Sunday, December 26, 2010


2010! What a year it's been!

A year of love, of love lost.
 A year of accolades and accusations.
 A year of joyous togetherness, of pained separations.
 A year of learning and being taught.
 A year of devilish day-dreams and; ghoulish nightmares
 A year planning, of realizations.
 A year of Facebook, of facing the book
 A year of finding myself and; losing completely
 A year of serene moments filled with anger
 A year of drama with a silent audience
 A year of violence, touched with care
 A year of highs and; hangovers
 A year of midnight messages, of mid-morning calls
 A year of being brain-washed and coming out clean
 A year of confused emotions, of decisive action
 A year of connecting with old friends and; making new enemies
 A year of flowing poetry, of blocked prose
 A year of unbridled laughter, of unrelenting tears
 A year of true friendship and; undeniable devotion
 A year of playing games with no winners
 A year of losing battles, of fighting wars
 A year of being vain, but finding true beauty
 A year contemplating and concluding
 A year counselling and; being advised
 A year of emotional deficiencies and logical growth
 A year of learning new trick, but being the same old bitch
 A year of have nots and can't get enough of
 A year being a scardy-cat, but still coming out strong
 A year of having faith, of breaking promises
 A year of feeling close while being dejected
 A year of numbered letters and letters read
 A year of rumor mills and flowers grown
 A year of inception with no results
 A year of wanting, then giving it away
 A year of looking at the past and seeing the future
 A year of self discovery, of the capabilities I never knew I had
 A year of figuring out the meaning of life, only to realize it's written in a different language
 A year of understanding what I need to do

2010! A year etched in my memory....forever!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Faced Dragon!

And you thought I was dead! Fat chance! I'm just slowly being crushed by the weight of the world, but that's for another post. This one is for those who judge without knowing. 

I am interested in a lot of things in life but astronomy isn't really one of them. That is until recently. Not too long ago I was called 'Two Faced' for being born when I was. Now, being born isn't by choice. I did not choose to be born when I did, that was purely my parent's fault. But the fact remains, I was born a Gemini. I saw the collective 'Oh, that explains it.' However, as per my limited knowledge, there are a few million people who have the (mis)fortune of being born in the same Sun Sign. So, the question is: does that categorically put all the eggs in one basket or are any of us individuals?

So to quench my thirst for the absurd, I embarked on some research. Nothing too in-depth, since even I have a limited tolerance for stupidity. What I learned was ambiguous to say the least. 

The Gregorian Calender is split into twelve signs...the Sun Signs. Based on the general signs & symptoms (of personalities), each sign is chalked out into various traits that a person born in that sign could exhibit. As per the most famous authority on the subject, Linda Goodman, Geminis exhibit dual personalities, are vivacious, harbor dark secrets, and can love & hate the same person at the same time (or was it love to hate? Should have finished the chapter. Damn!) For me, I am not bipolar, can be moody as hell, have no secrets from people who matter, and, Damn! should have finished the chapter.

On the other spectrum, the Chinese Calender is also split into twelve signs, but nothing as fancy as Sagittarius, Capricorn, or Aquarian. The Chinese have appropriately named their moon based signs after animals, which makes for funny reading. But, like the ancient Greeks, the Chinese have also generalized each sign's characteristics to ... counter the population problem. I am, according to the Chinese, a Dragon. A person who exhibits leadership, is strong of will, and will always stand by what they believe. I kind of like that, but then comes the dramatic picture of the world being over-run by Dragon people. Dictatorial, don't you think?

The Hindu religion's basis for astrological readings of a person is a little more specific, based on the time & place of birth, along with the family descent, and a few other things I couldn't keep my eyes open for. This is supposed to be quite specific, but after knowing some of my readings, it looked like shooting arrows in the dark. I am, according to my reading, a non-violent person. True, till you piss me off. I am closer to the opposite sex. That would explain why I've had three male cats as pets. That should give you a fair idea about how accurate this science can be.

No astrological reading, from any part of the world, can pin-point a person's personality or character. None can determine the exact path you will tread in your future or the choices you are given. No sign can tell you how to live your life. That is where the individual comes in. Each one of us determines our own course, no matter how good, bad or ugly it may be. No two lives are the same. 

So to judge me based on when I was born is sheer ignorance in getting to know me. For I am more than a two-faced dragon. I am ME!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Networking sites are awesome! You can do things that go beyond the realm of just getting connected with friends. One of my favorite applications is 'How well do you know .....?" quizzes. Considering most of my friends I'm connected with have been childhood friends, who (for many) I've not seen since, well childhood, it's always difficult to get an answer right. But hey what the heck, it's always worth a try, you'll never know what you learn about a person. So, in the same spirit I have, after much deliberation, concocted my own quiz, about myself (duh!). As readers, you are not obligated to answer. In fact, I really wouldn't advise it, probably because getting a straight answer on some of the questions may not be possible. But don't let me discourage you!

How well do you know... me?

1. How old am I? anyone who answers my chronological age wins this one.
2. Have I ever done anything bad to someone deliberately? Family is not allowed to answer this.
3. Why do I get the feeling most people I come in contact with, are out to get me?
4. Am I hormonally, psychologically or just emotionally challenged?
5. What's my favorite lingerie color?
6. Who's my bestest friend in the whole wide world?
7. Why do I feel ill-equipped to handle things?
8. Who can I blame (other than myself) for all the shit that happens in my life?
9. When will I become rich & famous? Must reflect date in the very near future.
10. What are my bad habits? Please limit to top 3.
11. How many new activities can I take up, simultaneously, to keep myself from leading a normal life?
12. Why do I feel really girlie-girlie every once in a while?
13.Who is my favorite superhero? Think bulging muscles, under extremely tight spandex, cropped at the right places.
14. Why can't people understand that I'm actually a nice person under a very fierce exterior?
15. When do I know I've grown up to raise my kids? Again, mom & not answer.
16. When will time travel be possible? Sorry...always wanted to know.
17. Do I ever get to spend time on an island with my cabana boys?
18. Will I ever be demanding enough to live my life on my terms?
19. Is it just me or does every one think I'm absolutely perfect? Be honest now!
20. What made you sit through this crap & even contemplate answering these questions?

Answer key:
A. yes
B. no
C. I don't know
D. I don't give a crap!

Now, let the game begin!

Friday, September 3, 2010

How do you feel today?

When I was 13, someone gifted me a poster with smiley faces (emoticons as they are called today) and the caption read  "How do you feel today?" I thought, at that time, it was the cutest (don't use that word too often) thing ever. Every morning I'd get up and stare at the poster plastered on my wall, wondering "How do I want to feel today?" At that age, and most of  the time growing up, the answer was nearly always 'Happy'. But as I transversed into adulthood, those emoticons needed some serious revamping.

Every e-mail or networking site have their version of the the smiley face characters to suit peoples' moods, but none of them include the real emotions that I've been feeling. I guess technology can only mimic humans to a certain extent, or maybe it's been kept away from the darker, more turbulent side of the human psyche, which may be a good thing (think terminator!)

But as I sit here trying to put my emotions into words, I wish there were emoticons to pictorially show what I feel. I want those computer geeks, sitting in their secluded wired rooms, to come up with something that really suits my mood. I want an emoticon for 'I feel euphoric and never want this feeling to end!' Would that be a colon followed by a double or triple D (:DDD)? But that just wouldn't do justice to the feeling of singing in the rain or flying through a night sky on a magic carpet, would it? How about one for 'I feel like trying something new today. (wink!!)'? I just visualized that one, and honestly, having a smiley face dipicting that mood just totally undermined it. And is there nothing in the emoticon world that can convey ' I feel like I achieve anything!'? As inept as I am in doing most things, there are certain times when a girl feels like she's done some good in her life and can continue it without a doubt.

Then again, where are the icons that say 'I feel like shit today'? I don't get up everyday ready to take on the world and fly through my life as if on a lark and a song. I do have my off days. My hair's a constant mess, my mood swings like a monkey in heat, and I get up ... feeling like shit! What about an icon for ' I wanna kick someone's ass'? More often than not, that's the feeling I've been living with. This icon would have to symbolize the emotion between anger and murder. What about one for 'I feel so lost and want to jump off the nearest cliff''? No, these are not suicidal thoughts, just a feeling of complete hopelessness when things I've tried so hard to achieve or do for others come to naught.

We've all been there, going through a myriad of emotions in a day that only seem to get numerous and sometimes deeper in times of trouble or when everything is more than hunky dory. So why can't the cyber world, that most of us now live in, emulate those? I suppose that's the beauty of being human. We all feel, however hard assed one may think they are. Yet every one of us shows 'their' emotions in their own way. And everyone's interpretation of someone else's emotion  is based on personal perception. Wouldn't it be a dull world if we all felt the same thing at the same time?

Now that makes me feel almost human! ;)PD*

Sunday, August 1, 2010


It's Friendship Day. So I thought I'd write something for those people who've managed to make my 'friend' list and have actually stuck with me.


You are the one who made fun of me, knowing full well I could have snapped back
You are the one who listened to me complain about how life's a Bitch
You are the one who laughed with me, knowing full well some of the things I said were really stupid
You are the one who pushed me to do things I had no idea I was capable of
You are the one who let me be the crazy girl, without prejudice, without a second thought
You are the one who let me get drunk, but drove me back home
You are the one who held me when I cried with misery, anger or just plain frustration
You are the one who let me throw up and pass out on a lawn to teach me a lesson
You are the one who sat up all night studying with me
You are the one who calls up just to say 'Hi'
You are the one who were willing to eat my experimental cooking and survived to tell the tale
You are the one who never held back your criticism when you knew it was due
You are the one who shared your life with me, making me feel important
You are the one who stoked my ego, but kept me grounded
You are the one who heard me contemplate big life changing decisions, letting me make them on my own
You are the one who applauded me when I did something worthwhile
You are the one who took pictures of me that could make a load of cash on the net
You are the one whose picture I have in my heart
You are the one who talked me out of utter stupidity
You are the one who lent me money and never asked for it back
You are the one I got angry with, but ran back to because ....of you
You are the one who I would do just about anything for
You are the one who taught me how to love someone without expectation, stand beside someone through thick and thin, be who I am today.
You are the one who makes me feel I'm loved beyond measure.

You all know who you are. Thank you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Anatomy of Anger

The Webster's Dictionary defines anger as 'a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a   wrong; wrath; ire.' What that basically means is that someone or something pisses you off and you blow your top (in varying degrees). But Webster's got it wrong! Anger, if you really think about it, is not really a feeling, a feeling of strong displeasure yes, but it is not the actual feeling. Anger is ultimately a reaction to a strong feeling, almost always, of displeasure. What sets people apart is their perception of that negative feeling, and perhaps the degree with which they display their reaction.

The manifestation of anger is the final point of no return, where the perceived displeasure is so overwhelming that the person under the influence (of anger) expresses those emotions externally, be it to a person or a situation, and it's never a pretty sight. Anger in any form, expressed or bottled up, is never contained to only the intended victim, it's aggressive spread is far reaching. 

So, what's that got to do with me? I'm the coolest person you'll ever meet (exponentially exaggeratedly speaking). But what I am is a very angry person, bottled up in a body that can't do anything about it, well, except scream at people and things that rub me the wrong way. Lately, however, I've noticed that the rubbing doesn't even have to be the wrong way! It doesn't take me too long to be emotionally embroiled into a situation that invariably results in the Mount Vesuvius type explosion. The situation on the other hand doesn't have to be proportional to the explosive display. No, it could be as trivial as I can't find my shoe, and WHAM!! the neighbors are treated to decibel levels even the construction company next door can't match.

I've always been a temper challenged person, always voicing my verbose opinions with a passionate fervor that few could match. Tears of conviction streaming down my cheeks, my stance poised to delivery precise lethal damage to whom so ever dare challenge, and my voice pitched to break glass if the need ever arose. That was teenage. Now, the tears have dried up, the stance is deadlier and sometimes used, and the voice hoarse from broken glass, but the anger is still there, growing, as if fed by an invisible force I can't seem to run away from or fight. 

The worse part is, half the time I don't know why I'm so angry! I start out with very innocent intentions, entering every situation or conversation with a clean slate. Keeping my mind open for something new that may come my way, to absorb, to learn. Most benign situations pass off without incidence, but the ones that involve people who bring out the (what was it that Webster's said?) strong feeling of displeasure, more often than not feel the intensity of the wrath. Many a times the people to face the onslaught of emotional upheaval are either innocent (mostly due to their age(s)), or weren't even involved. To make matters worse, I know I'm wrong in subjecting said person(s) to my disturbed mind, and end up feeling angrier, making a possibly controllable situation totally lost. It's this ability to screw up incessantly, the feeling of some deep rooted insecurity, inadequacy, low self-esteem, or just plain stupidity that drives me over the edge. It would be absolutely legit if this was because of someone else, but all these feeling dwell inside me, making it a bitter pill to swallow.

My math has been less than passable since I can remember, but if I were to calculate the ratio of situations (volatile or non-volatile) to outbursts (warranted or not), it would be 2:1.5. That's a 75% strike rate (again according to my math), which, as per many, well known neurologists, cardiologists, psychoanalysts, is already 4 1/2 feet into my grave. 
According to (here again I must confess limited knowledge) many beauty magazines frowning and anger (which leads to frowning) adds years to the face by creating unseemly lines on the face, making one look 45, as opposed to the desired 26 (real age unknown). 
If I were to ask my family and friends what they thought of my temper tantrums, they'd probably vote to put me on some strong medications. But to myself, I feel scary, not in the Freddy Cougar way, but more in the Chucky way, where i'm supposed to be a positive influence on those around me, am supposed to be fun, nice, bestower of love; but turn out to be a demon who has no clue why the hell she's being mean, horrible and angry (although in a cute body). I feel ugly, knowing full well that every time I yell, or get even slightly angry, my face contorts to resemble a shriveled prune. But worst of all I see, feel the hurt in the people I get angry with, the sometimes irreversible damage I cause, and hate myself for it.

I don't want to be angry all the time! That's not who I am, that's not who I'm meant to be. I wish I could say I've tried and exhausted all remedial methods, but I'd be lying. I thought of yoga, but the slow pace ticks me off even more. Karate helps a bit, but only to put a violent edge to the anger. I think I'm looking for something. What? I'm not sure, but not getting it, or achieving it leaves me in an uncontrollable flux. I do know this, I'd better reign in my barking dog, before I put myself down an ugly, aged, miscalculated fool!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Who am I?

Its that time of the year, again! As I 'grow' another year older in age, emotion, and wisdom (hopefully), I've found myself reflecting on my existence. I've been often told to carry out this exercise in the past, but introspection has eluded my attention (as limited as it is), probably for the simple reason: why would I want to dwell on all my faults, idiosyncrasies, weaknesses, fears, or for that matter even my strengths; when they are on blatant display for all who know me? But for the last year or more I've noticed myself change from the kind of person i used to be...hoping for better results, but probably not even coming close. So, the question...Who am I?

I am a lot of things to a lot of people. I am like any other woman, a daughter, wife, daughter in law, mother, sister, a counselor, a listener, a talker, a fighter, and yes a cry baby (when the occasion calls for it). But sometime along that path I think I've lost sight of who I am to myself. I am still the confident woman I started out as, but that has translated into a growing fear that I'm incapable of doing things I used to be able to and things that are new to me.  Being able to learn a new task or skill used to be effortless, but as the age has crept on I find I'm stuck in sometimes mundane tasks, without the urge of learning newer skills. My learning curve over the years has taken a nose dive, of which I'm not proud, and plan to rectify.

Efficiency was my middle name, until I changed my address, then it just became 'lump'. I've often been complained about...(nothing new to the complainers) that I used to be able to do everything and still had time for fun. Now, fun is getting into bed at 10.30pm and passing out. In retrospect, I agree with most of my critics, I no longer have the same panache, the boldness and possibly, exuberance as I did at 18, but way back then, I never had the kind of understanding, maturity and determination I do today. So i think I'm kinda evened out over the years.

But the biggest personality trait I seem to have an issue with is my attitude, which, from what I've been told, hasn't changed at all. After all the psychoanalysis and free therapy sessions I've had over the years, the consensus has been more or less the same...I have colossal ego problems that project my attitude as a snob, don't care what people think, superiority complex that makes it near impossible for me to deal with people who I deem not at par with me (which would be nearly everyone). But the fact are actually different. I'm not a snob. I have an innate fear of people. Human beings are the only unpredictable creatures on this planet, who for no apparent reason could turn against the ones they love. I fear that I would be the hurter as much as the hurtee if I let my overtly enthusiastic personality take rampage. As for the don't give a shit what people think, is, I believe, an extension of the fear of people. Use of negative psychology as a defense mechanism: if I don't care what they (general public) think; they wont be able to affect my life negatively. 

As for the superiority complex thing, I gotta agree! I'm good at the things I do (however limited), and not really good at taking advice from anyone, unless they have an established track record of doing the same thing better than me (even then I'm usually skeptical). I don't easily relinquish my authority to anyone without having confidence that whatever damage may occur can be handled with ease. I admit this has lately been my greatest stress factor, which I have to learn to handle better. The only visible solution is to give up my crown and let someone else be a part of the situations I face on a day to day basis. 

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am as vulnerable as the next person. The facade of being superwoman is just that, an act. I am confused as to which direction I'm heading, if I'm moving at all....a possible extension of my driving skills. But most of all, as with every human, I find I crave acknowledgement, however small, in the things I do from the people who matter.

 I am still the bold, daring, caring, mostly eccentric person from eons ago, with a dash of forthrightness, temperamental rudeness, tougher than steel stance and a tongue that could pierce armor. But over the years I have managed to figure out that i am what I am, and who I am is a person loved.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hookies & Salsa

All of us have fond memories from our pasts, no matter how uninteresting we thought they were back then. But not many memories are made without other people being a part of them, at least not for me. When I reminisce about my pre-college, or college days, a flood of faces follows, each one reminding me of a crazy incidence or conversation that took place in a certain time and space in the past. Those memories came gushing back last weekend as I made a long awaited, much anticipated trip to Bangalore, after 14 years, to catch up with a select few memory makers of my life past.

The last 14 years have been a whirlwind for me, moving from one place to the next, meeting new people, doing newer and more exciting things. Through this all I've always wondered how my friends, who shared some of the most precious moments in my life, were doing? A part of me also wanted to know if life had treated them as kindly as it had treated me so far, how much had these women (i was in an all girls college) changed from what I remember? Would we be the same as we used to be together? I think when we picture reunions, a little part in everyone wants to know if the others in the group are still the same physically as they used to be ( the vanity demon strikes!!)

I met a number of friends from where I used to live and from college. My weekend was doused in alcohol, and filled with infectious laughter, unrestricted swearing, not always fond recollections of things done in the past (some that would never be done again), pouring over pictures that reminded us all of a carefree time we made full use of (some more than others), and some much needed tears for the things done or left unsaid back then. But the key fact i realized from the weekend was that the last 14 years had changed us all. Yes, some of us have gotten fatter! (I can say that without the fear of prosecution.) But the overall change I saw was awesome. Here were some of my closest girl friends, who had emerged from the cocooned life we all lived in our teenage years, to be beautiful, strong, resilient women. I met women who were no longer naive in their view of life, who had experienced the real joys and pangs of what life had to offer us, who had now grown into forces in their own right.

The two days left me dehydrated, and high, but most of all proud that I had known these people and called them my friends. It's rare to find people who think the way you do and even if they don't, give you the unconditional support to do your own thing and be your own person. The funny part was I felt exactly the same after all these years with these ladies, and knew it would be the same for a long time to come. I just hope the next time we all meet is before we hit menopause. I would not want to be a fly on the wall during a meeting of hormonally challenged middled aged women!

So with a happy, hopeful heart I say to my old friends; I loved meeting you all after such a long time, and promise we'll make the next time even better and just a bit longer.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Letter to my mother

Dear Ma,

It's been years since I wrote you a letter....probably as many as my age. So, I thought I'd pen a few words about you, for you, and to you. The fact that you're my mother, sister and best friend isn't the topic of discussion in this letter. Neither are the facts that I always felt as loved and protected with the mere thought of you (when you weren't around), or that I love you dearly and have never known a more beautiful woman, a part of this letter. If you don't know this by now then you're crazy, and we can't have two crazy people in the same family (not talking about you dad).

No, this letter is going to tell you all the things I hate about you. The things that make be mad as hell and cringe with fright.

I hate your hips. Oh, on you they look fine (could lose a little off the edges though). It's the fact that I've inherited them and it takes me forever to keep them in even the slightest of decent shape, that I can't stand. Your eyesight! Can't stand the fact you can't see even an inch in front of your face without your glasses, but can see into the depths of my soul, without my being anywhere near you. I detest your intuition. You would always know when I needed you, though I tried to hide the fact, even from across the world. Your sense of smell is demonic! Every time I'd had a smoke you'd know, even before I entered the house.

Your dirty mind is one for a museum. Honestly, the things you've taught me could get even the darkest man red in the face with embarrassment. I think we can safely blame your mother for that one. You're crazy methods of relaxation make me want to crawl into the nearest hole, not because they work, but because they're too damned crazy not to. I hate your diplomatic ability, which has turned some of my worst moments bearable. I detest the fact you can teach anyone and anything (the cat) to do what you bid. I still remember scaring the daylights out of your tuition student, but you made him an honor student in his school. Your talent for all things artistic really irks me to no end, since I'm challenged in that arena.

I particularly can't stand your patience. It drives me nuts. You'd never lose sight of your goal, even when you were screaming and shouting at us, and always persisted, relentlessly, to achieve them (especially the goal to get me to behave). I abhor your tolerance, not only because you've accepted a whole load of crap thrown at you in your life with a smile, but because you always taught me to be the same. 

Your strength and absolute level headedness makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I remember when my brother was burned, you swallowed your scream, and with a surgeon's precision started first aid, which later got you compliments from the entire burn unit staff for your quick thinking, while I ran around screaming my head off. I hate your steadfastness on things you know are right, and your inability to divert from the truth, no matter how hard it was to accept, especially for me. I especially hate it that you're always right, about everything, but have the decency not to rub it in my face with 'I told you so!'

I vehemently hate the fact that you always pushed me to be better than I was, especially because I was a girl. You let me make my mistakes and gave me space to understand them and learn from them, always in the background if I needed you. I don't even remotely like the fact that you've made me so independent that I could run a country on my own. I hated your constant nagging about my health, and the fact that if I didn't look after myself, no one else would.

But you know what the worst thing about you is?

I can never be you! That's a loss I mourn without even having. You are the epitome of perfection in my eyes, except the hips. I can only hope, as my children grow older, that they hate even a fraction of the things I hate about you. I am what I am because of you, but I hate it that you left me imperfect!

Love always
Your daughter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doers Don't Die!

It's not very often that I complain....I heard the collective snort! But today seems to be shaping up to be one big bitch fest. Before I open the proceedings, I would like to take a moment to blame my parents for making me courteous, giving, not too selfish, and a sucker for people who need my help! With that said...let the brain bashing begin.

SITUATION 1:  You need to be at an appointment half hour ago, You're stuck in traffic and will not, at least today, be able to make the appointed time. What do you do?
a. You call the other party and tell them you're held up in traffic. Apologize. Inform them you'll make it ASAP.
b. Call and reschedule the appointment. Apologize? The traffic's not my fault!
c. Wait for the other party to ain't wasting a dime on an unnecessary phone call.
d. you're already 3 hours late, they should have gotten the message by now.

If you chose (a), you may as well stand behind me with a sign on your forehead saying 'DUMBASS"! That's how I feel every time I have to wait for someone to meet me. In the age of cell phones it's amazing how careless and totally uncouth people can be, especially in a professional setting. If I have an appointment with my doctor, dentist, car servicing guy, swimming/karate coach or anyone else who I've given a time to, and cannot make it on time, I make sure I call them to let them know I'm running late (unless I'm piss drunk and can't remember the appointment). Isn't that the civil thing to do?

SITUATION 2: Someone sets up a group activity for your child, but the time doesn't gel for you. What do you do?
a. You thank that person, and perhaps ask if the timings can be changed a little to accommodate your child.
b. you tell the person the timings need to be changed to suit your child's needs. You'll thank them when the job's done to your satisfaction.
c. you confront them, accusing them of fixing the time purposely so that your child was left out, and threaten to get in your own activity group that would clash with the present one.
d. You refuse to talk to the person and make sure your child doesn't play with theirs.

If you chose (a), you may now change the sign on your forehead to "FREAKIN' IDIOT"! It amazes me to know that people are not only lazy, uncommitted and totally ungrateful, but top that with pigheadedness and unbecomingly rude, you've got a winning combination for the world's worst terrorist negotiator or parent (similar job profile). I know it takes different kinds people to make this world go around, but common decency is the crux of humanity....right?

These are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to dealing with really stupid people around me. In reality I do understand that every individual has the right to do as they please. But when it comes to societal situations it is a given that one should behave with others the way one would expect them to behave with you.

That's where my parents got it wrong!

In today's world it's every person for him/herself, no matter how arrogant, mean and bitchy you have to get. In this 'dog eat dog or get bitten on your ass' world, the concept of community seems to be slowly dying. Yes, we let our children play out in the park with the other kids. But where is the value addition for the community as a whole, where every member of the community comes together to do something as a whole, and possibly learn? It's impossible for me to just sit around gossiping about people who have no impact on my life. I'd much rather be in the thick of things that need to be done, but from my experiences thus far, I seem to be the fool. I sometimes wish my parents had made me a little less mannered, grateful, helpful and a lot more meaner,  ruder, and cruel. But then, I wouldn't want my children to grow up like that.

I have learned my lesson. I now fervently refuse to give up! I know my attitude gets me no votes as Ms. Popular, but that's not the it? Although I now refuse to put up with stupid people, I have come to the conclusion that teaching people, even one at a time, that common courtesy is expected from them at all levels, is the way to go.

They'll either do it or die trying!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary X 2

Well, it's that time of the year when I celebrate having certain people in my life, who have made a profound impact on me.

It's been eleven years since I tied the knot, I'm sure sometimes it feels like a noose for my husband. But I've got to hand it to the guy, he's put up with me through all my avatars. I'm not even going to sugar coat this...I am a terror to live with. He found out early enough in the relationship that I could be a real bitch. I've had my ecstatic highs, and my dragged in dirt lows, done weird things, and things I can now laugh at (but were probably too stupid at the time), yet, through all my craziness he's been there, rationalizing, patiently observing, soothing, and probably wondering when the hell this was all going to stop. Although, he ain't that lucky, the lunacy has toned down considerably, but hey, he can't deny he's not having fun.

Over the years, I've come to accept the fact that I'm a lucky woman to have this man in my life who, although wouldn't mind strangling me on multiple occasions, would never accept me for who I am...a lazy, sometime inappropriate, hotheaded, teenager. I've never known someone to challenge me the way he does, to change for the better, to make something of myself. Now, in all fairness, had I been any other woman, I'd have taken this as grounds for abuse or at least harassment. But being me and knowing where he wants us to go, I'm grateful he's besides me pushing me to heights that sometimes I find impossible to attain, but do nevertheless.

Freedom of speech is very important to me. I am loud, many times controversial, seldom hold my thoughts or my tongue, but have never been opposed to doing so...well, maybe the loud part. I've learned through endless discussions with my husband that holding back, even when I'm mad as a cat with it's tail on fire, hurts me. For this understanding I thank him and his encouragement I am forever grateful for. Channelizing seems to be my only problem...but I'm working on it!

  I know I don't say it enough but you are  the sanity to my erratic mind, the foundation to my building, the skill set to my MBA, and the yang to my ying. Happy Anniversary darling.

This brings me to the X 2 of the Happy Anniversary. It's been a year since since I started my blogging adventure or mis, which ever way you want to look at it. It started out as a forum for me to be what I was originally good at....a bitch. I complained and raved and ranted about part of my life that I was sure was the worst thing to happen to any human being. It was a cleansing process, I had said, and to be very honest, it was. But as I cleansed myself I'd come to realize, what was past didn't matter anymore. It was only the future that really made a difference, and as long as I can try to make that great for me and those around me, I'm in a win-win situation.

So the other people I'm grateful to are You, my readers. Those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning know it all, and have graciously put up with all the crap I spewed. Those of you who joined later know me for what I can be. Either way, Thank you. Your support, comments (though I don't get enough of these) and encouragement tells me I'm on the right path.

All of you make me want to be better, in every way.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to shed a few tears of joy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Challenged Technology...

I've been in the market for a new mobile phone for the past 3 months. The last time I bought a phone it took me 15 minutes, from selecting the ONE to taking it home. That was a few years ago. It seems I have grown more mature in my selection of technology OR have absolutely no clue what to buy. I think the latter holds true.

My adventures in buying technology have been, at best, sparse. The fact that I bought a video camera recently did up my confidence level some, but it wasn't without it's share of painful moments. Months of research in videography technology, DVD compatibility, lens zoom capabilities, handling, and best deal for my money had left me feeling drained yet exuberant that I could make an informed decision about buying a piece of technology that frankly, I'm yet to really start enjoying.

My technologically challenged brain has come to terms with the fact that if I didn't have my husband around all the time, to pester, question, requestion, and research my needs, I'd be driving a bullock cart and using a stone tablet and a chisel to write. Not that he's the one who buys my electronic stash. He's the smart guy who tells me to finally choose the one I feel comfortable with, knowing full well that if something goes wrong I'm still the one to blame for making the wrong choice.

Is this the dilemma most women face.... dependence on our male counterparts to help us choose which technology suits our needs the best? Yes, granted that 99% of all technological inventions and innovations have been made by men, but, considering nearly half the population on this planet is female, shouldn't women have a say in their own technological advancement, choices, purchasing power? Women are wired differently and purchases they make are often based on something completely different, and are often misunderstood by men. The answer lies deeper than just knowledge and education, but that's a whole another can of worms I'll open later.

For now, I embark of my mobile phone adventures less impulsive, better educated, well researched, and if I do say so myself, much smarter. Just wish I could say, I did it all on my own. But as the saying goes: "No man is a pillar."

 Looks like no woman is either!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Abstract Thought....

An Abstract Thought....
A city of paradox
A city of......
Local trains
      seasoned pains
staggered ques
     gratifying blues
Fantastic sterlite
     foolhardy erudite
perturbed emotions
     stained devotions
scribbled monopolies
     perfect anamolies
galloping scanties
     dangling panties
foreign land
    A Bomb-Bay!!

A city can't
    it won't
    stop you.
An year can't
   but might
   change you. was
a crucial 95....
do not let you
dreams die.
      no resolutions
      only solutions
      no cerebrations
      only celebrations
      no ego-lies
      only informal ties
      curb emotions
      but dedications.

Life is fast
nothing lasts
except your dares
and career stairs
move a-top and tap
feel the oblivious nap!

95 charge your crosses
and turn it to
gaiety and success.

This was written in 1995 by someone whose thought process still provokes me today. Although simple in it's verbiage, the meaning has carried through to touch and profoundly change one's outlook in life, well, at least mine. I owe this person more than the inspiration he gives future. Thank you, my darling husband.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Garlands of Power

 I am naive in my political opinions and possibly standing. I firmly believe politics is a platform to serve one's country, a stage to propagate national and international policies that would be beneficial not just to the citizens of one's country, but perhaps also create a far-reaching positive impact on the rest of the world. Politicians are the selfless vessels through whom the betterment of society and the country as a whole occurs. WHAT??? Just dreaming!!

I have a very simple political view: If you want my vote, cut the crap and do the work! But, as I learn to navigate the black holes of Indian politics, I realize this view is not supported by many of my voting colleagues, and definitely not by most of the politicians vying for my vote.

The state in which I currently reside is infamous for it's class-caste divide politics. For those unfamiliar with this term, it is basically (a gross misuse of) a system based on various societal and professional divisions that dated back to the ancient Vedic system. It's application in modern times not only undermines a country's ability but also it's potential to keep up with the world. in this day and age. Retrogressive thinking!! However, in the recent past, one woman has been able to bridge this gap and attain the highest government office of the state. This woman has managed to do something very few politicians (male/ female) could even conceive of doing. Rising out of the lowest strata of society she is now the Chief Minister (similar to the Governor, for my non-Indian friends). She is the pinnacle of power in a state that boasts the highest female infanticide, the lowest educated population, and infrastructural holes that whole buses could sink in.

Touted as a fighter and a go-getter, she has been able to amass a following that would put Gandhi to shame, literally. Her political power and ardent fan following have ensured that she also has vast amount of money at her disposal. Money that we, citizens, have paid in taxes, and others gifted to her. And, disposal is what she's done! For a state whose basic needs are far from met, this woman has accomplished things that goes far beyond the reaches of politics. Life-sized memorial statues of her, in imported sand stone, litter every open available space, with a few interspersed statues of her Gurus. Temples, devoted to her religious denomination promising solitude and peace, have been built on once forested areas on the banks of the local river, obviously too noisy for peace and solitude. Birthday parties and rallies, for herself and sometimes her Gurus, a few times a year that dwarf even Micheal Jackson's funeral costs.

But why am I complaining? The woman's a spender!! Which woman isn't? Only a few days ago she gave a birthday party that cost her a piddly $44 million, a tiny drop in the budgetary ocean. But, the pièce de résistance was the garland bestowed on her by her party members, probably at her insistence. A garland that featured no flowers, made of paper that would set someone back as little as $1 million, give ( not or take) a few hundred thousand. And what of the uneducated population, of the millions of children who don't get food, shelter, clothing or medicines, of the girl child who is killed for being a girl, of the millions of women who live in oppression, of the men who can't find jobs?

People, go get your own!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


'I'm a lover not a fighter', has to be the most unrealistic cliche I've ever come across. Most of us, in our lifetime, have verbal spars, unless you have a younger brother who needs an ass-whooping. But as adults, hand-to-hand combat is unheard of, especially by women in their mid-thirties and forties. Most of the stories one reads in the news dramatisize how women face physical abuse from a multitude of adversaries, most of them succumbing to their wounds, the lucky ones being scared for life either physically, psychologically or both. Are women truely the weaker sex? I think not!!

Being a woman doesn't just entail the emotional, spiritual, and psychological strength that is bestowed on us. Yes, these are of great advantage in any situation, but the one very obvious disadvantage meted out to us is the lack of physical strength. So, if I were lost in a dark alley, surrounded by men, after more than my virtue, would I be able to, not just, defend, but fight them? I found out the answer.

As many of you are aware I partake in weekly Karate practice. I am a novice, in the most basic form of the word, but where I lack in technique I make up in gusto. Yesterday, we had our first combat spar, monitored by our sensei, to prevent the letting of blood. Paired up against an opponent of the same skill level still didn't prepare me for what was to follow. Kicking and punching for two rounds, I acquired my first combat wounds, a bruised face, a  broken foot and a pain in the ass you would not believe. But I also acquired something else. An adreneline rush to match no other drug, confidence to stand my ground, discipline to hold out till truly needed, and an ability to strategize an attack in a span of seconds. 

I'm in excrusiating pain today, my aging body's protest against the torturous routine I put it through. But I feel like a teenager who has just discovered that I can be invincible. I may look like a woman who'd be unable to lift an ax, let alone swing one (imagine Calista Flockhart without an eating disorder). But I now know my true potential as a woman and will not hesitate to use my newest skill, if needed (imagine Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs Smith).

So, if I ever find myself in a situation that requires me to fight, you'd better believe, I'll kick ass and like it too!

Happy Women's Day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hot Flashes

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It's unusual for me to be requested to write about something serious, since I don't easily do serious. But, I was tagged by a good friend and a fellow blogger to write for International women's day, and since I'm always up for a challenge, here goes.

Sixteen in a tough age, regardless of your gender. But being a sixteen year old teenage girl, with a newly acquired svelte figure, raging hormones, handling school, work and boys can be especially tough when going through menopause.

The symptoms were vague to begin with. Emotional outbursts ranging from joy and precious laughter to inconsolable sobbing. It was hard to pinpoint anything in the early days, since the episodes were sporadic. Days would go by with nothing of note and then suddenly...BAM!! there would be fits of rage, the likes of which I'd seldom seen. As months progressed, the melancholy set in. Listlessness pursued with an indifference that could have bordered on  manic depression. But life went on. I was clueless as to why this was happening, but was sure it was happening, regardless of the constant denials. There wasn't a name for this condition, at least not in my limited vocabulary, then.

The worst part about the whole thing, I couldn't talk to anyone about it. My friends, at the time, were too busy making out or making plans to make out, for me to even consider approaching them. Dad, my fall guy, was conveniently missing in action, whenever I'd think about pouring my heart out. The younger brother, well, I don't actually remember him being in the house on most days, was a no go. That left the only person capable of easing my mind, mom. But every time I'd breach the topic, she'd wave it off as nothing.

I am now in my mid thirties, have three children and feel the onset of the same symptoms. I'm too young for this, just as I was at sixteen! But this time round I'm prepared. I'm now fully aware of my body and it's changes, knowing that changes are coming that I probably will not have control over. I know I'm going to have to enlist support. I've gone as far as warning my husband of the impending doom and sensitizing my children to the emotional turmoil that is set forth in their future. I'm going to get through this menopause knowing full well the emotional, physical and psychological hell I may encounter.

 No, I'm not going to make the same mistakes as my mother!

I tag 3 of my fellow bloggers:
Shades of Grey
Ash's Corner

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you

I'm going to take this opportunity first to say thank you to all of you who read this dribble, and are still coming back for more. Since most of you who read this are family, your verbal comments (good & bad) are constant, and for that I am grateful and pissed, since none of you can be bothered to write your comments.

For those readers who are not related by blood or marriage, my sincerest gratitude. Although my comment box is nearly always empty, some of you (who know me) have made the effort of calling and letting me know what you think of my blog/posts. The encouragement I've received has been phenomenal.

 With that in mind, I had  written the story (please read last post) for a competition, set up by a group of writers a few thousand miles away. The jury is finally out...... I was the second winner!! Now I know you're probably thinking 'yeah, but it ain't first place'. The fact that I managed to get a mention by a bunch of professional writers was a win for me. By the way, they also decided to send a prize for the second place winner, which wasn't in the rules to start with....that's gotta mean something.

Well, I'm going to get off my high horse and thank everyone of you once again for being the chocolate to my pudding.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Love story

Before you get all flustered about me getting romantic, this is not about me. A few days ago I entered a short story competition, as a lark. The rules were simple, 500 words or less and use a pre-stated line in the story before the deadline.  Well the resultant story is as follows:

The strategy was deceptively simple. Get across the exposed ground, under the cover of darkness. Find the food supplies and bring them back to the quarters. What could possibly go wrong?
Part of an elite group for the colony, I was prepared for any eventuality. But she was the last thing I’d expected to see in a forsaken place like this.
The crossing had been easy enough. The ground was under complete darkness and we were left with only our senses to navigate the expanse to whatever lay ahead. The cold seeping in through our armor, we silently made our destination.

The reconnaissance team had done a good job. The enemy was no-where near this location, at least for now. The co-ordinates they had supplied had actually panned out. Ricter had promised ‘ It’s there. I swear on my nearly dead mother’s grave! You’ll find the food at these co-knots.’

Convinced, I was not. But I’d taken on the mission. And now I was staring at the one reason that had convinced me to move to this part of the world. Amber!

She’d left me for lack of a better life, 5 years ago. Wanted to roam the world she’d said. And left, before I’d even had a chance to try to change her mind. An eternity ago.

And now here she stood shivering in the damp cold, looking like she’d been on the run since she’d left me. I wanted to reach out and touch her beautiful face but couldn’t get myself to feel the pain of rejection again.

‘Help me’ she whispered. That’s all it took. I wasn’t going to leave her there, alone. Not now, hopefully never. We carried as much food as possible and began the journey home.

That’s when the floodlights came on, drowning us in luminescence with no-where to hide.
Too late. The gas, a highly efficient and deadly neurotoxin, seeped into our lungs before we even saw it. Still running, I reached out for Amber. As I fell I felt the wind rush by me, razor sharp and merciless. I saw her then. I thought my life would flash before my eyes but all I could see was her face. I turned to face my doom, I wouldn’t die like this. Not like this…

Her face reflected mine. Love. Loss.

 ‘Hey mom, come look at this! These two roaches look like they’re hugging.”

                                                               The End


The Jury is still not out, but I'd love to hear your comments about the story, so please write....encouragement always needed, discouragement never discouraged.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

VD sucks

I've been wanting to write this post for, well, the last 3 days. But I've been procrastinating. Not for the lack of material to write, no, I've got plenty. No, I haven't been in the right emotional state to write it. It's nothing hormonal. I just haven't been feeling the love. So, to remedy the situation I went, by myself, to watch Valentine's Day, the movie. If there was more reason to hate Valentine's Day, the day, this was it.

Which idiot came up with an association between a day when two men, with, obviously, the same name, were tortured to death, eons ago, and love? Call me stupid and slap my face, but I just don't get it. (on second thoughts don't!) The saints, after which the day is named,were presumably executed because they defied the emperor's (Claudius the Cruel) command of  having an army of single men. Damn! I'm sure that's reason enough. Where the celebration of love features in this whole story is beyond me. The evolution of these morbid deaths into a symbol of love and what it stands for, is a little too far-fetched.

I am not romantic, by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, I have been known to indulge in reading Mills & Boons novels, but those are feminine pornography, not to be confused with romance or love. The ideology of romance is, at best, vague to me. Don't get me wrong, I've had romantic moments like being on top of the Eiffel Tower with my husband, having wine at 2 am on my balcony and discussing ethics in business strategy, or having my husband poke fun at me and being able to return the favor, in public. See what I mean? To the ordinary, this would seem absolutely unromantic, except maybe the Eiffel Tower bit. To me, this is the essence of love and romance, being able to connect with someone on a simplistic level, regardless of the day.

Tell that to the millions of people all around the world, who celebrate this day as if the rest of the year is devoted to showing people how much you hate them. Seriously, isn't love the kind of emotion that has to be nurtured everyday? How can one day in a year encapsulate a feeling that leaves you breathless, longing for more, sad, angry, lustful, caring, kind, devoted, forgiving, happy and a myriad of other things? I wouldn't wish valentine's day, everyday, on anyone. But there has to be a realization that one day in a year does not justify the power of love.

A candlelit dinner, flowers, a walk in the park, that special smile or touch can't be reserved for once a year. As someone, probably piss drunk, once said: 'What is life without love, and love without a life?'

For we don't live for just a day, do we?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Aunty Social

I am a likable person. Unless, of course, you are averse to the straight talking, 'this is shit, not play-dough', I can't fake smile (even for the camera), I'll do what I please, and screw what people think kind of person. Then I'm probably not on your guest list. I've been like this most of my life and have many a times been reprimanded for my sincerity (as I like to think of it). In school, I had as many friends as George Bush Jr has tact. As I go through life I've made a few real friends, only those people who could stand me for what I am (family's not counted, they ain't got a choice), most of who are now a few thousand miles away.

Since I've had children, however, I've become milder in manner and approach. I now readily stop to greet people I'm acquainted with, chat about trivial issues of weather, the children's wellbeing, and other such things. I still am guilty of being outspoken and straight talking when the occasion calls for it, but have learned (sometimes the hard way) to sugar coat things. "Darling, this is poo-poo, not play dough."

But hard as I try, I can't seem to make friends like I used to. Am I such a crazy person that I can't make a connection with my peers? Or, are people just that dumb that they don't get me? I like the second choice better.

I actually tried to get to know a few women, of my general age, from my apartment complex. I smiled, exchanged pleasantaries, talked about the kids, asked semi personal questions and finally got together with these women as a group. That was the only time, a few months ago. My idea of a good time does not involve bitching about the only person not present in the group, or sitting around talking about the same shit we talked about in the morning. Nor do I find prayer meetings too enthralling (God I believe in, just not religion), or eating fatty foods without doing something to work it off.

No, I'm just not fun anymore!

I'd much rather be doing something that involves either physically stimulating activities (talking about games and exercise, people!!) or activities that entice my mental abilities, as limited as they may be. I'd rather discuss a good, or even a bad book you've read, or what you think of the Shiv Sena's approach to killing Mumbai. Your ideas will be respected and heard, but will not be entertained if they involve fashion, make-up, movie stars' lives, or for that matter other people's lives. If you've got something to say about your religious fervor and devotion, you might as well turn around now.

No, I'm not an easy person to get along with as I plunge face first towards old age. But at least I know I won't die of boredom because of the people I choose to socialize with. And if that makes me anti-social, so be it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

V for Value Creation

I recite my ABCs and my multiplication tables. I practice my narration for the school play, my dance for the annual concert, and finish my homework all before my kids go out to play everyday. And they said, you only go to school once!

To top this group of activities, since I seem to have plenty of time on my hands, the kids and I have joined a Karate class. Now, before you back away and make a mad dash for the door, let me sooth your concerns; the violent streaks are under control. The karate class is a group activity that ensures I'm with the girls and that we're doing something constructive (even if it is essentially training to pulverize anyone who physically opposes us) together. You may be wondering why a woman in her mid 30s, with 3 kids, a job, school pick-ups & drop offs, and extracurriculars would want to enter the world of contact sports?  Yes, it's a great thing for the kids to learn, but ain't I a little old to play Karate Kid with, well, the kids? I thought so too, till I figured this was a skill I did not have. But the path to learning is not easy.

The Karate class started in our community very recently. In fact, I had to initiate and propagate the entire event. It's interesting to know that when it comes to learning there are 2 camps; one side holds those who are first in line to learn something new(mostly children), and the other harbors people who snicker and try to discourage the learners (adults). I shamelessly fall in the first camp. The process of getting the class started would have been at most 15 minutes, requiring only a nod from the management committee to utilize space in the community complex, that otherwise is never used. But that happens in the ideal world where people see value in starting something new for the entire community, without selfish motive or political under-toning of the learning process. The process was stretched to two and a half weeks, something my juvenile impatience and exuberance had a hard time fathoming.

The documents had been provided, the petition filed. All that was needed was the go ahead from the old fogies (my British education). I was told that getting the permission would be next to impossible, since it was going to be a business venture for the Karate instructor. Duh!! The guy wasn't going to do it for free! But what the pessimistic bastards (not very old, but fogies non the less) completely missed, from my constant hounding, was that this was for the kids of our community, and anyone else who wanted to join. I was promptly challenged with 'this is for children. Why would any adult want to learn something like Karate?' That did it!! I finally did the one thing I'm really good at; Over-riding authority. I approached the few members on the community who had children and within 10 minutes got my permission.

We're going to have our fifth session today. The class takes place on a small patch of grass behind the swimming pool restrooms (not too glamorous). The outdoor space is great with apartments overlooking it, and the sun shining in its gentle evening cycle. The hour long class is strenuous, yet energizing filled with Bruce Lee styled sounds of 20 children, 2 adult women, and 1 senior citizen (also a lady).

Now that's what I call value creation!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Vishwanathan Anand, Gary Kasparov, and any other vodka named chess players of the world, know that to be a great chess player you have to be able to plan and strategise, be steadfast, and have a pokerface. So, what do you call a person whose idea of planning and strategy is 'what's for breakfast?' To whom steadfast means stepping quickly, and pokerface is a song by Lady GaGa? (Dumbass, idiotic moron, and stupid are not on the list of possible answers.) What you get is me (in a good way)!

I first attempted chess at the tender age of 10 and learned very quickly that I stunk at it. It kind of became obvious when my younger brother could beat me in 4 moves. I stopped playing, vowing never to touch the black and white pieces to the checkered board again. But alas, my 7 year old decided she wanted to learn to play. Damn!! I swallowed my disgust, (and a lot of bad words) and diligently set out to teach her the basic ins & outs of the game. The knight moves 2 and 1/2 spaces, the rook can only move in a straight line. The queen is your most powerful piece, but she too, like the rest of the pieces can die if you aren't careful.

Every night for the last month, I have been challenged by an almost too eager child, whose ambition in life is to beat me, then challenge and beat her father, and ultimately challenge my brother (who went on to become the chess champion of his school). I have, for the moment, kept  from her the vast world of competitive chess, in the fear of unleashing hell on that world. Her skills are still too rudimentary to cause a stir in the game. Where she lacks in skill, the child definitely makes up in emotion. Every game lost is followed by an angry outburst of accusations that I am better than her because I play better. How do I tell her that she's the one who makes me play better than I've ever played in my life? Every move I envision her playing is surprisingly different from actuality. I have no choice but to be at the top of my game, because she makes me think like I've never done.

To counteract the frustration, I downloaded a chess program on the computer for her to practice. The child spends at least an hour everyday playing against the computer, and always loses. But never have I heard her cuss at the machine. Why? Losing is losing, anyway you look at it, right? Yes! But computers don't console after you lose. Neither do they encourage, wipe your tears or reluctantly play again. They play, unemotionally, as they are programmed to do, adding very little human to the being.

So it was with some astonishment (& lot of reluctance), I accepted her challenge to play again. When asked why she couldn't play with the computer, I was told "Amusive Chess', as the game is called, is anything but amusive. Losing wasn't fun and she wasn't learning anything from it. That night I realized why.

Checkmate mom!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Please, Thank you, & Shut up

Actions speak louder than words. Whoever said that obviously hasn't lived in my house. Language is the crux of human sustenance and survival. Studies, from all over the world, agree that children who learn multiple (2 or more) languages before the age of 8 have a higher IQ, and are socially more adaptable. That said, my house is filled with Chameleons.

Every member of my household is proficient in at least 3 languages. A fourth or fifth languages have also been learned at a partial proficiency level, meaning they know enough to get in trouble. But the major problem arises when, a set of well learned languages are manipulated.... no, mutilated in such a way that a listener is left stunned and completely confused.

Example: Aaee, maza eye is dukhing. (note: there are two very different languages in this one sentence.)
Translation: Mom, my eye is hurting.

Bet most of you were left blinking in confusion. I had to ask for this sentence to be repeated 3 times before I got it, with a mix of non-verbal signals (pointing at the eye in question). But this is just the tip of the ice berg. My daily communication skills have transcended the mere mortal level to a new alien like language that only my children seem to speak. The crazy thing is I find myself not just understanding, but communicating with them with the same gusto.

Child psychologists and linguists have emphasized the parental role in language skills acquisition, which in plain English means monkey see, monkey do (or in this case, speak)! So, that begs the questions; how badly am I screwed up? Are my language skills so rudimentary (I'd like to think extremely advanced) that my children are fluent in gibberish? I was under the impression that I was rather good at languages, but, admittedly a number of linguists would cringe at the callousness with which I use certain words and phrases. I know my husband does, and he's no linguist!

To see exactly what kind of damage I'd inflicted on my young children, I have conducted an experiment to see  how many times these kids said a particular word. For the ease of the experiment, the word chosen was 'shut -up', since I've been known to use it often. The results were frightening. Although, the older two used that particular word a lot, the youngest used it the most. To counter this research, I also assessed how often the children used 'Thank you, please, and sorry". The following was a short conversation between my middle child and me, during an argument between them.

M to sister : I don't like you. Just Shut-up!
Me: M, please don't be rude to your sister.
M to Me: Ok, sorry.
M to Sister: Please Shut-up!

Now that's using your manner! Looks like I cut out my work for myself. I think this monkey has to clean up her act, for the little monkeys to do good.  Shame the warning bells didn't go off when I use the same bad words my mother used to use.  In the end, we all blame our mothers.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under shoulder boulder holders

Imagine. Luscious lace, soft satin, tight spandex, hot hemp, all in a myriad of shapes and colors, covering nearly every woman's most treasured, & mostly private assets. Breasts. Lately, however, the kind of exposure this duo has garnered in the media, has been a little disconcerting. The latest fad is the declaration of one's bra color on network sites like FaceBook. Now, I have to admit that I joined the bandwagon and bra-zenly declared mine, but not before I completely understood the underlying cause. Breast Cancer Support.

It seems every news worthy tit-bit is aimed to support breast cancer, be it research, physiological trauma, psychological aspects or pure aesthetics. This is great, considering breast cancer is one of the leading cancers claiming female lives. But, ultimately the biggest point is missed. More women die every year of heart attacks or heart related issues than than most cancers combined. So, which color ribbon do I wear for that, one that specifically supports cardiac health in women? (Please note: this has nothing against men. Heart disease is considered the leading cause for mortality in men and that is a big issue in and of itself, which I am an ardent supporter of.) The fact that even without the risk factors adding up for breast cancer, 1 in 5 women will have heart disease based purely on her history, geography, psychology or enviroment-ology. Why then does having a healthy heart take the backseat to breast cancer? Is it less potent in it's final blow?

It would be completely unfair to dismiss one over the other. There is a need for educating women, to not only do a breast self exam every month, but also to check what lies beneath at least once in a year or two. Women need to be proponents of their own health, which invariably would lead to them being proponents of their family's health. There in lies the crux of the problem. Getting women to think about themselves for preventive care. Oh, there are plenty of women who do take care of themselves, but that number is minuscule compared to the vast majority of those who don't. We all make excuses, but our health shouldn't be the target.

So, the next time a friend asks you, regardless of your gender, to expose your colored underwear for a health cause, ask the simple question: what about MY health, when do I check that? The answer is far simpler than any of us let's on, and lies inside us...literally. When you do decide to flash, make sure it's also for you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

God, Where art Thou?

God is great, because he made man in his image! Right? WRONG!! Men (humans) are great, because we are God! That is the premise of Dan Brown's latest book 'The Lost Symbol'. The theory has been around from time immemorial but this guy really puts it in your face. This book has also reconfirmed my belief that the human race is capable of anything. This author's imagination for one. If humans were God why would there be war, crime, bloodshed in the name of religion, hatred against each other, and the continuous destruction of our planet? Don't expect to find the answers in here.

This book is not for the religious fanatic or for those who believe God is great. It is also not for those who refuse to believe in conspiracy theories. It's got it all, murder, mystery, technology/ science that would blow your mind (unless you helped make it), chases, historical facts and a strong dose of 'are you kidding me?' But what stuck out, at least for me, was the constant reference to God or the Higher Being, being synonymous to humans. I am not religious, so the idea that I am capable of godly things because God is in me, didn't seem too far fetched. But the use of an ancient religious faction being the only one to deduce this possibility made for an author's clobbering.

The reviews given for this book were, at best, mediocre. Yes, it has a great story, which keeps you guessing till the middle. But the overtures of God, throughout the book, kind of made it feel like I was reading propaganda. Although in the author's defense, he would make a great PR guy for God. The historical details were vivid, giving the story a genuineness that comes with a well researched book. Made me want to revisit Washington D.C, just to check out all the mentioned places and compare notes. But overall, I'd have to agree with the critics, it was a mediocre work, when compared to some of his earlier works. That's got to be tough, especially when he clearly had God on his side. Oh well, at least I can expect the movie to be better.