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Showing posts from April, 2009

The Loooooooong-Weekend-Law

Just like Murphy’s law, there is a Loooooooong-Weekend-Law. I have discovered it.

The Loooooooong-Weekend-Law states:
“No matter how loooooooong the weekend, you will find enough pending tasks and social visits to fill it to brim”

The Corollary to the Loooooooong-Weekend-Law states:
“You cannot cheat the law by filling up some part of the loooooooong weekend with a planned period of ‘doing nothing’ since something that needs to be done 'immediately' will pop up impromptu exactly during the ‘doing nothing’ period”

Happy Loooooooong-Weekend everybody :)

Diversity should be celebrated, not shunned

In a multi-caste / multi-religion group, caste / religion based comments ought to be made with some sensitivity. I say this with the understanding that no human being is the Supreme Being. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is superior or inferior to anybody else on the basis of anything at all. I do not say this with the intention of preventing or avoiding conflict, but by acknowledging that we are all just about as superior or inferior as anybody else. Change the parameters and get different results.

I am not being idealistic, spiritual or even blind to the deep-rooted systems that exist in our environment. I do not claim that I do not think of the caste / sub-caste / religion of a person when I am introduced to them. I am sure the other person does too. The system is so deeply entrenched in our psyche that we immediately classify each other.

For me, however, this exercise ends here. I put a tick mark under some column…in fact it happens quite involuntarily…and then I forget about it. It is no…

How NOT to compère a function

Recently I attended an awards ceremony. It was a grand function with a huge audience in attendance. Many awards were given and some speeches too. The compère was, unintentionally, terribly funny !

In this function, when the compère announced the first award winner, he announced, “Please welcome on stage Mr. X (pause) married to (pause) wife Mrs. X (pause) from 1977 and successfully (pause) completed 32 years of (pause) married life…” I had tears in my eyes from laughing too hard :D

Later, the same compère, while telling the audiences about a certain award winner, said, “…he is married (pause) to wife Mrs. Z (pause) and enjoys playing with his (pause) children K and M. His favourite (pause) holiday destination is (pause) the beaches (pronounced as ‘bitches’) of (pause) Goa” I nearly died choking with laughter for this one !

In the 45 minutes that he was on stage he was responsible for much hilarity due to his totally inappropriate commentary. I, of course, laughed my guts out and what cou…

For the 24th – We are responsible for everything that happens to us

I saw a movie on the 23rd in which somebody said this. For a long time now, I have believed this.

Previously I too would ask questions like, ‘why me ?’ or make statements like ‘I don’t deserve this’.

Gradually I began to understand that the equations aren’t always as simple or direct or straightforward as that. Things that happen to me are not always a direct reciprocation of something that I did or did not do. It is more complex. It may be a cumulative of several things.

So I started digging much deeper beneath the surface to understand what were the things that have caused something to happen. Believe me, each time I have found that my actions or behaviour are definitely one of the many factors that usually cause an event to occur.

I may not be totally responsible for something to happen or not. But I am, at least, partly responsible. I can try to change my contribution to the situation so that the outcome may change to that extent.

Change ought to be from within. I shall try.

23rd April – Election Day

My office was closed on Election Day. Days before, I had found out my exact number, polling booth etc. from the Internet. So on D-Day yours truly went and cast her precious vote.

‘So, where’s the story here ?’ you may ask.

No story. One lament and one reiteration of belief.

Lament: From the minute I locked my house to the minute I was opening the lock as I returned, it took me exactly, and only, 30 minutes to cast my vote. And still there are so many people in my immediate contact that didn’t vote. Despite having access to the Internet and the data related to our polling booths, the candidates etc. Despite the fact that it hardly takes 30 minutes. Despite the fact that the government makes sure that there is holiday on that day so that there isn’t a loss of income.

Two: I can’t say it enough and I will repeat it till eternity’s end. It is my firm belief and experience. One vote, one voice, one person, does make a difference.

I had read this story in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ and I reprod…

Useless trivia about me :)

The ‘Work to be done : Time available’ ratio has suddenly gone haywire. I simultaneously enjoy and hate such phases.

My tough exterior is just my defense mechanism.

I am ambidextrous. Really. I can write, play badminton tennis or bowl, even stir with my left hand as well as the right hand.

I love to solve crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles.

Sometimes when I feel intense love for somebody, I actually get stomachache.

I seriously think I am made up of two people (or even more) …

And here is why:

On some days I am terribly clumsy and absolutely not on most others.

Sometimes I am very outgoing and gregarious and in some phases I withdraw into a shell so much that I go to any lengths to avoid meeting people.

I can spend whole days lying in front of the TV watching 5 movies back to back. On some days I will spend the whole day outside and still not want to go back home, no matter how physically tired I am.

I push myself really hard to achieve the goals I set for myself and I simply cannot get up early in the morning and exercise consistently.

I feel extremely shy in too many situations but not a single person will believe this since I try hard to overcome it.

Different people describe me differently.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing

I read this quote on a blog today and it is so in tune with what I believe that I had to write about it.

We are constantly judged, right from our childhood, in every sphere we belong to, in each activity we attempt. We judge others and ourselves too. Due to this we place a very high premium on ‘being right’. It isn’t permitted to make mistakes. Sometimes this takes over every little thing we think and do. It develops a fear inside us. Failing is something terrible ! It is made out to be the end of the earth !

I personally believe that it is acceptable to make mistakes. At the simplest level, mistakes tell me what not to do, what doesn’t work. It serves as a guide for the next time. They give me insights about myself, my areas that need improvement. They give me a better understanding of the world around me.

To make mistakes, to pay for them offers me the greatest learning opportunity. I have erred…thousands of times…in things big and small. Each time I have admitted my mistake, paid for …

One good deed deserves another

Today while on my way to office, my motorcycle had a breakdown. On a steep slope. That I was climbing up. The bike wouldn’t start at all. There wasn’t any petrol and the kick broke off.

Since I was about 5-10 minutes away from office, I called L in office. She told B to come and help me. I started pushing the bike up the slope till B came to relieve me. The bike is heavy but, much to my surprise, I was able to push it.

Many vehicles passed me by. It’s a busy road and it was time for all to rush to their respective workplaces. Suddenly one man driving a motorcycle passed me by and stopped a few feet ahead. He seemed like a plumber or an electrician. He had some similar instruments and was with an assistant. He asked me what the matter was. I told him the problem. He offered to push my bike to the nearest mechanic. Then he offered to give me some petrol from his bike. He was so sweet that he made his assistant run down the slope and bring back an empty bottle lying there. I didn’t want to…

Some strange beliefs :)

I really, truly, honestly believe that:

East Asian people…Chinese, Japanese, Koreans etc. see the world in cinemascope… i.e. they see images with the top and bottom portion cut off.

Dogs understand every word that I say to them.

I will be able to enter a particular location, especially of scenic beauty, open spaces, by simply stepping into the photograph.

I will be able to play the violin extremely well some day.

Trees understand when I tell them how much I love them and when I say thank you to them.

I will always be very well taken care of.

How things change…

The other day I saw a movie called “The Prestige”. Nice movie. The dialogues were good. In fact, some situation concepts were very well utilized. I am remembering two scenes, far apart in the movie, but linked to each other.

In one scene the magician says to his wife, “I love you” and she responds, “Not today, you don’t”. He asks her what she means and she replies, “I can tell when you mean it and when you don’t. Today you don’t. I like being able to tell. That makes the days you mean it more meaningful”.

In course of time, the magician has an affair. The wife suspects it. One day, during this period, the magician says to his wife, “I love you”. She responds, a little surprised, “You mean it today, don’t you ?” He replies in the affirmative and she retorts, “That makes the days when you don’t, terribly difficult”.

The same thing isn’t really the same thing any longer.

Some people…ooooooooohhhhhh !

There is a person in my regular contact who makes me go, “Some people…ooooooooohhhhhh !” in exasperation, more often than I’d like it.

This person thinks that his way of living is the only correct way of living; his set of beliefs is the perfect/best/only one worth having. Add to this the fact that this person is extremely aggressive and vocal. So, heaven help the poor soul who dares express an opinion to the contrary. In fact, anybody who dares possess any belief that is different than his or lives differently than the way he does is wrong and is sure to get a reprimand from him !

Now, L and I can’t stand this at all and we are tough girls. So every now and then, we get into confrontations with him for his attitude of condescension, for his stubbornness to see that other ways of living are perfectly valid too. He doesn’t change at all, but I get the satisfaction that we remind him once in a while how narrow minded he is and how there are some people in the world who’ll not be afraid to…

Punahpratyayacha aanand i.e. The ‘Pleasure’ of re-learning a lesson !

A colleague M is getting married soon and so the girlie gang at office took her out to lunch. How we ate ! All of us were stuffed and miserable about having to go back to office and work. We hadn’t ordered too much food. I think its because we also drank a lot of water alongside lunch that we felt stuffed. The summer is oppresive.

After we returned, I was thinking…actually I ought to have paid a little attention while eating. I could have avoided over-eating. But we were all together for a happy occasion and we were having great fun together. So I wasn’t alert to my system, which, I am sure, must have given me the signals at the appropriate time. This indulgence has now cost me :( I am feeling terribly lethargic and finding it very tough to finish my work.

I know that I always suffer whenever I allow myself to lose alertness, awareness to my internal physical and mental and emotional systems. And yet, I repeat my mistakes ! And suffer :( Serves me right !

“You will be taught the lesson r…

Brand Nostalgia !

I read a post about brand nostalgia here and it brought back a whole lot of memories.

I remember the Nirma one..."Nirma, Nirma, washing powder Nirma, thodisi powder aur jhaag dher sara...Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Sushama, sabki pasand Nirma!

I don't remember the brand of washing powder, but I remember the advertisement as if I saw it yesterday. A father and son are going on a scooter. There is a hoarding of a cute girls twirling a new frock. As they are looking at the hoarding, the girl suddenly comes alive and sings the jingle..."Suno suno ay babuji, kapde kyon hai mailey dhuley ? Mailey ? Par maine toh laundry mein dhulwaye they !"

Once while going to Maths class on our bicycles, my friend didn't even realise when she started singing loudly "Jara si saawdhani, zindagi bhar aasani.." :)). The tune was so catchy ! We were shocked and then had a good laugh.

I remember the Vadilal ice-cream one...
"You win some, you lose some, it's part of the game, its …

Satisfaction !

I’m feeling very satisfied today ! I have done an amazing amount of work today.

As it is I normally think, speak, walk, do things very fast as compared to the average person. In fact people in office tease me that I never walk, I run. But today was something else ! Today I was super-fast even compared to my usual speed.

The kind of satisfaction of packing in a lot into the limited time that one has, doing the job well, enjoying it, is indescribable :)

Almost as soon as I wrote those words, I realised…this holds true for almost anything…in fact for life itself ! :)

Actions v/s Words

Words are easy. They can convey, convince, cover up. They can be denied, changed, interpreted differently later.

Actions are tough. They are definite, difficult to reverse. They expose.

Keep the faith my dears !

My stomach gets knots and I feel really desperate when I see my dear friends, my loved ones, facing bad situations. I feel terrible when they think they are bound by some things and think they can’t ever get out of the bad situation. I know that this is not true.

And how do I know this ? Because I have “been there and done that”. I have seen an excruciatingly long drawn out terribly hopeless phase. I have been in situations where it was impossible to extricate myself from them. I know exactly how it feels to be in that place. Now those situations and phases are a thing of the past because good things happened to me, I met good people.

I suffered for a long time. Then I got tired of suffering. I decided to believe that good things would happen to me, that I would meet good people. I figured that I was at such a point that it was impossible for the situation to worsen. So what did I have to lose by having some faith ?

Gradually things started changing. At first I couldn’t believe that good…

A prayer and a story

Lord, please help them see sense. Help them see the whirlpool in which they are being sucked again. Help them learn the lesson without getting hurt again.

Lord, please help me be patient till they learn the lesson. Help me retain my warm feelings for them till they open their eyes.

Since yesterday I have been distracted from my serenity by some inappropriateness that has come knocking on my door. My mind has been revolving around the inappropriateness since that time. Despite realising this, I was unable to return to my serenity. I decided to pray. The prayer is written above. Still I wasn’t feeling calm. I decided to write about my feelings. Then I realised that instead of feeling calmer, I was thinking about the inappropriateness even more ! While writing down my thoughts, I thought of Paulo Coelho’s book “Warriors of Light”. So I interrupted my writing by searching the book on the Internet. I clicked on a site that came up and on the home page I stumbled upon a story that suddenly br…

Bouts of Self-doubt

I admit it. I am a strange creature.

When everything is going fine and I’m doing good work and I am aware of it too, all of a sudden I get a bout of self-doubt. It starts in one particular area and, like a forest-fire, spreads very rapidly and I start doubting everything that I am doing.

I proceed to question it all…right from the basics to the more superficial things about me and also declare the judgement that it is all horribly wrong. I convince myself that I am, and everything about me is, worthless. I get confused and feel stuck and feel sure that I won’t ever be able to do anything right. I feel like stopping everything that I am doing, since I ‘know’ that it is wrong and thus ought to be stopped.

Then after wallowing in self-doubt for some time, either I realise or somebody, usually the better half, realises that I am suffering from a bout of self-doubt and with some or much effort, either from the better half or me, I return to my original confident and self-assured self :)

Group Dynamics

Presently I am teaching a couple of people. It doesn’t feel like teaching at all…they are such good receivers ! They are smart and intelligent and wise. They have absolutely no ego hassles. If they are confused, they ask, I answer, we discuss and resolve. If they make mistakes, we all laugh, correct the mistakes, reinforce and move ahead. They give me suggestions that I accept or reject, but always after a fair discussion. I openly discuss my doubts, the things that I appreciate and the ones that are not working, with the group and together we arrive at a solution. Most important of all, they are interested and involved. They understand that they and I are both working towards the same thing.

In my opinion, this is pretty much the ideal way for a group of people to work together and be effective. I am happy that I have such a group to work with.

Energy eaters

There are some people in the world who thrive on other people’s ideas, thoughts, help…anything. They think it is their birthright. I call them energy eaters.

One person in my close contact is an energy eater. This person is highly disorganized and incapable of handling his personal life. Due to these traits he is most of the time under stress. He always loads his stress on us, who are in close contact with him. He sucks our energy…eats it…and still doesn’t become happy or stress-free. But we get drained. We have suffered much due to him.

I should have done it earlier, but nevertheless, better late than never. On behalf of all of us who have suffered due to this energy eater, I now declare that we refuse to allow this person to eat our energy any longer.