Friday, December 29, 2006

Home and away!

Going home! Tomorrow night! Back to Delhi for a while to see family and friends and to relax before the next term of teaching and studying starts! I dont know if time to blog will be available..I shall be far too busy sleeping and resting and being fed food that I have not cooked in dishes I wont need to wash!!
Hope you had a good Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Its been a dark foggy day, its a freezing foggy night with promise of snow and there is an eerie silence which comes with the bitter brings to mind a song..which I have heard several times before...but it makes a LOT of sense to me today!

There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight
All over the world you can hear the sounds of lovers in love
You know what I mean
Just the two of us and nobody else concerned
There's nobody else, and I'm feeling good holding you tight

So listen very carefully, closer now
And you will see what I mean (see what I mean)
It isn't a dream (it isn't a dream)
The only sound that you will hear
Is when I whisper in your ear, I love you forever and ever

There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight
All over the world people just like us are falling in love
So listen very carefully, closer now
And you will see what I mean (see what I mean)
No no, it isn't a dream (it isn't a dream)
The only sound that you will hear
Is when I whisper in your ear, I love you forever and ever

There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight
All over the world people just like us are falling in love
Are falling in love
Fallin' in love

Lyrics by Engelbert Humperdinck

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Just started reading Jungle Book again, after a long long time..its so lopsidedly discriminatory...strange how such things dont strike you as a kid! Never thought about this when I sat and watched the film or read the book as a very young child!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Its a fine thing. Its a strange thing. And it can do wonders.
One can remember flashes from childhood, a favourite toy, a place visited, a dress you liked, a scary moment in a school play, the death of a pet..the list goes on. Most of these are not nasty memories, just things that left a lasting impression on you.
As you grow older the memories change - examination halls, a crazy time with close friends, embarassing moments with members of the opposite sex, and even more embarassing ones with members of the same sex, travels to places new, experimentation with thoughts, things, and people. Surprises and shocks, gifts and laughs, work and jobs, friends, foes and family....the list goes on..our mind is like a memory bank..without which we wont be who we are.
Over time..details fade away, you could remember a person, but not their name. You could remember a face but not know where you saw it. You could remember the season but not the happens.
One thing that does stand out is how quick the past becomes a distant past and the present switches and becomes a recent past. Memories build up quick.

I reflect today on the one of the few people who I held in high regard for their immense intelligence and sharpness of mind and a lot of love as well. In my head he shall always be a smiling and loving sharp old man. Today his memory does not exist, and his recognition is gone...but to me he will always important part of my past. Of me. One has to learn to let go. This present shall become a past.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas - Hate it?

In contradiction to previous post:
Its Dec, its nearly Christmas....and there are a LOT of annoying things around:
...the endless christmas carols in the shopping malls dreaming of a 'white christmas', well global warming has taken over..and we can dream on..there is going to be no snow anytime in Dec from the looks of it.
...the complete lack of any colour but red. The streets are red, the shops are red, everything is red. And if you dont like that need to run away, somewhere non-red!
...the complete lack of availablity of anything that has nothing to do with Christmas, eg..birthday cards, non red clothes, wrapping paper without stars and 'Merry Christmas' on it.
...the queues in the shopping malls, specially for food.
...the enormous strain and stress on people's faces as they buy loads of 'meaningful' presents for everyone they know
...the pressure to meet and greet family you dont get along with and spend a whole day being nice to them.
...The Christmas goodies and shopping is around in shops from August!! and then they count back!! Oh Dear!
...Boxing Day sales brings people out with ammunition and protection on to fight the crowds who go shopping in the sales..its MAD!
...the grey skies and the cold weather that is essentially a part of Dec.
...the constant question, ' so..what are YOU doing for Christmas?' in my case..nothing much, I get a tree, I put it up, I sit near it and wish I was home, some friends might come but I am not sure!
...the congregation of families, so there is no one on the streets and it looks lonely, and if you are, God forbid, sitting miles away from any family..then it makes you feel worse!
...the whole 'get-drunk-and-kiss-someone-at-the-christmas-do-in-the-office' syndrome. Its almost like a tradition in UK, you must get drunk and then you can be really silly and get away from the trouble you may cause by kissing your boss and since its christmas, its ok! It is silly..sp if the boss thinks that way!
...The whole dodge the Mistletoe business..I am too short to spend time arching my neck to check for mistletoe, so dodging sneaky people who wait for you to stand over it is annoying..and there ALWAYS is a tonne of mistletoe around!

I could take it in good humour and laugh about it, but as it happens year after gets a tad annoying!! You land up wishing you were somewhere else..and start to get tired of the whole thing..I already have students whingeing about why they shall be asked to attend lessons right after X'mas! I should be kind and generous...'tis the season for giving after all! Oh Dear!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas - I Like

I am not Christian but I have studied in a Roman Catholic School with Irish Patrician brothers for a long time....
I am not Christian but I live in England where the Queen is the head of the Church...
I am not Christian but I like sitting in churches and I cant walk past one without going in...
I used to hang a stocking when I was younger and did believe in Santa...perhaps I still do..I find the Grotto's that spring up very interesting..
I am not Christian but I like midnight mass and I know most carols...

...and I like Christmas trees,
...and the fake snow,
...and the tinsel,
...and the fairy lights,
...the tiny presents,
...the mistletoe and the holly.
I like the streets all lit up,
I like the people rushing around the buy things.
I like the spirit of love, giving and kindness that comes with the season.
I also appreciate the holidays and the effort people make to meet their families.
I like the hopefulness for the snow to fall on the right date.
I like the carol singers and the saxophonist who plays haunting tunes on the street.
I like the smell of pine from the trees.
and the excitement on children's faces.
I shall wish you a merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you..

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


You move to a new location, you look around, get your bearings and you start living. Initially you think..this is NOT home, this is a temporary settlement, this is for only so long and so you keep to yourself. You are hesitant to explore because you know not much, and sometime...just sometimes you are afraid of finding something that you will really like..but you dont want to like it, just in case it is better than what you get at home. You are reluctant to buy creature comforts due to the temporary nature of your existence in a new place.
Longish period of time passes and you start automatically comparing this with that, and always, but always..back home wins, there are no contests..nothing compares to home. You forget that often appreciation is good and no one is challenging your loyalites.
You home is in your heart, its a part of you. You carry it where you go, nothing compares to it, but the planet is big and the places many. Appreciation is key and loyalites are never questioned, let alone challenged.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My gift!

As gifts go people link women to gifts like perfume, clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery etc etc. Men are however more limited in terms of electronic goods and the odd aftershave :) Wii, iPods, laptops and other such like. Gifts are more a reflection of a celebration or emotion and tokens than something to buy an emotion, though they tend to be misinterpreted pretty easily.
Birthday time coming up and I did not think I would be this happy to own something this tiny...but I have recently received something that is known to keep women happy..till eternity! Happy and connected...forever..through a piece, a tiny piece of a glittery stone :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


For those who have done and passed...hats off!
For those who are writing..greatest sympathies!
Just had a review..and as reviews go, it was not bad! I got a lot of positive feedback about my theoretical grounding and the pathbreaking work I have done. I got a lot of shit for being modest about it..hmm!!!
While I am happy to know I am on the right track...I am disheartened by the long way left to go. Everytime I think I am nearly done, comes another round of feedback...asking me to do more.
People want my thesis to be perfect...
I just want it to end! Eat, sleep, drink, think and write...for nearly 5 years about it..and then one day you wake up and it does not matter any more..coz you are sick of it. I am! And then you get a parting shot from the one said this would be easy... then no one said it would be this damn hard!!
Boo Hoo!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Smells like London

Walk around London with your eyes closed..if you dont mind the risk of being knocked down!
And all kinds of smells shall assault your senses...
Caramalised peanuts, hot dogs and onions on the barbecue, coffee brewing and in thick cardboard cups, the stale air in the underground, the smell of traffic, crepes on hot pans, cigarette smoke, bagels being toasted and expensive perfumes and aftershaves in crowded spaces, the smell of brakes on the iron rails of the tube. Its endless...
The problem being that the sights and sounds tend to crowd out the smells, unless the smell is particularly strong or nasty! And thats not confined to London only. We are so used to relying on sight, that the other senses are ignored at most times.
I shall write about sounds some other time. The only sight I can mention which struck me on the train this weekend was the Autumn was finally here (though it should be winter by now) The leaves are golden, orange, yellow and brown, the sun has started to disappear and sloping sunshine breaks through at times to colours everything with a startling shade of golden yellow..its mellow and mild, the sun feels like its reaching out to take one last touch of the things it likes like tree tops and building roofs, before it goes into hibernation. Its a lovely time of the year!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Milk Wars

Being one those unfortunate few with a mild allergy to Milk I was constantly chased as a child with a glass of milk first thing in the morning. It made me feel sick and could projectile vomit at the thought and smell of milk. Many spillages, tantrums and tears later I was told that I had no getting out of milk till is turned 16..which feels a long way away when you are 8!
Indian products filled the markets..mum plunged spoons of Bournvita, Complan, Cocoa, Chocolate syrup, Maltova into my glass of milk. Mohan Meakin made cornflakes..which were nasty tasting to me...MILK tasted as bad as ever before. I was allowed half a tea spoon of coffee..nope..couple of spoons of tea...nope. It was disgusting. Mum then introduced glasses of all sorts, with bubbles, with straws, made of glass and also many other strange varieties..nope. I hated milk.
And then came the Milk ad...doodh doodh (milk milk) piyo glass full (drink a glass full) and ofcourse mum was straight up telling me that even the TV tells me to drink milk so it must be good :(

The battle continued for long, mum chasing me, dad chasing me, grandad grinning at the confusion, early morning school runs delayed by 'accidental' spillages, finding dirt in the milk, finding a film of cream (malai) cooled on the top..yuck! It did not help that my siblings gulped it first thing in the morning with a relish, and in fact still do. Horrible milk memories I have. Perhaps I have had a traumatised childhood thanks to milk!
On my 16th Birthday I had a cup of tea in the morning and it was good bye milk.
This morning as I made my cup I thought back to the milk wars and smiled, because last night mum told me she has started drinking the white stuff again..osteoporosis is not far!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Your Soul?

He entered the warm train compartment, rubbing his hands briskly to get them back to life. It was freezing cold and dark outside and the Northerly winds seemed to go through all his layers of clothes.
The train crawled out of Nuneaton and he sat back, his cap and scarf still on, waiting to thaw.
The man in front looked at him hard. In a plain voice asked, "I am cold, give me your cap."
This startled him, he was only trying to warm up and as he looked at his travelling companion he thought, it was a weird request to make from a stranger. He hesitated.

The man noticed the hesitation and said,
'I could have taken your soul, but I am only asking for your cap'

He handed his cap over.

Based on a true incident on a train in England!

Monday, October 30, 2006


You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.

Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain
you don't have anything to learn from them.

You're always free to change your mind
and choose a different future, or a different past.

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
- from "Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach

Thursday, October 26, 2006


We often live on our own planets...we live well and truly engulfed in our busy lives. Wrapped with things to do, things to see, shopping lists, social visits, time for work, time for fun, time to think. Sometimes we are SO busy we forget to see the things around us..yes we look at them, but we dont see them. We dont live up to promises made, we try but something 'more' important comes up..there is never a moment when we can say..and now..I shall do..nothing. I shall just sit here and do nothing at all.

Very rarely does anyone sit and do nothing. Just sit, empty your head of thoughts and things to do and just sit. Dont sleep, dont watch TV, dont listen to music..its not the same thing. We tend to cram our lives with meaningless noise. People we have to meet, things we have to do, places we have to go to, movies we must watch, TV programs that cant be missed, emails that have to be sent..its just one thing after the other. And if we dont watch it thats what life becomes.

Doing nothing..nothing at all is an art, very few of us know how to practice it. Itis almost as if there is pressure to never waste a moment, to always be busy, to always be doing something. Wasting time is something everyone frowns about. It should not be..every single moment cant be productive...sometimes you have to do nothing. Learn how to waste time sometime. Try it. Do nothing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Post Diwali Thoughts...

I always sit and reassess the year gone by every Diwali and also every 31 Dec :) Thinking gets major-ly enhanced when I am sick. Which I am again..acute tonsillitis..which means I cant speak!! To me nothing worse could happen..if i cant is not worth living, this morning it is compounded into an ear infection which means I cant hear much either...SUCH FUN!!! SO I can read and write...

here is the current list of random thoughts in my head...
- Oh dear this year went past quick, only last Diwali I was here partying.
- Wonder what I will be doing and where I will be next Diwali.
- This is the 7th Diwali I have spent away from home, maybe next year I shall be home.
- Its not far to Christmas, thank heavens I dont have to buy X'mas gifts for everyone I know.
- must buy new year and x mas cards while they are still around.
- Want to go home for Xmas as usual. Manupulative monopolistic aviation industry has hiked its xmas prices for travel as usual.
- Maybe this Xmas I shall go to a mountain cottage and sit and stare at some snow at night
- Why does winter make me ill and full of thoughts?
- When will my voice come back, not being able to talk is a PAIN...a real pain. The only good thing is I cant teach either, so I get a break from work.
- what is it about Khaled Hussaini's Kite runner, that makes me want to read it again and again and cry each time?
- Why is warm soup and a warm duvet the best thing you can get when ill? Are there better things?
- Why do I think so much? and so randomly?

Monday, October 16, 2006


Well after cribbing a LOT. I am finally feeling good enough to blog without whingeing :)
I am back to the world of the healthy alive human beings. It does feel good..and its a cliched thought but being unwell is so depressing, it breaks your spirit, lying in hospital connected to machines that bleep and ping and feed you.
We take it for granted that every day of our good health is something that we obviously get. We assume every night we sleep that we WILL, Ofcourse, get up well and good the next morning. I am not being negative here, but it does feel good to be able to do that again. To wake up, jump out of bed, make a cup of tea, wash, bathe, dress, comb my hair..everything..I can do everything. And I am happy.
Its back to a mountain of work..but I shall not crib. Feels good to be ALIVE!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Recovering thoughts...

Sometimes thoughts come to your head, without prior warning, without any links to what you are doing or were planning to do. Just thoughts from nowhere. Sometimes I banish these to be brought out and chewed later, almost cud like.
Sometimes I have to sit and think them out.
Last night I sat and thought and thought and thought...came to no conclusion. Tried to sleep, that did not work. Sat and sulked for a while, feeling sorry about a lot of things..then eventually sleep claimed me.

I guess just feeling a bit blue after being ill. Being ill is rather horrible but the slow recovery period is worse, when you are not ill enough to lie in bed, sedated with medicines. But you are not well enough to walk about and carry on as normal. When you get tired too easily and then get grumpy. And it comes out on the people around you, who probably are the closest to you emotionally. Nothing is funny because it just aint. Nothing is entertaining. Nothing is nice. Everything is silly and stupid. Having spent so much time horizontally and within confined spaces, getting out and walking is nice. Having also been constantly surrounded by people does not help if you are the kind that likes their space. If you are a routine type person, then not having that routine of daily life is irritating.

I guess as I get better I shall feel more like myself. Right now I feel like a grump.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fine lines...

When does a disagreement become a battle of wills?
When does a spot of sulking turn into long negative moods?
When does a shake of a head turn into constant criticism?
When does constructive arguing turn into an ego contest?
When does a spat become a basis of path changing?
When does having an opinion different from the others become an independent streak?

There are fine lines in every relationship. It is up to us to recognise those and talk through them. Shutting and avoiding, shoving them under the carpet will get you no where.

Like a wise friend once told love means, "to love inspite and despite what happens or is said'

To me a long happy relationship is based on a unbreakable friendship. When you know you can scream, shout, vent your unhappiness, reveal your insecurity, show your fears and your tears and still be able to hug and kiss. thats it. You have got it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Silence of a Ward

Dark corners and crevices, silent moans and groans, the smooth whine of a bed as it flattens out automatically, the rumble of wheels of the glucose trolley, hushed voices. Serious looking notices and charts and quiet worried people. Shadows moving in the night, busy and quick. Moving on, moving on, moving on to the next patient.
Hospitals are strange places. You only go when you are in a lot of trouble, you only stay if there is going to be more trouble. Silent faces, empty spaces, as patients come and go. Nurses move quietly, just a hint of a rustling curtain as they come to check on me during the night. The morning murmur of visitors, some worried, some carrying flowers, magazines and chocolates, others just trying to smile and be normal as they worry inside their heads.
Being in hospital was no fun!! The fact that doctors here are so keen to cover their asses in case of patients suing them does not help at all. They tell you all the options and leave the decision making to you. There is no point to that is there, if I was smart enough to make medical decisions about myself would I not be a Doc myself? The amount of paperwork they do in UK hospitals is not funny either, everyone I saw at night, nurses, sisters, wardens, doctors, surgeons, students...everyone at some point sat and filled forms..forms and more forms.
Being by myself at night, no TV, no book, no phone was not helpful either. I lay there observing people and the place. Thinking nasty MRSA thoughts and also some positive, I shall get out soon thoughts. The sounds of the ward were unique.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Indian Corruption

If you google these two you get tonnes and tonnes of articles on it. It is a phenonmenon and it made me think a lot when I was in India trying to get a passport made, years ago. It took all of one year of going about it the 'right' way..and landing up nowhere. Till it was time to go, and I did NOT have a passport. Some pressure helped produce it in a few days. But that was the first brush with corruption in my adult life.
Was reading a book by Mark Tully, 'India in slow motion'. He writes about individuals struggling against a system of which they are part, forming pressure groups and pushing for answers and punishments. The politicians, the businessmen, the middlemen, the armed forces, the police...corruption knows no boundaries it seems. Who watches the watchmen came to mind when I was reading about the police beating up people who file complaints.
We are the largest democracy, but are we really democratic..we have a right to vote (sometimes) but there is a lot more that needs to be changed.
When I think about the fact that an educated person, who has worked within the system, (like the many IAS officers who quit their jobs due to disillusionment) struggle to right what is wrong, I wonder at what scope there is for a rural uneducated person to make a change?
I know this sounds like idealistic thinking..but I guess it is an idealistic country..every right for every wrong, every rich for every poor, every up for every down, every beauty for every ugliness, kindness for every act of brutuality, attempts are being secular and democratic despite our diversity.
Its making me think...

Friday, September 22, 2006


Read something somewhere about the blogging phenomenon and what is it that encourages people to pour their hearts out online for strangers to see.
I dont know about other people..but most of my entries are personal rants, thoughts and experiences...if some people like reading! (and also thanks!)but at most times this space is used more like a diary of thoughts..and processes in my head and around me that I notice and remember some day later. A bit like photographs in text format!

As of now the thing that is uppermost in my mind is the stupid fight I had at work last night. A disagreement spiralled out of control to become a loud arguement. I have learnt from my past experiences that I dont like anger and shouting. Probably because it seems an unfair way of communicating and also because I cant/ dont shout back. Which means I feel angrier and angrier by every passing minute. This gets worse coz I like to think I dont let people get to me, and when they do I think...'this little ****' should be able to rattle me!! I am better than that. And then I go all cold and silent (which does look like I lost the arguement/ conceded defeat / agreed with the opposition)
The thing with anger that does not get vented is that it simmers inside and then takes days to get out..if ever! Perhaps shouting and giving vent to emotions is a good idea..atleast you get it off your chest. But is it really? Is not anger another version of insecurity..where you shout coz you think the other person is not listening..
dont know..sitting on the fence here..

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Perfection is the perception of a lack of fault or error. It is the state in which no change in any variables shall enhance the said perfect (thing/person/feeling)
Often perfection is perceived differently by different people. And there is no standardised version of perfection.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Simplicity and lack of complication seems to be directly proportional to how little you think? Or is it?
There seems to be a fine line between people who are easy going and relaxed and those who are just plain lazy.
Sometimes things come up that need thinking about. You need to think them out, think around them, do a SWOT on them and see what comes out. Once you have thought it through you are done. Then you can tidy up your thoughts, reach a conclusion and move on.
Often people perceive thinking as a waste of time and the reason for stress, but I wonder if it is honestly possible to ignore a problem by not thinking about it.
Or is the older generation right here. All people who are that side of 50 who I know say that us,'youngsters' think too much. Well they lived through wars and depressions and lack of money, lack of medicine and technology and never worried that much, we silly young people think too much and complicate our simple lives by over crowding it with analysis.
The question now being how many people will frankly admit to being worriers and how many people can look back at tough times and think..oh yes..i worried..a lot
And what is the line between worry too much and think well before making decisions.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Will always know they are right, and hope you know that too.
Will always say things are ok, but inside shake their heads and knowing they are not.
Will keep a secret for 5 mins and then tell 10 people.
Will start talking the minute they wake up and shut up only when asleep.
Will always want a compliment, no matter how mundane.
Will like to know its them and only them that you think about.
Will argue like no tomorrow and cry like no day after.
Will remember things said and done long after you think (and hope).
Will always need (not want) material goods (small or big)
Will always know when to smile at a man to get their way.

Think they know it, but know that they dont.
Will never accept the above.
Gossip and bitch about others sometimes worse than women.
Will never accept the above.
Will scowl over your girlie things and call them silly wastes of time/space.
But shall secretly want to know how they work...but..
Will never accept the above.
Will mock your glossies and find them dumb, but will thumb through them when you are not looking.
Will never accept the above.
Will find our need for shoes, bags, clothes, music silly.
But will appreciate it secretly when they go out with us.
Will never accept the above.
Will loudly say..oh dear she talks so much. But will smile inside about it.
Will never accept the above.

Why oh why?

Monday, September 11, 2006

God sent..

He beckons me over and asks me to look down. We sit together on a fluffy white cloud, soft as down and stare through this clouds, at Earth below.
"What is that?" I ask.
"Planet Earth" He says, "I want you to go down there"
"But why?, Who lives there?" I wonder.
"Human beings, they have the resources and abilities to make the most of their surroundings. I want you to go there and live in a family, be a human for a while"
"Will I like it" I ask aloud.
"Yes, I think the family who awaits you shall love you and care for you well" he says with confidence, "It shall be interesting if nothing else."

Sometimes I am pretty sure I had this conversation with God before I was born. I dreamt about it last night.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Where my heart shall come to rest and my soul shall be at peace.
This is Kashmir I want to be there again..soon...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How far is far?

How far would you go for some one you love dearly?
Would you quit your job? Would you move city/country/continent?
Would you put yourself and what matters to you behind this one person who means a lot to you? Would you behave in a different way? Would you change your way of thinking, seeing and understanding? Would you do something that you dont really believe in?
And all that...willingly?

Does not doing something they really want you to do mean you dont love/ care about this person enough?
Why is it that when are faced with agreement or worse still disagreement with some on we love or care about, it always boils down to how much we feel/care for them?

Very often people use this kind of arguement to get their way.

Sometimes we do things willingly, because we all seem to have some set of priorities in our head. And we act accordingly. And then what really matters comes out on top. But is it ok not to put the person you love on top, even if they dont put you on the top either? Is it ok to give your priorities a bit of a shuffle now and then?

Why is it that we have the highest expectations from the people we love the most? And why do we very often put conditions of the steepest kind on the relationships that matter the most.

Richard Bach says 'If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.'

On the other hand if the other persons happiness is not important to you, is it possible that the person is important to you?

Or am I asking the same 'it is a fine line' type of question?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I love and hate this weather.
In the morning there is a barely there whiff of can smell it and then its gone..I dont know if any of you know this smell...its cold and crisp in the morning..and the leaves are starting to change colours...
This time of the year, this part of this country..gets chilly. So if you wear a are hot. If you dont wear it you are cold. The sun comes out you are hot. The clouds come in you are cold. Its too warm to wear boots, too cold to wear sandals... in sleeveless your arms freeze, in full sleeves, your hands freeze, its too soon to wear gloves..I guess mid weather shopping needs to be done.

I hereby revoke the previous blog entry. This weekend is shopping day!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

High maintenance woman!

Now why is it that everytime I pick a glossy and look at the whole range of products they advertise..I like the one that is the most expensive..I dont know how I do it. 20 belts..I like the Gucci one. 20 Shoes and Jimmy Choo is the best. 20 tops and Chanel comes on top. 20 bags and I like the Prada. I am not even talking about Laboutin, McQueen, Balenciaga, Valentino yet....

Is it me? or is this a common phenomenon?

Its not like I know which is what brand till I read the miniscule print under it with the brand name and the price tag! Or is this the classic example of good design speaks for itself?

And most of these magazines seem to be designed to reveal to you, how little you have, and how much you need to buy. They also constantly push, parade and argue about the whole new 'Must haves' for every month. Every month you must, simply must spend well over 1500£ to be 'with it'. Obviously there are stories about women who own 500 pairs of shoes, and 160 pairs of lingerie, and 50 handbags...I mean, yes I do get the QED bit here..

No I am not being snob here, am sure there are women and maybe even men who take all this advice well. And they maybe smart, intelligent beings as well. All I wonder is, do the people who write for these magazines feel just the tinniest weeniest silly at any point of time?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Prisoners approach to world peace

Some 18-21 year old male convicts in my class decided to think about why we have wars and crime and so much violence in our lives. Primary reasons they came up with were:

- Religion.
Every single thing around us seems to be fought due to religous differences. If one of us seriously believes that the other is wrong/ bad/ evil because of his / her religion then we have a problem.

- Money.
The difference between haves and have nots and the expansion in whats available if you have the money has made people greedy and this leads to violence.

- Women.
A man might not fight for any of the above (God, or money), but he will fight for his girl/ woman.

So the bottom line after much thinking was..if there were no women to defend it would mean peace, better still it would mean not having to things for them which means no need for money. And since no women means no kids, it puts an end to faith and religion!

How is that for world peace!

Monday, August 21, 2006

I suggest a week

Instead of 5 working days and then two holidays together..which means that fri you are too tired to plan sat, and sat goes by too quick and if you are like me then sat night i start feeling :( sun-day goes slow but sunday evening goes quick!!
And before you know it the alarm is ringing to wake you up to yet another week!!

This is how I think it should be

Sunday - Monday - tuesday - (after 2 days of work comes weekend) so..Saturday - wednesday - Thursday - Friday.

Perfect! work two days, rest for one. Work 3 days rest for one..and fridays are good days anyways! Which means the equivalent of 2 fridy nights in a week, so you can sleep and party till late coz its a day off the next day :)

The idea of an endless week that DRAGS and a weekend that does anything but. Is depressing..maybe I should think about not working...just be at home..relax, paint my nails, brush my hair, go for walks, shop around, sleep till late...and do...Nothing..zilch, zero...nothing...ahhh!! Sounds good to tired old me!
I think I shall need a RICH husband to be able to do that..but then he shall tell me what to do and what not to...

Naaaah! I shall stick to hoping that some where some one shall accept my new week and the world shall be a happier place.

NB. As you can probably see I am a too tired to make sense.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wise Woman's Wisdom

As I sat on the train back from Edinburgh to Leicester I saw 3 old women and 1 old man, climb in. They came and sat right next to me. The train journey is long, takes about 5 hours from Edinburgh to where I live. Longer for them as they were heading to Bournemouth, which is on the other end of the country.

The train moved and I could make out the 3 old women were good friends. The man was married to one of them. The old couple cosied up and sat down, I could see a level of warmth, concern and love between the two. He wiped her mouth when she finished a croissant, passed her the Review section of the newspaper without asking. She gave him a pen to do the crossword, when he turned the page to reach it. It was interesting.

Nosy that I am, I was staring!

The couple sat and read, the other two women got bags out. One of them was knitting a jumper, the other was making some strange looking green, fabric triangles with a needle and thread. The average age between them would have been 80-85 yrs I guess.

Getting a bit curious, I asked the old woman with the stars, what she was making, coz it looked quite interesting. That was it, she put aside and a most interesting conersation started.
She told me her name - Pat and introduced her friends, they have lived near each other all their lives and have been friends since childhood. She was making stars for the Christmas tree. She asked me where I was going and what I do, etc. After a while came the question about marriage and children, as is typical. And my luck!

She spoke slowly about life with her husband, how it was simple and straight forward. How we young people want, family, supportive spouses, close relationships, good friends, lack of boredom, exciting holidays, amazing gifts..and the list goes on. She said we also spend a lot of time wondering and thinking 'what Ifs' which is a waste of time. Her mantra was..if you think you will be happy and you are true to yourself and to the relationship, any relationship would work. She said, things change, life moves quickly, marriage, children, jobs, locations are all a part of life and things we should learn to tackle anyways. You have to commit and not change decisions and never look back.

She went on and on about philosophy, about life, God, husbands, grand children. And I could see one thing, which she admitted herself, she had lead a long fulfilled life. She said her life had been tough, with wars and depression and uncertainity. But it was a complete one..she had ups and downs, but she had seen a lot and now was proud she got through all of it. And wished me the same. She said...

'Somewhere some special young man awaits you, you could lead a perfect life like I have, see things for what they are and look ahead, don't delay and start living! Have friends, built a home, have children and smile every day!'

As she said this I was asked her where she hid the crystal ball. Pat laughed aloud and shook all over..and so did her friends...they said..she says this to everyone she meets and managed to surprise everyone with this straight fortune telling statement..but really..a broad generalisation like this could be applicable to everyone and anyone..who is is, in most cases, obvious from a lack of a ring!

It was one surreal experience for me. I must say spending a journey with someone this interesting yet predicatble was amusing. Wisdom from a wise old lady with needles and yarn!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Free and Independent..

As India celebrates yet another Independence Day I do wonder what it means to me..does it mean anything? I mean, am I happy that we are Independent? Are we really independent in every sense of the word?

To most people who were born in free India, 15 August is a holiday. One day that everyone gets off from work. One day when we bring out the flags and wave them, and then put them away till February approaches, when we bring them out for Republic Day celebrations.

To people who watched freedom being granted, like my grandad, it meant something more. He used to listen to the Prime Ministers speech from the Red Fort. He used to stand up, despite his really bad knees, for the National Anthem. For him independence came at a high price. In leaving Lahore, where many generations of my family had lived, he lost more than just property and wealth. He lost frieds, he lost his ability to move amongst a mutli religous group of people, and his roots, his culture which was steeped in Urdu poetry and walks around Lahore, family traditions which had been kept in place at the Haveli he lived in, he never thought we would not go back to his house, his friends. The finality of the Partition and Independence that came along with it, was something that took many people, a long time to get used to. He had to redefine his own identity. The price of freedom was high.

For me, a free India defines identity for me. Yes we have progressed and moved ahead in many many, many ways. Yes we have now a definition of whats Indian and whats not. yes we as a nation have made the rest of the world sit up and take notice.
India is homeland, its the country where I walk in with a passport and sail past immigration. Hindi is the language I speak. Freedom to make choices is something that cost us a lot, personally and as a nation. Yet at times, when I watch whats happening in India..politically, economically and socially...I do wonder if we forget at times, that we became free to be able to self determine our futures.

Tagore wrote a poem, Where the Mind is Without Fear, which I learnt in school, but which means a lot more every time I go to India. And now I think, his work, is still being ambitious. For a lot of us, freedom has arrived, for many more people freedom was something that came and went. A country of paradoxes, of extremes, of every possibility being likely is how I see India. For every poor person, a ridiculously rich one, for every illiterate - well educated qualified one, for every nice person - a terrible counterpart, for eery hovel, jhuggi and shack - a large mansion with the landscaped garden.
There are indignities, unhappiness, disappoinments on a daily basis. But..but we have, well, some of us have moved on to say, yes we can make a change,no we wont accept anything that is given to us, yes we shall question decisions and issues, we have rights and we shall use them. Some of us have stopped blaming the 'system' and looked inwards. That is something I am proud of.

I know I cant change everything, no one can. But I am glad to see that there are a lot more people who think the same way and make a difference in which ever way possible, a difference to a person, a community, a location or a concept. We are redefining things..and I think, though we have not awoken to Tagores aims in totality, I think we are awake enough to know where we are going, and make our own paths.

Happy Independence Day to all Indians, lets keep at it, and keep going. And someday this poem might come true in totality.

Where The Mind is Without Fear
Rabindra Nath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

from Rabindra Nath Tagore's Geetanjali

Monday, August 07, 2006

Kid Karma

I dont know what it is about me. I dont dislike children, in fact I think most of them are long as they dont open their mouths! Yes! I am from the 'child should be seen not heard' school of thought. And I absolutely detest those pesky little things that cry and whinge and grizzle and howl. What I detest more are the parents who dont mind the fact that their child is single handedly giving the public in 100 metres space of it..a splitting headache.
Every time I travel, and I do travel a lot..I have some child who shall either talk, sing, hum or howl through the journey, its almost as if they have a 'GOTCHA!! You cant escape from me in this train/plane/bus' ARGH!
So heading to India I had this child behind me who was 'so lucky because all these aeroplanes are here today in one place'..and he kept saying that again and again and again...and again. It was Heathrow Airport! Mum ofcourse was not keen to let the child know that it has not much to do with luck..but any place with too many airplanes is called an AIRPORT! After that the child was plain lucky to be able to go to India..also asked when they shall get there about every 20 mins in a 8 hour flight!!
Yesterday as I boarded the plane I was relieved to see only 3 children in the boarding lounge..two of those were travelling business my luck to have to sit right next to this cute girl with a loud squeaky voice. She was a walking talking Tell Me Why, Tell Me How series. She sat down and all I heard weere questions..'is the plane moving? are we in air? where is the sun? where is the engine? where is the pilot? what is this food? how to do you switch on the light? when will we get there? where is nani? why does the TV not work? how do you play games on the tv?'
OH God!! Oh God!
Is it my Travel karma or kid karma...why is it..that if there is one child on a 350 people plane, a 2000 person train, a 58 person bus. Why is it ? how is it? that if there is one will sit next to me? And nope, never is it the quiet, I-want-to-sleep and I-dont-believe-in-talking (or crying) variety?
Have some mercy on me!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Indian Public Toilets

Yes, not too long ago you needed to be desperate to want to use a public toilet in India. You needed to desensitise your nasal tracts and be able to hold your breath to be able to use on of the 'Sulabh Sauchalyas' that dotted Delhi. At some point in time I remember knowing all of them in Connaught Place without visiting the stench that warned you about what lay ahead. There was also a habit developed through childhood by parents to go to the loo before stepping out of the house! A habit that does nothing for you if you are in a traffic jam or in an area that has no restaurants.
And it gets worse if you move to Bombay which works on Maths -> Space = Money. Toilets make none..hence no toilets!!I remember walking through Kalba Devi and also Mohammed Ali Road, in desperation and feeling bad for the tourists who invariably eat road side stuff and then have a tough time!

Well things have changed...a LOT in Delhi. There is a whole spate of manned Public Toilets in Delhi called Mokleen. You can expect sparkling clean interiors, brightly lit and comfortably big. You can also expect clean running water, hand wash, drier as well as toilet paper! Also present is an attendant to charge you Rs 1 or Rs 2 for usage of the facility. There are ceiling fans to keep you cool. Huge skylights to keep the air fresh and well painted exteriors that stop people from using the outside of the building as a loo. The attendants guide you to the Men's or the Ladies as there are no King or Queen tiles for indication. They also give you a big smile if they see you twice in the same day!

The toilets are maintained by Private companies and are well run. I was very impressed by them. No I dont want to sound like a patronising NRI but I do want to sound like one proud Indian, happy to see progress! Its good, its great!

This is what the Hindu had to say about Mokleen's facility.
'The story of the woman who, passing a public toilet complex at night, with all its bright lights and stir of visitors, thought it was a house of worship and directed her children to bow their heads in reverence, seems symbolic. Cleanliness is after all, next to Godliness.'

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Home Affairs

OK. Back to one of my pet topics of discussion, mothers and matrimony!

If you are single, and unattached female and that side of 25 then chances are some one has asked you at some point of time if you are married, and if you reply in the negative..a match making conversation starts.

Add to this the fact that you live far away from the Mum that you love to bits but are increasingly finding irritating due to her obsession with matrimony. This later graduates to starting to talk about careers are important but 'not everything', independence is good but there is a need to 'settle down' and eventually to the 'you are female and have a clock that's ticking'.

Heaven forbid if you drink or smoke coz then the mum would be convinced you are beyond redemption and you might just be treated to Ekta Kapoor worthy dramatics of 'I must have done something bad to deserve a child like this' who is selfish beyond comprehension! And will not marry for my or her own happiness.

Not all is lost, coz sometimes the mere mention of someone you are dating is good enough..thats till you have been together for long enough to want to talk to him and preferably also his parents!!

Sometimes mums get astrologer obsessed and that is kind of bad...I mean it sucks, because then some stars tell you that the man you shall live happily ever after is going to come knocking on your door. Bearing in mind..several marriage proposals come together..stars would have to be a BIT more clear than that about the man!

Not all is lost till your dad gets involved too. Senti dialogues from one parent is enough..from two is torture and I am not even getting to the 'settled' siblings you may have. This kind are the worst I think. For the longest time these cousins and brothers and sisters are your best mates, your staunch supporters and nodded in agreement and support for any decision you took. You could confide in them. Post marriage they tend to convert over night into what I call the SMC (Smug Married Couple) who have a mission in get every single person they know married!! They show support but are in most cases mouth pieces for the match making family!! Argh!!

If you are really really unlucky you might just have old friends who are also 'married and settled' and are in touch with your folks..its best to end friendships like that temporarily while you are single.

So you see..being single, independent and female is similar to what they call in physics unstable matter. You cant remain in that state for too long!
You could have it all...a great job, that you love, a house, a car, lovely friends, warm family, no health issues..but life is incomplete without the Mister to look after you..and if you intend holding on to your single status...RUN!!! Run from well meaning mums, SMC and married friends. Avoid attending weddings and such like.

If you do and are pretty sure no amount of pressure shall change your write on this blog and let me know how you do it :)

Cranky Ol' me

Went to Vasant the good old days when I was at Lady Shri Ram, a bunch of us used to 'cut' class and reach this cool place for a quick film, a hot chocolate fudge at Nirulas, a shared Pizza and catch an auto rickshaw back to college. We used to go to what was Priya. There was Benetton, Nirulas, Sugar and Spice, Fact and Fiction, TGIF and ofcourse the Cinema which showed English films that had shows in sync with the most boring hours of lectures at College. Few shops were around..what was obvious in those days was the proximity of MSVV (Modern School, Vasant Vihar. School kids in the blue and gray uniform were visble, being cool or trying their hardest to be..with an air of practiced-a-million-times nonchalance and a smoke in one hand. Hitched up skirts and rolled down socks, slouchy postures and bored with everything body language. Also obvious was the fact that there was nothing to do but eat and watch a film at that complex.

Well those days have gone. There are many new stores and a lot of shopping. A complete lack of parking, which I admit is nothing new to Vasant Vihar. Also a whole range of cigarette shops welcome you into the main arcade, I think I counted about 8 big ones. There are also a lot of pavement stores, selling a whole range of 'ethnic' stuff. Priya is now PVR..with a bigger facade to the building..a very cool looking queuing system, and no privacy for those who want to sneak in for a quick peek at the film or a make out session right in the back aisle.

It made me nostalgic about hot summer days, cold HCFs, Air conditioned Priya cinema and the ever present auto rickshaws that would bargain till eternity to take back college students, desperate to reach in time for the next lecture. Ofcourse traffic was not that bad and we could manage to get back to LSR in half an hour at the most..there were no flyovers then you see!!

Anyhow..I shall stop sounding like a cranky old woman..I am talking about 10 years ago..and let you see a picture of Sleepers you can buy at PVR, Vasant Vihar. Sleepers that are all yours for rs 250 and you can keep them forever.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Monkey Business

This morning..I went up to see if there is any chance of yesterdays performance in terms of rain..looked like it! The show started when I switched on the computer!!

I reached the roof, and stood there looking around. As I stared, I felt something was watching me, after yesterdays thinking marathon..I was not quite sure what to expect. A pair of green hazel eyes stared back at me.

A monkey! Sitting cool as you please on my roof, giving me the 'looks' as if I was invading its territory. As usual, you never find lone monkeys, I saw another head peering down at me from the top of the water tank, then another and yet another. Varying in size, but carrying the same VERY bored expression. And last but not the least was a tiny baby one..with grey eyeshadow on and kohl rimmed gave me this heart wrenching 'I am only a little monkey' look.

The thing is...I am invading its territory. This part of Delhi where I am living right now was a mass of trees and fields a few years ago, this was monkey habitat. Now the original residents of this place, sit on top of flats and buildings, plucking domestic potted plants, stealing from the kitchens and upending garbage sacks, in search fo food. The human residents moan about these destructive creatures. But as is usual in India...the land of physics, law of physics applies...for everything you find, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Some people encourage these monkeys (either by feeling sorry for them - like me) or by thinking they are incarnations of Hanuman (the monkey God). Hence piles of bananas and cooked rice if to be found in places when you walk around here. Whiel others have resorted to keeping heavy bamboo sticks around them to beat a wandering monkey if it comes too close.

For my part..I sat there, watching and being watched. There was some amount of respect there. We could see each other, I was not threatening them. I did not have anything they wanted. I could not be bothered to be bothered by them. And vice versa applies to all those. So we all sat there, waiting for the rain! Evolution Indeed!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Indian Rain

I stood in the Rain today. 10am, thunder clouds had been lining up. It was hot and humid, lightening, big dark clouds lines up. The performance started at 10.15. It poured, big fat raindrops. There was a cloud of water that decended. I sat there, on my roof, drenched. Feeling the cool water, the warm breeze, the scents of Jasmine from the roof garden, mixed with the smells of pollution from the nearby highway.

I sat there and thought about things that I hide into the deeper recesses of my mind. I bring them out to think and ponder when I think I can spend some time, sorting them out...

I thought about things, we all do at some point of time, with varying degrees of success at finding answers:

- Why am I here?
- Do I like being in this time, space and place?
- Am I happy here?
- What makes me happy?
- What would be an ideal case scenario for my life/ perfection?
- What makes me unhappy?
- What can I do about it?
- Have I learnt anything so far?
- Am I using what I have learnt from my life so far and the books I have read?
- Do I know the answers?
- Am I honest with my answers?
- Do I have choices? or do the freedom to make those choices?
- Do I want those choices?

Lots of questions, each has two answers, the straight ones..the kind everyone likes to hear. And the honest ones, that need thinking and discussion. And also one final question...
Am I thinking too much?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gone forever

I came home to India last night.
For the first time in 6 years there was no dog at my door. With love dripping from her eyes, her tailless backside wiggling with delight. Getting slurped and licked till I beg for mercy and then I could sit down and get rid of my bags.
Nothing like that happened yesterday.
The afternoon meal with meat was strange with no one begging with soulful eyes for scraps from my plate (despite having eaten her own food)no one looking out for bones. It was quiet.
In the evening..the walk felt lonely without the dog, no one to drag me from one side of the road to the other, chasing scents, smelling car tyres and every single piece of dirt around.
At night, I did not have to feed her or walk her one last time. I did not have to leave the doors open so she could walk around. I did not have her soft silky head on my pillow..did not share my bed with Tweety last night.
And this morning I was not awoken by enthusiastic licking and short sharp barks indicating yet another day and a glorious morning.
And now..I am sitting on my computer, with no one peering over my shoulder as if she could read what I was writing. Its lonely. And heart breaking.
When I was in UK, I did not let the news sink. Now I am home and have to re-adjust my heart and mind to living without the dog I loved to bits and perhaps more than life itself. Everyone else at home seems to be ok, I feel I did not even get a chance to say goodbye.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


No person is an island but I guess one can try to be (Oh dear!! I sound like the Queen)
One would like to think that all ones happiness can be self generated. And no one can make you unhappy unless you want to be.

Well over the past few days I think I have written sad, low kind of things, because that was the way I was thinking at that time.

So this morning..after finally sleeping (the heat and humidity has kept me awake) I woke up at dawn, watched the sun come out. Made a cup of tea, sat and stared at the swans on the river (below my house) and enjoyed the chilly early morning breeze. I also watched thunder clouds draw up, and turn every perceivable shade of orange, yellow and pink in matter of minutes..and then blessed rain, thunder and lightning..on the dry earth! Everything felt cleansed and green!
It had all gone by the time I was ready to step out to catch my bus (good mood can change the weather I think)..I skipped away to work, thinking smiley thoughts. Off to usual. It was a good day. No wise cracks from the inmates... nothing!
A few meetings and 6 hours of teaching later...I skipped home. And though I am tired, I am happy.
Thinking of the Chumbawamba lyrics
'I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never going to keep me down'

I think I shall skip home, and paint!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

English Weather

Yes I know its a boring topic. I also know that it generally rains..and people curse that..but its not been this hot for a long long long time. Temperatures have hit 35 and are rising. The roads are melting

The trains are being cancelled and delayed as train tracks buckle with the heat. The beer is sold out and you cant buy an Air Conditioner or a Fan in the market. They have sold out.

Ladies and Gentlemen..ITS HOT!

Bearing in mind that houses on this part of the planet are designed to keep the heat in and the cold out, means windows and doors are small and placed to avoid drafts and cross ventilation. Which now means that I can warm anything in my house without a flame..its hot enough.

The fact that airconditioning is a concept few people know about or bother to invest in means..its a slow roast in offices and restaurants.

Have consideration also for the fact that at this latitude the sun rise is at 5am and sets at about 9.30pm..with darkness falling at about means sleep is little if any at all. So we have the Sun lord raging across the skies at all times...and its a bit unbearable.

The point of this all. The weather in England always sucks. Either its too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or too windy, too dark, or too bright. Its never perfect. And whoever told you the English summer is gorgeous was lying.

Its hot and its never been this bad ever before!! Perhaps heading to India right now might not a be a bad idea afterall!!

Of Ex-es and such like.

Ever met the kind who keep looking back? Do you know of someone who cant let go? Anyone who thinks that its ok for them to move on but not their ex?

I dont know if its a female male thing or just a personality set up.
Relationships being the way they are, some break up. The break(er) tends to be the first to move away and move on, and in most cases is not keen to look back and see whats up with the one they left behind. The break(ee) is the one who takes time to pick the pieces and take their time to move on. This is a general thing and is not a rule as such. Sometimes both parties move on and never look back.

Sometimes the one (who thinks him/herself) to be the better one turns around out of curiousity to see how the other is doing without them. Hoping, in a tiny corner of their hearts, to see the other being heart broken and unable to cope. To still be carrying a torch for the ex. The problem strikes when one sees the ex being better off and happier without them. Then they think 'hey!! you were never like that when I was around!!' hmph!! Big sulk happens and hopefully they turn around and keep going on with their new lives, put off by what they see to never want to turn around and look at the past again.

Sometimes both parties know it won’t work. And split. Both move on and carry on. Someday fate or destiny, or maybe even the ever shrinking globe makes them cross paths..and they think..I know are you? And that’s it. There is no spark, no resentment, just neutrality and hint of curiosity maybe. But the happiness they might have found in the new relationship is overpowering and erases everything about the chance meeting.

Men I think more than women are able to put things aside. To put them behind and move on. Women are more dog-in-the-manger type. They have what they do (which is a new-er, happy-er relationship or life), but they often don’t want to ex to move on. They are also soppy enough sometimes, even if in a new happy relationship, to want the ex to love them forever. The fact that most women want to always know that 'somewhere in the world there is someone who will always love me' does not help.

Okay before you think..for a female she is pretty lopsided in her thinking. Men can be as bad if hung up about the past. Well this is honesty from my perspective.

This I think should be the normal course - For a long time most people wish all sorts of 'bad' things to happen to the ex. Then neutrality takes over as memories fade. And then everyone knows, a good new relationship brings rose tinted glasses..where you want to world to be happy as you are..and that includes the ex. And then eventually you forget about it..well honestly I dont know about forgetting, but you don’t think about it anymore..memories fade eventually and so does negativity. And you move on..that's life.

There are few people I know who are keen to keep in touch with the ex-es ..I think they happen to live in Hollywood or act in Friends :) Make believe land.

For everyone else who has a new relationship and a past that’s fading fast. Let it be. Don’t let curiosity lead you!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pictures of

OK, photography is not allowed in the red light distrcit of amsterdam. You can take scenic ones but none of the girls or the stores can be shot. Here are some from the area.

Okay. I did not want to go at 11.30 in the night to see someplace where women sell their bodies to men who have an appetite for more than what they can get elsewhere.
I also did not want to go and see, what is an essential part of the tourist trail in Amsterdam. I did not want to see sleazy corners with scantily clad women. I had visions of Grant Road and Kamathipura in Bombay and NOPE! I did not want to go.
However my friends insisted it’s worth a look, coz it is unlike anything I will ever see. Ok, bearing in mind I had read somewhere that drug related crime and teenage pregnancies are at the lowest in Holland. I thought the information did not compute to making any sort of sense. So I went. Curiosity leading me once more.

Midnight in the Red Light area of Amsterdam and it was crowded, men and women, some seeing the sights, some living near the 'sites', some working, some gaping, some customers, few pick pockets, some observers and ..MANY women workers.

Here is the best way to describe its dimensions:
One long very narrow street..say about 800 metres long. Now build straight blocks of houses on either side of the street, about 3-4 floors each, add a canal (Amsterdam you see) in the middle. Now every block has huge glass windows on all floors. The colours most apparent everywhere is a deep red. In each window is a female, they are all display windows, with lit interiors, carpets, a bed with cushions, curtains and a VERY VERY scantily clad woman in the middle..beckoning, dancing, sitting, or staring. So its basically like a shopping centre/ complex with the only thing on sale being a human / female body. In every window, on every shelf.

Now multiply this with 30 more such streets on a grid, interspersed with canals. Add a few shops selling sex toys, S&M material, gay and lesbian shops, couple of beer joints...and you have the Amsterdam flesh market.

What was unique was the complete lack of sleaze. This is a market like any other, supplying, what is obviously in high demand. Its business, its professional, it is well lit, it’s clean and it promotes safe sex. It’s taxed, licensed and monitored. There is no shabbiness and cloaks and darkness. No shame in seeing other people there. There are groups of stag parties, hen parties, women in small groups. Everything you ever dream, wish or imagine of related to sex is available here. yes it has special zones for men:men, women:women, women:men, men:women:men, women:men:women, every colours of skin, hair and eyes, every size and type. It’s a market that caters to all, with some dignity to their approach to themselves.

This is how it works; you walk around looking at what is on display. You like something you stop and stare at the woman in the window. A bouncer materialises and has a conversation with you. You tell them what you want/ how much you want to pay. He will check with the girl. If she says ok, the window opens, lets you in, she pulls curtains around the window and you are gone for a bit. Curtains open after payment is made and you are out and about.

What I found shocking was the clinically clean professional approach to everything. it was like buying fruits or vegetables, you look, you think, you pay and you have it. As if nothing is wrong with a woman selling her body. The fact that a whole market exists for men and casual physical encounters. A whole market!! Some people would say that no one is forcing these women to selling their bodies, which does imply that they might be doing this out of their own free will. Which woman would want to have 30 different men in one night? Ok there may be exceptions. But this approach annoys me to no end. This is women who can make quick money from selling their bodies. And there are men who should not be in this market at all. I am being holier than thou here, but this is my opinion.

What disturbed me was
- the clothing (or lack of) of the women. I am not a prude but most women made me gape in shock..wearing spaghetti noodle like clothes which you can iron on the back of a 2p coin.
- the approaches to attracting a customer (supply is high. So there is competition). Dancing, beckoning, and writhing, around poles, on beds and on the floor. It looked strange coz the women can hear the music inside the glass window….so it’s like watching a drama without the sound from the outside.

The lanes are so narrow that quite a few times I was staring right into a pair of well made up eyes that looked past me, to the next man, searching for a customer. What touched me was the blank look in the eyes. They had no expression. Yes the eyes had a come hither approach, and so did the body language, but the expression on the face was of world weariness, augury of the old. It was depressing.

I walked out of the market, surprised by the scale of the market (it is never ending) and the unassuming approach to the business. I felt sick thinking about the fact that this is what happens here every night, every month, and every year. This is a constant market, supplying what men demand. It’s shameful that women in a developed country should have to resort to selling their bodies for earning money.

I have a lot of opinions about this, all of which I don’t want to express here.
This ladies and gentlemen is Amsterdam.


Strings are things people tend to avoid attaching.
Strings are things that irritate some and make them feel..tied.
Strings are things that creep into your life unseen.
Strings are things that can give comfort and security.
And these are stretched by distance.

Distance is something that creates spaces.
Distance is something that makes you reflect.
Distance is something that makes you realise how BIG our planet really is.
Distance is something that makes you want to invent to overcome it.
It creates emptiness.

Emptiness is when you miss someone.
Emptiness is when there is gap in your life where someone was.
Emptiness is when you turn around and someone is not there.
Emptiness is when the phone doest ring as often.
When you realise your true feelings.

Feelings can be transitory or permanent.
Feelings can be strong and positive.
Feelings can be expressed in many ways.
Feeling dont go away with a person leaving.
They remain forever.

And I believe in forever.
I believe strings are necessary for forevers to happen.
I believe that distance is painful and creates big empty spaces.
It makes you see understand and accept your real priorities.
Strings, distance, emptiness. My feelings right now.

Friday, July 14, 2006


This song..always brings a tear to my eye. And right about now it feels appropriate.

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin
It's early morn
The taxis waitin
He's blowin his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
cause Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Theres so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I tell you now, they dont mean a thing
Every place I go, I'll think of you
Every song I sing, I'll sing for you
When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
cause I'm leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you
Then close your eyes
I'll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I wont have to leave alone
About the times, I wont have to say

Oh, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that youll wait for me
Hold me like youll never let me go
cause Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

But, I'm leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Words and music by john denver

Monday, July 10, 2006

I have learnt

And when you look back, like you sometimes do. You see your life as it was one year ago from now..two years ago from now. Looking back you might think, I was so lost, so unsure of which way to go. So keen to move, yet so stuck in the certainity and security of what I knew, even though at some points I knew that it was not what I wanted, and it was not something that made me happy. At that point looking ahead was exciting but moving ahead was not.
And now..things have changed, some willing some unwilling changes. Some things present in your life now, that you cant think about what life was life previously without them. Ties and bonds, links and ownership, thoughts and processes. Maybe the shackles of a past that was stuck have gone. You are ok to move on and look ahead. You are happy and not keen to question and dig for the reasons behind it. You are also not stupid enough to dissect every step of the way that got you to where you are, you accept..and be happy.
You are as sure as you can be, or will ever be that you are ok. That you are taking the right decisions and moving on, in the eternal pursuit of happiness.
I have learnt
...that chasing is a game I dont like playing. trust my instinct and learn to hear it when it whispers to me.
...that eternal happiness and security are variables and never found in simultaenously in totality.
...that there are no assurances in life.
...that I cant get everything, but I can definitely keep what I already have, and cherish it.
...I have got everything I want, and satisfaction is not laziness or lack of ambition.
...that patience might be called a virtue but in real terms it is mandatory for existence.
...freedom is about choices and not only about space.
...that true love is not hard to find..but hard to recognize.
...that even though I generate my own happiness, it is linked to that of the people I care about.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The wind in the mill

This is in Leiden, where I was working. This is my favourite shot from the trip..the windmill, the canal, the clouds and the tree. Perfection:)


These were developed to keep feet of farmers warm and prevent them from getting wet. Theyare incredibly hard, yet the craftsmanship of the wood makes them comfortable with thick socks

Zaanse Schaans

A conserved Dutch village..where people live and work near the windmills

A typical dutch fishing village

needless to say the food was very good..

The floating flower markets

Me going home

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ground rules

The dutch and the way they are: A few concepts.

Anyone of any other origin but Scandinavian or Dutch would feel like Alice in Wonderland here. They are impossibly tall, add politeness to that..equals a 6 foot 6 inch man, leaning all half way down his waist to ask me how I am liking the city. It also means no clothes or shoes would be the right size for a dwarf like me. So kids section it was. It also means that all beds, benches and seats are high and in the bus it equals feet that dangle off the edge!

You have to be able to speak and clear your throat at the same time, in order to sound Dutch. Its sounds like a mix of German and English. Zaanse Schaans, Kaizerspline, Kalverstraat..sound like simple names till you need to speak them out.

Dont ever ask a Dutch person if he/she is German, its not exactly a good idea. Also dont ask for Tomato ketchup anywhere..its sacrilege to do so. You must l-u-r-v-e cheese...if not, like me, shut up. Making a disgusted face at the smell of cheese is a very bad idea

Watch out for trams that RRRING to get your attention, cars that stop to let you go. But also...the fast, furious, vile and loud cyclists who own the roads, bug one and he shall call you a 'Blu-DD-ee toukh-reest', he / she might even shake a fist/ finger or head at you! They have right of way. Period.

There is more Indonesian food in Amsterdam than in Jakarta. There is also alcohol that is cheaper beyond imagination. The former due to history, the latter I dont know why, but I am NOT complaining.

The red light area..which is something I shall write another detailed blog about. I am not a prude and I am not exactly shy, but this place left me, as the English would say 'gob-smacked'. Shall say no more. Await pictures and detailed description of Amsterdam's flesh market.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


And globalisation strikes. Nothing here is not available anywhere else.

Apart from that..the windmills, the tulips, the beer and the drugs are every where. As I sit here typing on the net I am surrounded with smoke from the pots from the Ganja here. I like the way the red light area, the church, the palace, the drug joints co exist here in complete harmony with each other.

As usual there are a lot of tourists, but this place is prettier than the pictures I have seen. The Van Gogh museum is my next target after Leiden, Den Haag and Rotterdam. The house of Anne Frank was creepy.

The language a mix of German and English. The people sweet and helpful, the trains clean, the houses tiny, the roads even smaller..infact its like a BIG dolls house..I feel that if I could lift the roof from any house..I shall see dolls walking about doing things dolls do.

Very pretty.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Eureka Moment

After the shit day at work. I headed home..feeling glum and low I thought I shall go to sleep..and wake up happy, as always.
Went home and spoke to a fellow Kashmiri who likes Chaaman amd is coming for dinner tonight (cottage cheese / paneer) I thought I shall try and make some. The ready made one available here in UK is like erasers mixed with plasticine. Its bad enough to make you go off Chaaman for life...SO!...
so one large bottle of milk and some lemon juice, and much to-ing and fro-ing..and fretting and wondering when the damn thing will boil...i did what was required..I watched in wonder as the milk split into two..and jumped up and down at my own genius.
It was a Eureka moment for me ...needless to say I am my own worst critic and also my best admirer. I dont recall watching anyone ever make Paneer at home and it seemed miraculous. Ahhh!!
I discovered cottage cheese!! I hopped all over the kitchen in delight. And was waiting impatiently for it to cool down, have heard that it wont set if you fiddle too much. I did not. It did set and its perfect..soft and sweet and perfectly formed. I feel like a genius.
The shit day was not shit anymore...I smiled all through the evening!
Ahh!!!For the simple pleasures and small happinesses in life!!
Ramble ends, this hungry Kashmiri heads home to eat!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shit day!

Has anyone ever thought why there are shit days?
I had one of them. My head hurt when I woke up..was up at night thinking my myriad thoughts..wondering about things, people, places, thesis, work, India, changing flats...generally thought for a long time and eventually slept..the 6 am alarm was a killer. I dont have a voice due to a throat infection, which makes teaching impossible..but when you get only 7 days sick in a CRAWL to work or call in dead!
The prison sucked! The prisoners spoke only in F words today. Sheets of paper on which they are supposed to write flew and so did my temper.
In the middle of my class I had had enough. I wanted a stiff drink and a cigarette! Hmm!!
Perhaps shall go home and look for either or both!
Needless to say they shall get punished for behaving the way they do outside the prison (which is why they ARE in prison) telly for 3 weeks..HA!!! there goes the world cup. An evil voice in my head says..well done. The sympathetic one are pathetic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

And then there was music

Dark clouds on the horizon, and the leaves get lighter
A strong blast, and a rustle
Big black balloons in the sky, some silver linings.
Obliteration of the orb, drop in temperatures
And the sky is hungry, as it rumbles and grumbles
My flowers tell each other in whispers, to be prepared
A dark grey hand holds the sky, the fist getting bigger.
The blue patches run away, as if afraid.
Big bottom tear drops splatter and splash.
The wind leaves some on my window sill.
I stand still under the sky,
feeling the drops play join the dots on me.
Soaked to the skin,
and not shivering for a change.
I return, with the rain on me,
and the thought of the Indian monsoon in my mind.
The smell of rain on dry dust in my heart.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And here comes the pressure

For the past few months I have been travelling, dragging my feet with my work and thinking about what a pain this PhD has become. I want to move on and do the thousand things I have in my head. And I cant. Coz I am stuck with this never ending thesis. I have thought a lot, but done very little.
My supervisors were ill. And when they came back I was not around. Now I have had the chance to meet them again and have got the 'danda' from them. Yup. I need to slog my butt off so I can finish in time. People and places keep moving and I need to get done before the next big shift.
There are promises of brighter futures at this University and elsewhere..there are promises of a sweeter life with a perfect person, there are opportunities to work with the people who need me the most, there are choices to be made. But right now I need to finish what I started less than 4 years ago. I need to do this and soon, before I have to pay thousands to the University. Before my supervisors leave for the US. Before I disappoint the people I love the most. Talk about pressure!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Want a baby?

Last night I watched a BBC reporter, Kate Silverton, talk about how her being 35 is making her a bit jumpy because she has had not children till now. Her career was and is important to her and hence she did not want to take time out to have a child. Uk, like most European countries has a declining population, where in more and more women are chosing their career over their kids. This program, Right time for a baby, made me really think...

I did think from my feminist point of view. When has a man ever needed to think or family? what should I do? Have they needed to juggle nappy changing and measles and temperature with a project deadline? Its not fair. The fact that paid maternity leave is so meagre that you need to be crazy to leave a full time job to be a full time mum is important to bear in mind.

Then I thought from my logical side, it does make sense to postpone kids, so you dont have to think, at any point of time, that if you (my dearest child) were not here, then I would have been travelling the world and making a lot of money. A child should not be something you resent or regret.

The reasonable side of me thought, well most women are pushing kids back because if they earn more they can give that much more to their kids in terms of resources. They can provide better. Maternity leave again is for 6 months only..after that it is unpaid. Where does it leave you financially? You need to money but you also need to quit the job that brings it to you.

The thoughtful side of me agreed with the woman, who when asked, when is the right time? Said with a smile, when you find the right guy. Hmm...Now THAT I think is yet another blog entry on its own..who is the right guy and does he come with a sign over his head that declares him to be right or wrong? With a clock ticking you really do need to know fast!!

Then the sentimental side took over. Kate Silverton looked at a new born baby and thought, I want one of those. Why is it that little tiny feet and ears make women all soppy? I sat there thinking..hmmm am not 30 yet so I have a window of 6 years to 35 when everything shall change..and I do want some little kids. But I also want to travel, I also want a career, ofcourse the right guy shall be needed too. So this is my wish list, it might be unreasonable, and contradictory, but this is what I want. I am being greedy I know:

I want a good career, with a job I love that pays a lot
I want to travel and see all the places on my list..starting from the Serengeti, Kalahari, Andes, The Mardi Gra, Rajasthan, Assam, The barrier Reef, Jagannath Puri, Amarnath..and the list goes on.
I want to have 2 kids atleast. And I dont want to be an OLD mum...i want to be able to be at home and spend time with them.
I want the perfect man who can have flexi time at home so when I need to work, he can take over
I want to settle down with some dogs in a house with a garden where kids can play.
I also want to paint in a studio, and learn glass blowing.

Long enough..well the list does go on..but as of now I can just hear the tick tock of a clock which I did not think much about till last night!

This morning I thought, all of the above is nonsense. If my parents sat and thought about what they could give me or not, chose to have things perfect before I came around..I would not have been around, and that would have been a pity. Life does not stop with a child. It slows down a bit and then picks up, changed, but still pretty much there. I think this was a selfish point of view, where you want to have it all. You can try having most of it ;) but not all. You could have a career, and pick up where you left off...ok you might have to work hard to get it back. But look at the rewards, being a mother is special...think of your own mum, right now..and think how deeply you care about her..see!! This is what you will get!! Strong feelings..some where I read..A mother holds their childrens hands for sometime, but their hearts forever!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Swear on your mother!?!

Young Offenders Prison. Conversation:

Young man, in prison for assualt : I swear on my Mother's life I dont know.
Another young man, in for robbery : I swear on my Mum's life I am right.
Yet another young man, in for armed robbery: I did not do this, I swear on my Mum's life.

I have heard swearing on the 'mum's' life so often over the past few months, that today I could not resist asking a few questions. I thought I could on..

Andrew: I swear on my mum's life I dont know this.
Me: Dont you love your mum, you keep swearing on her life, every 2 minutes
Andrew: But I dont mean any disrespect, I love mum.
Me: Dont swear then.
Andrew: But what if I have to.
Me: Swear on your dad's life then.
Andrew: I would if I knew who he was.
Andrew: The thing is Miss, you can have many dad's but you can have only one mum.
Me: Then swear on yourself.
Andrew: I would if my life was worth anything.

That shut me up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

American Style Indian Dancing

Met a girl from new York last night at a gathering. She was American and had been to India recently for an Indian wedding. She was mighty amused with the whole thing and even bought Kal Ho Na Ho DVD to understand contemporary India.
She was confused by the 'story inside a story' concept in Indian films and the out of context song and dance sequences. She thought she was seeing a different film after the intervals...:)
Based in Edinburgh she is so happy to know about Indian films that she was wondering why edinburgh, which is a pretty and romantic place has never been used in an Indian film.
She later went on to tell me how she was taught to dance Indian style at a wedding. The idea is the have a REALLY surprised expression on your in eyes wide open and mouth open a bit or with a BIG smile. And then throw your hands and arms around for good measure in every direction, if possible, in time with the music. Hmmm...wonder what Indian choreographers would make of that.
We went on to discuss where we could shoot an Indian film in Edinburgh. The Forth bridge could be a good backdrop for a floaty slow motion run in a sari. The beach could have some sexy shots in wet clothes. And the castle would be prefect for the villain to lock the damsel in distress in the dungeons. Ahhh...I can almost hear the songs now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Peaceful perfection

A night of rest,
in the morning - peace.
To wake with a smile,
to be able to turn over
and fall back to sleep.

To know you are safe,
and loved and held.
To forget all worries
and things that need doing.

To open your eyes
and see blue skies and sunshine.
To be warm under the duvet
but cool your arms on the out.

Then staying awake and functioning
doing what needs doing.
Knowing you shall be home soon.
To relax and talk and sleep.

It does sound and feel good,
finding a haven of peace and love.
This is a state of silence and contention,
when things are just..perfect.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hippy Thoughts

Had an interesting conversation with an interesting person yesterday about the joys of living in UK. She did mention that she likes the 'conversations' she had with people. About books, music, travel, politics, world affairs etc etc. We noticed that the people in this part of the world are for some reason more talkative and open to discussion than others back home.
This might have to do with the fact that a lot of them are curious and keen to know about the world around them. A lot of them are friendly and maybe the British politeness means that even if they are opinionated, they shall be open to a conversation about things they dont believe in. The fact that just about everyone in this country is a travel maniac and most people have travelled a lot does change things a bit. To plan a vacation every summer and winter to a place you have never seen seems to be a great way of changing your mental makeup.
I did point out to my friend that some time ago I had spoken to someone who mentioned that Indians are the rudest and most unfriendly people around. Broad as that generalisation maybe, it does contains a grain of truth. As i walk to work each morning, I see the same people, sometimes they say hello, sometimes they smile, sometimes they say good morning, and if we are picking an early morning cup of coffee, there is always a ave a nice day at the end of a quick chat.
People are just friendly here and they talk a lot. I have spoken to many random people in random places, mum of 3 travelling to Edinburgh who had thinning hair and talked about the cause of it being her three kids, mum with a pushchair on the London underground who was making her weekly trip to take the kids to the grandma, man who was walking a cute dog for his friends who were in Turkey on holiday, girls on the bus who shared some crisps with me, man with a hat glued on his head who was an old brigadier in the British Army. They all talk..whis is nice.
Try smiling at a stranger in a bus or a train in India and they shall stare at you. Try starting a conversation with a busy commuter in Bombay and see what happens. I do wonder why, a country with such warm people have such an unfriendly shut attitute to life? Why do we take ourselves so seriously...or am I being a hippy child and thinking the world is a sweet nice place and we should all be friends?

Not watching the World Cup

And it was a hot HOT day in was hotter still in Edinburgh. The second day of the world cup..the first England match kicked off at 2pm. So who was not watching...
Well people like me who find grown up men howling like babies over a missed goal and drinking themselves silly over defeat, and for that matter even victory.
Also a lot of women who dont like football or dont understand it
People who are SO relieved that the footbal fans are all in one place so there is no way they shall get stuck in a conversation that starts with..'did you see that goal...' and then carries on in great detail with the very real risk of death by boredom to anyone who is stuck between the chatty footbal fans
Also people who would rather catch some sunshine in peace while it is around, than sit around a big screen inside a smelly pub and watch some men chase a small ball across a large field.
Also not watching were the people of Scotland who support anyone who is playing against England
And then also all those who dont like the game, dont like the mania and hooliganism associated with it, and enjoy the empty streets while others watch.
Also not watching was the old granny who felt sorry for the man in black who is always in the match and chases the ball all over but never gets a chance to kick it!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Summer and Blackpool

I know its a cliche but it does seem that the year is running away again. Just a few months ago I was having a relaxed new year and now June is here. I mean month 6 and a few left to go and its back to winter again...and the summer is not here yet either.
Called India where the mother told me its TOO hot to talk and too hot to sit or stand..its just TOO hot..and is too cold, one jumper, a coat and tights..thats what you need here at this time.
I have been away slogging..and it does not feel too bad slogging as the weather outside sucks.

Decided to head to Blackpool this weekend. And it poured. Its supposed to be a nice English seaside town. Where families went on holiday with kids. It is also a place for heavy political activity as a lot of important parliamentary meetings are held there. It all sounded good..
...but it looked more like Las Vegas's poor cousin. There were hotels on every street and no shops, banks or cash machines for miles. Nothing. Just pubs, clubs..lap dancing type and hotels. The sea was muddy brown and the people were as tired and faded as the city itself. Antique trams rattled around and there seemed to be an air of despair around. The only happy people I saw were either drunk or about the get married..and hence drunk on their hen/ stag parties.

The saving grace was the sea. It roared and thundered and crashed and splashed. I sat there fascinated. I dont like water as it scares me..dont know how to swim..but the restlessness of the sea makes me peaceful for some vague reason. I can sit and watch the waves for hours. It was usual shell collecting for me when the tide went out. I now have a small collection of shells from various places. I was at peace near the sea and so the town did not bother me much.

Went to a circus there, after I dont know how many years. There were no animals but the show was good. I laughed a lot, and ate a lot of candy floss which made me a bit sick. But that is the idea aint it?
It was great to see a clown crack jokes and all kinds of acrobatics and stunts. It turned out to be an all female circus show that day, much to the pleasure of all the men who paid to get it. Also went up UK's tallest tower..well one of them. The Blackpool tower is Eiffel in aspiration. Now I need to go to Paris and see that one too. Have to, got to, must do..maybe when the summer finally DOES get here I will.

Next up is another trip to Edinburgh where in I am going to take a close look at the tombs and graves in the city which have now become a health and safety hazard due to drug addicts and junkies taking shelter in them. A lot of used syringes have been found there and a recent program on BBC showed how much has changed in the city due to drug usage. I want to check that out. Lets see!