Friday, May 13, 2016


Time and time again people prove that they are 'not against you, but for themselves'. Any injustice that was meted out to you, times you were judged based on assumptions and not facts, wilful distortion or partial truths they spread... All have origins in selfishness.

Such are the times I resort to reaffirming what I believe in.

- I believe in karma, that it would be a zero sum game eventually without me trying to seek vengeance

- I believe happiness is a choice, regardless of the situation... That hope, even when everything seems dark, is still a powerful driving force. I'm the Queen of 'having a good cry and getting over it' in record speed

- I believe in being speaking my mind.. Even if that is not the popular opinion, and being honest to my feelings.. It saves me from having a good memory

- I believe what's in store for me, what I deserve,  is unconnected to what someone else got, that I don't have to begrudge another's fortune

- I believe, and also proven many times over, that the silver lining in the cloud usually ends up being better than the opportunity I wanted earlier

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed

The title of the post is the name of a new book - a collection of 16 essays curated by Meghan Daum and written by authors who decided not to have children.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


No, that's not what happens when you fall asleep over your keyboard and drag your nose along the keys. It is a real word !! Seriously ! I am not making this sh*t up, i tell ya! Don't believe me? Google it up.

And the lord of wisdom says "The word Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) is derived from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word", and is considered one of the hardest words to translate."

And what does it mean exactly?? I am glad you asked. It means roughly "The wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start." Now is there anything more bitter-sweet than this? The first time I read this word here (and i do not remember how i stumbled upon it...might have something to do with excessive amount of time spend on Pinterest), maybe like most, the first image i had is of a romantic moment between two people. That painfully excruciating, endless, powerful, sweet, tense moment where two people are using all sorts of mental telepathy to make the other do something or say something. And if, the stars are aligned, the moment is right, and atleast one of them have enough pluck, that telepathy works. Or most of the time, it is just lost and just brings a tinge of regret when you think of it later. Never happened to you? Who are you kidding!

And then, when i think of the word a bit more... it is not just a moment in romantic relationship. We have so many Mami---blah-blah moments throughout our day at work and in personal life. Just think of the two people involved as you and your devil's-advocate-alter-ego (whatever adjective it has at that point of time. Mine ranges from the rational to the go-jump-off-cliff-to-see-what-happens states). You are not sure who would blink first. Most of the time, you wait...waiting for yourself to be overcome by the sheer intensity of your emotion/idea that you have no other choice but to act on it..or just wait for that moment to pass. And then, you shrug your shoulders and murmer 'hmm..that wasnt meant to be'. This could be a new project idea at work which isnt completely ironed out to be presented to the team rightaway, or just telling someone 'no' or 'yes', or changing your mind about something or someone even though you were party to the whole plan the whole time, or just about listening really intently to what your impulse wants you to do.

How often does that moment pass you by?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The tongue that binds

Are you ashamed of the place you were born in? Ashamed of your mother tongue? Do you not want to pass on your cultural and linguistic heritage to the next generation? If not, why don't you speak to your kids in your/their mother tongue ..confound it !!

This behavior of new-age parents living in cities / towns outside their home-state baffles me to the core. Most Indians speak a minimum of 3 languages – their mother tongue, English & Hindi or language of state where they live. Earlier the journey towards mastering or rather at least managing these languages always started with one’s own mother tongue. That's what you hear your parents, grand-parents, relatives, neighbors and friends speak in. Even before stepping into a world of formalized and institutionalized education, the toddler will speak his/her mother tongue with absolute fluency.

With the increasing number of youngster moving out of their home-state, settling and raising a family in far-off metros or aspiring metros, it is inevitable that the young one hears a mix of tongues around him growing up. But why does it have to mean that the parents speak to the kids only in English? For getting ahead in school ? For better pronunciation and accent-neutralization in early age? for seeming hep and with-it? For making your kid the global citizen he is? If not the parents, who will get the kid in touch with their roots? Would the hapless grand-parents with halting English have to make do with sign languages?

Is there is a scientific or logical explanation that speaking their native language to children will hurt them socially or academically? In fact a short googling will show studies which support the fact that children with strong first language skills are more ready and able to learn a second language.  In other words, it’s difficult to build a second language if the first language foundation is not established and supported WHILE the second language is being learned.

A curious exception to the phenomenon is that of kids brought up outside India. There, somehow, I see a higher proportion of parents who make it a matter of principle to get the kid well-versed in their mother-tongue. It is a part of getting them know their cultural heritage. Ofcourse it takes time and effort to teach a kid anything – did anybody say parenting was easy?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Till ''I do'' us do part

A dear friend reminded me the other day that i did have blog with a rather pretentious spanish name. And I finally admitted to myself that due to this blog's non-anonymous nature, i was not able to post some stuff without landing self into huge trouble at workplace... And then it became a habit, not writing about things which I feel strongly about. So here is my attempt to write about a train of thought i have been having for the past few might hurt some feelings or break some illusions, but then, what is the point of having a space in the blogosphere if you cant call a spade a spade ?

Question is - Are opposite sex friends a poor proxy to your spouse ?Is friendship a stand-in until you have a marital relationship & life?

Before i take on a holier-than-thou attitude and start preaching on what & what does not constitute true friendship, let me confess my sins. I have probably lost more friends to sheer laziness in keeping in touch than i care to admit. But, this laziness was not aggravated even by a slight degree just because my Facebook status changed from 'single' to 'married'.  I have always been a very lethargic person in terms of returning calls or writing mails. 

But what is up with the guy-friends who had been there for me through thick & thin suddenly doing a MIA once they bite the bullet & tie the knot ? And no, I am not talking about the ones who a-la-Karan Johar says "Dosti hi pyaar hai..Love is friendship" and similar assorted bullshit. I can, with a very high degree of confidence, say that it was not a 'if you can't be my girlfriend, let us atleast remain friends' kind of relation i had with them. These were the guys who would completely forget I am a girl in the first place, the ones who would go through all single girls in my friends' list painstakingly to find the next one they could bribe me for the mobile number, the ones who had my back in my escapades, the ones who clarified what a particular cuss word meant, the ones who would put me in place, made me cry with their practical jokes & the ones who would cheer me up from the worst emotional doldrums.

One day he is doing a emotional blackmail on you to smooth talk to his parents/ girlfriends so that they do not push the 'get-your-sorry-ass-married-already' discussion. Next thing you know, he call up and wail for hours as to why his life is gonna be miserable coz the girl is now 'found'/ families have met and the bachelor days are numbered. Then you, like a idiot, console them with stories like 'married life isn't so bad...atleast you can share the rent and maybe she would do the laundry!'. And then comes the Q&A session with questions like 'Is it too early to gift sexy lingerie?' or 'Should i quit smoking coz she is asking me to?' and the shopping trips to perfume / jewellery / textile / soft toy stores where you basically given a budget to shop for his significant other with the only helpful guideline of 'make it look as if i have spent considerable time thinking about this gift' !

And by now with experience, that probably would be the last time he is gonna come to you when he wants a shoulder to cry on or an emotional sand bag to punch on. This would be the cue that your cameo role is his life is more or less over. Time to take a bow & exit, stage-left.

Another one of my guy-bestie is getting hitched this year end and i cant but sigh thinking that he too would, in all probability, walk the same road. I am happy that his wayward ways are gonna end, his mom can breathe a sigh of relief and his lungs & liver would write a 'thank you' note.. but i am also sad that my name is soon fall out of the 'most frequent called' list from his smart phone. And it is also the time i do a silent prayer to thank god for girlfriends.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Yes Boss ???

There are some styles of management or rather mis-management which never did make sense to me.. and in all probability never will. I have, perhaps, not been long enough in the corporate circle to get the subtle nuances, but still what i lack in longevity, i make up in quantity. In a span of 5 yrs of "working" for a living, i have worked for over 8 bosses...  From each, i learned  what they thought about human psychology.

Type 1: Blind-eye
Avoidance, if not ignorance, is bliss.

I have to digress for an anecdote here. In earlier times, when powdered rice or wheat flour was a rarity, the women of the household would buy the grain, wash it, separate the stones, spread it on a mat, dry it and then lug it along to the 'mill' to get it powdered. The tricky part here is drying. You have to keep a regular watch out for the feathered fiends who swoop down for their beak-ful of the good stuff. My grand-mom would do the buy-inspect-wash-spread part and then entrust my grand-dad to keep an eye out for the pigeons. Grandpa would get his favourite armchair out, put it under the shade of the tree and proceed to watch the grain.

After a while he would get comfortable with his chair, the shade and the breeze .. it becomes a rather tiresome job to lift his upper body up and say "shoooo....shoooo" to the birds which gather around. He rids himself of the guilt by closing his eyes whenever the birds come down. What he doesn't see...doesn't happen. What he doesn't not his responsibility. What he doesn't see...cannot be blamed on him.What a comforting thought.

Most of my managers were like my grandpa in this responsibility aspect. They somehow think that if you ignore it, it will fade away. You speak to them, and he remains nonchalant on your concerns/ideas. You write, he doesn't reply. You propose meetings, he doesn't accept or refuse the meeting requests. You lay ambush to pounce on him and you see him walking the longer route to avoid running into you. 

They hate confrontation..are skeptical of new ideas.. and delay decision making. Nature would do its job and heal stuff, right??

Type 2: Pass the Baton
Over-delegation is the key to happiness!

Delegation of tasks, it is said, gives the person a sense of ownership of the task which in turn makes him more responsible and concerned about the outcome. Good idea.. But one manager i knew over-did this part. Well.... he did nothing but delegate. Which was still ok, if one could still ask him for guidance, or atleast a vague idea of what is expected. 

One good thing about these guys are...most of them will flatter you really well.. will give raving appreciation infront of your peers. But 'the catch' - none of this will get to the boss's boss. The delegater will be the black box that tasks go into and come out as solved - atleast that's what the big boss sees.

Word of advice. Get out !! you might get the challenges..but never the credit.

Type 3 : Micro Management
Nothing is right, until I do it.

This one is also a rather common style of management. Boss thinks he knows best. Hence, he has to do it. If he doesnt do it..he has to tell you how exactly to do it. And then, look over your shoulder to see if you are doing it the way he wants you to. Also a periodic review to know where you are and if you are putting your toes out of the line. He checks and then double-checks if you have dotted your 'i's and scored your 't's. And still is not happy coz he would have done it much better, ya know!!

 One manager i worked with was so obsessed with the indentation & colors in a powerpoint slides, that she was least bothered about the content. It did not impress her that i came up with out of box ideas to address a task more efficiently coz i had not used the same font size for headings everywhere !  The silver lining in the cloud if you are working for such managers, is that you would eventually become a perfectionist yourself or at-least develop an eye for detail.

Type 4: The buddy
The fairy god-mother/father type.

Woe to those who have this type of bosses - only coz you will be so spoilt under this guy that you will never find peace once the reporting structure changes. Why ? coz here is a guy who gives you the visibility, responsibility & credit. He would also shoulder some part of the blame from the bigger guys if things dont work out & will have your back during those firing sessions. He would give you a piece of his mind too - but not in front of his superiors or your peers, but in private. His criticisms would always be non-personal. His appreciations as well. He may be around for a round of beer on a friday night and would do team lunches paid out of his pocket just for the heck of it.

who wouldnt want such a person to work under ?? But then again, once you have such a great role model to look upto and emulate..what happens once you are out of this magical world ? Things become even more unbearable. Your tolerance for crass & insensitivity reaches a new law. 

Welcome to corporate life !

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Maha-Men in our Epics. Part II

Another ex: "Sita..or Not-to-Sita" by Ram

This is from the other great Epic, Ramayana.. which basically talks about SriRam (yes, only one 'Sri') and his life, battles & marital struggles...and most of all his sense of insecurity as a person.

Sita weds Ram in a Swayamvar .. for her it was love at first sight. Shortly after, back in Ram's kingdom Ayodhya, his stepmom, Kaikeyi schemes to send Ram into the jungle for 14 years. Ram obeys his dad's order & packs up his trekking gear. Sita, who i presume had been reading too many 'Go Vegan'.. 'The Natural way' and the likes, puts her dainty pedicured foot down to take her along. They are joined by Ram's half-bro Lakshman (who incidently, did not take his wife along..but instructed her to take care of his old parents than slurping on a 'Carribean Cocktail' in the jungle resort with him).

Many think that it was Sita's fascination with beautiful things which paved the way for the great battle of Lanka. I think not. It was Ram's lack of common courtesy which started it all. Ravana's (the demon king of island Lanka) sister had the hots for Ram. She asked him nicely  Ram ridiculed her. Well, he could have left it at that..but he instructed Lakshmana to cut her nose & ears out as well.. Ok!! this kinda mutilation shouldn't go unanswered ..should it? Ram had it coming... (though he get bonus marks for saying 'No' to a one-night stand with Surpanaka). Snubbing the babe is scorn-worthy enough, why throw in an unrequited cosmetic surgery??

Ravana made Mareechan transform into a golden deer & prance around Sita.. Bored with the old copies of 'Cosmopolitan', she wanted the deer to play with and asks Ram to get it for her. Off went Ram (anything to stop the nagging!) trailing the deer.. Dinner time..Sita worried herself sick that the Soup would go cold and asks Lakshman to go fetch Ram. Off he went as well. The coast being clear of deer-chasers, Ravana makes his entry and carries off Sita to Lanka..

Go to for Sita's view on Ramayana
 Now starts the part that irks me. Ram gathers together a battalion of Monkey-men, builds a bridge to the island Lanka kingdom, beats Raavan black and blue and then.. and then..throws a tantrum saying he cant take Sita back. So why the hell did he do all this naatak for, one may ask. And the answer is "Ego". How can an Indian male take it lying down when a random guy runs off with your wife? You do the socially accepted thing.. i.e. track the bugger down, stop just short of murdering him and then dump her. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it. Nobody gets the better of you..mind it!!

Sita musters up a plan to prove her innocence & chastity. Ram is convinced (for now), re-instate her position as his wife and all of them pack their bags to head back to Ayodhya to claim the rightful place as King & Papa dear is no longer warming the throne. Things go hunky-dory for some time until Ram gets provoked by a comment made by a washerman regarding Sita's chastity. 'The King should be blemish-less' and off goes the now-pregnant Sita outta the palace again. Ram this time delegates the dirty work to Lakshmana..and like a kitten litter being dumped, Sita is taken away from the metropolis to the forest and left to fend for herself with some old-as-wood ascetics to keep her company.

Their story, their marriage..fine. No problem of mine.. But SriRam being touted as the 'ideal man' ?? Heck no!! What he wanted Sita for...was to fill up a position - the would-be prince should wed, the King should have an heir...there were a list of 'should be' attached to his own social standing he had to perform. His marriage to Sita was one such pre-requisite. Even this is acceptable..if only he could have been a bit more secure as a person and trust that his wife will not leap on the next available man in his absence. 

But i guess the 'ideal men' are supposed to look outward for social acceptance than inward for concerns on emotional security.