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The New Stuff

Anything, Everything, All The Time

Hola people! Whatsup? I know I know, all of you are busy like crazy in your fast running lives. Hmmpphhh, well same here. Can’t believe it’s almost December now and this year is ending too! Hope everything is going great at your end.

You know I just attended a great conference, something that I was excited about but it turned to be truly enriching to me in more ways than I had envisaged. While there were many highs about the sessions in that conference (more on those later :)) but there was this one comment by an international speaker that I thought I must share with you all and ask your views on it. As is the case with any conference these days, the speakers were hardly getting any chance to speak as almost everyone in the audience had to speak something after every few minutes, wait let me say after every few ‘seconds’. No I’m serious, people these days have to speak anything on everything and that too all the time. Gone are the days when speakers used to wait for questions, today thanks to internet and the connected smart phones in our hands, everybody in the audience is super smart. Intelligence is available just at the click of our fingers and everybody has profound observations to make on almost everything.  People want to be noticed and broadcast their respective moments of fame on Twitter or Facebook or whatsoever social site that is work-in-progress right now. Same was going on in that conference too, mid way interruptions with “I think this” or “my opinion on this is that” kind of unnecessary comments along with “let me get a picture clicked with this celeb speaker” to “let me post this on twitter before anyone else”. Finally one of the international speakers commented – “You Indians are the chattier lot. No, I don’t mean any offence to you, it’s a good thing but among all present in this room from different countries, Indians have maximum opinions on most of the things.” Well, one look at her expression and you knew how ‘good’ she thought it was :D :P. Few of us laughed, few were embarrassed but after sometime, we were back to being the same.
While the session ended but I kept on thinking at her comment for long. Why do we have opinions on almost everything and that too such strong ones? Why do we have such poor listening skills but strong verbal skills? Why do we have this urge to prove “I’m the best” or “I know the best” all the time? Why are we always in a hurry to speak first and prove our point? Why are we always so insecure but trying to project to be oh-so-intelligent and confident all the time? While I personally like the warmth of our relationships and inter-personal equations in Indian culture but aren’t we also too judgmental of each other now? Partly you can say it’s in our culture but I think partly it’s also the age in which we are living in currently. We know too many things about each other now and of course we only know good things about others lives as that’s what we are busy broadcasting socially in our real as well as virtual world. Nobody updates the fight they had with their spouse last night but this one dinner on some rooftop restaurant must be broadcasted to all. And the ones who are having a fight today with their spouse heave a sigh of frustration at this update without realizing that the other one had already gone through similar fights yesterday :D.
Why are we always in this deep need of exhibiting our life to others and why is it increasing day by day? Some amount of competition is good in life but why this competition and pressure for anything & everything and that too all the time? This why and that why and many more whys...

Mary Kom: Must watch for every woman

Watched Mary Kom last weekend & to say that I was spellbound would be such an understatement! It was amazing and an absolute treat to watch for rare movie goers like me. Can’t believe I’m calling myself a rare movie watcher now but well that’s the reality of my life these days. This is the second movie that we have watched with the little one, first one being Humpty Sharma in July’14. Yes, you read it right, only two movies till now as I took him for a movie only when he turned 2.5 years old. Before that in last two and half years we got to watch only one movie in theater. On why and why not, a separate post later. In nutshell, didn't watch any movie in theater earlier with the little one in the interest of him as well as other movie goers :). And this reminds me I must write down a post on my experience and preparations of first movie with the little dude... hee hee, I’m sure most new parents would relate to it. And after all those preparations, junior actually slept after five mins :P. 

But in Mary Kom, he was awake with eyes big wide open and I think I was not surprised. He gets so excited with any sports and esp. the one that involves ball or dhishum-dhisham. And this movie had both, a bit of football and loads, rather truck loads of dhishum dhisham. He was even trying to imitate the punches sitting on his seat. And I’m happy that he watched it. Yes, I know at such young age perhaps he does not even know what he was watching but this is one Bollywood movie which I think I will make my son watch once he grows up. It’s so inspirational and simply outstanding. And I strongly think that not just kids but perhaps every woman (India or outside, teenager or adult) must-must watch this movie. 

Not only it highlights the odds that a girl has to face who dreams differently and dreams big, it also very beautifully brings out the realities of her life when she grows up to be a woman. That passion for her profession, that love for her family; those dreams and ambition, those realities and priorities; that craving for self identity, that devotion for relationships... well, I think I can keep on writing on & on ... Even though I have got nothing to do with sports profession but still I could relate to it so much as its not the reality of one woman or one profession. I think many, rather any woman can relate to it a lot. I only got back to my career full-fledgedly (wait, is it full fledged yet? Can it actually be full fledged ever? In a separate post later maybe :D) earlier this year and there have been so many moments where I just don’t know how to cope up with it any more but I'm still trying to adjust, balance it out and move on. I’m glad my husband insisted me to watch this movie. Definitely gives me more inspiration and courage to keep on following the path that I am on right now. And if I may add further, stories like that of Mary Kom should be actually included in course books, aren't these biographies more relevant for kids of today’s generation than what they get to read otherwise?

Let cynics be busy with their cynicism but I would surely like to say - thank you Sanjay Leela Bhansali for a biopic like Mary Kom, kudos to you Priyanka Chopra for presenting it to us so beautifully. You and the whole team totally rocked it! I was actually teary eyed in some parts of second half of the movie.

And Salute to Mary Kom for living such an ordinary yet extra ordinary life. After watching this movie, now I plan to know more about you by reading your autobiography too. May you keep on inspiring us like this forever! Some might find these words to be exaggeration but still I will say that women like you deserve standing ovation from the whole nation for not only what you have achieved but for your grit, determination & perseverance. Respect and some more respect.

Talking Parrot - 3

Crazy days, crazier nights! No wonder I have not come back to this space for almost 3 months now. 3 months and I must have got at least 13 posts saved in my drafts folder and another 30 in my must-blog-on-this list but damn... this daily madness of my life. A detailed post on what’s keeping me on my toes these days in another post later. For now, let me come back to yet another anecdote in my Talking Parrot series.

Yesterday it was one of those very tiring days; by night I was literally dragging myself to finish the daily chores. It was almost midnight and little one wanted to play basketball at that hour! Oh yes, craziness like these are normal affair in my household now. I have no idea from where does he gets all this energy, I have concluded that he runs on a battery and that too something more powerful than Duracell... chalta hi jaye, chalta hi jaye types. Anyways coming down to the talking parrot series, here’s a replication of the late night conversation between Mumma & Ni:

Ni: Mumma, tya hua? Abhi thelo na piliizzzz. Pilizz, pliiiiiizzzz (He uses “T” for “K” in hindi, so thelo is actually khelo in his language as of now :))
Me: (With a very tired expression), Not now Ni. Kal subah khelte hai
Ni: (Upset & silent with a pout, looks at me intently)
Ni again: Mumma tya hua? Tum thatt dayi ho (Tum thak gayi ho)?
Me: (with a sad face) Haan beta, bahot thak gaye hai. Sach mein

Ni runs to the fridge, comes back with something in his fist & asks me to sit down.
Ni: Mumma idhal aao, neeche baitho ne et (ek) min mere paas
Me: Haan baith gaye, bolo kya hua?

Ni immediately opens his fist, shows me some grapes and brings one to my mouth saying: Mumma ye grapes tha lo, tumhara sab thatt theet ho jayega, fruit thane se hum strong bante hai na (Mumma, ye grapes kha lo, tumhara sab thak theek ho jayega, fruit khane se hum log strong bante hai na. Of course it was me who was giving me this gyaan on eating fruits the same evening). 

And lo, Mumma was suddenly all awwww & oooo & teary eyed & lumpy throat! The next moment Mumma ate that grape and hugged him in her cheerful “ole mela beta” mood. Trust me just one grape fed by those tiny little hands and with a face full of innocent love were sufficient enough to charge me for another hour to play many rounds of basketball & football matches with him.

At times I wonder if moments like these are sudden or seeded in life. As they come unexpectedly on days when you’re really down or frustrated. And one such moment, just one is sufficient enough to make you realize that all this effort is worth it. Totally, absolutely worth it! :). Thank you God for this blessing in life!

The Unsocial Social

Have you seen this amazing short film titled 'Lookup' by Gary Turk? In case you have not, you must! It's an eye opener in true sense and just so pertinent for our times. 

We just shift our gaze from one device to another, one conversation to another, one action to another and one interaction to another but sigh... all those seemingly realtime actions or interactions are actually so virtual! Just how conveniently we have,
  • replaced gestures like appreciation or acknowledgement with Likes? So much so that if a real moment to appreciate comes, we fumble!
  • prioritized the need to share a good moment more than enjoying it? Or wait, was it actually a good moment or was it how we would like it to be projected in our virtual world? Perhaps too busy in our screens to even realize it!
  • fixated our eyes on our screen so much so that even in a real social circle, we are actually busy interacting with our virtual social world?
How many of you have actually got 10 tabs open in your laptop right now? Psstt... I do!
How many of you start googling some information about the actors or plot while watching any movie?
When was the last time you sat at your dining table or went to bed without your mobile?
How many of you talk to any person in front of you as well as browse your mobile device simultaneously?
How many of you go to a restaurant and after few lines of conversation get back to your Facebook or Twitter app?

Well, these and some more, few more, more and more Whens and Hows and Whys remain unanswered in our lives. Considering the love for digital media that I have, it's very surprising that a post like this is coming from a person like me but then I do think on this quite often now. I wonder many a time as to why did I put my book down just because of that notification for some stupid whatsapp joke? Or that comment trail alert on my mobile app for Facebook? Definitely that was not more important than the piece I was reading or the post I was writing. Why isn't that group of friends on my next table in this coffee shop chatting more in real life instead of taking pictures, uploading and commenting on their respective screens? Wait, whatever little real life conversation that they are having right now is actually revolving around those comments and likes on those pictures in their screens!

Why do they call it social networking when all it does is make people more unsocial? Why...

India Unlimited: Book Review

I think I have read a short story collection after really long and that too thankfully turned out to be good, something that I enjoyed throughout. India Unlimited – as the book cover rightly says is a collection of short stories from a nation that’s caught between hype & hope. Authored by Kulpreet Yadav, this book has 31 short stories set against the backdrop of evolving India.

Enthralling, Engrossing & Enjoyable - my 3 word reaction for this book would be these! Even though I’m not very much of a short story person but still managed to finish the whole book over a weekend. Interest in one story led to another and so on. Things that I loved about this book:
  • Intense emotions presented in such a simple language.
  • Poignant plots, some of the stories never looked like initially could be concluded in a short story, but they did and that too beautifully.
  • Variety of themes, I mean this book actually presents gamut of varied emotions in 191 pages.
It’s difficult to decide whether I liked Billu’s story in A Familiar Stranger more or Ram’s emotion from The City of Mirrors but amongst all if I have to go for one, I think I would pick the first story of Not the only Peanut Seller Who Hasn’t Heard of Osama Bin Laden – it’s nice and simple and emotional or The Beautiful People which is again simple yet very hard-hitting. Did I not like anything about this book? Nothing very strongly but yes, definitely found 2-3 stories to be quite vague.

Overall, a book that I enjoyed and surely recommend as a quick read for your weekend. Even if you are not much into short stories but enjoy reading stories about human emotions, then you’re definitely going to enjoy it. Do give it a try.

You can read more about the author Kulpreet Yadav at his website and this book is available for INR 159.00 (as on today) at Amazon.

*This post is based on review copy sent by the author. Opinions expresses in this post about the book are solely mine.

Adding colors and freshness to my space but WIP...

Hola people, what’s up? I’m back from what you can call some real crazy travel schedule, festival fun with in-laws side of family, new experiences, new memories & new insights on food, travel and relationships! More on those later (note to self: I must take out time to jot down my experiences, as this trip was different in more ways than one) but this post is just to say a big hello to all of you. It’s 31st March today and those of you working in financial sector or business development roles must be having a crazy time today. Good luck, may this year end on a big note for all of you.

And I had a day off yesterday after what seemed like at least a decade! Yes, it was just another Sunday but few things were different – I was sick, down with very high fever, have fallen this sick after long and hence was on bed for most part of the day. Household chores were ignored, child was being taken care only partly by me but primarily by husband and the maid. Even Mr. husband was at home for a change this weekend and for a CHANGE even maid was around at least for few hours this Sunday! Maids in Bangalore, ufff….but more on this again later! 

So, after long I got to be on bed at least for few hours and I got the time to play around with my blog that I have been wanting to do for long. The last theme that I updated on this blog was almost 7 years back. In fact a quick look on my “About text” told me that it was last touched 8 years back. It read, “blogging for 4+ years now” whereas in reality, I have been blogging for almost 12 years now! Well, have not changed much on “About” yet but definitely have been trying to work around with a different theme. Have added bit of color, changed the layout and updated it with some new design trends and widgets. During the process, also realized that both wordpress and blogger have changed quite a lot now. Blogger’s own themes are not as per current design trends and customizing it with any other theme has become very time consuming and not that user friendly. This blog change is still only partly completed but I’m actually quite liking it. Don’t know when will I get the time to work on it again but trying to at least finish the basics today. Just a bit of color addition and a different layout itself have motivated me to do this post. Hope I will get the time and energy to be here more regularly now. After all, who doesn’t like freshness to his/her space and as I always say, this is one space of mine that I cherish truly and miss it whenever I am away from it for long!

So, do you like this new layout of my blog? Any suggestions for improvement? Lemme know your views please. Bbye until we meet again and hopefully very soon :)

Motherhood & Guilt (Talking Parrot – 2)

Last day of the first month of 2014! Wow, time flying, running and what not. So, what’s up with you all? Hope you had a great start to the new-year.

Well for me, life’s going on with more hiccups but some fun too, busier but with new learning too, tougher but with more… errm wait, what’s my life if it’s not tough. Don’t remember when was the last time that it was simple, or as per plan or easy. But whatever it is, it’s going on. More on some key changes in my life this year in my next post. As of now, I’m back with my talking parrot series with the little one :).
Early morning I was standing in the balcony when suddenly I heard the gas lighter being clicked. Surprised I wondered who was in the kitchen, as husband had gone for his morning run and little one was sleeping. Immediately I rushed inside only to be completely horrified by what I saw next. The little dude had pulled a small stool near the kitchen slab, stood on it, had switched on the gas burner and was clicking the lighter from a distance. Oh god! I can’t explain how scared I got for a moment. Immediately I pulled him down, switched off the knob and got mad at him. I shouted for good a minute or two I think – “why didn’t you call me when you woke up, why do you try to do things which are beyond your age, kuch ho jata toh, oh god why can’t he sit peacefully even for a minute, how can a two-year old be so difficult to deal with, blah blah blah & some more blah”.

When I was done with my shouting, little one climbed up on stool again and innocently asked me:

He: Mumma Tai peeogi?
Me: What?
He: Tai Tai (Chai).
Me: Dumbstruck I looked at him silently
He: Aaj Ni Mumma te liye Tai banayega!

Once again I don’t think I can express it in words how I felt at that moment. With welled up eyes, guilt within, I looked at his innocent expression. And within seconds my emotions took hundred and eighty degree turn! Thousands of thoughts flashing across my mind – why wasn’t I more patient, why did I get irritated without trying to understand what he was trying to do and many more… Gawd, motherhood is one hell of a complicated thing. Apart from making your emotional gland hyperactive, it also makes this emotion known as “guilt” super productive. You do whatever, this damn guilt doesn’t leave you at peace!

While the sensible brain told me that I reacted for all right reasons, after all within few seconds something really bad could have happened with that gas stove on but the emotional side kept on telling me – has anyone ever offered you tea in the morning since you left your mom’s house? Wasn’t it the sweetest thing a two year old could think of doing for you? It was, it really was…

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