Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Resolutions – Year After Year!

So it is December already! Some call it the month for retrospection where we look back with pride and see our achievements written in gold while many others feel December is the excuse God created to forgive ourselves for everything that we couldn't pull this year. December is the corner; we make the turn and it is a new beginning, all over again!

A new beginning signifies changes. And inevitably, it leads us to resolutions, in particular the New Year Resolutions. I can see you smile now! Well, admittedly, for lesser mortals like us, coming up with resolutions for the New Year is a daunting task. This is probably because we have almost lost respect for this term trying to follow the same resolution of staying fit(ter) year after year over the last 5 years and we prefer something different this year! Secondary to this reason is the pressure that the entire universe is putting on us to come up with wackier resolutions, so much that its not a concern whether we choose to follow it or not! Our parents think its high time we "settled down and became more responsible", our manager thinks its high time we started playing a significant role in our team and so developed the skills accordingly, our friends think we are worth our weight in gold for an MBA and so should give it a try and our magazine team in the division thinks we should send one or two resolutions for the contest they are organizing too. And of course, the pressure within us to change! Do we need more?

I almost forgot to mention the choices we have these days. Remember those days when New Year resolutions boringly read "I shall improve my hand writing", "I shall read at least 2 books every month" or "I shall visit the temple every day."? Today we have endless choices in both 'encouraging' and 'discouraging' resolutions. By “encouraging” I mean "I shall fulfill my parents wishes and get married this year" ,"I shall start my own tech blog" and "I shall spend more time with my family and aim at a healthy work-life balance". The latter types are "I shall quit smoking.. err.. wait, I mean I shall smoke only 3 per day", "I shall not shop/spend on impulse every time I see a shop!" or "I shall not spend more than 8 hours(!) a day on Facebook". The time and tested resolutions like going to the gym, waking up early and reaching office on time and lowering your cholesterol levels have reined the list since eternity, for Humanity thinks its a sin to erase them off the list.

All said and done, by the end of December you too would have a list of little-somethings to call it your resolution and save your face. It is a different question if the list is same as the list that you had last year or the year before, the important question is whether you have a list or not. After solemn pledging and declarations that hint we might turn over a new leaf the moment the clock strikes 12 we set out to welcome the New Year and hopefully, a new ‘I’.

January is the month we fall in love with ourselves, all over again! The sheet of resolutions proudly stuck on our wall is still intact and we can’t but think “Yes! I made it this year!” But sadly, we now guess that when that great somebody said something about history repeating itself, he probably was staring at his own resolution sheet peeling off from his wall.

So have you made yours?

PS: Wrote this for a light reading column in the division newsletter. My estranged blog gave me this woebegone look that melted my heart. So did a copy-paste here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Late Night Cab

Hurriedly, she locked her boards and cables in her draw and walked out of the door wrapping her shawl around. As she signed at the security gates she glanced at her watch. 11:30 PM. The December night was chilly. She walked towards her cab clutching her shawl closer to her body.

The driver was not seen anywhere. She opened the rear door and waited inside. Her mobile in her hand lit up followed by a beep.

1 new message.

"What time are you coming home?".
Her thumbs quickly texted back a reply "Soon..".

The light from the mobile lit up her young face so gently that she looked angelic, even after clocking 14 hours in there!

Just then a man in white-and-white uniform walked down the parking and got into the Indica. With a quick gesture he asked where she had to be dropped to. "Koramangala, BDA complex. Bere yaaru ilva?", she asked, forming a sentence from her minimal Kannada vocabulary. He replied with a negative.

As the car zoomed past sleepy apartments, empty roads and unattended traffic signals, she pulled down the glasses of her window and kept herself awake. Her eyes could no longer stay awake but she forced them open as they drooped.

She kept an eye on the road. She kept an eye on the driver. Is he on the right road? Is he drunk? Am I safe here, in this car, with this driver? Is he... will he... What if.. Should I.. questions flew about inside her head.

She stared closely at the driver through the rear view. Unshaven. Unruly mop of hair. Pan chewed mouth. All of a sudden she felt so insecure that she wanted to lock herself within the comforts of her home. Far away, inside her head, voices screamed that she was, after all, a woman!

Oh yeah, a salwar-clad demure Indian woman? An Indian woman on whom you can cast your lecherous glance on? Sorry Sir! No more your weakling! The hands that make you rotis can not only type on the keyboard, but wield a sword too, for all you care!

She slipped her fingers into her hand-bag searching for her solace.

Yes, it was there, her pepper spray and her black-belt.


To you, Pratibha Shrikanth Murthy. May your soul get the justice it deserves, soon.

Friday, September 03, 2010

You have comments on your photographs!!

If somebody collects all the comments people received on their photographs posted on different social networking sites, there is a very high possibility that they would all fall into any one of the below mentioned categories.

  1. The made-for-each-other-comment : OK, Now this one will make 50% of all the comments. Any picture which has a guy and girl and nobody else in it will definitely fetch any of these comments with 100% chances : "Wow! You make a great couple", "Man, you both look great together!", "Cool.. both of you look fab in this one", "Awesome pair". Forget the fact that they might be a bro-sis pair, just-friends pair or yeah, as the viewer would have liked them to be - engaged. But who knows! Or rather, who cares!
  2. The how-sweet-babies-comment : Alright, I agree, all babies are cute. I know it, you know it and the new mama knows it too. No matter what, the SNS rule states that no baby's pic should stay fetching for comments for longer than 10 seconds post the time of its upload! And a second rule states that every baby picture will receive a constant comment "Howwwwww s(ch)weeeet"; the only variable part allowed can be the number of 'w's and 'e's. Please note "Howww s(ch)weeeet" is the universal constant. Regional constants like "Chakkkkkkkara" are also substitutable.
  3. The wow-comment : This comment is just that! You click next, and you actually tell it out before typing it down as a comment. This is usually found beneath pictures of great places, wall-paper candidates, somebody's new haircut/new look/ new clothes, new car, new bike, new wife... ok, just kidding, leave that last one out ;-) Short comment, nevertheless makes the the photo uploader glow like a young bride.
  4. The LOL or ROFL- comment : This forms a minority because you rarely find people who would like to make a fool of themselves on social networking sites especially when single and ready to mingle :-P Hence, of the very few occurrences, the most common is beneath pictures of babies doing funny things, a bunch of guys all gone unusually crazy or next to a picture of your pet.
  5. The Awesome-comment : All other comments that we have remaining will fall under this category. In case you are wondering what to comment on a particular snap and you badly want to do it too, then rely on these for they are multi-purpose comments - one size fits all! "Awesome", "Awesome!!", "Awwwwwwwwesome", "Truly Awesome!", "Simply Awwwwsome!", "Gosh! Awesome!", "Man! Its Awesome!!", "This-Awesome!!", "That-Awesome!!"... I think this word is the only other word whose popularity in usage has soared high post the success of SNS; the other word being, yes, you guessed it right, "fraaanship" :-)

The above ones are the safest that yours truly relies on and they satisfy most of the situations ;-) If you have other interesting categories, don't forget to pen them down in the comments section!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And I never thought I'd ever miss..

  1. Walking back home: Less than 10 years ago walking back from college was the most hated thing. I was always the 'autorikshaw person'! Walking back home then meant aching legs, sweat, the evening traffic, the swarm of people rushing back home, the buses almost brushing your sides and as if they were not enough, heavy bags and lab records in hand, at times the mini drafter as well. And today, the office cab drops me right in front of my gate and volvos stop a metre away from home. Oh yeah, lets not forget the car and the bike too! Today, thoughts about walking back home is not clouded with aching legs or buses any more; rather I miss all the giggles and gossips, chats and pranks, snacks and fun with friends that was part of the walk. Today, I hardly walk, let alone walk with friends!
  2. Getting drenched in the rain to the skin: One drop of rain on my shoes and I got into a maniacal state. There was always this thought fed into the Malayali minds to reach home/college/wherever one is supposed to go before it starts raining. Rains weren't romantic then when one was out in it - how could it be when your wet dripping umbrella would form a mini-pool wherever it was placed, when every auto driver's towel would be so wet that it can't be used to wipe the back seats anymore and the honour is on your salwar to do so or when your slippers made embarrassing noises gurgling with water while you walked. It was days and days of almost continuous rains and one used to wait for it to cease. Today, my umbrella hardly sees light! Today, we stay in a place where any drizzle beyond 10 minutes leads to fallen trees, over flowing drains and the newspapers term it "heavy rains".
  3. Non-exotic Kerala foods I took for granted: No, they were not my fave of faves then. Pazham puzhungiyatu (steamed bananas) or mathi varatatu (fried sardines) are something ultra mundane and non-exotic. One is so used to eating them that there was nothing to relish! There is a lot of difference between one yearning for mom's special curry and one yearning for something as simple as steamed bananas; its hard to justify the latter :-)
  4. Power Cuts: This, from the lips of a Bangalorean, might shock you. I wasn't mentioning the day long power cuts, but those 30 mins/ 1 hour power cuts that used to happen everyday in the evenings for a few months. That was the time when the family did nothing and everybody was in one room, faces partially lit by the yellow glow from a single candle or the 'emergency lamp'. Mosquitoes buzzing in chorus, shadow puppets, the deadly red glow when you wrap your fingers tightly over the torch beam, the rain pelting on the windows and the music of the crickets.. I remember them all! Power cuts today are either from dawn to dusk or if you are lucky, you might have a gen back up. Both cases, they don't evoke anything!
  5. Surprise Guests: Having your mom's colleague and family visit you in the evenings of a week day or dad's cousin's cousin's cousin and family drop by on a Sunday morning while they were on their way to some other place was always a very frequent occurrence. Visits, in those days were so informal. No prior calls, no syncing of calendars to fix a date and no elaborate lunch preparations. They just walked in one fine day, drank a cup of tea/coffee and ate snacks, light talks and off they go. A similar visit would be returned on another weekday at their place too. While the parents talked, kids made new friends. But at times, visits like this throw all the plans you had to visit the fair at the town out of the window and you are forced to switch off the TV and be with guest right when the cricket is going on live. You grumble about "surprise guests" who spoil your plans. Today, we hardly go visiting somebody or take pains to invite anybody home! Weekends are exclusively for being lazy. And even when somebody is invited, it has to start with calendar syncs, buying all the stuffs in a super market to cook a lunch and then so busy with cooking that you forget to sit and chat! And worse still, today nobody walks in to your home 'one fine day' - isn't it considered impolite!!! I miss a surprise visit!

And all the while, I never though I'd ever miss these!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2 Quick Stories..

Here are two quick stories; lest I feel guilty about ignoring this space!

Both stories revolve around the same solitary diamond pendant. No wonder he got terrified when I sent it to him for a first read. He wrote back "Is this some kind of a hint???" :-)

Disclaimer : I don't want one. Don't you worry!

So here goes..

Women Empowerment

He opened the blue box, and there it was, the sparkling solitary diamond pendant.

"Damn it! You spent your bonus on this??"
"Don't tell me you don't like it! You think I didn't catch you checking this out at the jeweler's and keeping it back last weekend?"
"Gaaawwwdd..damn it damn your dream DSLR?"
"Next time, next bonus.. I can wait, baby!"
"Dumbo!", and she walked into the bedroom.

"Whats the matter with you?", he followed her to the wardrobe holding the blue box.
"Here, have a look. I got my bonus yesterday", she said and placed a blue box in his other hand.

He opened, and there it was, the same sparkling solitary diamond pendant.

Absent minded Hubby

He opened the blue box, and there it was, the sparkling solitary diamond pendant.

Her face turned to dismay. "Damn it! Did you REALLY buy this for my birthday??"
"Don't tell me you didn't like this! I know you have always wanted a solitary diamond pendant"
"Oh yes, I do, but not so much that you should keep getting me exactly the same pendant year after year for my birthday.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Work Life Balance??


Ed 07 April, 2010 : Realized I had forgotten to add 2 important words to the first word cloud. "Thenga kola" and "Maanga tholi" in BIG fonts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Girl == Pink!

We like rainbows to be VIBGYOR.
We like trees to be green.
We like chocolates to be brown (at times white)
We like the denims to be blue.
And laptops or phones to be black/grey/similar shade.
So do you.
Can't understand why they make a PINK version of every gadget and claim its for us!!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Happy to help?

Trring Trrring.

Me : "Hello?"
Caller : "Am I speaking to Ms Priya Mahadevan*?"
Me : "Yes, speaking."
C : "Ma'am am Shilpa* calling from Vodafone. This is a confirmation call. Ma'am, can I confirm a few things with you please?"
Me : "Yes.. please."

C : "Ma'am, is your name Priya Mahadevan*?"
Me : "Yes." (Huh? I thought you checked that after I said hello!)
C : "And your e-mail id is*?
Me : "Yes."
C : "And your DOB is 1st Jan 1981*"
Me : "Yes." (Any gift-plans?)
C : "And your favourite ice cream flavour is chocolate?"
Me : "Right!"
OK, she didn't ask me that last question. But she asked me many other almost-related questions.


C : "Are you aware of your call plans ma'am?"
Me : "Yes, I am."
C : "Even if you are aware, let me explain ma'am."
Me : "hmm.." (What the..!)
C : "Ma'am your talk plan is blah blah blah blah blah blah ma'am. Ma'am you have blah blah blah top up blah blah blah. Ma'am you also have blah blah blah blah ma'am. Blah Blah blah blah".

After about 3 minutes.

Me : (3,2,1 breathe. 3,2,1 breathe)
Me : "Thanks!"
C : "Are you aware of your call and sms charges ma'am?"
Me : "Yes yes am very much aware! You don't need to explain." (Please!)
C : "Even if you are aware, let me explain ma'am."
Me : Grrrrrrrrrrr
C : "Ma'am your local blah blah blah blah. Blah blah ma'am. Ma'am blah blah blah blah blah. Ma'am blah blah blah blah. Ma'am blah blah blah. Blah blah blah ma'am."
Me : "Sigh!"

C : "Do you want to know anything else ma'am?"
Me : "No. Please. Thanks. Please. Please. Please!"
C : "Thank you for calling Vodafone ma'am. This is Shilpa* talking to you from Vodafone. Happy to help. Have a nice day ma'am!"
Me : Huh! I thought you called me!!! :-S

*- all names, numbers changed to protect, you know, privacy :)