Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tress Trouble

It all started with this new hairbrush. As has been widely advertised, I'm crazy about straight hair and am always trying to straighten my unruly curls, albeit with home remedies. Since I was allowed to carry only the most essentials with me when I arrived here, I had to shop for most of sundry items and to be exact, a round bristled hair brush.
I had just washed my hair and was sitting in front of the TV, running the brush slowly through my hair trying to make it straighter. I tried copying the way my hair stylist does - rolling up the hair from the end to the root and slowly uncurling it while drying it.
It's just my good luck that I had to start from the front most hair. I slowly started twirling it around the brush and had it tightly rolled up to the roots. Then I slowly started uncurling the roll. Or tried to.
It was only then that I realised how strong could my hair be. It simply refused to budge. It was rolled up tight and somehow I had managed to roll some hair in the opposite direction. Don't ask me how - if I knew that I wouldn't be.. well.. like how I am now.
There was I, with the brush stuck to this huge roll on the top of my head, like a horn growing horizontally.
Worse thing is, I was alone at home. I was standing in front of the mirror trying to get to the root of the problem for about half an hour, with no end in sight - literally. It was then I heard the sound of the key turning in the lock - the husband was home! Never had his return been so sweet!
Thence started the struggle for freedom - try what we might, the hair refused to separate itself from the brush. He even tried using a screwdriver to seperate the layers from the brush's surface. It petered out.
Then I heard the dreaded words from his lips - 'I think we've got no option but to cut the hair'. 'Nooooo', I moaned. Much as I desired straight hair, I still loved having hair - curly as it may be. My moans inspired him to find other ways to pull the siamese twins apart - why not cut the bristles of the brush? I brightened up at this idea - looking like a happy mutant unicorn.
But sadly, that idea did not work out too, since we could reach to the bristles.
It had to be done.
He took up the terrifying scissors and snip! snip! snip! I was left with a small curly bunch on one side of my head. Hideous is not the word to describe it. No really. I wasn't hideous. Just bad looking.
So the next day I went in search of a salon where I can even this out. There I was faced with a new problem. I was in Singapore where people do not speak English - its Singlish that they follow. I had to use words, gestures and a translator to make the guy understand that I wanted him to even out my hair. The poor fella thought that I had a fringe in the front for style. I had to speak for about 10 minutes more to tell him that it was no fringe but an accident.
Then another 10 minutes went by when I tried to convince him that it's okay that I 'ca tie ya har bk' (which translates to : 'can't tie your hair back). Finally, about 20 bucks and half an hour later, I'm left with this funny hairstyle which forces me to wear hairbands that I used to wear as a kid.

Moral of the story: There are lots. Figure them out yourself.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Just three months and a whole lotta changes! And it has subsided. I've been caught in the whirl of change and have taken a long time to get planted back to earth. Getting married was the biggest change of all. 'New' has been added to lot of my thoughts, ideas, status and such-like. The next biggest was the change of place. First time in life, I get to live in a whole new country. Though calling Singapore a country takes some effort! But, all about Singapore later.
To my readers, who have been asking me why I haven't been here awhile - all I can say is...I've been busy elsewhere!
First I was busy preparing for my wedding. I had decided that it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I was determined to savor every bit of it. Well, thank you, it went on well.
Then I was busy getting relocated... following the husband's footsteps all the way to Singapore. Here, I have got a whole house that I get to decorate and dirty as I wish! In Singapore, we have been exploring the place slowly and steadily. I shall post all about the places to see in Singapore in the future. This was a just a note to let you all know that I'm still alive, and as they (don't ask me who) say, I'm back!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


She brought him inside.
'Everything is yours. Play with them wisely', so bidding, she left him.
The place was filled with bounty. There were so many objects, that the eye could not see them all in one glance. He started exploring, slowly and steadily.
He found surprises, some nasty some pleasant. He found nourishments. He found objects with which he could fashion tools. He found objects which helped him move faster, horizontally and vertically.
Sometime his interest strayed towards his own body. He found pain. He found blood. He found instruments in the outer world that helped him examine organs in the inner world. He found ways to understand his body. He found ways to understand other species' body.
He could not get enough of the knowledge. But in everything, he felt that he could not achieve complete understanding. He had the feeling there was always an elusive element which was beyond his reach. All he knew that when that element was caught and tamed, he would have found her. But he could not, try as he might.
After a long time, not he but she found him. She had come to take him back.
He was mightily glad to see her. "I had a feeling I'll have all the answers once I saw you. Who are you?", he asked her.
"Mmmmmm", she pondered, "I'm not totally sure, but sometimes I've been referred to as God."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

For sale

It is not a snap statement. I have come to this decision after much deliberation. This decision is the result of sincere prioritization. Much as it hurts for me to say it, I regret that I've got to say it.

I'm putting up my blog for sale.

I've had my auditor value the site. This was his verdict.

My blog is worth $3,387.24.

I know that there are many of you out there who may have a difference of opinion about the above mentioned price. I know what you're thinking. 'What the heck', you say to yourself indignantly, 'this blog is worth a damn lot more. It's plain daylight robbery at this price'.
To all of you, I say, 'I'm willing to consider your price'.

Any takers? I prefer online transaction. I can also accept cheques.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Unchained Melodies

'I've tagged you', said she, Maddie, my friend in the blog realm. I checked it out with apprehension. My fears were unfounded! I'm supposed to listen to songs while answering harmless questions. Well, now that's the kinda tagging that I like!

All you need is your music player in the shuffle mode and your ability to press the 'next track' button. Each new track is the answer to each question.

Here's my set... the original Question, the song selected and my voice!

If someone says “is this okay?” You say?
Written on the Wind - Wet Wet Wet

...and get beaten up by them or get more of the weird looks I always get.

What would best describe your personality?
Konjum Mynaakkale - Kandukonden Kandukonden

Whoa! Cool... it so does :-)

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Kariye Na - Taal

I have no idea what this means. Any of my hindi-literate friends, tell me what's this?

How do you feel today?
Ballelakka Ballelakka - Sivaji

yooooohooooo I do!

What is your life’s purpose?
Radha Kaise Na Jale - Lagaan

I know what this means and what kinda stupid purpose is to sort out the relationship issues of another girl? I'd have more fun picking my nose.

What is your motto?
Enakkoru Girl friend Venumada - Boys

Oh dear god. No. No and * shakes head vehemently * NO.

What do your friends think of you?
Bye Bye Bye - NSync

Why would they do that? :-(

What do you think of your parents?
Minnale Nee Vandhadhenadi - May Maadham


What do you think about very often?
Rangeela Theme - Rangeela

Thinakatha tha thinakka dhin dhin tha. Thinakka tha thakida na na na.
Actually, yes. My 'thinks' are usually as much lucid as this.

What is 2+2?
Kalyana Maalai Kondadum Penne - Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal

Shouldn't the question be 1+1 to fit the answer??

What do you think of your best friend?
We Will Rock You - Queens

Oh ye! If I'm with her, we definitely will!

What do you think of the person you like?
Nilavu Thoongum Neram - Kunguma chimizh

As long as the person I like is supposed to be my boyfriend :-)

What is your life story?
Where's the Party Tonight - KANK

Alright. People who know me: stop that laughing RIGHT NOW!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Fool Again - Westlife

Once is more than enough I think!

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Eno Kangal - Kalvanin Kadhali

ohhh...* blushes * ... and ohhh... * blushes some more *

What do your parents think of you?
Shape of My Heart - Backstreet Boys

Yeah right.

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Kaadu Potta Kaadu - Karuthamma

At my wedding?? My poor groom will have a heart attack.

What will they play at your funeral?
Thoduven Thoduven - Deepavali

Meaning they'd like to join my eternal rest? Stupid winamp. The song should be swapped with the previous!

What is your hobby/interest?
Ennai Konjam Maatri - Kaaka Kaaka

Awesome pick. Riding an open jeep with Surya along ECR!!! That's definitely my interest!!! Hmmm, winamp's not so stupid after all.

What is your biggest secret?
Wind of Change - The Scorpions

Right, and if you can understand this kinda biggest secret you gotta be a rocket scientist.

What do you think of your friends?
A Whole New World - Aladdin

In a way, yea!

What should you post this as?
Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers

Meaning that should be my post title? Sounds good :-)

Now as per the unbreakable rules set by the sacred tagging community, I shall have to rope in more people! And my victims are
Chitra, Tamizh, Preethika, Chriz, King Vishy, E.C.D and S.G.P

Hope you guys have as much fun doing this! Switch your players to Shuffle mode and get set go!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Past is present

It is the talk of the virtual town. Charles Darwin's notes and books and the all the stuff have been made available online this month! Being a non-scientist, this information of course did not send me into apoplexies of ecstasy. But I was just curious.

Seeing all those handwritten notes right there left a strange feeling inside. Imagine, those very papers had been held by a man about 200 years ago and they had recorded all his thoughts and ideas.

The period of 200 years is not completely conceivable by the mind. At first, you think you know it but you really don't. At the most, we can easily think back to maybe 15-20 years and relate to it. 200 years loses its magnificence and its true distance from us when it cannot even be perceived in the first place! But by a hard effort, we can try to imagine going back 200 years and when we do, the effect is staggering!

He had existed in this completely different world from ours. In addition to their content, those papers must have volumes to tell us about their time. To whom Darwin showed them, how the people looked, what they were wearing, what they were eating, where the papers were stored, what the furniture was like... I can go on.

I got the same strange feeling when I came across some letters written by my grandfather and my great grandfather. They had lived so, so far back in time, but looking at and touching those documents actually have the power to transport you back. Suddenly you get the feeling that the past is right here, in front of you, on nothing more than a piece of paper. And the journey leaves you with an inexplicable feeling of transience!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Unreasonableness of the Girl-Being

A friend of mine and I had stumbled upon a blog site quite recently. She was a little more impressed than I was and was quite vocal about how interesting she found the writings. One day her initial enthusiasm gave way to a slight dismay at finding out that the blogger was married.
'How does it matter' you ask me.
'I'm not sure, but it does', says me.

What's it with girls that assumes that interesting guys they come across must be eligible bachelors, even though the guy has not even a smallest inkling of their existence? Why are we on an eternal search for Mr.Right?

It doesn't matter how far removed he is from us, geographically or otherwise. It is this same feeling that makes us go sad over hearing that Darren Hayes is gay; the sane part of our mind gives us a good bonk on the nose while asking 'how does it even remotely matter where his preferences lie?'. The insane part answers dejectedly, rubbing the nose, 'how can a guy who croons insatiable so sexily be otherwise?'
'Yeah, right, like you even had a chance if he wasn't', shrugs the sane part walking away.

Something must be fundamentally wrong with the genetic makeup.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tamilnadu - The state of Tamil.

If you are right now living in chennai (good old madras!) and tune into to Radio Mirchi often, you can't miss the song 'Naaka Mukka'! It's a very bouncy number and very similar to other 'kuthu' songs. Initially, you may not fall for it. But, like ARR's numbers, if you keep listening to it over and over, you start to beat your feet to its tune! Apparently, the powers-that-be know this fact and never tire of playing it on air.
But this post is not about that song.
At the beginning of the song, its music director comes on air to extol the song's virtues(!) to us. "Idhu oru normal kuthu song illa" (This is not a normal kuthu song).
Which is what every creator says about his/her creations. "This is not a normal story/movie/pencil/toilet cleaner"
Anyway, to continue, the next line of his was the reason this blog post was called into existence.
"Thooya tamil la sollanum na, idhu oru 'merkathiya kuthu song' " ( in pure tamil, it's a western kuthu song)
Since when were the words 'kuthu' and 'song' part of pure tamil?

If you think this is only an isolated incident and is not sufficient to show the state of the language then listen to this.
I was buying apples from a roadside vendor. An old man stood next to me and asked the vendor for the price of apples.
"five for sixty" said the fella.
The old man did not understand and showed this by saying "eh?" blankly.
The vendor was irritated and said "Tamil la thane sir solren?( aren't I talking in tamil sir?) five apples for sixty rupees!"
It took all my self-control to keep a straight face.

I do know that it is unreasonable(!) of me to expect people use a pure language in their diction. All I ask is that please, for the sake of language, don't blatantly use foreign words under the 'Tamil' banner!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Watchtower

Well, here's some more of my two cents on inter-personal relations. This is always an interesting topic, and you can never get enough insights into this.
In any relation, it's true that getting much too involved results in heartaches. To enjoy a healthy relation, you have to assume a purely observatory position. In that case you automatically understand them. Once you do that, its easy to accept them as they are. Ask any student of human nature, this is one of the best ways to go through life! And then, it's piece of cake to like and love them.

There are a couple of friends of mine, whom I have found it very, very hard to understand. Whatever I try to do to maintain a good relation with them, I was always discouraged, ignored or hurt. Neither were they willing to be understood. They try their best to change me to suit them, all the while refusing to change themselves.

In such cases, it's better to let them go. Holding on to such people leaves you with a bad taste in the mouth. True, you're losing a friend. But hey, you're better off without those complications in your life! The time you spend in wondering about them and missing them can be turned into a quality time that you can spend with people with whom you have a good understanding. In short, the people who matter!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

....and again!

What do you get when you mix some bloggers and a little free time together?
Blog Games.

My blog life has turned a full circle. I'm tagged again and this time the honors are with Preethika. I already shared facts about me in the past. But makkals seem to hank after more!
So here they are.. back on popular demand.

My Eight
I'm biting my nails to write something for fact # 1.

I just killed a mosquito which dared to sit on my elbow.

I want to discover a way to measure the speed of thought.

After that, I want thoughts to be measured in 'mathis'.

I think there's a land where all dreams and souls come from.

I think that land is a parallel universe.

I think I'm running out of facts to fill in here.

I'm so glad I've reached point # 8!

And that's that.
Now roping in Maddie, King Vishy, Uma and Chriz.
Tag away folks!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A New Joy

Consider you're from a pukka traditional family. Your parents have found and fixed a guy for you. You're now engaged. Life has never been as good for you before! It's like having a boyfriend but only so much better!

1. You're allowed to stay up late nights, blocking up the phone lines and no mutter of dissent comes from your parents.

2. You run up a huge phone bill and your parents oh-so-happily dole out the cash!

3. You're entitled to wear a silly grin stuck to your face and nobody thinks you're a fool.

4. When you suddenly blush for no reasons at all, instead of weird stares you get pleased looks from your family and friends.

5. All everyone can tell you is about what a happy life you're gonna lead with him/her.

6. Suddenly you're the center of attraction in every gathering and conversation - and you like it!

7. You get to have a boyfriend without going thru' the pains of finding one!

8. You find yourself in a new and erstwhile forbidden relationship and suddenly it's not frowned upon at all - you can be bold as daylight about this!

9. You now have more fun planning your wedding (something you've been doing since you were this high), because you can now give shape to the person who'll sit next to you!

10. Not only are you happy in this relationship, you find that everyone around you is happy too. And that increases yours!
To put it simply, it's a happy dreamy time!!

Author's note: Thanks to Vaishu for being an inspiration for this post!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The mind is the master

I heard from various quarters that Kalloori was a very nice movie and is a must watch. But they also cautioned me that it is a tragedy and that I should be prepared for that. And that put me off. I already had enough problems of my own, thank you. I'd rather not spend three hours of my life wallowing in someone else's sorrow! All I wanted to watch were cartoons and comedies. Let me live happily in the virtual world atleast. How many ever happy endings I watched, my problem was mine. It had come to stay.
Then Fate spit on its hands and got down to work deciding it was time to play some more with my life. It did a small twist and suddenly everything straightened out. Life was painted a rosy hue. Now that I was no longer weighed down with the bad , I felt brave enough to watch the tragedy.
I found that when there is happiness and security coming from inside of you, tragic movies do not affect you much. I was able to enjoy the movie, the direction and the acting all of which were in the superlatives. I'm sure if I had seen this movie when I was already sad, I would've given it more unhappy connotations than usual and spent time in wailing!! But now, I spent more time focussing on the happy parts of the movie, rejoicing with the characters whenever they celebrated their friendship.
It's all in our mind. We tend to paint the world with our colors. When we are sad, it's the end of the world as we know it. But when we are happy, everything around us turns to be all joy and wonder.
All our world is contained inside our little minds.. they're our true masters!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Silent Tears

without intent to harm
the mischief was done

ideas of much right
have come so wrong

all acts of duty but
clouding the emotions

shattered dreams are
all that but remain

the sane mind kindles
a feeble spark of hope

but the prick of thorn
was deep inside gone

thorn has off fallen
but the wound does pain

tears of anger, hatred
come again and again

Monday, February 11, 2008

Child's play

It's all about advertising. Any creator is pleased to see her/his creations reaching a large audience and also being well received. But the for the latter to happen, the former has to happen first! In this crazy blog world, you see bloggers getting up all kinds of tactics to get their blogs noticed by the world. Tagging is a favorite method in which you get free advertising! Well, I'm jumping in the wagon (why not!) with this childish but funny(in a way) tagging game, where I was tagged by preethika - the sugar n spice girl ;-)
All you're needed to do is to add your name to the end of the list. The rules are that
You shouldn't use any colors
You should add only a short description
You shouldn't change anything else in the tags.
And there's also a way out where you can let others know that you're not interested in this crap by saying 'No' :-)

Here goes
1.-Filipina,2.-Stories,3.-Abroad,4.-Husband,5.Gagiers, 6. Life 7. Everything, 8. Offer, 9. Moments, 10. Food Trip 11. World 12. suffering 13.china's autograph 14.Kiran's My voice15. Boobu 16.Sugar & Spice 17. ~*Girl of Destiny*~ 18. -you-

I now pass on the torch to

Happy Tagging folks!

The point of no return

I was watching Friends yesterday when I came upon this bit where Joey tells Rachel how hard it was for him to love her and not have her love him back. Ah! The Unrequited Love (with intentional capitals!). It makes me feel all squishy squashy inside.
This concept is a very, very popular idea with writers and authors. It is one that is sure to pull at the heart strings. It is tragic. It is painful. It is sentimental. It generates sympathy. It also generates selling stories!!!
I mean, who does not feel bad for Charlie Brown when he sees his 'little red-haired girl' ? Who does not feel bad for Joey when he hugs Rachel after cujo?? Look how great it sounds in stories!Look how much revenue it generates!!!
But seriously, isn't it very sad? As long as it's on screen, you can just go along with it and then forget it after the show. But when it hits you in real life? I know a few of my friends who've been thru' the same stuff. Their misery was very painful to behold. But you are helpless. How do you help someone with their unrequited love?
I first had a taste of this myself a couple of years back when my heartthrob on screen got married to his girlfriend!(How pathetic am I? to fall in love with a film star!).
Though I've always held the belief that the heart's just a pump and so it can't think, it was then that I realised that feelings can give you actual physical pain and this pain is kinda centered around the heart area. If it's your mind that's doing the thinking, why is the pump getting affected?
Though the concept maybe as old as time, the questions that it leaves are unanswerable.

Well, as one who has passed this unrequited love phase, I can safely say that it's great while it lasts. And it's not that hard to get over it once it's over. And when you look back, it sure makes some great memories!
Then again, maybe I was able to get over it pretty easily since all I had to love was a movie star, for pete's sake! It may be a lot harder for a real person, though I wouldn't know that. But I have a feeling that it'll be pretty hard but not impossible to get over with!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Of course it's a Small World!

About 6 years back:
I meet this guy in my college. A senior. We become friends. He makes a stipulation that I call him not by name but 'Anna'. I wasn't used to calling any non-relative 'anna'. Still I acquiesce. No reason why.
We become pretty good friends soon.

A few years later:
We figure out that we both share the same hometown and same family name. He tells me, 'There's a high probability that we might be related'. 'Maybe', I tell him. End of topic.

A few months back:
I meet him and another friend at their house. His friend shows me pictures of a new beautiful temple. He holds a significant postion in the Temple Trust. He offers to help any relatives of mine who might plan to visit the temple. I tuck away this little piece of information.

A few months later:
A big bunch of my relatives plan to visit this temple. I offer them my friend's number. He helps them with arrangements.

At the temple:
An aged relative comes upto my mother, "A person offered to help me too. I did not ask him since you are making this arrangement".
"Oh who is your contact?", asks my mom.
"My nephew's son's friend. He's working in b'lore. But he is part of the Temple Trust".
Mom pricks her ears, "What is his name?"
"..... ", she replies with his name.
"Oh even I arranged through him. He is my daughter's friend. Oh wait, is your nephew's son by any chance .... ?" here she names my 'anna'.
"Oh yes", came the astonished reply.
The talk then went on to the much happy planes of figuring out mutual relatives.

In the evening:
"Listen, a funny thing happened at the temple today", mom tells me the entire story.
I was extremely excited. " So he really is my brother?"
Mom explains the link.
"Oh I get it," I'm grinning, "He is your chithi's sister-in-law's grandson! And that makes him my chitappa's son. (oh yea I'm pretty good in these ;-) ) A real Anna!! This is cool!"

All excited, I call him up, wanting to share this extraordinary news. 'This number is switched off'. Great.
I mail him, 'Got some really interesting revelation to tell you. Call me when free'. My mail was peppered with exclamation marks.

He coolly mails the reply , 'That you are related to me? I already told you there's a high probability'.
That's the extent of excitement.
Hmph...My brother.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Keeping it short

'Why don't you write about short temper?' the SMS from Nivi blinked at me.
'What? Short temper? Why?' I asked her.
'Just like that' came the reply.
What does one write about short temper? I was wondering. Then it stuck me! I can actually write lots about it. I interact daily with extremely short tempered people. I also have my own fair share of it. So I was well qualified to write something about it!
Well here goes.

So a person is short tempered. Let's forget the why of it. You are talking to that person and their temper begins to act up. How do you react?

Firstly, don't lose yours. Next bring to your mind the adage on dogs barking at the sun. But be clear on the role definition - you do the shining and they do the barking. This basically boosts up your ego and elevates your self worth. It'll make you think that it is unnecessary to lower yourself and bark back. It also helps you to view them in a detached cynical manner and pity them for hiking up their blood pressure. The hotter they become, the cooler you will be. At no point of the conversation let yourself get involved. Maintain a purely observatory position. The barking will run its course and then die a natural death.
If you have any replies to give them, do it when they have no more energy to bark.

Right! But what if it is you who is doing the yelling? If you are a person with a chronic case of short temper-itis, never fear, cure is near! Whenever you feel like yelling, tell yourself those two admirable words - Shut up! If you're not the kind of person who listens to your own advice, well then leave the place. Just walk out. If that ain't possible, then drink something. Anything to seal your lips.

Practice clamping your mouth shut tight whenever you feel the symptoms of this illness. Do something that takes your mind off the situation at hand. Music is a good choice. Going out for a drive or a walk is another fine option. Come back after your pressure levels are low and then you're ready to tackle the sitation in a calm and collected manner.

The advantage of short temper is that it is...well.. short! The foul mood doesn't last long. But the effects of letting it out will. So be sure not to react when you feel all heated up.
Use these prescriptions well, you'll be cured soon!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

A very famous interview question. Usual answers to this question are "I see myself running my own company / heading a division / etc etc". Correct answers? I'm not so sure.
Can you really see yourself down the lane? I, for one, have absolutely no concrete idea of what I will be doing ten - no! why go so far? - one year from now.
This question is a favorite topic of debate between me and a friend of mine. He's all for setting a clear goal and working, nay, slaving towards it. He goes up in an apoplexy to hear people (like yours truly) say "Whatever Life throws at me, I'm happy to live with it". His argument is that that is the motto of the weak. His idea is not to take life but to make it (not his words - my own!). It must feel very important to live like that, and feel very purposeful, striding towards the one goal!
Well, we happy-go-lucky creatures have a goal too. It's pretty simple actually. It is to be Happy! To feel at the end of the day that this day in my life was fun!
We can acclimatize ourselves to all that comes our way. We are definitely not losing our own sense of individuality in the process. No, we are just molding our minds to make the best of the situation. We are the chameleons of the humankind.
Would you call us pessimists, unwilling to be ambitious for fear we may never reach it? Or would you call us lazybones, refusing to look beyond today? Would you call us scaredy-cats, not having enough guts to go fight the world?
We are just people who want to live one day at a time. Would that make us realists? Maybe. We are optimists, who always have a hope that 'today was great and tomorrow will be better'. We are not lazy, we just want to deal with tomorrow when it comes and not today. We are not scared, we are just peace lovers.
We sail along in life, not too happy and not too sad. But calm and contented. Since our goal is so simple, nothing can beat us. Any drastic change in circumstances may pose a tiny setback of course, but we are soon back in the game, in all our glory. Setbacks interest us, they are but a game. We may be down but never out!

Friday, February 01, 2008

In praise of the...egg!

The wonder of Life can be felt in all of creation, the smallest and the largest. It can be felt in a mighty mountain or in a tiny grass blade. As Clarence Day profoundly observed,

Oh who that ever lived and loved
Can look upon an egg unmoved?
The Egg is the symbol of life. It symbolizes life in a nutshell, or rather in an eggshell.
The egg symbolizes the beginning. How we begin our lives inside a protective covering. We are kept warm and shielded from the harsh realities of the outer world. And when we are ready to face the world, it is we who crack the shell open.
The egg symbolizes the power of God. The egg is the origin for all. All of living things originate in the egg. By being a part of such an innocent question as “Which came first? The Chicken or the Egg?” it shows us that even simple things in life may have obscure origins. Even with our much prided advances in Science, this question has baffled scientists and philosophers alike. Some facts of life have to be just accepted for what they are. Not everything can be explained.
From an egg so small, rises a man so high. The egg so symbolizes that whatever heights might a man reach in his life, he should always keep in mind his humble origin. Albeit small, the egg holds inside an entirely new life. This just goes to show that we should never judge anyone or anything based on appearance.
The egg also teaches us to worship that Godlike creature, our mother. For it is she who performs the divine task of rearing and protecting us when we are but an egg.
Next time an egg reaches your dinner plate, take a moment to pay the due respects!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hide and Seek!

Chitra's post on crying triggered my long-thought-about ideas on hiding your feelings of unhappiness from others' eyes.
Most of us wish to present to the world a strong outer crust. We are hard, our armor is impenetrable. We express our happiness oh-so-joyously to the world. Fear of appearing weak makes us hide our sadness deep inside. Crying is generally attributed to a weak nature. All that's fine. But how many people actually carry this through? I would say one in a million.
Most of the tough ones feel at one time or the other, like Rose of Titanic, that they are 'in a room, surrounded by people and that they are screaming at the top of their voice and nobody even hears them'. The breaking point is, then, very near. Soon the floodgates will be opened, with a mighty flood to follow.
And the disappointment at finding out that you are not as strong willed as you assumed yourself to be, adds to the pain.
So is it really for the best - this practice of hiding our mournful feelings? I would say no. All the misery inside us needs an outlet. Coming to terms with the misery primarily needs a deep introspection. Calm objective reflection helps us to understand the misery and its cause. And most of the times, even a way out. If our own mind cannot be counted upon to help us, that's when a 'shoulder to cry on' comes as a godsend.
Generally people who appear strong and bottle up their feelings inside tend to be good listeners. So, in turn, they make good shoulders. But we need to understand that that shoulder is connected to a mind too and it will also have its own share of burden to carry.
Not all of us are lucky enough to find that shoulder. But once we find it, we need to be very careful that we do not use that shoulder only to cry on. Sometimes that shoulder will need an another.
But it does not pay to be too open about your feelings either. Others perceive you as a complaining miserable crybaby. But lets not even talk about the people who go about flaunting their misery. Their sadness doesn't even measure up to the word.
So is it really for the best - this practice of hiding our mournful feelings? I would say yes, it is good to hide your feelings from the eyes of all others if you are willing to show them to yourself. If you are strong enough to handle the tremendous pressure on your own.
Happiness shared is multiplied and sadness shared is divided. The catch lies in finding the right people to share them with!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What do you see in the mirror?

For a human, looking at the mirror is as habitual as eating. It is an everyday occurence and for some, every hour!
When you check your mirror, what do you see? I mean, after checking your dress, hair, makeup etc. Beyond that. What do you see?
Did you ever look at a mirror and wonder how you might appear to others?
Sound weird? It is. It feels weird too. Atleast it did, when I tried to look at the person in the mirror as I would look at a stranger. I began to feel scared. I use 'scared' here for want of a better word. The feeling may be better explained as one of haunting bewilderment. But I did. It felt like I did not know the person in the mirror. That scared me because I always prided on the knowledge that none knew me better than I. But here, apparently, I'm not what I thought myself to be!
Does that sound crazy?
Let me illustrate with an example.
I have this complete obsession with straight hair. Be it man or woman, whenever I behold a head with straight hair spewing out of it, I immediately feel the little green monster in me arise. I personally do not have a great opinion about my own bunch (why else would there be the green monster!) At the best comparison, I would call myself Medusa-ic.
What really incenses me is having those lucky buggers with straight hair come upto me and go gushing "Oh I wish I had your beautiful curly/wavy(according to them) hair. Oh your hair is so much more lovelier than mine!!"
Can't they see the snakes of Medusa? Incidents like these led me to the mirror experiment.
Does everyone feel weirdly scared when they keep staring at their own reflection for a long time? I once shared my mirror experience with my cousin who (to my utter surprise) immediately responded with a "You too??". Oh it was so heartening to know that I wasn't alone in the bandwagon. But probably it only runs in the family.
Has this ever happened to you? If not in the past, I invite you now to take a good long look at yourself and tell me what you feel!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Answering Antony's Call

Did you ever wonder why Antony asked his buddies to 'Lend him their ears' ? Why couldn't he have said 'Listen to me folks' ? OK not folks. Just 'Listen to me'. But no! The reason why he wanted them to 'lend their ears' is that he wants their complete attention. How many people lend us their ears when we talk? How many times do we lend our ears?
So far as I have seen, based on the people I've met, we can loosely classify the Listeners into

The Genuines
These are the people who actually evince an interest in what you have to say. You like prolonging the conversation with them. Though they may not always provide insightful responses, you leave them with contentment - that you have been listened to.

The Hasty
These people already know what you are going to say, even before you say it. Jumping to conclusions is their favorite sport. They make tiring and difficult listeners.

The Pretenders
They profess an interest in what you have to say, their entire countenance spells "Listening" in large capitals and you are encouraged to continue your discourse. All the while, their busy mind is working on another tangent, with complete disregard for what you are saying.

The Hopeless
These are the people who are so completely wrapped up in their own selves that it is hard for them even to listen to your simple 'I am going to the laundry'. Anything that is not uttered by their own lips is considered irrelevant, foolish and a terrible waste of words.

Of course, these groups are not mutually exclusive. Everyone donns one mantle or the other in different circumstances.

Listening to someone wholeheartedly is a very, very tough job - initially. But it is a talent that can be cultivated very easily with interest. Here are some pointers that may help you listen well.

-Start any conversation with an interested and receptive mind. If you do not have one, stop it right there.
-Look at them when they talk. Their body language helps you with listening.
-Try to put yourself in their place. Helps you understand why they are saying the things they do.
-Have the patience to hear them out. Wait till the end of their talk to give a response.
-If you have neither time nor inclination to listen to them, tell them! Suggest that they come to you some other time.
-Understand why they are telling you this. If you do not, ask them first. Be clear in what is expected of you.

They say be a sponge while listening. Don't. Just one squeeze may let it all out. Instead be like the dry earth which absorbs rain.
The next time Mark Antony asks for your ears, you can easily respond with a 'Here you go fella'!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Does God Exist?

The debate over the existence of God has, for a long time, been a continuous and an interesting one. When answering this question, however, it is imperative that we have the knowledge of the subject, that is, God. What exactly is meant by this three-letter word? The connotations that this word brings to the minds of different people are countless.

People who assiduously follow the teachings of their religion believe that God is the Supreme Being, one who has the powers to create, destroy and protect the world and all its elements. Different religions give different shapes to this Supreme Being. For some, God is anthropomorphic. For some, God takes the shape of a tree, or a stone. Some others believe that God has no shape. But they’re all unanimous on the point that God is the one responsible for all creations. And by long practice, generally God is given the pronoun of ‘He’.

The believers contend that God is the reason behind all existence. Their argument is that for every creation there must be a reason, there must be a source, there must be a prototype. And these are provided by none other than God. God is the reason that Earth is round. He is the reason that leaves are green. A very high intelligence is needed to create something as complex as a human brain. This high intelligence is attributed to none other than God. An extremely high intelligence is needed to create zillions of different kinds of species, plants, minerals, elements and all that goes into creating the Earth as we know it. Only God, they say, is capable of such a feat.

Physicists attribute the reason for Earth’s shape to Gravity. Botanists attribute to pigments and chlorophyll and light reflection, the reason that leaves are green. And evolution is how humans are created, assert scientists.

While the believers may say that God is the reason for Gravity, the non-believers on the other hand, choose to believe that the reason stops with Gravity and does not go beyond that - to God. Such a debate is endless. But one underlying factor is common to both the sides – it is the existence of power or energy that is beyond human. An example of this power in this case can be Gravity. What atheists call Gravity, the religious lot call God.

The believers choose to attach a shape to this power. The shape enables them to visualize their Supreme Being. An invisible Supreme Being is in many cases unsettling and inadequate. When they want to worship their Supreme Being but know not what or where to worship, it creates confusion in their minds. A tangible image is reassuring to them. They are now clear what to worship. Their religion teaches them how to worship this image. They follow the path set to them by their elders. The vague inquietude arising from their daily interactions with others is dispelled when they worship this Supreme Being.

There are some other believers who do not attach any shape to their God, but have the ability of seeing their God in all images they behold. They do not need a place of worship or a shape to worship. They see God in their minds. They are well content worshipping God in places of their own choice and images of their own preference. They achieve the inner peace and quiet in their own methods of worship.

God, for every one of the believers, is a being who has the power and the benevolence to soothe a disturbed mind, to ease the pain, to help them learn kindness and to live in peace and goodwill. God is the feeling of happiness and peace instilled in them. This feeling arises for them when they worship their images of God. For the non-believers, this feeling arises when they are doing something they’re most passionate about, something that they love doing, something that gives them extreme pleasure. Like when they hear music or when they see beautiful sights of nature or when they’re helping another human to live.

The feelings evoked in the minds of humans when they think about this Supreme Being or a Supreme Power is the same for both the believers and the non-believers. An extreme feeling of happiness, a joy in being alive and thankfulness for the experience.

While the non-believers do not attach any name for this power, the believers choose to call the power as God.
As uttered by Shakespeare’s Juliet,

….that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

The same holds good for God too. The power is the same. The only difference is in what people call it. God does exist, in the minds of people.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What, you don't worry?

That will be the surprised rejoinder Alfred E. Newman will get now for his favorite phrase, if he were to talk to the same people I talk to.

When you take a slightly different path than the well-trodden one, when you are not following the same stream, when you do not go by the popular conventional methods, people who are so solicitously enquiring after your health and wellness have already decided that you must be miserable in your new walk of life. Any assertions on your part that you're actually enjoying yourself on this new journey leaves these people doubting your word.

They shoot probing questions at you, determined to find the real you unhappy.
They of course don't ask ouright, but you can easily imagine them saying, "How the heck can you profess to be happy?", "Why are you pretending my child? Why don't you come clean and accept that you're living a sorrowful existence now?", and more in the same vein. There's some kind of an undetected sadistic pleasure these folks enjoy, that makes them sit back in contentment to see their opinions come true, however negative they may be.

Just because someone has done something unexpected, does it automatically have to follow that they cannot be happy doing that? No! But it's as hard for people to change their preconceived notions as a leopard its spots! If its a rule, it must be right! There's no argument about it. Much the same way, if you're different, you must be a weirdo. There's something not real about you!

People, wake up!!! Nothing's the same, ever.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Souls in Torment

All I wanted was a haircut.

The stylist at the salon asked me which style would I prefer. No preference, I said. Whichever you think will suit me, do it, I said.

I sat down expecting scissors on my hair. I got shampoo.
Which was followed by a conditioner. Which was followed by a massage done with some nameless liquid.

Then came the cutting. After the cut was over, she asked which setting would I prefer, normal, straight or curls. There is only one answer to this question, always. It's straight everytime.

She started brushing and drying my tendrils. Then sprayed it with another nameless liquid. When she was through, I could not believe at the apparition in the mirror in front of me. My normally dry, half-curly, fly away hair was transformed into a thing of beauty! In place of my usual bird's nest, I now had a thick sheet of glistening tresses!

'Oh! to be rich and be pampered like this everyday', I sighed, for this operation, dreamy as it was, had considerably lightened my purse...

I thought I was finished with my job at the salon. But no, not with my best friend by my side, egging me on to 'shape my eyebrows'.

I've had this told to me by a large multitude. You can always spot them. These people have the welfare of your brows in their hearts. They're the ones who look keenly at your brows when talking to you. You even start sweating under their close scrutiny. The verdict is always the same. "You have such nice thick eyebrows, why don't you shape them? they'll look more beautiful".
Note the 'nice' and the 'more beautiful'. It's never "shape your eyebrows, they look terrible now". They always aim at the betterment of good brows!

So I thought, 'why not?'.
'Shape my brows', I told her. I ignored the death knells. My mistake.
What followed was pure torture. It was like my brows were being scraped off with sandpaper.

Another operation in the same Spanish Inquisition trend is this thing called waxing. It's when they first pour hot wax on you. Then they apply strips of cloth on it, and pull it up in one fast flick of their wrist. You feel like strips of your skin are being peeled away.

The most horrifying fact about these agonies is that these are a continuous process. Why would girls deliberately go through this torture? It was beyond my comprehension until I did the same. The answer is simple. It's hair. It keeps growing back, with a vengeance. You are forced to become a waxing-addict.

Lesson learnt: 'Beauty' is painful.

Disclaimer: By 'Beauty' here I mean the much-hyped idea of it. The idea that only shaped eyebrows and waxed hands are beautiful and the non-shaped and the non-waxed are just shaggy!