Can you do a Poonam Pandey or an Anna Hazare for your country?
It started when I was 13 and ended at 25.
Just like any other teen romance that eventually ends when you reach adulthood, I finally closed the Harry Potter chapter of my life. Thank God its over! The characters of the series I grew up with, progressively grew darker and more complex. The movies were the ultimate testimonial to the once stark moral universe of Harry Potter turning eventually into something increasingly shady with prickly, very confusing questions of good and bad. I m glad Rowling put an to this madness.
Hello blogdosts! Few weeks back I got this surprising email stating that #somewonderfulpeople read my blog and liked it. And they wanted me to be the Guest Columnist in theviewspaper.net. Never have I written anywhere before (besides this sacred space), and little did I knew what would come next.
Ah, the beauty of virgin column writing -- its frustrating to the core! And for the first time I could sympathize with men and their "performance anxiety" fear(maybe for completely different situation but feelings are all the same) - will they like it? will they hate it? did i come on too strong? or was it a phus-phus attempt? did i make any grammatical mistake? were my analogies good enough? were the past writers much better than me? why do they even like my writing 'coz I m sweating my pants off!!
Mind you, sentences don't come easy, especially when you need them the most. Its a frustrating, sad and disappointing journey till you get them right. To battle with each sentence, twist it in different ways and then finally
strike them off mercilessly, has been quite a masochistic writing journey. If the Trash folder was turning out to be my new bestfriend, I was being a great torturer for my #bffontheothersideoftheinternet. Everytime I had a "cool idea" I badgered him to listen to me. A quid pro quo for solving all most of his life's problems.
Whether its while crunching data at work or after waking up to a nightmare, the absolute truth is, I get pleasure in my struggle with words. Just like Dravid does everytime he hits through the line.
And without further delay, blogdosts, I give you my Virgin Column.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re now ready to start boarding the flight
After spending doggone hours in the transit, these words are like music to my ears. Waiting is no fun; especially when you are in desperate need of rest or just travelling alone at all weird hours of the day. But such experiences can often manifest into various reflections of life.
I love being in an airport, and enjoy the thrill of travel and change that comes with it. Each is unique in itself, buzzing with life and creating a pseudo-reality within its walls. One can witness the vortex of human existence right there. Thousands of lives cross paths everyday, sharing nothing in common but, the air they breathe in and the floor they walk on. The place becomes quite a reminder, that despite our differences, we are not alone in our journeys. Life is synonymous with the airport, and the various flights we take mark the transitions in our respective lives.
It all starts when we reach the airport. We wheel our bags to the airline ticket counter, show our ID to the agent, pass through the security, check the flights chart and then proceed towards the departure gate. We expect the flight to take off on time and fly without incident to its destination. But if there is bad weather, a breakdown in communications, a breach in the security or any other eventuality that might affect our journey, we are normally more than upset.
Similarly, as long as our businesses, our jobs, our studies or our relationships etc. are up and running, wwe pay minimum attention to them and expect everything to just work. But things do go wrong in life. And just like malfunctioned airplanes can’t complete their journeys, we too will not reach our destinations or goals when important aspects of our lives are malfunctioning. It is only then we realize the importance of balancing work and life.
The airport also provides the most interesting backdrops for someone who enjoys observing people and imagining their life stories. It is amusing to watch travelers, specially an hour and half before their flight. That’s when they are naturally vulnerable, open and exposed - the nervous chatter of the first timer, the relaxed gait of the vacationer, or the bored expression of the frequent traveler.
And if you enjoy interacting with people from different walks of life, airports give great opportunities. For a few hours, your paths will cross but once, so why miss this chance on knowing someone in a personal way? Learn people, and you will be surprised to find yourself in the crowd. If you listen to that hum, you can hear individual voices. And if you listen more closely, you may even hear yourself.
Of course, the idea of flying thousands of miles away from everything familiar might make your insides clench. But all you need is some faith in the first step – boarding the plane. The rest comes easy, as incredible experiences await you!
Fun-sized creative package.
It's hot up in here
DJ don't be scared to run this, run this back
I'm repping for the girls who taking over the world
While you are grooving to this new peppy number by Beyonce´, the world is actually being taken over by two new superwomen. A big salute to the new IMF chief Christine Lagarde;and also to Yingluck Shinawatra, the new Prime Minister of Thailand. If one is the finance minister of a G-8 economy, the other tasted politics since her embryogenic days. And both of them will be the first women ever to hold their respective new positions.
From today, Christine Legarde will be the managing director of the International Monetary Fund for the next five years. While she's not a trained economist, she has made her mark as the first woman finance minister of France. Her roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and frank manner had set her apart from the lofty figures of French politics. Now as the IMF chief, her main worry will be to avert the resurgent Greek crisis that could quake markets around the world and threaten the future of the euro currency. Eh bien Madame´, you are a trail blazer for women from Chicago to Paris in halls of power long dominated by men. May you save the Euro!
Moving onto Bangkok's Little Sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, she will be joining the ranks of women world leaders such as Indira Gandhi, Shiekh Hasina, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Benazir Bhutto and Corazon Aquino, after a landslide win of her party Puea Thai(For Thais). One look at her, and you will know that this telegenic woman has all the charisma and the determination to forge a national reconciliation in a politically-divided country that witnessed violent clashes last year. Only six weeks into her political career, she has been often monikered as "the clone" of her self-exiled brother, the ex Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra.
So what exactly sets these girls apart? Are they more assertive and persuasive than their male counterparts? Many believe that women leaders are more empathetic and flexible, and also have strong interpersonal skills. But I think its their "I will show you" attitude when faced with adversities and setbacks, thats acts as the biggest driving force.
Closer to home, there is one such woman I would love to see ride to power - the savvy Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Not only she is the splitting image of her Grandma Gandhi, but she also projects similar political astuteness. And the fact that she chose family over politics, strengthens her candidacy for the country's hot seat. No doubt she is and will be campaigning for her brother, Rahul Gandhi to be the Prime Minister for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The act itself reflects a sense of self sacrifice on her part to uphold the integrity of the Gandhi family. As much as I would love Rahul Gandhi to be the next PM, he is also disturbingly single. And majority of the Indian janta are family oriented people, who still believes that a man becomes more responsible only through marriage. So unless Rahul Baba decides to tie a knot and actually prove that he can balance his family and country with equal stride, chances of him sitting in that chair are pretty feeble. Besides that strain of DNA is too good to get wasted, it has to replicate(sans the Arnold Schmucker way!).
Long story short, domination as a leadership style is becoming less and less popular. There is a new growing appreciation for traits that women use to keep families together and to organize volunteers to unite and make change in the shared life of communities. These newly admired leadership qualities of shared leadership; nurturance and doing good for others are today not only sought after but also indeed needed to make a difference in the world. A feminine way of leading includes helping the world to understand and be principled about values that really matter.
I m in a super cakelicious mood today. My guinea pig, ie. the little brother, has come home!! Now I can start my next batch crazy cake experiments. The old folks in the house couldn't stomach few of my earlier recipes, like the Masala Chai cake. Mom's verdict - a cake should taste like a cake, not basil soup. Honestly I hate to conform to the familiarity when the creative juices start flowing. And that happens to almost all spheres of my life. No wonder my kitchen lab was temporarily shut down.
But not anymore. My iron-stomach guinea pig is here! Its great to have someone like that in the family. He happily gobbles down my experiments with food. Most were good(as I would like to believe it), and others were bad. And He survived them all.
Anyways, Delhi-Belly dekh li? Omg, it was filthy yet fun. A movie you will love to hate, or hate to love, whichever suits you better. Not for faint hearted, puritans and old people. Right from the first gaali to the last scene in the car(crazy and unpredictable), iss movie ne toh censor waalon ki vaat laga di! Did I like it? I loved it. The movie was like a chaata(slap) in the face of all the hypocrite moviemakers who does nothing but 'clean' cute and peppy love stories, giving the Indian youth a role model loser image. Guess what, we are not like that!
This movie champions everything tabooed here - incessant use of F-word, sleazy songs, some very graphic use of desi abuse, tiny bits of dry humping and muff diving (the prudish strain of DNA still lingers, give us some of more time. We are only one or two movie away from the actual hump-de-bump show), and lots of toilet humor. This movie maybe no Hangover 2, but the brilliant ensemble did a better job than Zach Galifianakis and the weener jokes. My only dissapointment, Imran Khan's look. I know the role demanded Tashi to have a unshaven look, but I m so used to Imran's cute take-me-home look. I mean he is the kind of guy you can introduce to your mom. But first look at Tashi, and I was like, that facial hair has to go(Even his on-screen girlfriend complained about it, but completely for different purpose). Vijay Raj as the uber-cool gangster with his comical gang of goons and their torture regimes (ass-cracker, hello?) made me fall out of the chair. In short, Abinay Deo's nonchalant direction is quite admirable. He doesn't try hard to shock and awe you, or just drive you crazy with riots of laughter. But the turn of events kinnda kick you in the gut. You can try, but you cannot just not laugh.
Hello Blogdosts! I seem to have vanished from this page for quite sometime. But kya karu? I was busy with my latest muse. Baking cakes. Just baked a chocolate-orange cake today morning at 5!! In my defense, there were frequent power cuts last evening and I couldn't bake it. Hence I didn't sleep properly, as I dreamed of the frosting design and the ingredients in my sleep. so before hitting the gym at 6, I had to bake it. And it makes me happy that my parents had slices of freshly baked cake with their morning tea. Yay!
Ever since I have discovered my newfound baking skills(since last post), I have been at my best obsessive-impulsive baking spree. Checking up new recipes on the net,and trying them out in the evening everyday - my kitchen now smells like a pastry shop. Oh yes, I love it! In my defense, Father's Day is around the corner. And papa loves my baking goodies, hence I plan to dedicate my best cake to him. But of course, mom has begged me to stop, because they are too delicious for her to resist. And they just add up to her ever increasing waistline. How I wish my little brother was home this time of the year? Come home soon, ok kiddo? There is cake-o-mania in the house right now. And I need you to finish up my experiments! Because as much as I love baking cakes, I have a habit of shying away from sugar myself.
Anyways, back to Father's Day baking plan, I want to give a shot to fresh fruit cakes. I specially find them complex. The fruit can't get gooey or too dried up. It just have to lock in the right amount of moisture. Which reminds me, a moist-super creamy cake would be the best.
What do you think?
Birds do it, bees do it, and men in power do it, it appears – yet again – with extravagant abandon. The french came up with the notion of droit du seigneur, the special sexual liberties that the ruling class can enjoy. Take a look at the avalanche of incidents making headlines recently. All the 'Le Perv's have suddenly become 'Le Idiot-Savant's. Just imagine the elite Rhodes scholar assumed that anything in White House goes unnoticed, unrecorded or unrepeated. Or the disgraced ex-IMF chief being publicly warned in 2007 by equally devious French Prime Minister to "avoid taking the elevator alone with interns. France cannot permit a scandal". What about you, Mr. PM?? Not to forget Arnie's lovechild, Tiger Wood's porn-star addiction, Berlusconi's lurid "bunga-bunga" parties etc. Closer to home, we have a shiny example in Shiney Ahuja. Whats wrong with these powerful men ??
I m pretty disappointed with you guys. You are supposed to be shrewd, intelligent, and definitely discreet! Yes, I do understand that with greater power comes greater zipper issues (sic!). Blame it on the flow of blood in the wrong direction, a wife here and a wife there with few mistresses in the middle is not enough. I am not a feminazi, who is here to wallow about the tales of abuse inflicted on your poor victims. Nor am I interested in any transatlantic culture war - the famous European indifference to the private lives of their leaders Vs the American Anglo-Saxon puritan stance on the same. Honestly its very difficult even to sympathize with wives like Anne Sinclair, who told a Paris newspaper that she was "rather proud" of DSK's reputation as a ladies' man, a chaud lapin (hot rabbit) nicknamed as the Great Seducer. "It's important," she said, "for a man in politics to be able to seduce." Nor do I feel sorry for Maria Shriver who defended her husband's izzat in his 2003 campaign, while he was deceiving both her and her voters khullam-khulla!
What matters the most is prudence, a sense that anyone who has the previledge of power over others, should be discouraged from destroying themselves and their families. Power can be the ultimate aphrodisiac. With power comes both opportunity and confidence, and with confidence comes a sense of sexual entitlement. But just because an individual is a public figure, his/her bad behavior should never be overlooked or covered up. Any skills they might have developed for self-control earlier will quickly and easily deteriorate with slight indulgence. Hence I blame the society, the family and the enablers with a personal or political interest in protecting these "sick men" to the point of covering up their follies, indiscretions and crimes. We are the actual 'Le Perv's.
Just got back from my weekend getaway Funny I should call that. People travel to nearby places for the weekend, I travelled around 2000 kms for my retreat. And just the weekend was not enough. See here why. :)
This year Mother's Day falls on my birthday. I couldn't think of any better way to start the celebration than thanking the woman responsible for my existence. Thank you Ma. I m what I m today because of you.
Can’t wait to be 25 in a week!! I absolutely go gaga over birthdays-celebrating mine as well as others. Cakes, candles, gifts, treats and a total recall of the all shit done last year… I simply love the frills and ruffles of this occasion. But this birthday has more reasons to be special.
a)I enter the first quarter of my life (Someone once said, when you are 25 everyone will stop advising you..phew finally!)
b)I get to celebrate it with my cul-de-sac group in Goa! Gonna dance my way into 25..woot!woot!
c)I got accepted in my dream MS program. I never imagined I could make it.
d)Leaving home soon(or, rather running away) and happy to be on my own again. (Living with parents has its own perks, but for me, last 6 months was a personal hell)
e)Physically, I got my mojo back. It feels great to get conditioned and be back in the game!
f)My financial condition is still in the gutter. But this time, I m a poor in a zen-like state of life.
g)Emotionally, I m more sure of myself now. All my wants and needs have been neatly separated in rows and columns, never to be mixed and confused again!
But the only downside of being 25 is - marriage, that too arranged! It’s the curse of the Indian society. The assortment of over-zealous parents, relatives and nosy neighbors kindda makes life of a 25 year old singleton hell. Its not like I don’t have faith in this constitution. But everything has its place and time. For me, in the next 2-3 years I don’t see myself getting hitched to a guy and then be the CEO of his DNA. This is the “me-time” of my life, where I want to completely devote my energy and passion for my personal-growth. How difficult is it for the elders to understand this? Bah,humbug!
Anyways, leaving home and everything familiar behind eliminates the whole marriage scenario for good. Because I think I deserve more from this life. 24 saw me through a roller-coaster phase of my life. And there was ruin. But turns out, it was a gift in disguise. I got challenged to test my own limits, get out of my comfort zone and face the scary unknown. Even though I was kicking and screaming then, I kindda of like what it eventually did to me. I had my fair share of lemons thrown at me..but its tequila time now!
And I learned the most important lesson till date.
"You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find- you get what you need" ~ The Rolling Stones
While different countries are coming up with pompous state-of-the-art designs for buildings to mark their economic, technical and political hold in the world, India should focus on upgrading its prison facilities. Why?
With the recent "arrested development" of the country's corrupted Who's-Who, there is no dum in the prison facilities like Tihar. India's prisons now houses A-list inmates like ex-cabinet ministers - A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi, besides business honchos like Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Sanjay Chandra, Ramalinga Raju, and several other high-profile "chors and luteraas". A business-class is now a must in prisons. For you never know who will grace the prisondom hereafter(I m pretty sure Tamil Nadu's first family is next on the list)!
I m not sure what punishment is suitable for disgracing the nation. But these high-profile goons should never be let out of prison in their lifetime. Infact all the corrupted rich should invest in something called "prison-plan" rather than the usual retirement plans. The prison plan money can be used to build grand correction facilities that will include spas, beauty salons, gyms,presidential suites, honeymoon suites for couple miscreants(Talwars, anyone?), wine and good food served à la carte...infact a Hilton at Prison is not at all a bad idea! Atleast the black money in their Swiss bank accounts can be used to have a better prison life. Also nothing good can ever come out of blood money; even when used for society's cause it will carry the stain. Hence it should be perished with the owner.
I personally do not support crime and corruption, but sometimes one resorts to weirdest of ideas with the hope of keeping the neighborhood clean. If a 7 star correction facility can attract these high profile goons out of the streets, then why not? Maybe tomorrow the common man might get a chance to live in a much less corrupted society!
"Lets grow fat together" sounds really romantic and cute....but only in Hallmark cards! Because after sometime it becomes "lets grow fat and unhappy together"(courtesy: end of a year)..which might have the worst possible outcome of "till obesity do us part".
And a new blog too! Stalk the traveller in me in my new travel blog here
On my face..Finally I outgrew my upside-down blog image. And now its the real me. More like coming out of iPhoto closet. And I have to blame my new "going to be 25" avatar, for this. Oh how excited I am to enter the first quarter of my life!(more on that later). Plus I recently got a fresh lease of life.(promise to talk about it soon!!!) I guess 25 will add a whole new KISS KISS BANG BANG chapter in my life.
Follow me as I unfold this chapter!
"Worse than dengue or polio or tuberculosis. They should vaccinate us against it while we're born." ~The Zoya Factor.
Yes, that's cricket fever for you! And I don't think medical science will ever discover a cricket resistant drug and curb the ongoing insanity among the Indians. Why should they?
Indians hate Indians, most of the time. But last night a billion brown hearts dhak-dhakked manically in unison. Knocking the stuffing out of the three times world champion Australia, atleast bonded us over a common enemy in the cricket world. And I m glad the historic win took place in none other than the much communally clashed Gujrat.
Not that I support violence, but its great to see a passionate India once in a while. Generally we are a bunch of overly cautious and accomodating types. But when it comes to cricket, we surely make HBO's Spartacus run for their money. There might not be the graphic violence and explicit sex, but hey, the atmosphere got charged with high levels of testosterone. A possible baby boom might have even occurred after the last night's match. After all the nation did explode into a massive, riotious celebration.
My facebook homepage was flooded with victory messages, most of them sounding like warcries sugar-coated with gaalis. Blame it on the heat of the moment. I too did shout, whistled and made some unlady-like dance moves infront of the TV screen, much to my mom's horror. But what amazed me the most is that my Indian friends abroad were equally excited about the win, if not more, like the rest of my friends here. This proves one thing. You may take an Indian out of India, but you can never take cricket out of an Indian!
Come 30th March. India Vs.Pakistan won't be just a match. Its drama, tragedy, emotion..its like twin siblings with bleeding umbilical chords. There will be heartache, ulcers, loss in stupid bets followed by possible suicides, and definitely a plunge in the world's productivity that day...and the pitch will bleed BLUE once again!