Saturday, December 29, 2007

In Luck?

If you have someone you can cuddle up to and watch TV, you are in luck.
If you have someone who you can dial instantly from your mobile to say, car has broken down, HELP, you are in luck.
If you have someone who calls YOU to ask you if you have reached safely, you are lucky.
Some one you can reach out and get a warm hug from, you are lucky.

Yes, parents count as examples of the above.
Significant others count as well.

What we often forget, and yes it sounds a bit like a cliche, but we do in our daily runs to work, home, deadlines, bills to pay, cheques to deposit, dishwashers to load, ironing to do, books to read, tickets to book, movies to see..often forget, that if we are within easy reach of a hug, cuddle, kiss, phone call..we are lucky!

Yes the person is aware of your love, and no you might not need to say it everyday, but you must remember, sometimes, when the stray ray of sunshine illuminates your mind.. you are loved...unconditionally, completely and wholly by someone, You are Lucky.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas List

December 25 conjures the following:

Turkey, presents, tinsel, baubles, pine, fir, lights, pudding, chocolates, food, alcohol, friends, family, fights, stockings, chimneys, Santa...

Greedy kids, over enthusiastic shoppers, overloaded food tables, wasted food, wasted wrapping paper, unwanted gifts, unpleasant surprises, family fights...

Spirit of love, smiling people, dreamy faces, uplifted faces looking for snow, praying for miracles, prayers, warmth, togetherness...

Hopes dashed, stressed out adults, overfed children, appeals on TV which wrench your heart, endless repeats of 'Last Christmas', 'Dreaming of a white Christmas', 'Santa Baby', ' All I want for Christmas'...everything red and green...

£1.5million per minute being spent today, one day before Christmas, said one radio station...interesting thought...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I am. A waste of space. Right now.
For the first time in my life I have nothing...*NOTHING* left to do. The thesis is written, the teaching is done, the journals have been read. I have no work. Nothing.

In the past 30 years of my existence I have been busy all the time. School at 2.5 yrs of age and then BA, Post Grad, Job, MA, Job, PhD, Job, Job, been an endless list of studying, working, Studying + working, Working + studying, working and looking for study, Studying and looking for work..but there has never been any time when there is nothing on my a to-do list. As in when-I-get-time-I-will-do____. Its strange, not sad.

Yes I have had my holidays, and my travel, and my time outs, but even then, at the back of my mind I know...I need to do this when I get back. I know there is work on my desk, I know there are things I have to read, process and write about.
But right now...its nothing!!!

So I can actually wake up..and lie in bed, eat breakfast and watch morning TV!!!Lounge around, shower and get back into track bottoms :) no phone calls to make, no email to check, no bus/train to catch. I can read books I like, listen to music I like, and chill without the clock ticking in my head!

I am sure I shall get bored of it soon, but right now, I am happy! doing nothing!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Big Headed - Moi!

I went to work yesterday and found a massive package sitting on my table, from Florence. And there is me thinking...Florence? Florence? Yes I was there recently but..??? Opened it to find...ta FIRST book. Its an edited book in which my chapter turns up on page 267! Oh oh oh...I was all smiles :) for a long time..till I started to look insane.
So ok, yes I have published in journals, newspapers, magazines, spoken in Conferences, lectures and yes the tough skin is there and I have seen my name in print several times before...but not in a book!! Happy. I am awaiting yet another one for next year and I am sure I shall be as happy about that as I am about this.
For those of you who want to nose around a bit more..the book is:
"Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Meeting Stakeholder Interests" its published by the University of Firenze (Florence).
Smiling...still smiling..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Darjeeling Ltd

Saw this film - the Darjeeling Ltd by Wes Anderson the film was on a completely different plane...strange, interesting, weird...a must see for anyone who likes strange films..Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be.

The one thing I liked about the film was this song by Peter Sarstedt

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

Its a haunting tune, nice lyrics..just listen to it..

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair

You live in a fancy appartement
Of the Boulevard of St. Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head

I've seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pines
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan, on your back and on your legs

When the snow falls you're found in St. Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon Brandy
But you never get your lips wet

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

Your name is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for chistmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh haha

They say that when you get married
It'll be to a millionaire
But they don't realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, they give a damn

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly brown tags, yes they try

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
'Cause I know you still bear
the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
'Cause I can look inside your head

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

House and Home

My Mother always said that the soul of the house is a combination of the characters that live in the house. The decoration, the photographs, the colours, the sounds, the smells of a house give it the warmth and character which makes visitors and guests feel warm and welcomed, and the people who live in it safe and happy. So no matter how shabby or posh the building, how pretty or boring the location, how big or small the house is, the people who live in it make it a home.

When I first moved into this house, a riverside apartment, it was an unfurnished bare house, it was long and plain and boring, my flatmate then said its long and boring enough to play cricket in. Over a period of time of collecting furniture, fabrics, curtains, blinds, cushions, flowers, mats and carpets flown in from Kashmir changed it into a home.

Everyone who came to the house loved the place and felt at home. It might have been small but it was cosy, having a river flowing outside with swans and ducks floating by and the occasional rower gave it a good view. Having the sun coming in through the large windows and thick walls that kept the silence and noise within made this house nice. An open kitchen where many cups of tea and many many meals were cooked while having a conversation with someone was one of the best parts.
Having a tiny bedroom filled with photographs of loved ones, cards, drawings made by students I taught a long time ago, incense sticks made it my little haven of peace. Clocks with GMT and also a small one with Indian Time, kept me connected to home in India. Paintings on the walls made by me, craft made objects collected from varied travels, books, hundreds of them from chick lit, to classics, fiction, non-fiction, travel guides, cook books filled the place with character. Music some english, some hindi, some jazz, some Indie, some dance, some Himesh, added the mood.
Yes this house was a home, warm and welcoming and open to anyone who wanted a chat, a meal, a bit of gossip, a warm hug, cups of steaming tea - English and Kashmiri, pasta and Indian curries of all sorts. It was a place friends could come and hide in, sulk in and also party in.

With most of it packed away in many many cartons, it looks like a house again. Bare walls, empty rooms and the home is back to being neutral. Empty.

I take with me many memories and a chance to turn yet another house into a home.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I am a genius. Not only am I managing to get rid of the stuff in my house without needing to move my backside. I am also managing to sell it without moving my backside. Halleluja for Gumtree!!

With Him gone to join work I am at home with the packing. And so last night when nothing interesting was on telly and I could not be asked to pack anymore, I sat with the next best thing..the laptop. Typed away to find places where I could post an ad locally for my stuff..Yes I know ebay exists but I think its too huge and my techo phobe mind shuts down when there is too much info on one page. And when there are type of things around. They hint that you might need the help. And that is just TOO much for me to handle. (Did I mention I am doing a PhD?)
So, I found gumtree and at something like 2am I put up ads for my stuff. And now less than 24 hours later its gone. Mighty impressed with powers of the internet. And then the evening news said, government is warning people about social networking sites and places of public exchange online for fear of identity theft. And since the radio was on all day as I packed, I heard the same news about twenty times!!! And was left wondering if selling online is really a good idea. But something tells me people like to be warned but not nagged into submissive paranoia. Nah! I am happy. As of now, I am..if things shall turn nasty despite my preventive thinking about online security, I shall sort them then, meanwhile I can stare happily at the empty rooms and the money in the bank :)

I also managed to run out of bubble wrap which is addictive in idle hands. There is something therapeutic about popping bubble wrap. So I needed newspaper to be shredded for padding cartons for crockery. Genius struck once again. Out came my shredder and in went newspapers, magazines, pamphlets...Perfect!! I am recycling AND not having to stop and get out for bubble wrap. Genius or what?

Where do I begin..

Anyone who has ever moved cities and has managed to move their own stuff (read furniture) get a stand up round of applause from me. a nightmare..especially when one is female and tends to hoard stuff. Heavy books, glossy manuals, tourist guides, museum prints. Not to mention music CDs and shoes and handbags.

I have been packing, and packing and packing and I am nowhere close to finishing. Relocating sounds exciting but the packing is a killer. I would not want packers to come in and help me...they cost an arm and a leg but I also do not want eyebrows raised over personal belongings.

So, I thought I would pack and dump packed cartons in my spare room. I had visions of a small neat pile of stuff, packed and labeled, and ready to go. Small being the operative word..say 3-5 large cartons. And thats it.
Ok so the bad news is I do have stuff...a house full of furniture and electronics and the normal girly paraphernalia of pretty looking things which are of no use but to beautify the house. Ok I have been in this city for more than 7 years..and yes I admit it..I do like Ikea :)

So coming back to my vision...I am less than half way through my packing..the books take up 5 cartons, the music in one, the paints in another, handbags in another, shoes in another, my paintings which I am attached to are carefully wrapped, there is a Large Carrom board thanks to Him, who is good at playing. There are also all manners of carpets, rugs, durries, cushions, curtains. A whole load of kitchen stuff and decorative bits, wires and electronic goods, PhD papers, shredder, wall hangings. Did I mention I am less than half way through? Well I have not counted clothes and jewelry and also not the furniture of a 2 bed house :)

The pathetic thing here is that He can actually pack all his material possessions in to one large suitcase and a large haversack. Well some books and CDs are his..but hey..I look like a magpie in comparison..collecting stuff. Its strange how one person who comes to a place with worldly goods packed in a suitcase can end up with a room full of possessions, and this is after I have donated about half my things!!!

I shall live in hope!! That I shall be able to pack and that sometime I shall be light and ready to travel and move to wherever catches my fancy!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finicky Woman

The Man and I are planning to move house and city. Being the man he decides how much we want to spend and then I decide what all I want in a house. The place in question is only the biggest city in the world. So choosing a place to stay was like going to a rain forest in search of the perfect green leaf!

For him it was simple - close to work, fits budget. That is it!

For me the list started with:
~Time (how far from work)
~Effort (how long a commute)
~Money (how much is the cost of the commute)

Then moved onto specifics
~How many bedrooms? Bathrooms?
~Fully loaded kitchen?
~Double glazed? Gas Central heating?
~Furnished? Unfurnished?

And Further specifics
~House (old build or new and updated)
~Flat/ Apartment (which floor)
~South Facing (In light deprived UK this is MOST important)
~Respectable and safe area?
~How far are the nearest shops?
~What kind of night/evening life (pubs/clubs/restaurants/cafes)

Even further specifics were about
~How far are family and friends?
~Is it green? Are there any parks? Riverside walks? Calm areas of green?
~Gated access through screened entrances?
~Decor? Do I need to repaint? Refurbish?

So, every time we viewed a house this was the standard conversation:

HIM: "I think its nice, lets take it and finish with it!"
ME: " not sure, lets think about it!"

Then we would view some more houses, and the conversation became:
HIM: "I liked it, what do you think?"
ME: "I am not sure, it does not have..and i would rattle off one or more of my eligibility criterion"

We reached a point of agreement where in he said he comes home only to sleep and I being the Master and Commander of the home front, I should decide and he will go along with me decision. And he shall say no more (which did not happen at all)

Many houses and apartments later, we zoned into a couple of homes we liked...i liked the space, the view, the kitchen, the location...and he, he shrugged and exhaled:)

At the end of the day...I am a choosy woman and I cant help it. What I would like to know is if I am the choosy one, or all women are like that. I know what I want and dont its not a indecisive matter..its more like...I want everything!

The hunt continues...but this great difference in how we view homes was an eye opener..:D
I dont know what shall happen when we start packing. I guess he will pack his worldly possessions in One suitcase and will be done..while I have rugs, curtains, cushions, clothes, jewelry, shoes, hats, music, books..the list goes on and on...packing should be fun!! If we find the right house that is!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Big Town Living

What is about growing up in a big town that gets to people? If you have spend your years growing up in a metropolis or a big city you shall always meet some city-basher who shall talk about the perfection of small town life.

Or there shall always be the one weirdo who shall keep trying to prove a point about being open minded and 'modern' despite having grown up in a smaller place.
A long time ago I had a friend from a small town in North India who would hate revealing to people where she was from. A move to the capital city of India meant this pal of mine underwent a mini personality transformation - from using 'cool' language to being clued in about stuff she only just heard about. It was weird. Because I used to like the original, in your face, straight talking yet slightly shy person who she was before.

I dont know if this need to prove a point is more obvious in women, but it looks like it is. Women tend to put themselves out a little bit more, while men seem to be happier in their own skins. They shall remain pals with their school friends, they shall not hesitate from saying where they are from, while women - well women will be women, any chance to deceive and impress shall be grabbed.

I know I might be using a rather wide brush here, but this came to mind today when at work this nice female colleague from a relatively small place in England called Middlesborough decided to jump down the throat of a male colleague from Manchester. It was plain weird. There seemed to be competition about knowing the best clubs, seeing the coolest gigs, holding season tickets to football clubs, using cool acronyms of 'cool' things, having been there done that bought the t-shirt..and it just went on and on. So while I peacefully ate my lunch I had sparring companions, food being spat out, and the over arching eyebrow raised coolness on either side. Got caught in the cross fire when asked where I was brought up...well yes I am a big city girl, but I have done my time in a little valley in the foothills of the Himalayas and hold no grudges. But I was not taking sides...oh no...I was thinking about putting my thoughts onto the blog.

But I still do not get why people from smaller places feel like they have a point to prove and a memory to over write and omit. Why oh why do people pretend to be cool..when they so obviously are not..and it does not matter anyways!! Look at Posh Spice, house, clothes, family, friends and accent changed - to wipe her small town roots...someday..the Good lord shall shine the light on her, and she shall take those sunglasses off and see it, meanwhile she me while I find a bucket)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Amelia Jane

Amelia Jane plays all sorts of tricks on the toys. She steals the teddy bear s necklace, causes chaos with a boomerang and scribbles all over the nursery walls. The toys try to teach her a lesson, but it seems nothing can make Amelia Jane be good again!

She is a character from Enid Blyton's books. A naughty doll with short curly dark hair, she causes a lot of trouble wherever she goes.

I used to like reading the series when I was very young. In college..a long time ago someone compared me to the naughty Amelia on account of appearance as well as supposed expression. Many many years later, today when I went for a haircut, the hairdresser smiled at her own creation of my hair and pronounced me Amelia Jane. I dont know about the political correctness of the name and I certainly dont want to discuss Enid Blyton's writing's political incorrectness, but the name did bring some sweet memories back.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trust - Pain: Mum

Trust is directly proportional to pain.
The higher the pain the more likely we shall go to someone we highly trust.
High trust often causes pain too.
Not so painful situations can be handled by
people who dont need too much trust.
But when you are at your vulnerable best, and in pain.
You would want only that one who you can trust with your life.
The one person who will always fill this post,
irrespective of who comes and goes is Mum.
The list might get added to,
but Mom is who you will remember first when in pain,
she will remember on the top of your trust list.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Female: Female

Always happens. Put three straight women, married or otherwise attached and a gossip session happens. Whether it is the sad state of the house when you come back from work and he has got home early enough to randomly throw socks around the living room. Or it is about the difficulty of finding decent clothes and shoes. About the need to work hard and also therefore play hard and spend time relaxing. About doing the next course, job application of fill tax returns and figure out the CGT. About not having enough shoes, or about the laziness of the husband / man around the house.
It starts with standing around in the kitchen, or sipping cups of tea, or near the car while the men discuss the new computer, iPod touch or whatever new technology catches their fantasy while you get the time away from his ears to moan about life in general.

We women dont moan, we just discuss things, men dont get this point of cribbing without REALLY wanting anything to change. We talk to other women, who will shake their heads and within 3 minutes tell you a similar instance that happened to them or someone they know. Its oddly comforting!

So, a few of us were sitting and talking about plans for Christmas and how things have changed post marriage, now that we are supposed to divide our time between our own parents and the in-laws who would also like to see us. The need to see where the man stands on the issue and how we would really like things to be, to the extent of what we would expect from the would be wives of our would be sons, should we decide to give into parental pressure and produce off springs.

The talk extended to useless gifts received by all of us at some point of time from well meaning relations of the husband. It then went on to how all spouses think we do have too many material possessions and how we always went shopping too often.

Then we spoke to this mother to be who is one of us, and she moaned about the traditions of not buying anything new in anticipation of the new baby as it acts as a temptation to evil things. So she can buy nothing till the baby is born, she is actually DYING to stop at Gap and Mothercare and buy tonnes of stuff. Once the little on pops she will be in no shape to go shopping alone and wander around looking and sighing at stuff. So we, the female gang, have decided to take her shopping and hide the goodies and then spring them on her as a surprise when the little on arrives.

Another one of us hopes to take up a job which her in-laws are not too keen for her to do. Left in a limbo she does not know what to do. She is applying anyways, if she gets it, she shall figure out how to go about doing it.

Yet another one needs to go using her credit card till it sizzles with heat of being swiped for Christmas goodies for her new in-law family. She is wondering how she will cope.

Another one was talking about needing to make small talk to wives of her husband's friends, most of who are airheads and think about nothing but gym and shopping. And of course comparing kids and the classes they attend.

The girlie in the group wants to move town and take her only too willing boyfriend along, but his mates have an issue with that and call him all kinds of names, some not so polite, for being ok to move with her to a new life.

So we moaned, we bitched, ate some chocolate cake, drank some tea, thought about work and problems, about careers and husbands, shopping and the approaching festive season. Got it all off our chests and went back to our men. Who, none the wiser, were pleased to see us looking de-stressed and smiley. Yes we do come from another planet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snob? Moi?

Naah! Cant be. But in the deeper darker recesses of my mind I do wonder. Sometimes.
Yes I do look down at people, but don't we all, I just voice my snobbery, at least I am honest and not the bitching variety.
Yesterday I was in Southern England, a 'posh' part of a posh village. The high street boasted of designer boutiques and posh nosh. Michelin starred chef's, the cool people's watering holes, all kinds of haberdashery, knitting needles, hand made chocolates, tearooms and a complete lack of retail chains, riverside properties which boasted personal boats parked outside the house. It was kind of cool without trying.
It was the kind of picture perfect place you watch on TV, with the river and green banks, windmills and old wooden bridges and locks. Pretty.
I did see the mandatory newsagent, run by an Asian looking person, and this is what got me thinking, why oh why and how oh how do Indian's run so many shops in other parts of the world, and am I being a snob by noting this down?
Having lived in places where a huge number of people are Asian or Afro Caribbean in origin means, the 'white' population is not too high in this place. This going to a place where there was hardly any colour but white also made me think. Can a place not be posh if it has a mixture of cultural backgrounds? And does a lack of Chav's make a place posh? Or is it a lack of graffiti, dirt, empty packets of crisps, cigarette butts?
And am I a snob when I observe such things?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Status: Married

Nothing much changes after one gets married, especially if you have been spending a lot of time together before marriage. So after being married when people asked me, 'how does it feel to be married' my response has been, well pretty much the same as before really.
So it was quite a surprise to find my status changed from being the woman who walks around the house with nail paint, cotton wool and a nail file to being, Wife, The Finder of All Things Missing. I am due to the sheer dint of being married, should have been gifted with an all seeing, all locating ability to find objects that have gone missing or are not in the place they have last been left at. Thus I am asked about missing socks, towels, house keys, papers, pens and pretty much anything and everything that is not right under His nose. His nose being a decent size meaning most things are not exactly under it.
My surprise was manifested in all its glory when I was asked to find the TV remote, the shape and size of which eludes me at most times as I dont really watch much TV. I was also asked to locate the mobile phone charger, we have quite a few phones around and so the chargers keep changing..which means it was a long monosyllabic conversation consisting of, 'this?', 'no', 'this?', 'no', and on and on it went. The fact that I dont see the difference between two black cables does not help here. From my point of view all wires look the same and there are far too many around this house of ours.
My hope is my ability to locate things shall become sharper and almost intuitive as the years pass by. But I still wonder why women (read wives) are often thought of as enquiry offices. Does it say something in the terms of marriage which determines the Wife as the keeper, locater and finder of all things missing?
The flip side ofcourse He would say is, the garbage gets taken out magically, have not changed a bin liner since I got perhaps he can moan that he has changed into the One Who Empties The Bins.
The woman doth protesteth too much I hear you say?
If I did want to work as a finder of things I would work within the Lost and Found departments. Try it..try being at the end of conversations that end with a question mark, followed by an incredulous look when you reply, I dont know!

Friday, October 05, 2007


World Bank's newest report on India...glows
Unleashing India's Innovation.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Burd-day

A long time ago when I was in school, primary school, birthdays were a big event. People used to be virtually dated and cajoled and basically buttered up before the upcoming birthday. In school the questions were about, Who will sit next to you?
Who will hold the packet of sweets as you give them out? Who will spend break time holding your hand and walking beside you like a shadow.
At some point of time the teacher would ask the birthday kid to come stand in the front of the class and have the rest of the class sing Happy Birthday loudly. Once the child has finished beaming benevolently at the rest of the class, it was allowed to walk around and hand over sweets to everyone in class who would wish the BDAY boy/girl again. If luck was in you were allowed to walk around the rest of the block and offer sweets to all the teachers.
The cringe worthiness of this whole thing gets better when you recall the fact that the Birthday kid did not need to wear a uniform for that one 'special' day. Thus I remember being horrified with visions in pink froth, cream satin dresses with ballerina shoes, a spider man and also someone who wore a bright yellow shirt with shiny black shorts - looked amazingly like a bumble bee.

Added to these ignominies was the Birthday party, which was to be 'your' day so the birthday boy/girl could do and say pretty much anything she or he wanted to. This leading to evil tendencies being revealed (kids can be pretty mean). The poor soul would need to wear a multi colour feather cap of conical shape. Have others wear glittery concial caps on their heads and have people singing Happy Burd-day too yoouuu very loudly and hoarsely till the cake got cut and stuffed into people's mouths to shut them up.
The food consisted of chola, bhaturas, something saccharine sweet like rasgullas or gulab jamuns, sandwiches, and loads of fizzy drinks. Plus of course the cake.
The gifts are part of any birthday deal and there would be all sorts, from paint boxes to geometry kits, pencil boxes, pen sets etc etc. Anything a 7-10 year old would want.

The one thing that needs recalling here are the expressions:
Birthday kid - goody two shoes, sulky, benevolent, cocky, delighted, greedy and satiated with cake and food, tired and grumpy at the end.
Pals - smiley, envious, wishful and scheming about what they would do on their special days
Parents - ecstatic, worried about being hosts, tired
Teachers - bored yet smiley, happy for a sugar fix but tired of singing the same song and making people feel special yet remind them of limitations of birthday advantages.

Birthdays were fun-ny. I recall attending many birthday parties as a child, and they all fit on the same pattern. It was the sighting of a conical multi coloured feathered cap that set of this reminiscence.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Think about things.
Wish upon a star.
Ask for things you want.
Look for things you like.
Hope for things to be good.
Fear not about things.
Cross no bridges till you see them.
Think no negative thoughts.
Block out people who get you low.
Stay around people who make you laugh.
Never look back.
Never wish ill.
Never say never.
Look below you be thankful.
Look above you and think.
Look in the mirror and see yourself.
Never underestimate. People, things and situations.
Dont make trivial things that are important.
Dont give importance to things that are trivial.
Never forget who you are.
And where you came from.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Joy at Heathrow

This is the one part of London I dont exactly love. A badly managed, badly planned airport. One of the busiest in the world and there is no where to sit.
Had to stand for 3 hours and wait for someone to turn up. Immigration is short staffed, baggage halls are over loaded and too many flights land at the same time. There are few meeting points and the joy of meeting a loved one is slightly clouded over by a big FAT CAT boot landing on your toes.

A well meaning cabbie recommended travelling via Birmingham, even if it meant flying to Amritsar first!! :D avoid heathrow say people. They have lost many bags, have security alerts by the tonne and all queues take atleast 3 hours to clear, whether you are coming or going. Sad it is!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My latest addiction
and also

WARNING: You will if you are any good at English get addicted..its a simple game like hangman or killer. Its better than Scrabble on you dont need anyone to play with..its you and and the clock..and it CAN waste a lot of time. I would not play at work..but try it.

Its good!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Have been bouncing off the walls recently, hyper energetic, hyper active and getting happier by every passing day. I think good health is back and though the end of summer is a sad thing, I can smell the winter early in the morning, there is a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to turn colour on the edges.
Have been listening to Friction, a compilation by Bobby Friction on loud. I have never liked Bhangra as such...always thought England hypes it too much and most people think Indian music means Bhangra (pronounced Baan-graa in UK)...but this CD which belongs to the eclectic listener who I am married to, came out from under a stack I was cleaning. On full blast, I could hear it over the roar of the Rolls Royce engine which seems to reside in my vacuum cleaner. Loud beats thrumming through the walls, I gave a passing thought to my neighbours, but then again, who sleeps till noon on a Sunday and if they dont collect pension every month.
The days have passed and July staggered to an end and now August has crawled past. Finally its the month in which I can be happy. According to forecast this month shall be the 'most glorious yet'. Lets see. What I think about zodiac forecasts is a matter or debate..I tend to take on board all the good news and wave off the bad news as mumbo-jumbo.
So time is ticking and I am feeling happy!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Hostage Marriage

Why do marriages disintegrate? Are we are divorce happy generation? I can bet you know of some one..friend / family who is divorced/ going through divorce/ thinking about splitting..or all of the above..don't we all. But why?
Having been brought up in a stable loving family I have never seen my parents argue. Well one of them does not talk back at any single point of time..which is probably why they are not arguing. I did not know that walking out of a marriage was an option. Seeing my parents I assumed they always got along. I am sure they did not..but I never knew marriages are NOT written in stone much later.

I often feel the problem arises when people hold the divorce option open..a teeny crack..a tiny space where you know..if push comes to shove you shall dash out. If push comes to shove. But then the idea and the word conjures up the divorce mention its name and its present, watching, scoring points, being looked at by both spouses as a presence amidst them, noting down every wrong word and action, just in case its needed later. The devil works on your fear and ego and inability to resolve issues. It gives you options..hold its hand and walk straight out to a happier, freer, more fulfilling life. No adjustments, no problems, peace of mind and no stresses related to being in a marriage.
Its as tempting an option in the middle or an argument as a cigarette is to a stressed out ex-smoker, chocolate to a woman on diet..same know its bad for you, but its tempting none the less. This unwelcome visitor exists by the virtue of being recalled as a solution. Once the door is opened to an exit from a have to try pretty hard to shut it.

What upsets me is the fact that people use this devil as a bargaining tool within the relationship. If you don't do this, I shall leave you, If you dont stop doing that I shall leave you etc etc...and every statement like that brings this creature further into the home. In a relationship other than marriage its not a problem, you know you can get out without needing lawyers and courts, in most cases. But marriage, is a different ball game. You get into it for life, to stay together, work out issues and be together till one of you dies. Its a togetherness till eternity kind of situation.

Yes there is always an exit to a marriage and nothing is written in stone. But would it not be easier to pretend it was written in stone? A last resort should be left as just that..a last resort, not a stop over when you need it. Not a practice run for better behavior, not a dagger over a precious relationship. Yes its tempting to run when things get hard...but holding a relationship hostage by the dint of it not being written in not right.
Some things are hard, but there are always solutions. Its up to individuals to look at the solutions and options to make things work rather than hold the creatures hands and walk away to the courts. Dont look at it, dont bring it in! The divorce devil should stay out. With the door firmly shut on its face!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Is it necessarily a good thing to be experienced? Do we have better more fruitful lives thanks to all that we learn from existing on the planet. Yes, every passing birthday is a reminder of the years you have spent and of hopefully all the wisdom that you have gained. But is it all useful and good.
Are past experiences and learnings useful? Don't they sometimes inhibit one from doing what one wanted? Do they leave one slightly more cynical and maybe mistrusting?
It is sometimes about making mistakes and learning from them, but then is this not sometimes a sort of a paranoia mixed with a sense of dejavu which causes a passes sense of fear and then also mistrust? Experience taught you how to prevent hurt, and how to save and protect yourselves from people and situations. But did it not leave a bitter lasting after taste in your mouth, which comes out in the future?
Its is not possible not to come across troubles and situations as life moves. But what I am arguing is the past is sometimes a good teacher, and yes hind sight is the clearest of all and all that. But sometimes we have to un-learn what we have learnt, in order to be fair. It is not quite as bad a judging a book (person/situation) by its cover, more like saying..yes the cover revealed a bad book last time, but I shall try my luck at this one because it might be better.
In and ideal world its possible to take what you want away with you from an experience and let the negativity be left behind. But in the real world sometimes you carry that negativity as a talisman to save you in other such similar situations, should they occur in the future. It is not possible to get rid of experience and it is also not nice to become naive and innocent and trusting, and most times this switching back is not possible. Life moves in one direction only..forward. You can not halt it and often can not change what comes your way. Then it seems the only option is to store experiences in a backed up file in your mind and bring them out, only when really needed. Dont use them unless you are sure you want to go into the file, because it is like a Pandora's might get a solution but you will also get problems and hope.
I guess what I am trying to say here is, its good to be old and wise, but its not good to be wise in all situations. Sometimes adventure and a clean sheet for a new beginning will teach one new lessons. It is up to an individual to push away a nagging thought (specially if its negative) which arises out of experience and be optimistic and looking at something in a fresh manner.
Experience is over rated I think, its good to be smart, but it is not always good to have learned wisdom through tough situations. If you are smart enough to use what needs to be used from your experiences and shut away what you don't, you should be happy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Soul Meets Body

On loud, this is a MUST hear for anyone who likes songs that mean something..

I want to live where soul meets body
And let the sun wrap its arms around me
And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing
And feel, feel what its like to be new

Cause in my head theres a greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place
where theyre far more suited than here

And I cannot guess what we'll discover
When we turn the dirt with our palms cupped like shovels
But I know our filthy hands can wash one anothers
And not one speck will remain

And I do believe its true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause youre the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body

And I do believe its true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause youre the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

This is Death Cab for Cutie

Monday, August 27, 2007

The New World

Imagine yourself:

~In a new country
~In a new city
~Very far from all family and friends
~You are lost for direction and know no one
~You are here to stay for a year at least
~The currency and food are beyond comprehension
~You did your research, but this is real-time
~You can not turn around and run
~You can not moan and complain

Yes, its September soon and Universities across the world open to new students. The world is a smaller place, but no less daunting. Its a mix of excitement and the apprehension of the unknown. Its the feel of the cold air, which smells different and the scope of meeting a whole lot of new people you might be friends with for a while. Its the reminiscence of home made food and the warmer climates. The longing for known roads and the familiar faces. But for many this is also the step, or rather a leap away from the known into the something that needed dreaming, planning, hard work and a lot of anxiety.

As airlines book in young people to fly across the skies in pursuit of further education, September shall be yet another month that sees Universities welcoming the new lot of students. Term has not started yet, but the planning is nearly over. I see new lost faces walking around town and I feel sorry for their lost looks, but also envious of the blank sheets of paper they are right now.

To those who are in this boat of being an International / Overseas student, best of luck. Those of you, who have been in that got over it!And shall hopefully never be in that boat of excited and scared, hopeful but wary, far away from home and clueless mode!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Had a choice last night between Chak De and Bourne Ultimatum.
Saw the latter. Matt Damon is Jason Bourne.
I dont like watching films and most films I see are a chore. I see my watch within 40 mins of any film starting. And this is true for every single film I watch (I watch many as most of my friends like films). So when I watch a film and forget about my watch...I deem it a good film. And there as VERY few of those.
Bourne Ultimatum - two words...WATCH IT!
It was Good!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Conversation in Class

Location: Prison for Young Offenders in England
Age: 18-21
Sex: Male
Offense: Theft, Murder, Rape, Arson, Threats to witness, Assault and the list goes on...and on and on...

The bunch of lads I had this morning were not the brightest lot. I am not saying they are stupid but the phrase 'lights are on, nobody is home' comes to mind often. As is often seen at this age and in this 'social' group of young men - women are most important. They like to swear on their mum's lives, they live by their 'gals' visit. They keep letters sent to them by the women in their lives close to their hearts and are often driven to self destructive thoughts when they get 'Dear John' letters from home.

This poor soul in my class has been looking surrealistically happy for the past few days. He is not very bright, bless him, but he has a good heart, which was obviously not beating when he stabbed an old woman on the street. He is doing his time in prison so its okay I guess.
This morning's conversation then, without further ado,

Me: What are you looking so happy about?
Him: Oh Miss I cant tell ya.
Me: Go on, tell me, you have been smiling for 3 days in a row now.
Him: I know, Oh Miss I cant wait to get out. I am just itching to get out now.
Me: How long do you have left?
Him: 10 months
Me: So tell me why are you so happy, its not like you are releasing anytime soon.
Him: My gal's pregnant.
Me: Oh Congrats, that is good news, no wonder you have been smiling. When is the baby due?
Him: Christmas this year..
Me: 3 months left to go then. The baby wont be too old when you get out.

(Realization strikes me - violent offense, he cant be on such a short sentence despite the British Legal System's ongoing love affair with prolific offenders)

Me(carefully): So how long have you done now in here?
Him(Kind of proudly): 18 months
Me(a little zapped): At a stretch? or were you out on tag (release) for a while?
Him (Very proudly, chest out, chin up): At a stretch miss, I've been ridin it out like a solja.

I smile back at him and think. God Bless Him, aint the sharpest pencil in the box but hey, someday the penny shall drop...I hope. Till then I shall leave him to his smiles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Have been feeling pretty miserable lately thanks to being ill and on a liquid only diet for the past week or more. Sitting alone in the house, moping around, wishing I was somewhere else. Don't want to do anything, but I am also very bored. I don't have the energy to go out and I am not ill enough to sit still. It has been a pain. Random thoughts, phone calls, fever induced dreams, medicine induced sickness and worry induced headaches and I am now at the very end of my rather long rope.

I went out today to the market, needed to post something. Walked past shoes and clothes and perfumes, all of which tempt me when I am in a good mood. But I am not. In fact today I was just irritated by the in-your-face marketing these products get. Was I at I walked (read Stomped) into my favourite book store. Somehow the silence, the cool air, the neat displays and the quietly engaged looks of the people inside makes me feel calm. There is a sense of calm in looking through books, which not the same as looking through music. And is quite the opposite of looking through clothes. You look at titles, authors, categories of writing, new stuff, spines, back blurbs, imagery and you get absorbed.

I had been walking around wound up and rattled and tired. Then found solace at Waterstones, bought a bag full of books that caught my fancy. I shall hide in them, switch off the doorbell, the TV, the phones, the router, the laptop..and read. A good book is so special, and worth so much, I find it difficult to describe it in words.

I shall hide from the world, sometimes you need to switch off the rest of the world and hide in a cave. By yourself. Away from the noise, which perhaps you brought onto yourself. Away from people, with who there is constant contact and thus a need to keep conversations going. Go back inside your own head. And hear the silence broken only occasionally by a turning page. Bliss.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What did I mean?

I meant no matter what happens, I shall remain by your side.
However tough things get, you shall have me with you.
I know your imperfections, and despite them.
I know your limits, and in spite them.
When you fall ill and look bad,
when you mutter and mope,
When you are afraid and worried, I will be there.
I know your ability to be a pain,
I know your ability to be a balm.
Your thoughts, your actions may not always be right,
what you say may not always soothe,
And I will remain, right there, with you.
Despite every fight,
And no matter how long the argument.
I shall wait till the cows come home,
and still fight with you if i must.
But I wont go.
I will not walk when things look down.
I will not run and hide when things get tough.
I will not turn around and walk, and give up.
I will not change you,
I will not let you be.
I will not get tempted by temporary peaceful options,
and permanent emptiness.
I might scream, and cry and shout,
perhaps even throw things.
I might wish things were different,
but only temporarily.
I might want to shake you occasionally,
sometimes I might wave my hands and stamp my feet.
But you,
I will not let go of.
With you, I shall stand.
Always. Forever. Whatever.

This is what I meant..when I said I love you..

Friday, August 17, 2007

Alcohol and Culture

In England there is a sudden focus on problems caused by alcohol, from people not knowing who they are, to binge drinking among women, to violent crimes committed under the influence of alcohol, drink driving as well as anti-social behavior.
Some time ago the laws were changed to allow pubs to be open 24 hours, sometime ago they also scrutinized the low prices at which alcohol is sold, the benefits of buying large quantities for less and the reason why people drink so much.
Now they are thinking about raising the minimum drinking age to 21, they are also trying to pull in parents whose underage children have been drinking and penalizing them for bad parenting or neglect and lack of care.
I live very close to a busy city center and across the road from a pub. On weekends I hear people singing loudly and drunkenly on the way back. Saying the Brits enjoy a bit of a drink is an understatement. Most people go out knowing they want to get drunk and most succeed in their plans. As a student I attended 'house parties' where the fruit punch was toxic and alcohol was consumed like it was going out of fashion, the place was trashed in the morning with people being sick all over the house, including sadly the pet cat! It was a disgusting, once in a lifetime experiment.
Yes there is also peer pressure to be blamed. But what about the fact that media glowingly portrays people like Pete Doherty and Amie Winehouse as well as the English darling Kate Moss as 'icons' who all have serious drug and alcohol abuse problems. They are looked up to and when they get caught with illegal alcohol levels or drug possession, its news, but a bit of tutting and a slap on the wrist and they are off again to repeat perform. Ok, you would say what is Rock without the darkness behind it with a whiff of alcohol, tantrums and the occasional fairy dust. But who else is there for young people to look upto who is actually clean, David Cameron? I dont think so.
Alcohol is something people drink occasionally, it comes with responsibility. But its almost a must that you should drink. Out of all the people I know, and I know many in varied capacities, I know only 2 people who do not drink, as a matter of choice. They are young, married and happy and will not drink. Which is good, I suppose if they don't give into peer pressure and sneaky comments of 'goody-two-shoes'. Recently a person I know closely was picked on by others for not drinking because he was afraid of consequences if his wife found out. It was weird, but I am wandering off the point here.
The point being, there is a tradition of drinking in the country. You meet people for 'drinks', you invite them home for a 'drink'. When some one comes home you ask them what they would like to 'drink'. One chills with a 'drink', you watch TV with a 'drink', there is a bottle of wine in everyone's house, even my hair dresser asks me if I want a 'drink' while I wait for her to finish what she is doing. All parties have alcohol, you drink to cool down with a beer in the summer, you drink to warm up with a Vodka in the winter. You drink. Period. Its part of the culture. So if it goes out of hand, who should the blame go to, the retailers who sell for cheap, the parents who don't notice the occasional empty/missing bottle that their teenage child might pick up, the low legal age to drink? Who?
And why is this not a problem in the rest of Europe? I do wonder.
I would compare this to India...but how many young people (and I mean women) go out with their parents to someone else's house and ask for a Scotch on the rocks?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

~ Simon & Garfunkel

A song for all seasons, and its going around in my head now..

Bridge Over Troubled Water...

When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I'm on your side. When times get rough
And friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

When you're down and out,
When you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I'll take your part.
When darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Floods in 'Developed Nations'

I have recently become the laughing stock of my family. I have contracted a stomach infection from drinking contaminated water. There was flooding in my area and drinking water was unsafe for a little while, but we were not told about it. Thus many people in my area landed up with problems of high fever and nausea at the local clinic. The doc was not surprised to hear my symptoms and put me on a liquid diet with paracetamol and strong anti-biotics, needless to say I am not feeling too good right now. Have nothing to eat, high fever and a reluctance to leave the side of the bed and simultaneously the toilet.

The laughing stock is due to the fact that I live in England. And when I am in India I am kept away from the best food around because I might have become delicate from staying in a relatively sterile environment for so long. Thus I am am unable to eat the roadside snacks which were my favorite during college days spent in Delhi. That not being the point here. I am considered to be 'safe' living here and can eat what I want, when I want, I dont need monitoring. Or de-worming or Bisleri.

When I fell sick my family thought maybe it was stress, it might be something I ate, but hang on..I live in UK and food is more than safe to eat, thanks to obsessive Health and Safety rules and regulations in this country. So what could it be? Being married and young enough to have children a few hopes were going up pretty fast. These were crushed by my visit to the doctor who nodded gravely and said, 'Stomach Flu' you are okay, join the queue of people who area suffering.

When I relayed the news back home they laughed..water borne infection due to minor flooding. Oh boy, I got an earful of laughs and was told about the 1000s who live with this disease and suffer from it annually in India and Bangladesh every monsoon. And then I remembered, its almost a routine, we know the monsoon will come, we know there shall be flooding and yet, every year the people who live in the Gangetic basin and near the Brahmaputra river suffer. Every year. Its amazing how they cope with it. We had 2 months of steady rain here and people have been claiming insurance left, right and center for damage to property, health, stress etc etc. It does make me think of two words..Opposite worlds!
And sometimes it does feel like I live on a different planet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Man or Wuss, what would you prefer?

Recent rumblings in women's magazines and newspapers have revealed an increasing tendency for women to go for real men. Real here meaning..Spartacus variety, strong, muscular, energetic men. Gone are the days when women wanted a man with feelings, with emotions, one who knew his way around the kitchen and knew what a toilet roll means.

Some time back we were keen to see the Metro sexual man, the one who was in touch with his feminine side, who could make a cup of tea in the morning for himself and also know what to say if you asked me the eternal trap question,'Do I look fat in this?'. We wanted some one soft, who could discuss things without anger, see your point, understand the need to cry once in a while, and also be able to read poetry and go shopping without dragging his feet. A man who could compliment your handbag, and notice a haircut instantly. This man was perfect, he was male but bordered on being like a gay friend. The one you could chat to constantly without feeling worried, but with the added advantage of chemistry, rather than the back of mind thought..wish he was not gay and then he would be perfect!! He was the man minus the pains of having pea for a brain, rock instead of body, smooth cheeks- rather than the stubbly, ironed shirts, moisturized skin, sexy cologne, nice voice and sensitivity!! Perfect!!

Now, it seems this has changed. We are keen to get back to the lantern jawed, bicep, tricep, quadricep developed, gym going, testosterone loaded man. The all new (well not really) Alpha male. The one who can pick up boxes, lug your suitcase, does not bother about his nails, plays a rough sport, drives a beat up car, has male friends and hates shopping. He is the one who hogs the sofa and the TV remote. The one who farts, burps and immensely enjoys all of these bodily functions. He is rough and when needed tough. He makes you feel small, feminine and cherished. The eve to his Adam!

Well this is what recent research has said. I am not sure if the well balanced but leaning towards being able to use your night-renewal-moisturizing-cream man is the right answer. Men are men, whether they are Billy Elliot or they are Spartacus. Finding the perfect mix might be tough and seem impossible, yes, grass is greener, no perfection does not exist, yes men are a pain, sometimes...okay okay..quite often. But hey we cant change them, letting them feel that they can be who they are is the first step, and then probably hypnotizing them at a later stage and giving them therapy might be the only way out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mobile Phones and why?

I am sure you have one..dont we all. The little tiny thing that blinks and stares back at us, that we constantly check we are carrying when we leave for work. The tiny metal box that we whip out at the smallest sound or vibration. We take it out at parties, we show it off to friends, we keep in clean and safe, make sure its charged and insured, make sure its safe to use it when driving, use it to take pictures, listen to music, as a PDA, as a diary, a notebook and in my case as amusement when I am bored.
yes the mobile phone is a part of our lives..and we cant live without one..and i know..yawn yawn, its an old story.
But what I am keen to know is if we ARE slaves to this little ringing bleeping baby that we carry. I know of people who would never part with theirs, it follows them to the bathroom, it keeps them on the email network by being 'available on blackberry'. I also know of people who die to get a new phone, even if the one they own is perfectly fine, and then there is the whole thing about the features it has. I guess my mom is old..and her criteria for a phone is, should ring, and I should be able to see the screen clearly. Hmm! Guess she will be happy with Nokia, Nokia across the world develops products to needs specific to the place. In India, at one time Nokia was contemplating developing a dust proof, water proof variety, which they hoped a truck could drive over without damage.
A recent BBC program showed Sanjeev Bhasker traveling across India, he met a kabari waala (a person who collects old newspapers, bottles, scrap from the house and pays you for it), well this man had two mobile phones. Sanjeev needless to say felt quite upped. It was amazing.
Yes technology has moved, and yes I should not say much as I have a flashy blackberry, but no what I am talking is the ability of the mobile phone to work as a demanding baby, ringing and needing picking up and checking. Also the ability of the phone to act as an indicator of where you are, when, and talking to who, for how long. There is something to be said about a complete lack of privacy. In UK people don't give their mobile numbers, its personal and makes you available at all times to other people. I know of people who put their phones on silent to avoid being disturbed, but then I also know of someone who killed the punch line of a high drama, thriller time film, by naming the culprit of the who-dun-it loudly as he repeated what his friend told him on the phone.
Its bugging. A demanding phone, followed by a loud conversation in a confined space. I really don't want to hear about people's personal lives..and that is the irritating bit, lack of privacy as well as the lack of ability to sit in silence! Thank heavens for mobile phone free train compartments :)where you can cheerily boot out anyone who says 'HHHIIIIIYYYAAAA' on a phone.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Perfection personified

Would it be great if you could erase all the negative habits that your spouse or partner has? Is it possible? Would you love them anymore if they did not shake their legs as they watch TV, or leave shoes all over the house, leave the kitchen tap dripping. Would they approve of you more if you were not the nagging kind, if you got dressed well really quick, if you liked action films and found sports channels stimulating, if you liked last minute plans and change of minds?

Do we as humans strive for perfection? And is perfection in relationships directly linked to similarity? Would you like to be with a twin who understands or an opposite who challenges your thought processes?

Is perfection somewhere between the two? A mix of a similar spirit but a different mind. A person who knows what you are saying, and why, but does not necessarily agree with you every time? Would not constant agreement bring boredom? And would not constant arguing break peace and cause stress? What is the solution? Space to be different? But then space comes with all sorts of issues of its own about boundaries and timings, and individuality and often selfishness.

Middle paths are always a prescribed solution to all situations and problems. But they are pretty hard to find and follow. And sometimes 50-50 is not equivalent to 100 % happiness.

So where do we stand. Do we like being around people who are not like us, annoy us sometimes, make us smile sometimes, but also make us realize that we are not too perfect ourself. I guess no one is.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ambulance Ride.

Its weird being in one. The few times I have been inside an Ambulance have been when I was knocked out cold. Not my fault that I could not look around me and make note of what it looks like from inside.
48 hours ago I was sitting inside one with my friend who was not feeling too good. Up front, I sat, with the driver as the paramedics took over the back and my friend. My friend was conscious but in a lot of pain. I was asked to leave him to the green uniformed people, and sit up front. It was rather cool, in a police man's uniform kind of way. Flashing lights and many tones and tunes of sirens later, we had reached the hospital. The gadgets inside to talk to the base hospital, and to the people in the back were clear and looked sleek. The ability if the suspension to be completely maneuvered, the space for admitting whole breathing machines and the handcuff-ability of the passenger section was interesting. The ability of the driver to isolate sound around the driving area was good. The GPS they had was huge, and top of the range. I must say I was quite impressed with the Renault Ambulance. It looked like a big sci-fi room on very smooth wheels.
As I stepped out of it, my worry about my friend resurfaced, but while I was in there I felt about 5 yrs old..ears prickling at the sound of a siren, watching a bright coloured van with flashing lights go swiftly past. I don't know what it is about sirens that makes children and also adults, stop and take notice.

Monday, August 06, 2007

You Make Me Smile - Lyrics by Me.

I was singing this....I cant tell you the tune, but it can be sung, words in my head, composed as I walked in the sun today.

As I walked along,
A cloud over my brain and one above it.
Thinking dark thoughts,
I started to smile,
Because I remembered yours.

You make me smile when I think of you,
You make me laugh when I hear you in my head.
I wash a cup of tea,
The one you always pick,
and I smile.
I trip over wires,
that you left connected,
and I smile.

I wear your favorite color,
and I can almost see your expression,
and I smile.
I put on my make up,
and hear what you say in my head,
and I smile.

I look at the wedding pictures,
and see you grinning,
and I smile.
Your CD still plays,
I sing along like you do,
and I smile.

Your friends talk about you,
your family mentions you,
my friends ask about you,
and colleagues wonder about you,
and it makes me smile.

I smile, smile, smile.
Because you make me,

PhD anyone?

If you have got it..SALUTE!
If you have not but want it...DONT!
If you are in the middle of it...Good Luck!
If you are just about starting off...RUN!! Run away and never look back.

It is a tough thing to do possibly because it is the highest degree anyone can ever study for. But is aint easy and after the primary research is done, it aint fun either!! Slogging and re-writing, editing and then doing spin cycles of the same thing is tiring and taxing! Not fun! Not fun at all. Just for two measly letters 'Dr' you shall need to work your butt off. You are born with 2/3/4 letters in from of your name Mr/ Ms/Miss/Mrs..why work to change them?

Weekend blast

This is the one that blasted in my house..all weekend..its a GREAT song from Snow Patrol's Eyes Open album, called Chasing Cars..Find it and Listen to it now..,
"Chasing Cars"

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Monday, July 30, 2007

A special memory

One that I shall never forget. This song seems to be etched inside my head, along with visions, smells and thoughts..precious..

And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything seems like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know your alive

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why me?

I often wonder if it is something about me, or maybe its just tattooed in invisible to me ink on my forehead, but I seem to be someone people come up to and tell me all about my problems. I don't get the why!
Apart from my internal personality traits, which I do not really wonder about, I sometime worry about people worrying. Why does absolutely no one have a problem free life. One meets perfectly happy people, and just as the coffee gets cool enough to sip - WHAM! Out comes what is bothering them and then I have to listen to the sometimes fascinating tales of how people think life sucks!
Not being an optimist currently I wonder why so many people have so many problems. Is it because our lives have become more complex? Surely not. Is it because we have too much time and energy to sit and analyze and over analyze situations and people, perhaps. Or is because we are now in a more communicative society, which permits information (read problem) sharing and also allows for discussions. Maybe all of the above.
But what I mostly hear about is relationship problems, bossy boss problems, not enough pay problems, in-law problems. All of which are known to be problems in generations before us. But I also hear about credit card problems, not finding yellow shoes to match problems, hair been dyed the wrong shade of auburn problems, the sun is not warm enough problems, strawberries rot in the fridge to soon problems, child does not speak problems.
But a majority of things that I do hear are about problems with what 'might' happen. It might be called anxiety, but the way I hear about them, it gives anxiety a whole new meaning! This is about stressed out people, who cant think of a way out and cant believe that sleeping over it can ever be a solution!
The point of this rant being, yes there is nothing such as a problem free life. Yes there is something to be said about living for today and being happy. But the amount of negativity I see coming out of people, whether it is about really horrible problems that have changed their lives, or something as small as the nail salon not being open on amazing. People seem to be unbelievable negative about just about everything! Are we a generation of moaners? Whining all the time?
Just saw on the BBC news tonight an old couple combined ages of 165, have just had their house flooded (weather has been S**T for the past 3 months in UK), everything is wrecked, useful things, expensive things, so many years of memories, and all they said on TV was, 'We have seen worse, I am sure we can get over and around this. It is a mess, but there is no point worrying about what has already happened and cant be undone'
Maybe there is something to learn, alternatively I could just stop moaning about people moaning to me :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

So Far Away - David Gilmour

The song in my head this weekend...

What am I suspended here?
Should I kid myself that I have no fear?
I get no choice, I just have to wait
It may already be too late
I don't know what's going on
She is here, but I am gone
I am gone

My love is lying here
She's far away though she looks so near
"Time will tell" she says to me
When a warm coat is all I need
Her peace of mind, her strentgh of will
It will come she's sure it will
And how can I put my mind at rest?
I feel I'm coming up second best

And I'm caught with my own life
Is this a dream, or is it real life?
Oooh sleep, come on me soon
I can't bear this lonely room
Look at that hand lying there
The room is dark she shows no fear
I'm lying still, my eyes are wide
My heart is pumping, I'm still alive
I'm still awake against my will
What will it ever take
To still this burning in me?

And I'm caught with my own life
Is this a dream, or is it real life?
Ooooh, sleep, come on me soon
I can't bear this lonely room
Sleep, come on me soon
I can't bear this lonely room
Sleep, don't take too long
Can't keep singing this lonely song

Friday, July 27, 2007

Harry Potter - 2

So it took me long to read this one, getting it in the middle of a busy week did not help. But the fact that I had to sit and relish every single page, meant I could enjoy this last offering of Ms JKR for longer.
Well it is good, a bit depressing and complicated in the middle, but a good end to a lovely series, in fact I think I now may back track into my collection and slowly read them all backwards till Harry become 11 again.
Its been an interesting ride, very well developed characters, unique though possible and a really good way of making it all sound possible with the Muggles and Portkeys, and befuddling charms, it makes me think sometimes when I see a stray can of coke lying somewhere and when the British trains seem to collapse for no apparent reason, that maybe, just maybe Harry is fighting Lord V.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the Harry Potters but really the interest began to pick up with the Prisoner of Azkaban, and then worked its way up. The films I have not really seen all, but as usual most films do not really do justice to the depth of the book.
If you have no clue what I am talking about..come back to Planet Earth!! and if you have not got the Deathly Hallows yet, buy it, rent it, copy it...hide in a corner and read it. Quick! Its good!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I don't know why I am thinking about this book by Gregory David Roberts, I really liked reading it, but that was a long time ago. I am thinking about ideas from it, don't know why, perhaps it is because I just saw some one on the London underground reading it, perhaps it is because I suddenly have sunk into a whole swamp of myriad are some quotes, quotes that keep coming back to me..

"A dream is a place where a wish and a fear meet. When the wish and fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare."

"...and sometimes my friend, the love that I have, and can't give to you, crushes the breath from my chest. Sometimes, even now, my heart is drowning in a sorrow that has no stars without you, and no laughter, and no sleep."

"Men reveal what they think when they look away, and what they feel when they hesitate. With women, it’s the other way around."

"Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting."

"Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that's all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that's all we have - to hold on tight until the dawn."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Culture Shock Walk

A friend felt like going for a walk in a nation where cars rule and you do not have the option of walking anywhere! He decided not to drive and instead walked the 15 min route back home. A police car stops over, police man walks out and asks him to make his hands visible and then questions him about what he is doing, where he is going, and WHY he is walking. It took a while to convince the cop about the simple desire to walk home. Once convinced that my friend has not been mugged and is up to no mischief and just wants to walk, the cop drives off shaking his head.

In UK,
I asked for walking directions to a cycle shop, as I wanted to buy a cycle. The man in the shop told me it is not too far and I set off walking. It took me a good 35-40mins of walking to get to the said shop. A 'bit' of a walk according to the Brits is about a 30 min brisk walk. They walk everywhere. In fact I came across people known as 'fell runners' which means they basically spend time running up and down fells, which are hills. A quick walkable distance is often something 15-20 mins of brisk walking would cover.

Perhaps it is the cost of petrol in the US, or maybe it is the overtly large food portions which makes walking a non-option. But then in UK walking is a pleasurable activity which not even the pathetic weather can ruin. Families walk, walking and trekking shoes are commonly available, and most places are 'walking distance' according to people. Cars are not essential to living, infact I know people who own cars but go to work via public transport - less hassles and faster..especially in London.

I am not surprised at the cultural difference, I am surprised at the extremity of the difference, between walking which raises suspicion of the police and walking as a profession and hobby. In which case I wonder though why most Americans chose to wear running shoes/ sneakers. White ones preferably and the Brits wear high heels all the time!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I thought there would be queues and I thought there would be much excitement at the release of the last in the Harry Potter series...well there was not, apart from the store assistant dressed in Griffindor robes...:( Well I got the book, now its a matter of time before some idiot who is clued in and cool comes in and tells me about who died in the book and spoils it for me..meanwhile I shall get stuck in!!

A Case of You

Coming straight out of my head...a song that has been going on in my head...Here is a song by Joni Mitchell and a self portrait by her.

A case of you

Just before our love got lost you said
"I am as constant as a northern star"
And I said, constant in the darkness
Wheres that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar"

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
And your face sketched on it twice

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
Oh and you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
Oh I'd still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

I remember that time that you told me, you said
Love is touching souls
Surely you touched mine
Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
And you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
And still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said
"Go to him, stay with him if you can
Oh but be prepared to bleed"

Oh but you are in my blood you're my holy wine
Oh and you taste so bitter, bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still Id be on my feet
I'd still be on my feet

by Joni Mitchell