Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Satish

There are many views on birthdays. One school of thought thinks that a birthday is like any other day of the year—each day comes only once a year; So what is the big deal about a birthday? After all, it makes you a year older, and after one becomes an adult, I think most people dread birthdays.

The second school of thought believes that birthdays are truly special. We do not usually go all mushy over the ones we love or even tell them that they matter, on a daily basis. We are so busy leading our hectic lives, that expressing things like these are pushed aside. A birthday is one day that you can really tell the person how much that person matters to you. It is a celebration because that person is special. Birthdays are only as special as the people who have them!

I belong to the second school of thought. If a person is important to me, I usually make a BIG effort to make the day truly special for them. Tomorrow is very special to me. It’s the birthday of the most important guy in my life—Satish.

I met him in 1995. This is the 14th birthday of his that we will be celebrating together. Each year I have done something really different and unique for him. One time I bought him a guitar and arranged for guitar lessons (Something he always wanted to do but was never getting the time for).Another time, I got him really professional art supplies and he loved it, as he used to be very good at pencil sketching but the rigorous demands of his career had made this talent of his take a back seat. He has made some wonderful sketches since then. Another time I made an entire book for him, replete with photos, paintings and happy memories that we shared together. Yet another time (it was his 32nd birthday) I sent him 32 handmade cards—I had made each card. We couldn’t be together that year, as he was overseas on work, and I was expecting our first child. He was delighted when he got 32 cards, all painted by me.

This is the first time in 14 years that I have not done a single thing for his birthday (apart from buying a book and cards, which really isn’t anything special—at least not good enough for a person who means the world to me). Last one week has been very difficult. Satish was travelling on a business trip. I was working on a very important project. Both kids were ill. My daughter recovered and began going to school since Thursday—but my son is still not fully okay. The only time I got to do my work, has been the nights, and most nights I have stayed up till 1:30 am. Single parenting and managing everything on my own (especially two sick children) has left me stuck at home, unable to go out to buy anything.

So I am writing this post, to tell him how very special he is to me.

As I was typing this, he called from the airport, saying that he is just waiting to be back home again. He asked me what I was doing and I said “Ummm—nothing” :-)

And as for the gifts that will make the day memorable, I plan to bake a lovely chocolate cake for him, get the kids to make cards and from my side I plan to give him some really naughty redeemable vouchers which I am going to print out just now.Heh heh. There is a lot you can do with some imagination.

Yeah—I know he will like that!

Happy birthday Satish ! I am certain it will be happy . Really really happy. ;-)

PS:That’s a snap of Satish that I clicked without his knowledge—He hates it—but I love it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The little black dot


Apologies if you have come here looking for a post to read. This will soon appear in my 3rd book called 'A 2nd Jar of Bubblegums and Candies'. I had to remove it as making it available online would be very unfair to my publishers who have placed so much trust in me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is the meaning of life?

Apologies if you have come here looking for a post to read. This will soon appear in a book. I had to remove it as making it available online would be very unfair to my publishers who have placed so much trust in me. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding. Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Orkut and the X-men

It was a cousin of mine, a young girl who was getting married shortly, who introduced me to Orkut. Before that , like most people my age I was wary, suspicious and never really saw the need for it. The media reports sensationalizing every little thing to do with Orkut had created doubts in my mind too. After I started using it, I knew why people raved so much about it. It was so addictive, so easy to use, and best of all, it got me in touch with people whom I had shared such happy memories, yet lost touch, over the years.

Now I have been using it for more than two years and know my way around. :-)

What amuses me no end is the kind of men I come across here. Women are mostly wary and most women have a ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of message on their profile. And I know why—its just because those really desperate-wannabe-hero type of men out there. I classify them as under:

! 1. The loveship-fraindship types: These typically send you requests solely,purely and only because of two reasons

a. you are a woman

b. you are a woman :-)

Typically their requests run like this

ur pic is very nice
can u add me ur friend list
i know u have more friends
give one chanc to me i m profe to gud for u
i have allso gud friend in we r a very gud friend.can u add me??????????????"”

I delete the scrap and the request without a seconds hesitation—and to be doubly sure I go and remove it from my trash-can as well. I can’t bear the the thought of it polluting my beloved g-mail.

2. The Maska-chaska types : These usually praise anything about you. If you have not used your photo, they praise the display picture you have chosen. If you have mentioned books as your interest they claim they love people who love books.(not books mind you, but people)If you have used a snap of yours, then they praise everything.

I usually delete these too. But I let them stay in my trash can for a while :-) (I am a woman after all)

3. The no-intro types: These straight away send a friend request. No introduction, no scrap, no politeness, no sense! Of course I don’t bother with these.

4. The IIT-IIM types: Many people who have that qualification think that they ought to be in your friends list, just because they have cleared the JEE and the CAT. What irks me is their intellectual arrogance and the lack of basic etiquette, manners and courtesy. Of course, everyone from IIT/IIM is NOT like that. But I know a few specimens who list it prominently on their profile like it is the ultimate thing in life (Maybe in their life it indeed is.) I don’t refer here to the communities they are a part of which is totally acceptable, as after all it is only natural, because it is where they studied. What I am talking about is those guys who put ‘IIT-IIM’ in their ‘about me’ on their profile and nothing else—like it is the only thing about them that matters.

5. Celebrity-photo types: These guys will never have picture of them anywhere on their profile or album. It is usually filled with pictures of celebrities. I find it really pointless. Are you so ashamed of who you are that you hide and worse you fill your album with pictures of celebrities? What is the purpose or point? I don’t know!

6. Okay guys: This category is the by far the best. These guys use their own pictures. They list out their likes and dislikes. They don’t pretend to be what they are not. There are no ‘sexy aunty looking for _______’ in their friend list or their community list. They also list whether they are single or married or ‘committed’. They usually are well-read, can make decent conversation and are not blatant woman chasers, at least on the face of it. (What they may be thinking in their minds is another matter altogether) And yes--they can include guys from category 4.

No wonder then that I am, like most women, so wary of friendship requests from men. There are only very few good ones out there.

I usually go and see the profiles of whoever has visited my profile. Today I got a friend request which said that I had left footprints in his profile and therefore I MUST add him at least now! (What a choice of words!) I wanted to respond back that I usually accept friend requests from men I don’t know, only if they make an application in triplicate, and get it approved and signed by my husband. (Who is also on Orkut and is prominently featured in my profile in the testimonials section. heh heh.) Satish said to tell him that he would leave hand imprints, not foot prints, if he continued sending such requests.

But I knew better. I just deleted the request and the scrap. :-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The town mouse and the country mouse

Before we moved into this house, a large one, where we now live, we lived in another city (seems like another time) in an apartment on the sixth floor, overlooking one of the busiest roads, in India. Up to late in the night the sounds that I could hear were all city sounds—cars honking, traffic, construction noises, music blaring, parties, the BPO workers getting dropped and picked up, people taking breaks from work ,televisions blaring, parents yelling at kids, kids retaliating back, garbage trucks arriving, vacuum cleaners whirring and so on. While I lived there, I thought nothing of those sounds. I didn’t even notice them, or think about them as they were so much a part of daily life.

Then we moved to this city (actually a town compared to the earlier place I was staying in) about two years back. The children’s school was on the outskirts (which is just 6 kilometres from the railway station which is in the centre of the city—so you can imagine how small a place this is) and we ended up renting this house, which is on top of a hill, along with a few other houses in a lovely residential complex. We fell in love with it, as soon as we saw it. (The fact that the prices for rentals were so little compared to the earlier place also aided the decision!) The hills surrounding it are a verdant green, and the drive up to our home is so picturesque—and even though I must have done it now more than a 100 times, I still don’t get tired of admiring the picturesque, alluring, almost idyllic surroundings.(On the left is the view from my bedroom window.See that bird? It visits me everyday without fail, entertains me with a song and goes away.I have a bird bath too in my garden)

It is so quiet here, that at night, one truly understands what silence means. Deathly silence punctuated by sounds of insects. Early mornings are a pleasure. The sunrise from my terrace is like a gift from heaven, sent unfailingly each day—just as beautiful, just as enchanting. Some days, the sun peeps out shyly from behind the clouds. Some days the redness and brightness spreads slowly like an absorbent sponge soaking up water. Some days , it seems like the sun is in a hurry to get out and it arrives without any warning as though it has been hurled angrily out of the sky. I have clicked a countless photos of the sun in various moods, from my terrace.

The sounds I hear most now are chirping of the birds. There are so many varieties-- I wish I knew their names.We are fortunate enough to have a lovely garden and a nice covered patio that opens out into the garden.(The picture right on top) When it rains--and it is raining a lot these days-- my favourite activity is to sit in my rocking chair, in my patio, sipping tea, reading the newspaper. Invariably one of the children will come and sit in my lap, and we will gently rock back and forth together, soaking up thoughts, love and many such things.

We have a kitchen garden too. We have grown coriander, spinach, fenugreek leaves and the latest addition is green chillies. My two little chilli pluckers had a wonderful time today. We weighed the harvest. It was 540 grams!(yes that is a picture of the chillies plucked this morning) This is the second time we are plucking them—the last time’s harvest was promptly converted into green chilli pickle. (Made by my mom as she was visiting us then) Today, I made three packets of about 150 grams each and told my children to go and give it to our neighbours—a gift from our garden. They felt proud doing that too. They had been involved with the garden right from the start, and we had dug the soil, prepared the beds, sowed the seeds and watered it and even fed it natural manure like potato and carrot peels from the kitchen. I felt so contented too—it is great to see your efforts bear real fruits. (Pun intended)

Sometimes I miss the city life. Well, not really the city life, but the kind of people one encountered there--a great melting pot of culture, a smorgasbord of opinions, lifestyles and outlook. But the next moment ,my eye is drawn to a flower that has bloomed and that bird that comes every single day, to the tree outside my bedroom window, chirps loudly, and I go back to savouring it slowly.

I don’t know if you have read the story the ‘Town mouse and the country mouse’. I have and I think there is a bit of both in me!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finding the right woman to marry

Here is the much awaited post!! (scroll down and see previous one) Satish had a great time writing it. :-) Hope you have a great time reading it as well :-)

Addendum: This post too (like the last) was chosen in 'Top news blog plog posts' and now appears in the home page of Reuters , today. (6th August 2008)!
Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Finding the right man to marry

Addendum: this post was chosen as 'Top news blog post' on Reuters today(4th August 2008) and now appears on the home page of Reuters India!

Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.