks. When I need energy, I stay home. When I'm rested and at peace, I want to party. What does that make me? I'm not sure.

I'll be certain of this profile in March, when we have the official MBTI test at training. I'll keep us posted.

Famous INFPs: Mary, mother of Jesus; Homer; The Bard of Avon; Jackie Kennedy; James Herriot; Neil Diamond; Julia Roberts; John F Kennedy Jr; Lisa Kudrow; Fred Savage

Fictional INFPs: Calvin; ET; Deanna Troi

I'm not listening to anything right now. But I have been obsessed with Feist these days.

Now and then

........Just saw the photos from the Holiday party. Plunging necklines. HAW! HAW! HAW! Depressed. Safety pins should henceforth be called Pins. Purposeless Pins. Anti-safety pins. Or just Pins.

........Camomile and Marmite are my latest obsession. Did I ever think I'd be addicted to Yeast extract?

........I'm going to get rid of all my Black clothes. Apparently, I wear no other colour to work

........On my desk right now: Marmite, tea, Calvin & Hobbes Calendar, Garfield sketch in colour, Bono and Metro Goldwyn coasters flicked from Dublin, Toto's coaster, polka dot head band, Barista coffee bottle, pain Panda (inherited from Arjun), Boston coffee mug, Bulgari, Lancome, Body shoppe and Burberry hand creams, clay pig, auto girl clock, 4 photos, phone-1, phone-2, Peepu's toys

........On my screen, organization design options

........What the future holds: Mum's birthday dinner, at the Golden Dragon

........Q: Why do I blog, and why am I writing crap? A: Some day, some where, when I'll wonder if I really worked that hard at 25, I'll find my answer here

........If I want to get out by 9, I must finish this post now

........Have you heard Trampled Underfoot by Led Zep? Listen to it. It builds strong character. Yes, I have been listening to Led Zep since I was 17

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 as we know it

Its Sunday, 4th January- 4 days since I puked 2008 out of my system (literally, after 9 shots) and said Hello to 2009, bravely wishing for this to be a good year. I say ‘bravely’ because it’s a lot to keep asking for good years.

I have a few resolutions this time, after many years. One of them is to keep this blog alive. I’ve been writing infrequently because a lot of what I write is very private, for me and for others involved. And I do want to be honest in my blog too. So the middle path is I’ll keep names anonymous, and although I won’t censor anything (censorship is prison!), I will be judicious in what I put up here.

Let me first do a quick re-cap of the last 4 days:

1st Jan:

We had a fabulous party at Sid’s farmhouse. BBF (That’s best boy friend) picked me up (as he does every New Year’s Eve) from my place and we saw surprisingly less traffic. I guess a lot of people decided to be low key this year. 2008 didn’t give people much of a reason to celebrate any way. (Pth: I feel patriotic when I realize the country’s dark year was mine too. But mine changed colours. It started dark, very dark. All wasn’t well. After August things looked up, in several ways. There was Goa, DC, London, FYI, winter….. OK, I’ll stop myself from digressing.) So there wasn’t much traffic. We reached the party by 10:30 and all my college friends were there. I’ve celebrated this day with them for nearly 8 years now. I can’t imagine NYE without them. There were a few other people who I was happy to meet again, after many years. The cool part about meeting people from college days is you realize none of us actually change much.

The party was great except that I haven’t been drinking at all for a long time now, and the shots my friends insisted on didn’t do me much good. My evening ended at 2 when I gave in to the push from inside and passed out in one of the rooms.

The entire gang slept in at the farmhouse that night. We woke up surprisingly early (like 9:00 am), and headed towards Delhi for Brunch. I was hanging around in Priya, looking for Joseph O’Neill’s latest book when I ran into Aseen, who had come down for a manicure-pedicure (I say it that way because that’s how I heard it). I saw her after 5 years. We, sort of, fell out in college. She would obsess about grades and had no love for people who managed just as well, or actually significantly better, without working even half as much. I didn’t regret not knowing her too long. And I knew why when, even though she met me after 5 years, she had an opinion on how I need to see a dermatologist. That’s when I wished myself a Happy New Year and thanked god for not making me the manicure-pedicure types (Don’t get me wrong! I stay well groomed, but without making a fuss about it).

I spent the evening with the folks, insisting on resolutions from everyone. Papa resolved to start writing this year. Mum promised to curb her sweet tooth. I resolved to stay as the doll I am. Ok Seriously, I resolved to keep writing, live stronger, love tighter and resuscitate the adventurous side in me, which hibernated through 2008. The last time I had an adrenalin rush was December 2007, when I flew solo. 2006 was full of scary things- water skiing, hiking and diving attempts.

2nd Jan:

This was my first day at work this year. All went well. I’m working on organizational restructuring for our client- picked that up from where I had left it on 31st Dec.

I did lunch with the ladies, at Barista. Their Barista Chicken Salad puts everything else in DLF Cyber City to shame. That evening, BB and I did chai again, catching up on everything- parties, people, weddings, relationships and work.

In other news, BA met me online and decided to blast me for not being able to help out with something he had earlier reached out to me for. I was disappointed as he did make me feel very selfish because of my inability to help this time, without turning back to think about when we have been around for each other. I wasn’t as angry as I was disappointed. I obviously won’t let this change how I feel about him, but it didn’t feel good.

You must be wondering why the first 2 days of the year brought in these unpleasant exchanges. I am too!

3rd Jan:

I promised Mum I’d spend the day to finalize my dresses for the sister’s wedding. This is no easy job!! I even went to Crescent, where all the designers’ stores are. After seeing the work of nearly 25 of India’s top designers, I can comfortably admit I have no love for them. Everything I saw was shiny and opulent- in Fuschia, Orange and Turquoise. I don’t think I own anything in any of these colours. And I have no intention to, either. From Crescent, we headed towards South Ext. Mum’s trips to South Ext have already reached double digits, while I was already in my 2nd trip. Again, nothing.

Mum didn’t take kindly to my desire to wear a Mango vest (a new one duh!!!) with tracks for the wedding. We turned back at 6:00 pm. No lehengas or sarees but I picked up Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland as well as Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City.

4th Jan:

Papa asked me to accompany him to South Ext to buy a birthday present for Mum. Since Papa asks me for something like this only once a year, I couldn’t say no and made one more trip. It was short and focused. I’m not seeing another store for a month now. Except I mean 2 weeks. It is my sister’s wedding, you know.

Now, I’m back to my room, finishing this post from where I left it. Piggy next to me; the blower making the cold bearable; Kaise Mujhe Tum Mile Gaye, playing in iTunes.

Shall we smile?