Friday, March 31, 2006


Would you hit someone if you are really really angry, irrespective of the sex of the person?
Would you start a fight because you are angry enough?
Would you start a fight knowing you will not win it?
Would you hit someone bigger and stronger than you?
Would you hit a child who is not listening and driving you absolutely mad?

We all know of violence in pubs, clubs, marriages, parenting, football stadiums...So I ask...

Why do people hit other people? I am sure that everyone of us has hit something or someone out of anger at some point of time? Is violence insitgated by emotions (upset/angry) justified?

Some of us maybe pacifists and dont believe in shouting and violence, but would you then hit out at someone who is constantly hurting you? Or would you try and talk them out of it? Is violence in self defence acceptable?

Sitting on the fence here!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sacred Technology

When you mix whats sacred with technology you get a hybrid mix of religiously symbolic things mixing with what you see in stores..I shall not continue to confuse you...take a look yourself at the Buddha Machine I did not, could not and would not believe it.
The Buddha Machine is a hardware loop player, built kind of like a little AM radio (available in 6 different colors, shipped randomly), but without all the nonsense -- total genius from out of nowhere. check out

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Happy New Year

Its new year for the Kashmiri pandits, tomorrow is navreh or Nauroz as we call it. The start of spring. The traditional thali with the rice and the walnuts and the mirror, gold, sweets and calendar needs to be set up. I was (as usual) thinking back of the many Nauroz's I have spent at home, when I have woken up and called mum to bring me the thali so I can see my own face first thing in the morning. I would be happy to put tika on everything including my own forehead!

Tradition demands I fill in the thali tonight, which I shall do. Though it shall have a Galaxy chocolate on mithai around! Afsos!
Tradition demands new clothes to be worn. This is being done, ofcourse!!!
Tradition demands I take the thali to the people in my one here!!

In contrast to tradition the order to shop for new clothes and to celebrate came over SMS from mum. Things have moved on!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Doctor or Lawyer

Having met both at the same time in my life, I was not quite sure which one I prefer. Would I prefer to be stuck with legal matters which require trips to the court and meeting a lawyer ever so often...or would I prefer to go back and forth to a hospital? Meet doctors to sort a problem.
What would you prefer ill health and no legal matters?
Legal matters in perfect health?
I know perfect health and no legal issues seem to be the best option...but no..not here..think about it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Just another day

Just another day in prison, just one more young person who turned to crime, who could not tolerate the oppressive enrionment. Decided the way out was the permanent exit from life. One more statistic.
I really dont know if I should feel sorry or not for him. I was not a victim to the crime he committed so it makes it easy I suppose.
Its tough to sit on judgement if you have more than one perspective.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Being the kind who can just about cook and so survive, I am so keen to eat good things, the thought of it makes me want to go back home. Last night I dreamt that a person was severely criticizing my cooking skills, or lack of. I was being asked to make this..which I could not make, that...which I had not heard of and was being told I am a useless person to have in the kitchen. Boo Hoo! I am glad I woke up.
Now..I am thinking..for a person who loves good food, and it very picky about it it makes sense for me to know how to cook. However I cant make use of the traditional Kashmiri cuisine cooking classes. Where in the mother in law taught the newly married daughter in law how to marinate pickles, how to cook good food for the husband and how to make things which are over all healthy and good to eat. I dont think that is quite possible in todays day and age.So I shall not be able to use that line of learning.
Option 2 being stealing all of my mum's hand written cook books and using those...which is not possible as she is in India.
Option 3 is to look for good food around where I live. The only good thing available in this city is Aloo parathas (potato pancakes) and Chola bhatura (chick peas with fried bread).
The last resort seems to be to give up on good food and live on Ramen or Maggi or Chinese take away. I suppose the lastest resort is to marry someone who knows how to cook decent food :) Do I love food that much, ummm...I dont know!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Keep It Simple Stupid..seems to be the best philosophy in life. Men being men can not and will not even try and understand any thing simple. Basic. They are born solvers. They want to solve things and the things they cant solve they mistrust or laugh off as unimportant. Women see things from a strange perspective and can easily complicate the simplest things in life. So KISS-ing seems to be the only solution. But you cant over simplify things either, it makes people feel stupid, you cant complicate things it will make them suspicious or worse still confused. and Confusion in the male world is closely followed by lack of interest, what is not easy to figure out is not worth figuring out! Move some TV..thats simple.
To all the women who are reading this now..have you ever felt that you are talking a different language from what the men speak and understand? Felt frustrated enough to say aloud 'Now how can I explain this to you?' or worse still ' I cant explain this to you, you wont understand what I am saying'
To all men reading this, have you ever......NEVER MIND!!! you wont get what I am on about here!

Monday, March 20, 2006


After much planning and thinking and planning and running..I reached...I talked...I am assuming I conquered from the response I got from the crowds to my lecture. They lent me their ears and I abused those ears for about an hour.
My travels to a vague land were amusing and entertaining. It made me realise how huge, vast and strange our planet is. Landing in a set of islands that become on frozen landmass in the winter months due to the sea freezing was tough to picture in my head. Watching boats that need no anchors because the water will not take them anywhere was weird.

Then meeting people who could sit and still be at the same level as me while I stand was amusing, average height in JUST too damn high! I am not tall even from Indian standards, but needing to sit at the very edge of a chair just to keep my feet on the ground (I can see an irony on the edge to keep feet on the ground)..anyways...I sat back to rest my poor back and had feet dangling off the edge of the chair..a feeling that I have not had since I was about 10 years old I think.

Being in a brand new place with no idea of directions was strangely familair..6 years ago it felt that way being in I was lost for a while, then got my bearings.

The thing is...location, weather and food change, colour of eyes, skin and height change, profession and occupation change, but people remain the same. Women still want to be in love with the best possible man, children still want to scream and shout at every landing and take off, men want to sit and be left alone to watch TV in every culture, hushed tones of mothers around an insomniac child are there in every language, politicians bugging people exist around the globe.
It is a revelation. We are different and we want to same things in life. Amusing.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I tried my best..I could not. I could not take a photograph of the bright stars last night. The proximity to the pole, the cold clear weather, or the lack of pollution. I dont know which one of these or what combination. But yesterday I could think of nothing else...I was standing in -15 degrees outside a restaurant in Oslo..and I was silly enough to look up. Oh boy! I have never ever seen such big HUGE a cliched did feel like I could reach up and grab them. They were just TOO close..and too big and twinkly..crystal They look like diamonds in the sky...very twinkle twinkle...very nice. I am amused and surprised and also quite glad I came here.
Today I shall visit the Fjorde and the Munch Museum, and then get back to good old England.
It was a joke trying to use to net here...ek to everything is in Norwegian and the kerboard is strange as well. I feel like quite a gaon ki gori here with technology..not that I am any good with technology otherwise Ø)...cant make a smileyØ) they dont use colons or semi colons here apparently..and the laptop is dead thanks to no conversion plugs!! why cant some one standardise things in this world!!
More Travels Later!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Planet

I am in a stunning location right now. After seeing planet earth i was sitting and thinking how strange and weird and astonishing our planet is.
And now I am sitting in what looks like a country carved out of snow. Its mountains, it rivers, its lakes are frozen white. Being so close to the North Pole means its got this strange quality to its light..not only does the sun turn up at about 120degrees it stays there and thats it. The air is clear and so the colours look vey different. Strangely clean with the tallest people I have ever seen in my life, this place is amazing me. I shall add some pictures on my photoblog soon. This is Oslo, Norway. I am here for a few days and its a stunning place, with the most radical landscapes ever. Just drinking it in and adding fuel to the fire for the need to travel that lives not too far from the surface inside me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The problem with travelling

All my bags are packed,
Ready to go,
I am standing here,
Outside your door.
Yup!! Once again I am ready to go...go to a brand new space and place. Not knowing what I shall find..and it gives me a buzz :D I like travelling whether alone or not, but to new places. Its exciting. I feel like a kid.
And then despite these advanced years of mine, I have parents worrying or as Ma says 'concerned' not worrying. Who would like to know..if I am ok. Have reached etc etc (since I am going alone) its amusing and endearing. Is it not amusing how at some level despite what we do, what we learn and where we reach, we shall always be little children to our parents. Its something to accept and live with. That bit I can live with.
I have often wondered, I have lived alone, travelled a lot, a lot of times on my own, yet the parents think..and think, they get concerned and want to know about my safety. And then comes the whole, if you were with 'someone' we would not be so worried, then its two of you and the other person will look after you etc etc. That bit I have trouble accepting. Am I incomplete on my own? Do I need another person to make me more responsible and safer? I wonder. Its an eternal topic of arguement with mum.
Is it just me, over protected, baby sister of the family? Or do men have the same problem. I wonder.

Monday, March 13, 2006

No English Please

'..You say it best,
when you say nothing at all..'
I think its amazing that people all over the world speak so many languages. I also think its amazing how we (the English speaking lot) think and sometimes assume that others shall speak it too so we can get along without problems. But not everyone speaks English, in some cases they do, but they France. They dont like the English and English.
I am having particular problems translating maps from a different language into English so I can get about. The problem gets compounded when you change the script as well. So :( make me realise how little I know about this big place that we inhabit. Also makes me want to travel more to places where language will be a barrier and see how to get along and get around. hmm!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fog Index

New word and new formula for those who read and write complicated texts. Given to me in yet another training by the Dean of Research at my university.

We have to 'endeavour' to keep the FOG INDEX of our thesis low (between 30 - 40)

Fog Index = Number of words in a sentence X number of syllables in the longest word in that sentence.

any higher that 40 makes the text 'foggy'. Interesting use of the word and interesting formula as well. I am quite surprised that most people in academia dont use this thumb rule to make text more readable.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


'Those Who Can, Teach' is a UK Government initiative to lure (invite) more and more people to the teaching profession. Golden handshakes and high number of paid holidays plus flexible teaching hours make this area of work look very interesting. Teachers are paid as much if not more than doctors here (if you include the amount of holidays they get) But why is this country still short of teachers? Desperately short?

Well..remember your school days, when the worst thing that could happen to you was a letter or phone call going home to your parents?
Or PTA meetings when the teacher would shake his/her head in sympathy for parents whose child is beyond redemption?
Remember the fear of failing an exam or worse still falling ill before the exams?
And minutes before the exam when a friend asks..'did you take a look at that, that is sure to come' and you think DAMN...i should have stayed up longer last night.
You wished you teacher Good morning even if they met you in a market in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. You call them Ma'am even after years of getting out of school.

Well..all this is missing. You cant fail students in this country. cant fail them till they reach year 10. You cant tell them off cause it might cause trauma. You can complain to the parents because they can sue you for offensive behaviour. You can not tell a child to study hardeer / apy attention/ stop being silly, cause then you are bullying them. The student on the other hand can blame you for stress, tension and bullying. Can spit at you and abuse you verbally, you are not allowed to defend yourself in case of a physical attack.

The list goes on. But it does make you understand why people dont want to teach.
Yet I teach. Dont know why!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I think I think too much

I really think that I spend a lot of time thinking. Thinking things which are not always useful or problematic...I just start thinking and then get lost somewhere in my thoughts. I think positive thoughts, happy thoughts, negative thoughts, money thoughts, job thoughts, how is my family living so far away thoughts, should I stay in UK thoughts, PhD is a pain in the butt thoughts. Just a tiny set of simple thoughts..
Other than this there are the triggered by visual stimuli thoughts, this place is pretty thought - links to - that place was similar - to - I must go to Cornwall thoughts - which leads to - i do like travelling thoughts - and then where should I go next thoghts. Often the trigger is someone looking happy / sad / worried..and i think...what could be the matter, poor thing, I wonder if they have someone to speak to...
Then there is the pure none of my business line of thinking..wonder where she is going at this time, oh my god what is that, is purple the new black, when was the last time i saw a man with a long single braid, what do scots wear under kilts, why is this child crying, who cleans the windows of the towering office blocks, does chewing gum ever come off the pavement...
There are also idle thoughts..castles in the air thoughts...the hmm...I do SO wish this happens type..I shall not list those but shall stop by saying..they make me smile, they make me dream, they make me wish and want to pray!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Life = Game

Went for training for about job interviews for Doctoral Students, says Iwan the instructor,

"It's a bit like life really, a game, there are rules,
some you know, some you dont,
some get made up as you play,
some seem fair and others not so much,
but once you are in it, you have to play"

Interesting...Life = Game..I agree you HAVE to play...or you would not be alive, but I think rules are something you have to make yourself...or you will not be too happy for too long. Other people's rules are for them, some you can use, some are not applicable. So...think about this one!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Being Female

I have just read some bogs about female molested and harassment that plagues Indian society..Let me be politically correct and say it was written with Bombay in mind..
Read this.. Irrespective of age and gender, I can assure you, you will feel something..

I was just reminded after a long time of living in the British Society where I feel relatively safe what it is like to be female. I do walk around on my own, go for early morning sun rise gazing and come back from the gym at 10.30pm, walking on my own. I also go out for the occasional drink with my friends and come back on my own. I was reminded sharply of what it was like to be in Delhi and be female. This is not a comparison of UK Vs India..Maybe it is at some level.

The main point being, Annie has just written what all females have gone through at some point of time or the other. Some person grasping my behind as I get off a bus, someone reaching for my breasts while I look at something, some one touching my hand apparently by mistake...all signs of a lecherous society. I am not a violent person but the only time I have actually hit anyone, with the intent of hurting was in a bus in India. Coming back from college I was in a bus, thinking nice 17yr old thoughts. Perhaps wearing a sleeveless collared shirt with trousers was the crime...this man decides to feel up my entire arm and push his hand into my shirt from was for the nth time that I had been harassed in this way..I lost it. A punch kind of slap (coz the anger makes you curl your hands and you have never ever hit anyone) was delivered across his hand hurt for weeks. I reached home and had a bath for a long long long time..all the time crying hot tears of anger. I hit someone, but I can honestly say, if I did have a gun, I would happily shot the man. It was horrid. I still remember it clearly.

What I dont get is why we are asked to forget it, to not go out alone, to not wear what we please...there is a long list of nots. Why cant men keep their hands to themselves, it might save a lot of us a lot of hurt.

What I was talking about earlier was that in UK, I have rarely come across this. The odd drunk person might attempt at feeling you up, but they dont really do such things. I have not come across it outside pubs and clubs where you are already quite aware of your surroundings, perhaps wearing a tonne of clothes to keep the cold out helps, perhaps easily available female options who perceive molestation as complementary help. I dont know about respect for women, what I do know is they might be more forward here in demanding equality, what I also know is they stand by you and with you and shout along and possibly punch anyone who comes near you with a negative intent...I dont claim to love UK, but I do think I feel much safer here as a female.

but maybe its not that. A colleague of mine who is blonde, blue eyed and attractive works in India as a researcher, she finds that Indian men do not understand the word NO. They assume that any female at the receiving end of their attention should either stay shut and take it politely or walk away. However she has no reason to complain, coz she is female and come on a Guy will be a Guy..

Perhaps I am not making sense. Perhaps I am just too annoyed just thinking about it. I have just been jolted back to memories of why-oh-why thoughts, of innumerable baths to wash off the feel of groping hands, the memories of walking with a scowl and being a defensive prickly female. I am just dejavued.