Friday, August 28, 2009

People say Mumbai is vitalizing,stimulating... I agree.
The place were my parents stay is surrounded by high-rise buildings.When you look out the window you see all these places teeming with life.You have a front seat view into a myriad of lives.
I have always been fascinated by the thought of what's going on inside these houses.When I see a teenager flipping through TV channels alone in some drawing room ,it gets me nostalgic.. I wonder if he is hurt in love.. I wonder what he is thinking .. I wonder what's cooking in the kitchen.In fact It captures my imagination.I put dialogues to these distant vague scenes... They become my modern day fairy tales..
I can't help but think if we all want to live in a dream.. Isn't that why we love our movies so much (Especially the ones with happy endings) They help us escape reality..We all become the protagonist.

Come to think of it , after a point of time even our past becomes a fantasy.In hindsight everything looks sunnier. Every time you meet old friends we can't stop talking about the good old days.
Why is that in retrospect the grass looks greener on our side whereas the present is always uninspiring ?

Can reality be never gratifying ? Or does fantasizing make reality endurable?
I think in today's busy world it is too much to stop and appreciate what you have.
We may have learnt to wake up and smell the coffee but we also have to start enjoying it .

Monday, August 24, 2009

The agony of a modern Indian woman

I did not become a career woman by choice.The way I see it ,there was no choice.It was never an option.I knew I had to do it.
I think it was my mother who instilled that in me.Growing up I did what everyone else does.I appeared for engineering entrance exams after I finished school.When that didn't work out I looked at other options.IT was big then and that is where I wanted to be.Everyone else was on the same path and I was no maverick.
While I was finishing my grueling final term in college, I got placed in a reputed IT firm.
So working for an IT firm was just the natural progression after a post graduate in Computer Science.So I don't think I ever had to make the choice of whether or not to work.It was like it was meant to be.
It doesn't really hit you till you get married though.It is like stepping into the real world all over again(This time it is as real as it gets).
As a woman you carry immense baggage.Sometimes without even knowing it.
You want to be the perfect daughter in law,the perfect wife,the perfect daughter.You also want to prove it to everyone in office that marriage changes nothing.You are determined to prove that you are as focused and dedicated as before.Too many balls in the air.
Your ability to multitask is put to test day in and day out.You have to take on so much more.Whereas for the guy nothing really changes(Unless you are the kind of guy who has never bought veggies and groceries).
There is so much talk about how a guy loses his freedom and how he has to listen to everything his wife says (Yeah sure ), but nothing at all about what a woman sacrifices.Nothing about how difficult the juggling act is for her.How it is a struggle everyday to do the balancing act.
Lest you protest or complain ,you are told you have the choice to quit.That if you are not up to the challenge(the one you bestowed upon yourself ),you can surrender.
As a woman you are conditioned to believe that it is your duty to take care of the family.You are brainwashed so much so that you even take pride in it.Handing over the brief case and wallet every morning to your husband when he leaves for office(Preceded with breakfast in bed of course) ,makes a perfect picture.
Here we are in the 21st century with women going for the moon and we still believe that the onus on running the house is on the woman.That if there are sacrifices to be made for the family it is the woman who takes the back step.
If you don't you are accused of being over ambitious,Of putting your needs first,Of being self centered,Of being career oriented.
I have a very supportive husband.He helps me around the house and is never very demanding.
One would say he has come a long way from the men of previous generations.He prides in being the modern man.Someone who is supportive of his wife's career.People around me never miss a chance to ell me how lucky I am to have him
(Almost accusingly).I am expected to be grateful.
This is the point where my agony starts.If we are equal then why do I have to be grateful and why does my husband become supportive if all he is doing is his share of work(Less on most times).
My husband says that a part of the problem lies in trying to be the superwoman.That I should not worry too much about what society thinks,that maybe I should not try to do the balancing act,that I should come out in the open and say that my job is very important to me.That I will not sacrifice anything and that I do not want to be the perfect wife,daughter or daughter in law.
I guess I can take that road but what If I want to have it all.Why cannot we redefine what a perfect wife is,what a perfect daughter in law is or what a perfect homemaker is.
Why won't the society make it easier for me.Ease my burden.End my dilemma.
Isn't it high time that we bend the rules and make room for the modern career woman in our society.
Let the agony end.Let the liberalization begin.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Three characters I can't stand at work

1) Mr Loud - I am sure you all have this guy in office who thumps a few backs when he walks in.Lots of Wassups on the way...
Now I may not necessarily be working on a Rocket Science project but I like my peace.All this open cubicle culture doesn't help my cause but I wouldn't mind it so much if it were not for Mr Loud.
Now most of these people are a big hit with the rest of the group but I like people who know they are not in College anymore.I would like to believe that they are attention seekers.They have some seemingly interesting story to tell you everyday.You have to of course pretend to like it and look gracious (For making your work life so happening )There is no escaping Mr Loud.He's cracking silly jokes just when you are about to make a serious point in the meeting.He thinks he should not even spare the client.He is unabashed by your "I don't believe this guy look"(He probably thinks you are boring).Your boss ofcourse introduces him as the clown of the project.Now don't get me wrong here.I have nothing against humour.Infact I have been blessed with a decent sense of humour myself.I know when to dish them out though.The British may be uptight and the Americans very cool but do we Indians have to be silly ?

2) Beauty Queens - Now I know I am going against my own here but man have I suffered at the hands of these beauty queens.I had a TL who used to start her day by telling me about her shopping escapades.She would then want me to join her in the restroom.Were I watched her tirelessly redo her makeup.A few layers or two later I would be patiently waiting for her o bring up work.
Gone are the days when Women would knit sweaters in office.But they have been replaced by women who do makeup in office (rest-room for those who are a stickler for details) , who go to the beauty parlor between breaks , who are dressed to kill when they come to office (A lot of hard work goes into maintaining the look throughout the day).They usually hang in groups.Scores of them around.They give you that look every morning and some are bold enough to tell you that it wouldn't hurt to be more fashionable.I think I am pretty hep but office is the last place I would dress up for.
I am sure you will argue that guys talk about cricket and shares all the time in office.But it doesn't consume them.When do we break free?

3) I am here for the free phone - If you are a faithful reader of this blog you would know that I am addicted to my phone.I do call people from work , in between breaks.I make sure I don't punish my neighbor.My neighbor ofcourse may not necessarily be that kind.I have had people sitting around me who are in LOOOve.They have to be talking to their sweetheart all day.So if you have to go to them with any work related issues you have to feel guilty about disturbing the love birds.As you approach ,the person on line is put on hold.So you know you don't have 100 % attention to begin with.There is this urgency to get back to the call which you callously walked in on.Secondly you suddenly realize the other person is listening in (Talk about data security breaches ).So you quickly walk away resolving to write a mail instead next time.What is even more irritating is , if you have to listen to these conversations.From good morning sweetheart till I am starting off soon honey(Lot of ILU's in between) .I have been in lOOOve but never done that .I resorted to sms.More private I now realize.Such people though have a lot of support.Young people in love sooo sweet.Makes my blood boil for sure!!

If you are in IT ,you will be familiar with these characters and hopefully sympathize with me.(Assuming you are not one of them)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To mom on her 50th Birthday

This is a message from a daughter to her Mom on her 50th birthday ..

Today my mom completes 50 years of her life .. I can't think of her being anything but my mother ...what a humongous task it must be .. I guess you start appreciating your mother more after marriage realize what big sacrifices they make for you .. Every time I complain about my husband blissfully watching TV while I toil in the kitchen I realize how my mother did that day in and day out without ever really complaining .. It makes me realize how I have always taken her love,patience and tolerance for granted .. How I was always too busy to appreciate all the small things she did for me ..the very small things which drive me crazy today ..

My mother never had it easy .. As back as I go there were always someone to be taken to the hospital ,someone to be picked from the station ,someone to be served dinner ..When I was growing up I and my uncle were quite a handful and I am sure we did everything to make her life miserable .. I also remember all the laughs we had ..She is someone who doesn't get daunted by difficult situations .. She is one of the strongest women I know and manages to smile through all her troubles .. Today when I am upset because of a bad day in office and I have people coming over for dinner I realize how my mother did all that effortlessly and with a smile on her face ...always selfless and giving ..

I used to hate her for not letting me go out for movies with my friends back in school and roll my eyes every time I got a lecture .. But today I cannot thank her enough for making me the person I am .. for instilling in me to always do the right thing ,for making me fiercely independent and strong ,for equipping me with all the right weapons to face the big bad world ..for forcing me to always see the good in people .. for letting me know that I always have her love and support to fall back on no matter what ...

Dear mom

Today as you complete 50 years of your life l would like to tell you that you are an inspiration for me and that I would consider my life well spent if my children think of me as highly as I think of you .


17 Again

I haven't checked out the latest movie 17 Again yet ,but I believe it is about Mathew Perry being able to get a second chance at high-school gets to set things right.To undo what went wrong.
That got me wondering that if I got another shot at being 17 would I do anything differently ?
Looking back there are a lot of things that I messed up.My career being one of them.I know I could have done much more but then somehow I guess I was destined to do what I am doing today.I believe that there is bigger power at play here.We may think we can shape our destiny but aren't we just going with the flow.I am sure you will all agree that what differentiates success from failure is diligence,perseverance ,focus,passion,good company and will.But what factor decides how hard working we are ? Why are some people more focused than others ? Why does success come seemingly easy to some people while it keeps eluding some.Why is it that today I am as hard working as I can be but yesterday was another story?
Sometimes isn't the journey more important than the destination.Isn't this path chosen.Was I no meant to learn from my failures.Aren't we here just to be better people.Whether we are successful or not in the process is just secondary.So I guess No there is nothing I would have done differently.This was meant to be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I don't remember when I got hooked on to friends.What I do remember though is my mom not being amused about my new found addiction.She didn't like what she heard between the lines :) Must have been about ten years ago.Probably the time around which they started airing it in India.I was hooked before I knew.Even today nothing cheers me up like friends.I have watched all episodes atleast four times and they still make me laugh,cry,sigh,dream...
Now this post is strictly for Friends lovers(Reader Discretion is advised).Infact this post of mine is dedicated to F.R.I.E.N.D.S.Here are a few things that I love about the sitcom -
---I love Chandler's jokes . I mean if he were real he would have been the wittiest person I would have known.
---I love Rachel's style.I mean I love all her clothes.Hers would be my ideal wardrobe.In the first two three seasons she looks absolutely stunning.
--- I think there is a bit of Monika in me.I may not be the control freak(Or maybe I am ) but I can relate to her.Like her I know I am high maintenance and not easy going :) But like Chandler says the best way to look at it is to say that she is passionate :)
--- Of all the characters Phoebe is my least favourite.I think she is a bit over the top but I think she adds some punch to the show.Some of the things she does is unreal.I absolutely loved this show where she has this argument with Ross over evolution. I kinda had a similar discussion with friends and it was really funny.
--- I love the comfort level all friends share with each other.Their onscreen chemistry is amazing.In most scenes involving all the principal characters , if only two of them are having a conversation, the rest of them are seen listening in or doing their own thing or just chatting amongst themselves.I think it is as real as it can get.You start believing it ..You start living it . I mean I used to imagine episodes on my own and in real life scenarios keep wondering how the "Friends" would have dealt with it.(This is where you star thinking I am little wonky in the head :) )
---I love how they are so open about their relationship with each other.It's like unconditional love.I could tell you anything and you won't hold it against me.
---I like the fact that Monika who brings in so much competition in everything is never really jealous.
--- I love the fact that there is no competition when it comes to spending time with each other.As in Joey likes to spend as much time with Ross as Chandler.I know they do have biases but then that doesn't affect anything.Each of them is comfortable about the relationship he or she shares with the other person.
---How they are all on each others priority list.How many of us do that.Don't we think of friends only when there is nothing to do or when we are sad and lonely.Most of them are need based relationships.Our friends are not our lives.They used to be when we were in college,in hostels,in Pg's but then you are just supposed to move on with life right.Our lives don't revolve around ou friends anymore.Wouldn't life be better if it did.If you had this support circle.We all need love but are so unwilling to give it.
So all you mommies who are reluctant to let their teenage kids watch friends , please note that it is more than cheeky jokes and adult content.