Monday, July 30, 2012

5 Random Thoughts

It's weird how it works the same all the time. I try hard, hard and then in the end I give up and then ... it happens. Always always. I was trying to write an about me page for so long. I gave up and the next day I wrote one.But I can't give up simply ok. I have to try my very best.

There was no power today from 2:30am till 7:00 pm. Thank God it came now and thankgod we had office. Some Northern Grid power failure. 7 states didnot have power. But it's coming back now. Well..... Happens.

It's as if my day dreaming has been set free now. It was with great difficulty that I had stopped day dreaming. But this post seems to have brought it back . From when I have read Marcy's comment for the post Real India I have been day  dreaming of what places I will show to my friends who come visiting, especially someone from outside India. Where all I will take them if they give me two days.

There is a rat in the house yaar.... We just caught one and released it far away one week ago. This one seems huger and more clever. One rat every six months please. This is irritating.... but it's a part of life so well, I am not freaking out. There are mice even in Tom and Jerry.

Read a really really nice post.It's about   "Dressing down to save your soul".  by Purba. But you know this article is really relevant nowadays with so many cases coming up about moral polices out to get girls in the name of girls violating Indian Culture. So I hope my readers/loved ones will take time to read it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Imaginary Day away from the crowd

Linking with Mommy Y - Me Linky for the very first time. For this prompt, I have to write about a Me moment. I love the fact that I can also write a fictional Me moment. It's a long time since I used my imagination, so writing this in itself was a true Me moment for me. Thank you Jennifer for giving me this opportunity.

When life gets a bit hectic or I am feeling overwhelmed, I close my eyes and I get transported to this place.

 I find myself in a log cabin somewhere in the higher grounds near the mountains maybe. It’s morning and the sunlight comes in from the eastern windows. The cabin is round and quite bare. It has a round wooden table and two tasteful chairs. Yet it looks extremely cheerful with flowers adorning small vases mounted on the walls.

I open the door and the sweet fragrance of the pink and yellow chameli flowers float into the room. It looks like it has rained slightly last night for the ground is a bit wet and the plants are drying in the sun. I sit on the steps of my porch and I see a cup of filter coffee just beside me. I sip it slowly and take in the beautiful scene blossoming in front of me. I breathe in the fresh air and I sign contently.

I see rows of blossoms, petunias and cosmos of different colors on either side of a stone pathway leading to a namesake fence with a namesake gate. Butterflies fluttering from one flower to another- red, black, blue and yellow… Big ones, small ones, round ones, swallow tailed ones…Bees buzzing, small birds chirping….A small breeze making the leaves dance….

My my… if this is not life then what is…

I finish my coffee and walk on the pathway. I see a small weed growing between the stones. Should I remove it; I think for a moment but then my heart fills with pity for this little one who has grown against all the odds. It has to be done someday… but not today. I think and I move one. I inspect the leaves, and flowers, kiss one or two resisting the urge to kiss them all. Then I stand up and I take a huge step and I cross the shrubs and am in the Yard. Flowering trees adorn the edges and Hydrangea’s grace every corner.
I walk along the fence and I reach my back yard. This is not maintained much and it’s pretty wild here. But I love this too. Here there is greener than the front yard but this jade is as precious to me as the flowers planted in rows. Vines of yellow flowers and red trumpet creepers remind me of my childhood. A wild mulberry tree sustains my awakening hunger for the time being. Oleanders with soft baby pink flowers catches my eye as it stands surrounded by vibrant colors of dark green, red and bright sunny yellow.

At one end of the yard I see a huge tree with branches spread so wide that a whole wedding party could be accommodated under it's branches. Only a part remains inside the yard though. The leaves are strewn on the ground, I guess from last night’s rain and are a bit wet too. Still I take a broom lying nearby and sweep the leaves to a pile. I see the broom has made patterns on the wet yet firm ground and I try to make some more patterns with it. Then I see a swing , made of sturdy coir rope and a flat piece of wood for a seat, hanging from one of the stronger branches  I keep my broom aside and sit on it and begin to swing slowly… to and fro…. to and fro….

to be continued

I Give up

Ok , I give up. I give up completely. I have been desperately wanting to write an About me page. But it's true... when a person starts describing oneself everything flies out of the window. It would be so easier to just talk to people. It's funny. I write stuff close to my heart, I write about what I think, yet not able to write an about me page. I give up. It's 12:20am. Going to Sleep. Tata Bye Bye....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Real India

What do people mean when they say “We want to see the real India”. I guess what it means is that they don't want to go to the prominent tourist destinations or stay in a five star hotel or travel in an ac car. But I sometimes wonder what is the real India they talk about. Is it possible to see a country , to feel a country which had evolved over 1000's of years - literally in 2 weeks time.

Forget India, is it possible to see any country in so little a  time. I have gone to Dubai and Sharjah . and their history was around 60 years at that time i.e after the oil boom. But what about before that??? What about the oasis and traveling through the desert? What about their day to day life? What more treasures are there over there???? In America, we spent 2 weeks in Washington and a day in New York. But apart from an overview is it possible to know such huge countries where one end may have one history , one culture and another end may have something else.

Coming back to the case of India.  I am so glad for the all India tour in my college, for at that time I got to see some parts of India. But again that's just a parts in North and South of India. What about East and West. The East of India is so shrouded  and I have absolutely zero idea about the Seven sisters (States :  Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim and Manipur). I myself don't know anything about real India how am I to show it to someone else????

When I was a kid I used to be thrilled whenever I read references of India in classics. I read more English Books  of 1900 's. Most of the protagonist would be related to someone who held some post in British India and India was an exotic place of snake charmers and tiger skins . I always used to wonder...where are the snake charmers now???? Maybe you see them in Villages. I myself have seen them only in TV. Maybe they used to be there in 1900s. Then I grew up and was introduced to movies.
Recently in the last 5 years there are three movies which showed India. Outsourced, Slumdog Millionere and very recently Best Exotic marigold Hotel. Which among these showed something closest to real India in my opinion? It is the movie Outsourced followed by Best Exotic Marigold hotel and then followed by Slumdog Millionaire. But there is something I always wonder of the music associated with India. Every time they show India in any channel like discovery or National geographic or History, I hear this sitar or veena music- purely north Indian classical , spiritual types. The funny thing is, I hear these only in these programs. Even the music is different in each area. Can they be generalized?

Coming back to the point.

What is real India? Is it present day  India or  50 years ago 100? 200? 500? 2000? Or maybe even more???Is it its religions? The gods? The temples? Mosques and churches and Jain and Buddhist and Sikh or many more? Is it the cultures, tribal or urban or rural or those belonging to different states? Is it the villages, cities or metros?

Is it the mountains or sea or farmlands or forests , plains or hills, is it drought ridden areas or rain flooded areas??? Is it the slums or extremely posh houses in different places of the city. Is it crowds everywhere or the bare villages in rural India where one does not see anyone.
Are the tall buildings or thatched houses or made up houses of plastic, aluminum sheets and newspaper. Is it the Volvo buses or the bullock carts or maruti cars or government run buses , even they vary from state to state??? Is it the dresses, the food??? The people????

I got a cultural shock when I came to North India. And I am an Indian- still so different it is from my own place.

In whose perspective do you want to see India from, the perspective of  a poor laborer, the orphan children on the streets, the middle class , the "upper middle class" or the rich or the powerful? Of a person who has grown up in villages or towns or cities or metros? I personally see the middle class India because I belong to it. And as it is with human tendency, where we belong is the one we think is prevalent.

A friend had commented some days ago that it is difficult to find any country with a greater cultural heritage than ours.( those were not his exact words but I think that’s what he meant). I wondered why because are they not many countries as huge, maybe be huger than India, so would it not be so there too??? Then my husband suggested , ‘though he doesn’t believe India has any monopoly over the greatest cultural heritage, it does have a rich and varied heritage most probably because India or rather the Indian Subcontinent was home to organized human settlement for a long and continuous period of time.’ Time enough to evolve into different cultures. Maybe India has been the home of people from the west, east, south and north and every culture has amalgamated to form something new. Maybe….

Recently a foreigner joined our office. He was extremely amused about the pigs he saw in the roads. He associated that with India (at least that’s what I felt. And I will admit , I became instantly prejudiced. I felt he was stereotyping India, You know apparently all Indian roads have animals blocking the roads J). I did not say anything as I thought it might be rude or maybe I was being over sensitive. But then  another friend who was not of Indian origin remarked (which made me feel better)  that if one goes to Delhi , one won't find any pigs anywhere.

So , to conclude, I think one finds what he seeks in this place, you might find some common things but mostly it will be things which you want to see. The country has lots to offer so actually it's  totally up to you to choose. Whatever you choose is the real India....Only a small part though. I guess that it is so when you visit any country in this world…

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Because I felt like Writing

It's one of those times when one feels like writing all the time yet, has nothing substantial to say. What should one do at that time????

Just Write...

The German GP will start in 10 minutes and I am going to be subjected to roaring machines zooming cars and a super excited Hubby.  Why don't people show these in advertisements? Such stereotyping in ads. Wife crying over some Soap Opera and hubby chatting in the mobile phone about cricket scores. With all the things girls are supposed to do, obsess about shopping, about their looks, gossip about who is going out with whom, who is doing what in which soap opera, seriously , I am beginning to doubt if I am a woman at all. I don't do any of these things. One day I was dropped off in the market by a colleague and he asked me what I was going to do as I was not with my hubby that day. I said I had some work. And he said "oh Beauty Parlor????" I was like huh!!!!

Sometimes I feel sorry for the guys. They simply have no clue. I sometimes think I should write a Guide for Guys 101. Actually Unmana has written something I wish all guys could read here.

The Formula 1 GP has started. I am actually beginning understand these things. Next time there is an Indian GP, hubby and I are going to go. He had a great time last time. I had stayed back. This time hopefully I will be able to go with him.

What a good movie can do for you!!!! I really felt so happy after coming back yesterday from the theater. I still feel happy. Talking about Happy, yesterday I got this link from Marcy's blog - Leigh Vs Laundry. She has this super project of 52 weeks of happiness. Every week you take a photo of something which makes you very very happy and then link it to her blog . I am so excited about this and I intend to take part in it. A reminder of things that make us happy is a very good thing , don't you think? I had written a poem/song long time ago about things that brought me happiness. Will post it someday. I love such prompts.

The Joy of Giving Cards by Ritu and Marcy's Scene from a Memoir are some prompts I take part whenever possible. Jennifer has Mommy - Me Prompt but I think because I am not a mommy I am not qualified because, well, all my time is a Me time. If I had not been such an active participant during my niece’s babyhood, I might have thought that being a mommy was quite a glamorous prospect. Well I know better. Anyhow If God Wills, maybe I will be taking part in all mommy bloggers prompts someday. Skywatch Friday is also a great prompt for people who love skies and photography.

Yesterday I bought Linda Good man's Sun Signs. She has written all good good things about my Sign. (Aries - if you are wondering which it is. True Arian - I am) So I like reading it. It doesn’t do any harm for yourself to be praised a bit you know. In fact , I believe that if you don't love yourself , you cannot love anyone else. Start everyday with one thing you love yourself for. Do so every day for a month. You have to be Specific. You should not say " I love myself because I am a good person". Nope. What is it about you that makes you a good person? Is it that you are not jealous of anybody, or you don't tell lies. What exactly makes you a good person?

Self Esteem is so important, is it not? Hmmmm… reminded me of another post. If you are feeling a bit low, you should read this. This post is full of links is it not?

Talking of Links, I have been desperately trying to write an About me Page. Apparently one of the worse mistakes of a blogger is not having a about me (AM) page. But I have been very very unsuccessful. I have read different kinds of them - precise AM's, Long and lengthy AM's, crisp and short AM's but still can't write one. I wish someone interviewed me. I would use that as a "AM". In fact here is what I would like to know when I read your blog.

Here are my 9 Questions for you .
1. What's your name, and where are you from and what do you do?
2. How would you describe yourself as a person? (if it's a personal blog)
3. Why do you blog?
4. What do you blog about?
5. Who is your target audience or do you write for yourself first?
6. Can you give me a sample post from each of the labels you post?
7. What kind of blogs do you follow?
8. How do you like your comments?
9. Do you Intend to write a book someday?

If anybody wants to answer these questions, please do and please don't forget to leave a link to your blog in the comments section. I love reading blogs. I will definitely read yours (as long as it is not about marketing or politics)

I will stop with this for now. I have a feeling I will be posting every day this week.I might as well leave something to write about. Have a wonderful week ahead!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight RIses

 Went to see "The Dark Knight Rises". LOVED it. Loved the climax too. I did not know Anne Hathaway was Catwoman and it was a very pleasant surprise for me. I do like her very very much. She has a very happy face,don't you think. Loved her in this role. I think I was more interested in Catwoman than Batman in this movie. I think it may also becasue I was extremely disappointing with Halle Berry's Catwoman. I never thought SHE would give such a disastrous performance and reduce Catwoman to ...well .... nothing. Anyhow back to this movie.  Loved it Loved it Loved it. Didn't know that there was any scene in India so I was quite surprised to see familiar forts.

 I thought Everyone Acted perfectly and suited the role to the mark. Worth a watch if one likes superhero movies.

Was so happy today. It feels really good to watch a good movie after so many days. Now I feel like reading DC Comics once again.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

5 Random Thoughts

- For the past two days the blog has seen some activity . Scared me a bit at first because, for someone who get 10 page views a days, 10 times 10 is a bit too much. I think it is becasue of my previous post. But one of the comments by a friend worried me a bit. It was not meant to be against parents as a whole. It was about the most common argument one hears. It was just a counter argument. Unfortunately the system seems to be " if you are not with us, you are against us." "If you question , means you hate". True in religion , patriarchal societies, everywhere. Well it will blow off soon.

- Bought the laptop table from E bay. Really required, as I don't have a table of my own. It's a bit flimsy but will do for now. Will have to see how long it will survive. But as of now, it's good.

- Saw the movie "The best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Loved the movie. It has many of my fav actors so it's not a very big surprise that I liked the movie. And i like seeing India  from the perspective of a foreigner and this movie was better than many others in that respect. Sometimes I feel as if I should explore India through the eyes of an outsider. But it's so vast. And so different. US is extremely vast too.... Is it culturally that different too?. Like here North , East, South and West all differ from each other so much. Must be so in US too. Would love to visit Africa sometime...

- I was thinking today of the wonderful people I have met through the blogging world, from different parts of the world. It has been a very rewarding experience. Have learnt a lot from them. 

- Have to start concentrating on my 101 Goals again. Had slacked off a bit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

9 Arguments against Choice Marraige and What I have to say to them.

Someone I know has gone to break the news to his parents that he is in love and wants to marry the girl of his dreams. He is so scared. I asked him what he would do if they refused- a scenario which is highly probable. “Then marriage cancel”, he said laughing trying to lighten the situation. Why is it such a big deal for someone to marry someone they love?  I have heard so many arguments so many times from so many people.

“Marriage is not a game”.
Yes, that what I have to say to them too. Marriage is not a game. You cannot force your children, or your siblings or anybody else to get married to people whom you think is good. The children should marry who they want to. Do they even realize what implications a forced marriage and broken dreams have on future generations? 

"You will adjust” "People always adjust" they say.
Yes..... They adjust but do they live happily? How can they live happily if their very basic freedom in choice of lifelong mate is taken away from them?

"Compromises are a part of life".
Yes, but let the compromise be something that one chooses. Let that freedom go to the one making the compromise.

Someone else I know fell in love with a girl of another religion. “We will accept your decision but let the proposal come from the girls side” - the parents of the guy said. Do you think it happens so in India??? She waited, and he waited, in anticipation for almost a year. No one took any move. They waited for the parents to do something. The guy’s parents waited. After 8 months, the girl's parents who had kept her in house arrest married her off. He is heartbroken. He smiles, he behaves as if he has moved on. Will he ever? Will he ever love his wife the way he loved this girl? Even if they had broken up naturally, it would have been ok. But now, in this situation, totally romanticized tragedy, don't you think he will compare his wife every time with this girl (unless he fell in love again). What if his wife realizes that her husband is comparing her with some lady in a pedestal.

I know, I know,

“He will learn to be happy”.
Apparently loving somebody naturally is not desirable. One has to LEEEAARRRRNN. In case you didn’t get it, it was sarcasm.

 "The probability of love marriages failing is so much higher if the parents don't support."
Then why can’t people just support them. Marriage - whether love or arranged need guidance.  A marriage does not fail just because it is a love marriage. And just because two people stay married does not mean it is a success.

 "The Divorce rates are so high in love marriages"
"Yea, because there is no compulsion there to stay together and with so many rooting for it to fail... Half the arranged marriage sticks through the initial years due to societal and parental pressure. So many words of encouragement “Adjust, it will get better, do this, do that, it's ok. It happens; he may not have meant that, she may be just stressed”... So many words of encouragement which if half given for love marriages would have saved so many. And yet you put the blame on love marriage. No ....No that's not right.

"You will leave your parents of twenty years for a guy whom you met 2 years ago"
Well you don't seem to have a problem when she leaves her parents for a guy she met for say 2 months ago that too in her betrothal ceremony which lasted say 2 hours, which her parents arranged. Frankly speaking this is the silliest argument I have ever heard. If anyhow I have to leave my parents, at least let me leave with someone I want to liv my life with. Another thing is why keep comparing the years that's past. 20 years yes, what about the future 40 years??? And HOW on EARTH can these two relations EVER be compared?

"You will abandon us for thaaat person"
Who is talking about abandoning anybody? Children are not the one talking about cutting of relations. He is not abandoning you, you are throwing him out. Let’s get the facts clear here please.

"See he had a love marriage and see he is regretting it now"
I was alone in the reception hall, surrounded by my husband’s family- all new faces and not even one from mine.  I smiled and laughed and no one who saw me that day would ever realize what I must have gone through that whole day. I didn’t cry. I didn’t allow myself to feel alone. I had my God with me. I vowed that day that we would win this battle. That we would make this marriage work and even if it failed, we would fail in such a way that even the winners would want to lose. No one who knew us would tell other aspiring couples "see - love marriages fail..."

We completed two years of togetherness this July. By God's grace it was not very difficult. Remember us in your prayers..... Bless us....We so need it. 

I have a pot of prayers and good wishes, you see... Will tell you about it someday.

I can write about this subject for pages and pages and pages. I had buried these feeling in my heart for years. But when I see others having to undergo the same silly arguments again and again and again..... When I see dreams shattering, hearts breaking for no solid reason which makes any sense..... I feel like screaming at every single one of them. 

But I keep quiet and calm and remain dignified to the best of my capability for one slip on my part and they will point fingers at others like me too. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nur Jahan's Daughter - Review

Nur Jahan's Daughter (A Novel on Mughal India)Nur Jahan's Daughter by Tanushree Podder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People who have heard of the Mughal Dynasty know of Akbar ,for he was the greatest ruler of the Mughal dynasty, Jehangir/Salim immortalized by his love , Anarkali and their tragic love story, Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal for their love story which has a physical personification in the Taj Mahal, Aurangazeb for being the last strong ruler of the Dynasty. and then, people know Nur Jahan , Jahangir’s Queen who was a political maestro.

But what about others who were connected to them? What about their brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters? What was their relation with their own parents? What about their personal life? Did they like being Royalty? What about the women? Where they subdued, did they live a dejected life or was it full of pleasure? How did they dress, behave? How must it have been for the women associated with the Dynasty ? Have you ever wondered?

If you have, then this is the book to read.

Ms. Tanushree Podder the author takes us back into time into the lives of the women in the Kings’ Harem through the eyes of the heroine – Laadli Begum. The (reluctant) princess - The title given to her by the very man, - her step father, Jahangir, who she felt was responsible for her father's death. We see the life of these royal people through her honest eyes.

The storyline is fast and interesting. I did not feel like skipping any pages or paragraphs ( except one in which a war tactic was described) The writing style is simple yet beautiful with Persian word strewn just in the right amount to make the reading pleasurable. All the characters were etched perfectly. The emotions of the protagonists’ were believable. Jahangir had a lover boy image - thanks to Anarkali and the filmmakers of India, but how false an image it was. The book reminded me that kings were kings first- ruthless, chained by their own power and ambition.

I liked the description of the palaces. As I have seen many of these places mentioned in the book, I could imagine as to how they must have looked during that time. I liked the detailing of their dresses and their customs. I liked the way I learned History of that era through this story -it was like taking a pill with a sugar coating. It felt as if the author had researched quite a bit before writing this piece. That’s one thing I love about historical fiction. You need to get your facts true though you may take liberty on the unrecorded parts. There, the creativity of the author flows freely.

Bottom Line - loved the book. If you ask me, Definitely worth a Read.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 13, 2012

Worry a little less about your daughters and a bit more about your sons. For if the sons were brought up well, you needn't worry about your daughters this much.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

From the stairs - Compassion

Sometimes when the climate is good and the roads are empty, sometimes when the stars are inviting and the moon enchanting, sometimes when my love has gone out on an errand for me and I am waiting for him, I sit here, on these flight of stairs and absorb whatever happens in front of me.
That night I was waiting for my hubby to return home. I was counting the number of times the aero planes flew past our home during that time when the noise of a car disturbed me. The MLA lady and her son got off a taxi around 10-15 steps from their home. The son ,around 8-10, had a plastic bag in his hand with food in it. It must have smelt delicious because the stray dog in our street ran up to him in a jiffy, begging for food.
The boy was startled for a moment and took a step back. By that time , his mommy paid the taxi guy, came forward, took his hand and shouted harshly at the dog to move away. She bent down , took a pebble (very tiny one) and threw it on the dog. Before I could cringe or before the dog could react a tiny voice called out horrified."mamma don't shout at the doggy, mamma. he will get scared." 
But neither the mamma nor the dog listened. The dog was even more enthusiastic and the MLA lady was actually freaking out. This was the first time I was seeing her like this. She was normally quite calm. I suspect  a bad childhood memory. Well, I could sympathize.
She reached the Gate of her house and asked for her help to get a stick. This, horrified the boy( and me) quite a bit. "What are you doing mamma," he cried out. "Animals also have feelings mamma, He will not harm you mamma. Animals also have feelings. He will get scared. He will not harm you" He cried out again and again and my heart was touched by his compassion.
The lady beat her stick in the air one -  two times, to scare the dog and then taking the boy's hand marched into her house. Her help quickly locked the gate.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

5 Random Thoughts

- A very close friend  asked me why I was not blogging as consistently as I used to.Actually I was feeling a bit disturbed due to somethings going on in my professional life. Was really feeling very disturbed and lost. Then,I had a talk with my sis in law. Got some important advice and guidance. Elders very very important. Keep them close.

- MIL not feeling well. It's these times which I hate being here in Gurgaon. If we were somewhere nearer we could have easily gone there for weekends. It may not have been possible to stay  for weeks but when they need us we should be there. I was very happy when I was able to be there for my mom when she needed me for the operation. I would like to be there a bit more often than I can now. I don't really believe in Joint family systems but it would be nice to be somewhere where we can reach home within a night journey in train. People ask us why we are not moving abroad. Moving abroad was never an option for me. Will tell you why in the next point.

- Father had a very senior colleague, their friendship was strong even after uncle's retirement. He had two children. Both were well settled - one in Australia and one in US. He grew old, He died. His son reached somehow to see him but his daughter couldn't. Some visa problem. That incident affected me very deeply. I subconsciously always compare it to another incident. My grandma was very sick and we all got ready to go to our native place. It was a 5 hr bus ride. But it was the rainy season and it was pouring cats and dogs. The bus station was flooded . All the buses were cancelled. My father left us in the care of a friend of his and he left. He traveled in trucks, lorries and what not and somehow after 10- 12 hrs, he reached his mother's side. He talked to her . He was there by her side when she died peacefully. I want us to be there for our parents when they need us. Ofcourse we can be there only if it's written in our fates. But the lesser the hurdles the better.  Being this far sucks.

Ofcourse we don't know what the future holds for us.I keep saying I am never going abroad. who knows, I might end up doing just that. (I hope I did not offend anyone with this para. I have such quirks. Another one is that I never plan to go to GOA voluntarily. Will tell you why some time)

- What a wonderful daughter - are you thinking? Please don't. I obviously present only those things which show me in a good light and omit those which don't. Anyhow marrying outside my community against the wishes of my family has put me out of the "good" daughter category for ever ;)thank God for me, I was never really interested in belonging to any category else I might have been quite devastated.

Remember that scene in the movie 'Guess Who' , where the heroine's sister tells her that "no matter what she does, even if she burns the home down , she will never be the daughter who bought the white guy home...THANKYOU" Classic Scene. Could identify with the heroine so much. Have you seen the movie? If you have not please please do. It's real fun. 'Guess who's coming for dinner' is the older one (White Girl and Black Guy)  'Guess who' is a kind of adaptation (White Guy and Black Girl). The first one is a bit serious or so I felt compared to the second. The second is great fun (Obivously , Ashton Kutcher is there in it). Wonderful movies.

_ Very family centric blog post this is turning to be.I wrote a whole paragraph on an opposite idea but deleted it. That thought deserves a post in itself.


Friday, July 6, 2012


Page views is 5499. For a long time. For such a long time that I feel a childlike enthusiasm to see who will view it and make the number change to 5500. Will it be someone who reads my blog or who just stumbled in or maybe even spam. Wish I could know somehow

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Uncles and Aunties

You think you know yourself so well and then some situation arises and you find out you are behaving in a manner you did not think you will. I found something our about myself very recently. Not a life changing revelation but still something which made me wonder about how well i actually know myself.

There is a joke about India and Indians, for a Indian everyone is either uncle aunty sister brother or daughter or son. But you know what, I embrace that. I love that. I love giving that respect. I dont like calling my elders by name . But here I must add, I call my own elder sisters by name. I was not taught otherwise and by the time I was old enough, it was artificial for me to call them by anything else. Double standards? Let's explore.

I love it when I call people whom I dont know uncle and aunty. Automatically a bond comes. I remember an instance when we went to buy something. The shopkeeper was nice but a bit aloof. "Uncleji, this is what I wanted". I explained. "the term "ji" is added as a sign of respect. You call others by name, you fix a "ji" after that and it's ok).  And the whole atmosphere changed. It's not that he would not have served us the same, the thing was, suddenly it was a more friendlier atmosphere. Do you know what I mean. You might wonder why is giving respect such a big deal. If a little "ji" can make someone feel good about himself or herself., whats the harm in using it abundantly to people who deserve it I say. Every culture has it's own way of showing respect. This is ours.

I love it when the old coconut seller give me the coconut saying " here 's the coconut gudiya". Gudiya is a term of endearment which is used to call daughters. I like it when my maid calls me bhabhi. (sister in law)

I always used to call even people one year older to me as akka, or chechi - which means elder sister. This somehow creates a connection for me. I guess in the case of my own sisters I don't need any extra connection. However once my elder sister said she would prefer me calling her akka or elder sister, I did so. My second elder sister however asked me never to call her that.

I am not used to people younger than me calling by my name. I say younger because if it was older obviously the equation would be the opposite.

Recently someone quite younger to me by position and age called me by my name. I cringed involuntarily. I never thought of calling anyone who was not my age or my expereince work wise by name. Outside it was sister/brother and professionally it was always maam/sir. I differ with people who says that these terms are purely hierarchical and calling by name is equalizing.  But before that we must make sure that the other person is ok with you calling them with their first names otherwise always add a Mr or Ms, or else if you are in in India better call Sir/Maam unless you are specifically asked not to. Infact I say call people but what they want to be called. But if you don't know better play safe until you get the idea. I have done this mistake once. I thought I knew the person enough and called her by her first name.That very moment I understood it was a stupid mistake.

It's funny, there are so many 'important' matters which really don't matter to me  but I didnot know that I would feel this strongly about this small etiquette. So strongly that I have not got used to it even after 2 months.