Thursday, 27 November 2008

I try.....

I try....I try my level best to keep this blog free of negative emotions.....consciously prefering to focus on the basics, the mundane, the humourous side to life but how can I possibly ignore the devastation which has struck my Country.

Everytime, every single time when a bomb goes off somewhere, when people are terrorized I want to ask the perpetrator……

Dear Fellow Human Being,

What makes you the way you are????

What kind of childhood did u have? Did your mother abandon u???

Did your father beat you up?? Did your Uncle molest you?

Did your friends make fun of you??????

Did you have a problem getting a job???

Did the girl you wanted to marry refuse you??????

What kind of satisfaction do you get killing your own kind????

What are you hoping to achieve????

What is it that drives you that you are prepared to give your life up for your ‘cause’???

Who is feeding you nonsense about a MAKE-BELIEVE world where you & your children will rule????

What is your bloody, pathetic

EXCUSE dammit????????

This makes Five

I'm on a roll here. Just picked up another Pretty Award from Agnes......

I would like to award this to my Good Friend Manu[who has read all my posts but commented for the 1st time just last week] & a few fellow bloggers whom I have had the pleasure of meeting after my Commentophobia post:

Since Agnes hadn't put up any specific rules for the Award, I''ll take the liberty here:

Display the Award in your page
Award them to your favourite commentators.
Ask them to forward it to their favourite commentators.
And dont forget to link their page to their names.

Go ahead, spread the cheer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edited to add: Just found out about the Mumbai attacks. My heart goes out to the families & friends of the people who lost their lives.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I've got 4 of them now

"I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either." -- Jack Benny, famous Radio & Film Personality

The above quote sort of sums up what I feel now but I can't deny the sheer joy of receiving Awards. When I go to some of the sites of the oldtimers, they have so many of these "Honest Blogger Award, Cutest Blogger Award, Foggiest blogger Award........" displayed very proudly & I always spend some time examining them.

In a year or two I will attempt some changes in my page layout wherein I'll make it 3 column page & fill the left side of my page with only Awards.

In the meantime I patiently wait for my blogger-friends to award them to me.

The 2nd reason why I love receiving Awards is to grandly award them to my set of blogger-friends. I sort of feel like Julia Morley announcing the Miss World Contest winners.

Now before I start sounding like one of those awardee's who embarrass the audience by talking too much on stage.....

Here goes.........

I have received the Butterfly Award from Lan & Winnie

And the award goes to .....

Deeplydip: For 'Styalogue'

Goofy Mumma: For 'Quack Rites'

JP Joshi: For 'My Philosophical Thoughts'

Shalom: For your Photo-Blog

Winnie The Poohi: For your Poetry blog:-)

The Rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate 10 other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I also received this Proximity Award from Winnie

There is a clear-cut message which accompanies this Award:

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers I'm passing it on to these wonderful bloggers:"

It is to be passed to 8 other bloggers for the sentiments above.
And they are....

Balvinder Singh: For Frankly Speaking Blog

Renu: For your Rasoi:-)

It's been a long post in the sense that it took me ages to link everybody up. So I am not exactly in a stable state to whip up a brilliant conclusion. And since I began my post with a quote, I take your leave with one too.....

“To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say Well Done. And to the C students I say, YOU too can be President of United States." George W Bush, 43rd US president since 2001.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Every once in a while I find myself blog surfing. The sheer volume of content on a wide range of topics just makes my mind boggle.

Some blogs are awe-inspiring…..these bloggers’ feel so strongly about relevant issues of our times and spare no efforts to spread the awareness. Their posts tear into my insides & question my contribution to Society. They make me feel truly insignificant & guilty in turn. I just lack the guts to comment on their posts afraid I’ll make a fool of myself with my lack of knowledge.
I quietly add their link to Google Reader and visit them time to time updating myself of the subject & reading in awe the different views of commentators.

Then there are a few bloggers who attack one’s senses with their power over the English language. Their knack of twisting & contorting words to create a life-like scenario on their page is mind-blowing. They turn a simple everyday incident in their life into a rib-tickling riotous read which all of us can identify with. I read, I laugh, I wipe the tears off from my eyes but find myself dawdling in the comments section… fingers just don’t find the words to communicate that I found the post brilliant.

“This post is awesome” will make me sound like I’m gushing, like one of those teenagers who use the word 3 times in every sentence.

“Good post” may sound like I’m patronizing the blogger. Or maybe I’ll even come across as a bloggee who wants to generate some life into her comment box & so, is simply going around copying & pasting the same comment everywhere.

The straw which breaks the camel’s back is the 43 scintillating comments before mine, all so beautifully contributing & complimenting the post. I admit defeat & quietly exit the page without further ado.

But lately I have realized a few things. Long back I had watched an interview conducted on TV wherein the interviewer complimented a beautiful actress & then said depreciatingly that she must be hearing it a 100 times everyday. She laughed gracefully & said “That’s one thing we people in the limelight never tire of hearing”.

The way I see it the same logic applies here also. Each post put up for the world to see is precious in the eyes of the blogger. Any comment no matter how short, is appreciated by the blogger. These comments act as a boost & do wonders to their confidence. You do not have to agree with whatever is written there & can present a different viewpoint. Any blogger worth his salt will appreciate it.

Yes, there are many blog posts which don’t invoke any feeling inside you maybe because you can’t relate with it at all. But for every 1 post like that there are 3 others which do, but you don’t comment simply because of some block in your mind which in actuality doesn’t exist at all.

Take it from me.....the first comment is always the hardest. It gets easier after that.

p.s: This post is especially directed at all my fellow-bloggers who come via Google Reader or feeder from India, Norway, Japan, South-Asia Pacific, USA & Canada but leave without a word. Come on People, I'd love to hear from you:-).

p.p.s: The post is also targeted at my ‘close’ family & friends who will discuss at length the subjects in my blog through the phone or around the dining table but hesitate to put it in writing.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Uncommon Courtesy

Some of us poke fun at people who are oddly dressed.

Some others laugh openly when somebody trips & falls.

Many of us are quick to ridicule when we hear a person mispronouncing a word.

So many of us pretend not to see the old lady or the pregnant woman who enters the bus & looks hopefully around for a vacant seat to rest her tired legs.

A few of us reply brusquely "I dont know" to a passerby who is lost & looking for directions.

And almost all of us who drive, have at 1 point or the other refused to give way to a vehicle who wants to enter the lane in front of us.

The reasons and excuses for this unforgivable behaviour are many.......
"Well she was looking funny",
"He deserved it",
"She thinks no end of her self"
"Even I am tired, let somebody else give up their seat",
"Why should I bother?"
"Even I am in a hurry & he was acting too smart"

It is very unfortunate that we find it very difficult to maintain even basic courtesy. How much time do you lose if you do a simple act of kindness? So many times we do a kind deed as an afterthought but that feeling of well-being lasts the entire day.

If only we took a moment to put another persons needs before ours, if we took a minute to dwell on the consequences before we acted........I am prepared to swear, our world would be a far better place to live in than what it is now.

A wonderful story comes from 19th Century England. According to the account, Queen Victoria was once at a diplomatic reception in London. The guest of honor was an African Chieftain.

All went well during the meal until, at the end, finger bowls were served. The guest of honor had never seen a British finger bowl, and no one had thought to brief him beforehand about its purpose. So he took the bowl in his two hands, lifted it to his mouth, and drank its contents down.

For an instant there was breathless silence among the British privileged guests, and then they began to whisper to one another. All that stopped, however, when Queen Victoria silently took her finger bowl in her two hands, lifted it, and drank its contents.

A moment later, 500 surprised British ladies and gentlemen simultaneously drank the contents of their own finger bowls.

It was the queen's uncommon courtesy that guarded her guest from a certain embarrassment.

"Knowledge, ability, experience are of little avail in reaching high success if courtesy be lacking," says George D. Powers.
"Courtesy is the one passport that will be accepted without question in every land, in every office, in every home, in every heart in the world. For nothing commends itself so well as kindness; and courtesy is kindness."

I hope I dont sound too holier-than-thou when I say that....

I have 'almost' always given my seat to anybody who I thought deserved it:-P.

I have always given directions to anybody who has asked me & if I didnt know I asked somebody else till I helped them on their way.

And I never liked watching shows like "MTV bakra" or "Candid Camera" where they make a living out of making a fool of ordinary people. Yes I know sometimes it is funny but most times its more embarrassing.

But I have to admit I have been guilty of hiding behind doors & startling the kids and I also just hate to oblige when cars appear out of nowhere & expect to be given way :-/.

What about U???????????

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Pale into insignificance

When I watch an ant laboriously carrying a grain across an endless stretch….

When I glimpse an aeroplane disappearing into the vast expanse….

When I see a tiny tot painstakingly scrawling in a notebook….

When I spy a buzzing bee hovering over a fat rosebud….

When I witness the culmination of a golden sunset...

When I kneel in front of God….



I am more aware of my insignificance than ever.


Do U ever feel like this???

Thursday, 6 November 2008

At The Beach

Two days back Nikita[7 yrs] came back from school with a certificate which stated that she came 3rd in a drawing competition. I was surprised, though not by the movement of an eyelid did I show it.

I came to terms with it years ago that I didn’t have a single creative bone in my body & neither has my better-half shown any impressions of it in these 10 yrs, so suffice to say art & its vagaries take a backseat in our abode. The kids’ ofcourse let their creativity loose once in a while but nothing in their artistic visualizations ever led us to believe they were anything but our children.

I hugged Nikita in excitement & asked to see the picture but she said that it was hung on the school notice board & so she couldn’t bring it back. She then very helpfully reminded me of a picture she had made subjected “At the Beach”, which was supposed to be exxxxactly the same.

I have this box file where I carefully file away all their creative outbursts not for anything else but just so that they can see their childhood efforts when they are older. The picture was there & I have scanned it & put it here so that you can relate to the conversation we had when she showed me this drawing 2 weeks back.

The conversation & whatever I remember of it……

Mama: Nikita, this is really good….especially the yellow & blue combination.

Nikita: Really Mama????

Mama: Yes it’s beautiful but what is that blue square in the middle of the beach?

“That is the beach-towel. You know…..we can rest on it & look at the water” explained Nikita very kindly.

Mama: Ok and what is that cat’s face doing near the water? Where is the body?

Nikita: uff-oh Mama that is a crab.

Mama: Aah ok now I can make out. Why is there only 1 fish in the sea?

Nikita(turning & looking at Naina in despair): This mama doesn’t know anything……..(then looking at me)that is not a fish, it is a big dolphin. The rest of the fish are swimming underneath, that’s why you can’t see them.

Mama(looking suitably foolish): Ok then, what are that balloon & kite doing above the water?? Are the fish flying them???

Nikita(in exasperation): Mama!!!!! Fish don’t have hands, somebody let go of their balloon by mistake & so it is floating in the air.

Mama: ooooooohhhh ok. Then what about the balloon & kite on the land? Are they also floating???

Nikita: ohh that, teacher said there was no need to draw any people. So that’s why. But actually people are supposed to be holding them.

Mama: Hmmmmm…….then why have you drawn that tiny cartoon figure there, near that sandcastle???

Nikita(looking affronted): That is Me!!!!!! Can’t you make out????

Mama: Ooooohhh now I know why she is looking so familiar.

Nikita looks closely into my face to see if I was pulling her leg.

Keeping a straight face I quickly ask “And what is that wheel-like thing at the corner of the page”

“oh thatt, my bus friend* gave it to me, I wanted to add it somewhere, soo…..” she tailed off.

“So you cut it out & pasted it…….very sweet of you to do it” I appreciated her.
“So you drew this same picture for the drawing competition”????

“Yes, exxxxxxactly the same except that I coloured the whole beach ORANGE

WHATTTT?????? asked Mama aghast at the color combination.

“Yes, coz my yellow color pencil was missing” answered Nikita casually.

Huhh!!!!!! I was still groping for words when the sisters left the room to pursue other activities.

Anyways, the Certificate is proudly displayed in the living room, a tribute to the budding artist in our family

p.s: This whole incident reminded me of another of Nikita’s drawing’s I had put up here in the beginning of the year.

*Bus friend: Friend from the school bus

Monday, 3 November 2008

Fishing for compliments

The kids & I went grocery shopping last week when I entered a plant shop next door which had these short “Lucky Bamboo” tied together displayed prominently. Up close I realized they had yellowed a bit & didn’t look all that great.

This shop also displayed huge tanks full of colorful fish in all shapes & sizes which my kids had made a beeline for. I watched their excitement indulgently. Infact I myself was entranced by the sight of vibrant fish swimming merrily, darting in & out of the lush underwater foliage.

“Mama let’s take some home” said Nikita, tugging at my hand excitedly. It sunk in too late that I had dangerous situation in my hands. To say that I had a hard time getting both of them out of the shop was an understatement.

The whole of that week Nikita asked us everyday to get her fish. She promised she’ll give up chocolates forever, will not ask for any more toys, will study well….will do whatever we ask her to…………

…….but please, please get me 3 fishes………

……..ok atleast 2 pleaasssssee

………ok fine just one…a tiny fishiee, pleeease, please, please mama…you are the goodest mama in the whole wide world knowwwww”

Did you know in the olden days in China the prisoners used to be tortured in a particular way? It was famously called the Chinese Torture. Cold water was dripped slowly on to the victim's forehead. Prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long durations were gradually driven frantic as an increasing hollow would form in the centre of the forehead."

My elder daughter has perfected her own version of this torture. Day in & day out she will go on & on & on & on till one just wants to dig a deep hole right underneath, jump in & push the carpet over the head & sit there in peace in the darkness for sometime.

Before you ask me, yes we gently explain all the reasons why we can’t get it immediately. She listens attentively & five minutes later “So we can go get the fish tomorrow, right???”.

Then we try various other tones & she will look glum, crushed & wretched in turn. But again 10 minutes later she’ll act like the previous conversation never took place and “Just one tiny fish pleeeeaaaaaseeee”

Finally the weekend arrived & all 4 of us trooped into the shop. We decided to pick a typical glass bowl with 1 goldfish & the amenities which came along with it. We told the kids to take a walk around, take their time & choose the ONE fish they wanted. I left the better-half discussing various options & prices with the salesman & joined the kids to check out all the different types of fish.

The kids ofcourse wanted a big white pretty looking fish bigger than the size of their palm which was very cutely following their fingers as they dragged it across the glass pane. I firmly directed their attention towards the smaller fish knowing very well that I was not ready for such a BIG responsibility. I made up my mind to find out everything on the net while at office the next day.

I went back to warn my better-half about the big white fish when I found him paying up for a BIG tank[well, much bigger than the glass bowl in mind] with all the amenties & 4 goldfish.

I panicked. I didn’t know anything about fish except for ofcourse how to eat them. Then the sales guy seeing a lucrative deal going downhill quickly stepped in, placed a Fish Manual in my hands & gave me a pep-talk about how ridiculously easy it was to maintain the fish tank. Ofcourse I didn’t fully believe him though I was sort of swayed. I then opened the fish manual to avoid eye-contact with this guy & the first picture I see is of a goldfish in a glass bowl & a RED X across it. It(the goldfish in the glass bowl ie.) can make an attractive centerpiece but keeping them in the bare and confined space of a bowl make them depressed, stunt their growth, prone to disease & kill them finally.

That decided it. Not glass bowl, no way....but then what. The kids will not budge from there without atleast 1 tiny fish. And no way was I going to put my fish in those tiny plastic tanks on display. If I was going to take responsibility for a fish, then I’m going to give him the best. That matter settled & I bowed to the inevitable.

So now we have a super looking aquarium with all the settings & 4 fish of the goldfish variety happily swimming around. The kids are thrilled & so am I. And the better-half has this very satisfied look about him.

Why do I get the feeling that he got one of his secret ambitions fulfilled????

Ps:- Just incase anybody was offended about my reference to Chinese torture, please note that:
The Discovery Channel series MythBusters investigated Chinese water torture in the season 3 episode found that dripping water on the forehead, was not particularly stressful. And most importantly, there is no evidence that this form of torture was ever used by the Chinese.