Saturday, April 25, 2009

Does sewage taste different in China?

I just had Hot and Sour Chicken soup that tasted like what I had imagined sewage water to be. Is it me, the fever or Chopstix?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sorry, Mr Universe

I want everything! Really, EVERYTHING! Of course its unreasonable, especially when I want the universe to align to let me have it.

I'll settle for less today, because I can see I had a momentary lapse of reason. But tomorrow, I'll be back, with lesser conscience and more demands.

Friday, April 17, 2009


My dark circles make me look like a racoon. Sigh! Its just sad how perfect faces never develop such blemishes: its only the imperfect ones that gets more imperfect. Any way, I think they lend more personality to my face- you know interesting faces vs pretty dumb ones. I get the prize for an interesting face.

And then I get a message from FYI. Sigh, every once in a while, dear FYI, I miss what I knew of you.You know, I liked you more after you left, because I now know I miss people I knew for a few weeks way more than others who I spent a lot more, and seemingly significant time with- because its the spirit and not the time of the association, that makes me your fan!

Any way, back to my life. Mum's back, with my favourite Clinique cream and a summer dress (at a size I can't mention, honest. But a size that wouldn't have fit me last year).

The week was eventful. At the start of the week, I spent my unstaffed time very usefully, traveling the length and breadth of Delhi, literally internalizing what I love about it. Day one, I hung out in South, visited the book store and went for Papa's coursemate's son's wedding. Tuesday, I went to Lutyens Delhi, spent a few hours reading Kennedy at Cafe Turtle followed by an hour at Bangla Saheb, causing tremendous confusion on what to do with the prashad- eat it before or having it blessed or otherwise. Day three- kaka and yuko joined me in our tour to Chandni Chowk, devouring Paranthas and Kulfi. We went ahead to the red fort but by the time we got there, we decided against checking the place out and chilled in the lawns instead. Now all these places aren't new to me. I've been there several times, but they're so close to my heart, I need get a dose every once in a while. Now, I'm staffed on a new piece, in a new industry with a new manager. So far, all good on that front.I need to sleep on the weekend!

And some where during the course of this post I decided I will NOT worry about my dark circles. I choose to sleep less- there's so much else to do. Imperfections are cool, plus worrying about my face? Hey, I'm not that sorta girl any way.

I'm going to read Dragons of Eden now, which gives me lots of good dope on intelligence, the human mind and evolution.

Edited to add: One upside of dark circles is I NEVER need more than a line of Kohl to make my eyes smoky (and tempting)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Girls aloud

That I don't write pseudo-intellectual stuff is not new news. But I just scrolled down my blog posts and realized I haven't cribbed in a while. So I think its time I do write something chick-like.

To start with, what's it with Modi? So the run-up to elections 2009 has indeed been pathetic in terms of the mud-slinging, but he's reached new lows that I didn't think were possible after his historical performance. So he took back his statement that the COngress is a 125 years old budhiya (old woman), and called it a party of gudiyas (dolls). Its typical of inward looking, older Indian men to think women aren't capable of much. But when a person aspiring to be the PM says something like this, one can be assured its not going to be fun living in a country rules by them.

On this note, I'm amused at how the MCP bug bites men across the nation, regardless of age, education or their roots. I used to think this was a Punjabi thing, but not really- its true of men, and even some women, from all over the country. I see several such monkeys in my immediate surroundings, who are still trying to convince themselves that women who work are making a clear trade-off between their careers and traditional roles (family etc). And when they do see women balance both, which is almost always, they start acting all restive about it. Like, "yaar, mujhse aisi ladki nahi sambhal ti" or "Yaar, she's too aggressive". And really, I didn't think I'd see it this day and age. I haven't been much of a feminist, because never felt the need for it until I went to business school. But thereafter I faced several incidents when I've had to defend my type (read: women). Whether it was to explain that women at the IIMs often get the cool jobs not because they wear skirts, but also because there are indeed jobs which they are equally well suited to. This was in fact the funniest one I heard at the business school- that because a company hired 2 women and 2 men, from a school where the sex ratio was 1:6, it meant the company was biased. For a company to hire an equal number of women and men for their internship doesn't mean women have it easier. Why should a recruiter care what the sex ratio is? They'll recruit whoever they want. The sad part is there are several non-skirt type women who feel the same way too. I loved how my neighbor at IIM(who was indeed one of the smarter and hotter ones) countered it by saying "Just because I'm hot and I'm smart, men resent it".

The other one is when men in bars assume women who're in there with them are loose. This is more true of Delhi and of late, Mangalore. I went to the Golden Dragon with Papa last Saturday. I chose Chinese tea while he went with his Beer. Mid-way, I got tempted by his beer and asked the waiter aloud to get me another mug so I could share a bit of Papa's drink. This bunch of middle aged guys sitting next to us immediately started reacting violently, and eventually one of them, who was pretty damn drunk, got up, walked towards me, turned to look at his friends and said "Its time to take things in your hands". Papa isn't one to shut up in these situations. He's quite the fighter army types. He promptly got up and reprimanded the drunken fellow about it, asking him to talk to him not me. Before we realized, the entire restaurant's attention was on us. Of course, the 'taking things in their hands types' got quite frightened and apologized saying they were talking amongst themselves and evasively said they didn't imply anything on us. Within minutes, they scurried out of the restaurant.

Last example for the day. I was waiting for Papa to pick me up at the airport the other day (its so cute when he texts me to cancel the cab because he wants to drive to the airport to get me) , and this 45-types dude standing next to his wife, kept staring at my shirt. It was a white office shirt, so obviously slightly transparent. Our man didn't just look- he leched, relentlessly while his wife kept looking away, trying to locate their cab. He stopped when I walked up to him and said "Uncle, aap ko sharam nahi aa rahi, mein aapse 20 saal chhoti hoon, aur aap dekhi jaa rahe hain. Main yahan 10 minutes aur hoon- kya aap dekhna band karonge, ya, fir main police bulaoon". The wife didn't look amused and I left her to take care of the rest of the situation

I used to get rather worked up earlier, and would begin a row, fully prepared for it to turn in to a bitter, and possibly physical fight too. Now, I don't try as much. That's the one upshot of EVERYONE getting married. The chauvinists find the types that keep them happy, and we have to deal with their frustrated behavior less frequently.

I'm watching 90210 on Star World. Its a Monday and I'm home. There's no better time to be unstaffed than during the elections drama.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Its a baby girl!

I don't know much about babies apart from the fact that I adore them, and like most women my age, I feel I was born to have them. I guess its a passing phase since its only been 6 years that I've been feeling this way.

But the cooler part is the fantastic revelation that I can make babies happen to others. And baby girls, to be precise. I don't mean I facilitate the 'making' of babies- no way, that's not my thing. But there's definitely a connection between working with me and having a baby girl. Some, made-in-heaven type of connection. How else would you explain the fact that every 'boss' I have worked with in the India office has had a baby girl WHILE I worked with him.

I moved back in July one year and in August that year I started my first India office case. A month in to the case, there was a lovely baby girl, M- sending the 'boss' on family leave. In October, after I came back from Cancun I did this bring-me-death type of PE case for a New York-based client. The 'boss' this time was one I had worked with once for a week in July, and now 6 weeks at the end of the year, during which came Baby girl K. Then, at the turn of the year I joined the ringfence that brought with it multiple death-but-fun cases. The first of these was for an internet business idea. A classic problem to crack and great team to work with. We were nearly half way in to the case, when in late Feb, the 'boss'- extremely fun and might I say, good looking- went off to have his baby girl Z. I thought we were done. While I was still in the ringfence I changed teams and got staffed with fantastic Mr M, who was not my 'boss' but well, for a short period I did report to him. It was a long day during the insane, near-detah hospital case, that we were planning our World Cup trips and poor Mr M told me that much as he wants to, he won't be able to make it to Boston because his baby is due then. I mumbled "You mean...your baby girl is due then". August that year, Baby girl K came, bringing the Ms much joy and me, some puzzlement. All this in 6 months- 4 baby girls! Any way, I pushed myself close to dismissing this theory because I always saw myself as someone who could faciliate new businesses, new recipes, new stories, but not baby girls. Also, my mentor, who I had incidentally never worked with, was also expecting a child. So clearly, my working with them had nothing to do with it. In July later that year, he had his baby. But this was Baby BOY S. So my theory was not complete dismissed.

By now, I had left the ringfence and was not working diligently towards helping my Bombay-based client become a winner in the chemicals space. My 'boss' was going to be my 'boss' for 10 months. I didn't know it, but it was fun any way. Earlier this year, he mentioned he'd be off in April as he was going to hit a milestone in his life. Again, I grinned, saying ' baby girl milestone, you mean'. He didn't understand why I said that, and probably ignored it. This morning, baby girl arrived. Q.E.D

We are all happy for the 'boss'. He's really nice, and will be a great dad to his baby girl. I'm especially happy as I know now, that I have somehing to do with it. Clearly not something pro-active (its my workplace, for the love of god), but somewhere there is a connection between me and baby girls. What do you think?

P.S. This post is intended to explain that there is some connection, but I do not intend to imply any causility or take any credit for these beautiful little girls- absolutely not. I'm just kicked!

I'm listening to the soundtrack from Conquest of Paradise. The theme is beautiful. Haunting. Painful, but with joy in it. Like the euphoria from the conquest of paradise.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kyunki Fighter hamesha jeet ta hai

There's something re-assuring about someone screaming and repeating "Everything's gonna be all right" in your ears. Can't stay worried after that!

In another news, my Yogi (Yoga instructor) is impressed with the speed at which I've picked it up. I'm in class # 6 and up to 15 surya namaskars.

I'm dedicating this post to my mentor from IIMB, Khunger, for telling me he's sure I'm going to love it ahead.