Friday, December 26, 2008

Life lessons learnt this year

Its been yet another eventfull trip around the sun. Some of the life lessons I've learnt this year:
1. Having a career AND a life is possible.
2. You know you have something amazing going on, when a friend manages to make you the happiest person alive.. from the other side of the globe.
3. Blood is often thicker than water...however there are exceptions.
4. You are not a doormat, enlightening people about this gains respect ;)
5. People can be a lot deeper than at first glance.. and possibly a lot shallower.
6. Last but not the least, NEVER underestimate the importance of a bottle opener. :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Unsung Heroes

The recent terror event in Mumbai left not only India shocked.. For Indians like me it was 3 days of sheer frustration and helplessness. I mean all I could do was sit glued to the TV in my living room and watch as people fell to bullets or got gutted in the fires. And as the world watched there emerged from this tragedy, Heroes. Martyrs who gave up their lives to keep the rest of us safe.. True while these men who made the ultimate sacrifice deserved every bit of appreciation, my mind wandered to the little pieces of news that had caught my eye during the round the clock telecasts. In my opinion very important news but that never seemed to make the highlight. Stories of the other kind of heroes, the ones who lived but had nobody to tell their stories.
Why do we sensationalize the martyrs while ignoring the living Heroes who deserve so much more than they've been given credit for.

Take for example the case of the senior police inspector who set a trap and caught the now infamous Ajmal Amir Kasab. This deadly criminal Kasab has by far been the most usefull link to the investigartors. He's been confessing very crucial information exposing the roots of the LeT (Lashkar e Toiba- the Millitant organization responsible for the attacks). Well now according to me whoever managed to catch this heavily armed terrorist alive, with nothing but a poor quality bullet proof vests and a near antique service rifle as ammunition, deserves the highest accolade there is to give. Put this man or men in the media spotlight, if only to show to the world at large - The brave WILL be rewarded. But that din't really seem to happen. The man was forgotten after a brief article in the news and the papers.

Antoher case that caught my eye was that of the South African commandos. They were a group of commandos who were on holiday. They rose to the occasion and were solely responsible for saving the lives of nearly 150 people at the Taj Mahal Hotel. These men went beyond the call of duty and did what few in their place would have done. Dont these brave men deserve more than a tiny article in the corner of the newspaper and a couple of minutes of TV coverage?

Then there was the case of a railway announcer. He risked his life announcing on the microphone at the railways station about the activities of the terrorists and guiding the passengers away from the carnage. He almost paid with his life when he narrowly missed a bullet directed towards him.

These are just few which caught my eye. There were many many more, stories of brave hotel staff, and of course the commandos who finally outdid the terrorists. Where are the rewards for these people? Where is the aprreciation they deserve that will encourage more people to be brave the next time a crisis presents itself?
I think its important that we honour the memories of our martyrs, but I think its a little more important to pay a bigger tribute to our unsung heroes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Now and Then...

It started when I went to my school reunion a week ago... yeah school reunions have this effect on people.. A rush of memories come back to you. As you see the people and the places which you'd frequent.. It all comes back to you.. The good and the bad.

Most of my memories were nice happy ones. But there were what I'd call smidgens of suppressed unpleasant memories.

I wasn't really a popular kid in school or belonged to what you might call a popular group. But we were very nice girls who'd talk to everyone n show no signs of snobbishness. Back then these bunch of girls who thought they were "superior" to us would sometimes attempt to humiliate us or pick on us. Going back to school and seeing those faces brought back some memories I'd completely forgotten about.

Now comes the good part :) What were these girls doing in life right now..? NONE of them seemed to have done anything halfway useful with their lives at all. Most of them were doing or had completed the easiest degree they could find or working in some unknown place just scrapping by. On the other hand (not trying to show off ;) ) me and my friends were well placed in life all of us either pursuing masters degrees or had become full fledged career women.

I know it sounds like I'm a selfish and vain person but I've never felt prouder of myself when a particular girl who picked on me, looked at me with this look of wonder and shock when she found out where I worked. At that moment I looked at my friends who not only led amazing lives but also looked gorgeous that day. The dumb, ugly and fat/skinny girls had transformed into beautiful engineers, a doctor, a couple of biotech experts and an MBA graduate in the making. There aren't words to describe the pride I felt that moment.

This also got me thinking. If only there was a way of knowing what lay in store for me in my future, my life as an 8th grader would've been so much easier. Just knowing that I'd be a lot more successful and better looking than the girl who called me a ugly and skinny little thing would've saved me a lot of pain.

But that day if I had known.. would I still have become what I am today..? Would I still have been a nice down to earth person or would I have been consumed with a false sense of vanity..? The later would've been closer to the truth. If I had'nt been picked on in high school would I have found that drive to achieve..? Most importantly would I have pushed myself to the limits to prove to myself that I was capable of being successful..? Nope..

Once this thought process had come to this conclusion the choir began to sing our school song.. We stood then and sang louder than we've ever sang..with big smiles on our faces..and goose bumps running down our spines... This time REALLY thanking our school(and all its specimens of human form) for making us who we are today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let it rain

Nope I wont give up trying to write sucky poetry :P

Twas a night I tread through the woods
whilst silence filled the wild.
As I walked in awe and a twinge of dread
thunder rolled above my head.
Soon the night smothered out the moonlight,
a slice of icy wind crawled up my spine.
I looked to the skies and saw em fall
slow at first glimmering like drops of stars.
Soon the heavens began to cascade
and the shadows continued to fade.
The cold was now almost in my soul
how I longed for a warm hand to hold.
"Why does fate have to be unfair?"
I asked the gusts of air.
They drifted to me carried by the wind,
these voices spoke from beyond...
"Do not despair, for beyond these realms
another soul walks.
Braving the dark and frost ridden night
he waits for the warmth of your hand.
The night is darkest before the dawn
and when twilight breaks your hearts will unite.
Until that time this pain will remain,
to ease it out we send you the rains.
Smile and you'll feel warmth arise,
in knowing that these woods
will teem with life once again.
But until that time arrives,
let it rain... let it rain."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I do belive in fairies :)

Over the past two months one of the main life challenges I've had to face is the process we all just take for granted "growing up". Lets face it I'm what you might call a mature person... Well 70% percent of the time.. The rest 30% I'm what my friends call a total wild child. But its never been black or white with me. I tend to bring humour along with me where ever I go and sometimes even in the most serious situations. Hence when I got my first job many people told me "Listen you've had your share of fun now its time to grow up." What exactly does this "Growing up" involve I ask and nobody's been able to give me a satisfactory reply.

Well as far as my own observations go I've met people who are barely a couple of years older than me but are "grown up". Then there are those who are well into their mid 50s and still have an air of fun around them. Then I realized what people say when they ask me to grow up. It most of the time means :

1. Dont laugh out loud even when something is really funny. A fake dignified chuckle will do the job.

2. Don't do anything spontaneous AND fun at the same time.

3. Mask your emotions beyond the needed decency level. A good example for this would be if you met your long lost best friend one day, you cant whoop in joy and give him/her a hug. You're just supposed to walk over with a neutral smile on your face and shake hands.

4. The most important rule of growing up. Don't ever have mischievous or naughty ( not THAT way!!!) or crazy ideas. If you do for the love of God don't implement them!( Well this completely rules out playing pranks apparently.)

Only when you follow the above rules are you considered a productive member of society. Utill then your just a silly child.

Well I've made up my mind if growing up involves following even one of the fun(read the sarcasm will ya?) rules above, I solemnly swear that I REFUSE to grow up!!
Yeah well you heard it I'm going to remain this free spirited wild child even when I'm in a nursing home in some retirement colony. So if someone has a problem with that, they better watch out. Because just maybe the next prank's gonna be on them!

Ever heard of or read the story of Peter Pan- The boy who never grew up? Well he says when a person grows up and stops believing in fairies a fairy dies. In my world that roughly translates to a person who stops believing in the magic of life's simple pleasures. Well just for the record I do, I do believe in fairies!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OUB - The Order of the U******** Beauties

Dedicated to the sister hood. Love you girlies soooo much *hugs*. Was supposed to do this for friendship day last week. Kindly excuse the dealy :)

They say every great group in history has a wonderful tale behind it... Well ours is a simple one really. Here's how it goes..

The OUB consists of 5 friends who've known each other from kindergarten. They got to know each other a little better in 7th grade over playground games and lunch break discussions. Before they knew it they were in separable. They'd been through it all each other's first crushes heart breaks and many other little events that makes a little girl grow up. When they left school they never really made any promise to stay in touch. But stay in touch they did! They met up once in a few months but thanks to the advent of technology they pretty much knew every single detail of each other's lives. Just goes to show how true companionship needs no promises.
Pretty soon our little beauties were all grown up, but still single :) Yes every single one of them. But did they fret about it...? nope.. They instead realized the sisterhood they shared would take them through any curve ball life would throw at them. Thus one lazy Sunday afternoon somewhere along the bylanes of Brigade road the OUB was founded. The sisters of this order love each other so much and have actually reached the degree of closeness that they now are capable of even reading each other's minds.. Lets meet these unique individuals who share this lovely bond

Athena: The goddess of wisdom this one. Smart with a quirky sense of humour this girl has amazing patience. Which she needs inorder to deal with the vast number of mental cases that seem to endlessly surround her. Kind hearted and simple and a great support to the order.

Nimbus: The girl with a boy's name. This goddess is famous for her helping nature and the ability to smile and be nice even to people who don't deserve it. Never fails to cheer up the rest of the order. A wonderfull example of an ideal friend.

Fortuna: The goddess of creativity. Seems silent but is a bundle of good ideas. Be it great fashion sense or her take on the male species you know whom to go to whilst in the quest for an honest opinion. Sweet and sensitive girl who'll keep your secret safe.

Artemis: The goddess of good times this one. One extra bubbly girl who's sense of fun is highly contagious. There'll never be a dull moment with this one around. Always ready to help or listen to endless sob stories this girl knows just how to make you feel loved.

Aphrodite: The goddess of gab. This girl is famous for her capability to keep the conversation going. Though her stories are never boring. Sweet and caring girl who can switch in a moment from being a silly child to a mature adult as her friends need her to be.

The bond that these goddesses share is more than 10 years old now and is stronger than ever before. They have transformed together from being silly little girls to mature independent women. Over the coming years their bond will only get stronger.

One of the principal missions of the OUB is to see that all of them go from U to T. One day in the not so distant future they will make the transition. The order claims that Aphrodite is not U any more but she says that what she did is not good enough to be considered T.

Today the order continues to enjoy the adventures the sisterhood has to offer with Aphrodite now officially the godmother to help the others make the transition from U to T.
They are confident that no matter where life takes them or what ever ocean or continent separates them they will forever remain soul sisters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Darwin was a genius

The following is purely non fictional. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely intentional.

Charles Darwin once coined the phrase "Survival of the fittest". Little did he know the magnitude of what he was talking about.

Well I'm not talking about natural selection or evolution of species... I'm talking about evolution of a different kind. Human survival.

No again not talking about air, water, food or shelter. The basic nature of adaptablity is something I've been thinking of. How people change... How they resist change..
All of us go through major life changes every once a while.. new school, new job. Not everything is perfect in the new place. What do people do when they dont seem to find company or detest the surroundings for some reason..?

One of 2 things

Either leave their prejudices behind and go talk to the people around... If they aren't exactly their "type" they just change their idea of "type" entirely and go with the flow.. Sure they feel rather uncomfortable for a few days but then they get used to it and start having fun. If its the surroundings that bother them they try changing it or at least find some positive aspect about it.

Then others on the other hand don't mingle at all for a long time... Or mingle very minimally and constantly crib about the surroundings and rant about how much better things used to be or could have been.

Over the last week I've met both sets of people.. The 2nd sort are happy to begin with preferring to be alone than to be in "wrong" company. Or derive some weird satisfaction by telling every soul in hearing distance how perfectly horrid everything is. But as the days go by they get depressed and a vicious cycle starts there. The end result is a dull boring life and poor performance at work or school.

The other set find it a little exhausting at first trying to understand these new people around and manage with whatever they can get. But in some time they are happy and positive and lead comparatively active lives.

But people are not strictly black or white.. Everyone eventually moves on and gets accustomed but not without leaving that bitter taste behind. It all just depends on the individual's ego and the time which they take to 'crossover'.

The human ego is probably the biggest hurdle to happiness. So if you cant beat em... what are you waiting for..?? Go join em!! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New beginings and happy endings and a bunch of crap inbetween

Disclaimer: The following contents are mildly disturbing. No substance abuse of any kind was involved.

I'm excited.. I'm scared.. I'm relieved...I'm insecure... I'm tired...I'm ecstatic... I'm shocked.. I'm sad.. I'm optimistic..
And I have to remind myself to breathe..

Its not fair that I have to handle ALL these emotions at the same time. But that's life I guess.. All or nothing.

I'm excited because I'm now officially employed.

I'm scared two fold because I have no idea what lies ahead AND because I'm expected to grow up in exactly three days.

I'm relieved two fold that today I successfully finished my engineering degree AND got my offer letter.

I'm insecure three fold. First because I'm leaving the security of my student routine. Second because this new path I have to walk alone. Third because I miss my best friends who would've somehow made this all way easier to handle.

I'm dead tired.. drained.. exhausted.. more emotionally than physically.

I'm ecstatic because this is technically one of the happiest days of my life.

I'm shocked because two people I really care about are having the toughest day and night of their lives so far.

I'm quite sad but I still haven't figured out why.

I'm strangely optimistic because the worst is behind me and the best, I know is yet to come.

That's for all the emotions I identify. There's stuff brewing in my brain which I don't even recognize. I so wish someone was reading my mind right now boy would they have a high voltage jolt. I have a million thought running through my weeny little head, not all of them very pleasant.

Wait I feel like I'm forgetting something... Oh yeah!!! BREATHE

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another milestone behind me..

They say the years you spend in college will probably be the best years of your life. Well... its true!!

Here I am a couple of weeks left for the last engineering exams I'll ever take... and it still hasn't sunken in.. that this is it... its over...

I really wont be missing the exams and the tension much :) but I'm sure as hell gonna miss all my friends! It's hitting me little at a time.. no more singing songs in the back benches during lectures.. No more taking crazy pics in class.. Never again will I open my homemade lunch in the canteen and watch a dozen hands tear up my mother's cooking... No more group cramming for internals in the last minute (where we ended up laughing more than we studied).. No more getting yelled at by the owners of ice cream parlors and coffee shops because we made "excessive noise"...No more people having crushes on each other in college.. even worse no more pulling anyone's leg about their crushes! How could I forget no more wild partying ( especially not on top of buses at 3 a.m atleast! ).

Obviously we all plan to stay in touch but I wonder how many of us actually will find the time to do it. I think the friendships you make during this time defines who you become and shapes your personality. Sure I'll meet a bunch of new people and make some more great friends... but the friends who stood by you when you came of age can never be replaced. I will look back on these years and it'll probably hard to pin point the exact time that I made the "transition" into adulthood but I'll always remember all the people around me when it happened. I hope I've grown up enough to make it in the real word without the constant support of all my buddies.

Ive been trying to rephrase this next line because its something everyone says all the time and don't really mean it. I've been trying to put it in a way to bring out its meaning and to prove to everyone of my friends how much I mean it. But looks like there is just one way of saying it after all... I'LL MISS YOU GUYS SOOOOO MUCH!!!!

I wish the very best to each and every one of you!! Hope life treats you fair everyday!! Will see you all in all the happy reunions to come :) take care

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Birthday wishes for a special friend

Happy birthday smiley!!!! enjoy!! ;)

Dear Smiley,

We make friends everyday. But finding that special bond is realllly rare. Im glad I found that in you!! You make me feel special in a way that I cant really explain. If I'm a happier and better person today its because you played a major part in it. Your the best friend anyone could ask for :) and the memories of the fun times we had will stay with me forever! (I hope theres lots more to come!!)

I'm glad that though the Indian ocean today lies between us things are pretty much the same. There hasn't been a time so far that you've failed to cheer me up( or pull my leg) and I hope I've been half as useful to you :P Just want you to know that you can count on me for anything. I'll always be your partner in crime. (AND your very own stalker ;) ) I hope one day we do manage to kill "you know who" together!!

I know best friends forever sounds cliche but count me in!! :) Have a wonderful birthday in the land of the OZ!!
*giant bear hugs* ;)

- Ms Mantis

Monday, April 7, 2008

Soul Song :)

Yet another futile attempt to rhyme.. what the heck I couldn't care less as long as the feeling shows :D

The sun has risen in the east

The fresh air feels like a treat

There's a smile on my face

And my heart’s a bubblin

Bubblin with happy

My worlds technicolor again

Why this sudden surge of joy

I cannot explain

I can feel the love that goes around

I can hear a distant sound

Like tiny little bells tinkling

A wave of soothing feeling

That which feels like melted chocolate

Or the warmth of my favorite blanket

Im still tingling at my finger tips

Breathing in this magical bliss

Sure it might rain now

But I know I’ll find it somehow

A little ray of sunshine

Just enough feel fine

And get my heart a bubblin

Bubblin with happy

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The dreaded M word

Well there I was... a happy little girl who was on the brink of finishing college and waiting to start a new life with brand new possibilities. My future was filled with promises of a career which brings with it freedom( read ka ching) , plans to do all kinds of fun things with my friends, partying and basically enjoying the single life. And then it crept up from behind me and BOOM Im running for the hills !!

It started when I was roughly a little older than 20 and word had gotten around that I have been placed in IBM. I was at a wedding of a distant relative and was busy in a conversation with my cousin when a lady I vaguely knew called me over. When I went over to her table she asked me to sit. She and another familiar looking lady turned their chairs to face me. "You are Vidya's daughter right? " she asked. When I said yes and asked what the matter was they just kept scrutinizing me. Scanned me from head to toe in a similar fashion to guys checking girls out. Then came the questions "Where are you placed?", "What are your plans for the future..?", "Can you cook..?", "Have u been trained in carnatic music..?" It went on and on like the stress interview from hell.!!! I was panicking and ran from the place the minute I got the chance. When I got back to my seat I found my cousin laughing uncontrollably with tears running down his face. When he saw the expression on my face he asked me "Do you know who those ladies were..?" I said I didn't know and he said "That's XYZ and ABC's mothers and I think they were interviewing you as a potential daughter in law!!". OH MY GOD I freaked. That was when I started being scared of the M word.

Another day I caught my mom stealthily using the computer. She was going through matrimonial websites!!! Heck I dint even know my mom knew how to switch on the comp and there she was surfing and printing out "interesting" profiles!! I gave her a earful but she insisted that she was just looking for fun and not "searching" seriously. NOW I was well into the panic zone.

Just when I'd gotten over the incident I was casually logging on to facebook one day and found an update from my school mate. It said she was married. I though it was a joke. Then I visited her profile and saw it wasn't!!! She really was married with complete pictures of her wedding!! I was still stunned when my best friend called and I burst out with this new information.. "WHAT is she out her freaking mind..??? shes 21 for God's sake" came the reply. Why someone would want to give into life long commitment so early was beyond me. I mean I do know the legal age to be married in India is 18 for girls but I guess I never really thought of anyone I know actually taking the plunge so early in life.

Well that was just the start. Soon we heard of other girls who studied with us at some point getting married and some were even expecting!!! Hell everyone grew up and me and my few sane friends seemed to be the only ones running for it at the mention of the M word.

I've kinda gotten used to the whole thing now. I dont freak when strange people call my house and ask me how tall I am or what my "nakshatram"(birth star) is. Though I still find public functions a total nightmare. Wonder how long it'll be before first my parents bend under the pressure of the M word.. *shudder* This sadly is the state of most girls my age in the so called modern day and age. Apparently a girl is ready to be married off the minute she's done with her education. Oh nobody bothers if she's independent and financially secure and all that. Hopefully it'll be different one day.. Till then if you are a 20 something girl living in India RUN!!! HIDE!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dreams n Goodbyes

Probably the shortest I've written but probably the one that makes most sense to me :)

Dreams do come true. Maybe not exactly how or when you wanted it to happen but it happens..

Saying goodbye is probably the hardest thing to do... But 3 points to remember here are:-
1. You have got to be so lucky for the very fact that you have someone in your life whom your going to miss so terribly.
2. Goodbye is a two way handshake. Chances are the other party involved will miss you just as much.
3. The internet is an amazing invention... so.. its never goodbye forever.

"True friendship isn't being inseparable, its being separated and nothing changes"- anonymous