Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rest Assured

There are some truths that we all know but pretend to do nothing about.
There are some truths that we know and hope they remain true forever
There are some truths that we are oblivious about and maybe like the ostrich notions of it
and then there are some truths that are true only for you. your life and your world.
your notions and beliefs that define you

Here are something that I think for me come somewhere in the above categories

  • Life is about relationships. When you die - your legacy is in the form of the people that you met and the lives that touched you and vica versa
  • There are no coincidences, something connects us that makes it a mix of your will and the others life to get you where you are today. You are responsible for your life
  • Violence is not needed. Almost always. Maybe in self defense but only then.
  • Puppies and rain can make you happy. 
  • There will always be a crisis, an international conspiracy, a few corrupt politics and it will be white noise that you can choose to accept, change,disregard, or fume over. Either way they shall remain and crop up
  • Travelling makes you silent. and joyful
  • Nature empties you, leaving space for new thoughts to emerge
  • You will be hurt, you will cause hurt, there will be unfair moments and then there shall be moments of sheer success
  • Run, walk, move your body its leaves you feeling happier
  • As you age, you will not necessarily get wiser
  • Your parents were doing the best they can., they get more resolute and fixated as they age. Be kind, you and I will get like that too.
  • Drinking is not the answer, its a temporary pass to forgetting
  • Butterflies in stomach is a good test to know that you are growing. No action in tummy, no good. 
  • There will always be someone better than you, someone not. Comparing - something i do a lot will only make u green, someone is looking at u and thinking the same thing about you.. lucky she.. its a relative life and there is nothing you can do
  • Pace it. you will get what you get, when u get it. and there is nothing more one can do about it
  • Breathe. Deeply. awarely. there are miracles in there. 
thats all for the now from sadhu me

Friday, May 20, 2011

Detachment is power

Can I ?

1.07 am the To Do list had shrunk itself down.  The Apple had been loaded, images transferred, the dinner made and eaten, the goodnights done. Demands of the world faded like smoke and the peace of the night was a silent presence.

My hands reached for the carelessly tossed book on the bed. For a lark I closed my eyes and made a silent prayer.

Dear uni. For this night and for today, let me open the page on something that I need to re-remember.

Breathed in and out, with the book reclining on my belly and eyes closed. Feeling rather than seeing, I reached once more for the book and opened it up
Quoting from Wayne Dyer, You’ll see it when you believe it

‘………….. For me, this is the essence of a marriage relationship at a conscious loving level.  The ability to suspend judgment about how the loved ones should be conducting his or her life, and to love that person as is, is a valuable exercise in detachment. Suspending judgment means honouring her need and right to be on her path according to her own inner directives without my uninvited input. Suspending judgment means also to honour my need and right to feel what I am feeling without judging my feeling as right or wrong. This is unconditional love for myself and my loved one. Unconditional love does not demand that one of us be ’right’  and one of us be ‘wrong’. When you are strongly attached to judging anyone, you are not defining him or her, you are defining yourself.

…….Since I have become less attached to making others wrong and myself right, it is much easier to be with people who view life differently from the way I do. When I do slip into judgment I find that I am much gentler and easier on myself. I  allow myself to have that burst of inner anger for a fleeting moment and again when I allow the anger to seep in, paradoxically it goes.

……..My detachment does not meant that I am uncaring. I care immensely. In fact I care so much that I allow them to make their own way along their path, guiding them here and there, helping them to make responsible loving choices, catching them doing things right as much as possible and always reminding myself that I don’t own them, they own themselves……….’

Reading these words, made me change something. In a life situation where I did not know the answer, I am struggling with the decision of letting go and instead desperately seeking assurance that the end will be what I dream off. Detachment, is the cure? I wondered flopping my head and drifting to sleep.

Last night, I could feel a power back. A sense of acceptance, that made me remember that there is something larger working than me, that things happen when they do, that I can choose too, choose my feelings, my reactions and my choice and choose to not judge what I feel.

For a short time there was liberation
For a longer time there was peace.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elephant Jokes

The Top 131 Elephant Jokes

Q: How is an elephant like an apricot?
A: They are both gray. Well, except the apricot.
Q: How can you tell if an elephant is in the refrigerator?
A: The door won’t shut.
Q: How can you tell if an elephant has been in the refrigerator earlier?
A: Footprints in the butter.
Q: How do you get an elephant into the fridge in the first place?
A: Open door; Insert elephant; Close door.
Q: How do you get a giraffe into the fridge?
A: Open door; Remove elephant; Insert giraffe; Close door.
Q: What’s the difference between a dozen eggs and an elephant?
A: If you don’t know, I’m sure not going to send you to the store for a dozen eggs!
Q: What the difference between a herd of elephants and a bunch of grapes?
A: Grapes are purple, elephants are gray.
Q: How do you stop a charging elephant?
A: Take away his credit card.
Q: What did Tarzan say when the elephants charged?
A: “Look out, here come the elephants!”
Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw a herd of elephants in the distance?
A: “Look, a herd of elephants in the distance!”
Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw a herd of elephants with sunglasses?
A: Nothing. He didn’t recognize them.
Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw a herd of giraffes in the distance?
A: “Haha! You fooled me once with those disguises, but not this time!”
Q: What did Jane say when she saw a herd of elephants in the distance?
A: “Look! A herd of grapes in the distance!” [Jane is color blind.]
Q: Why are pygmies so short?
A: They listened to Jane, and looked at the plums.
Q: How do you get down from an elephant?
A: You don’t! You get down from a goose.
Q: How does an elephant get down from a tree?
A: He doesn’t! Even elephants know you get down from a goose!
Q: Oh, all right. How do elephants get out of trees?
A: They float down on the leaves between 4pm and 6pm.
Q: What do you call an elephant that rides a bus?
A: A passenger.
Q: Why don’t African elephants like to play cards?
A: Because of all the cheetahs.
Q: What’s the difference between an African elephant and an Indian elephant?
A: About 3,000 miles.
Q: Why do elephants wear sandals?
A: So that they don’t sink in the sand.
Q: Why do ostriches stick their head in the ground?
A: They’re looking for the elephants that forgot to wear their sandals.
Q: What did the peanut say to the elephant?
A: Nothing: peanuts can’t talk.
Q: What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it?
A: Nothing: it just let out a little whine.
Q: Why did the elephant fall out of the tree?
A1: She slipped.
A2: She was dead.
Q: Why did the second elephant fall out of the tree?
A: He was glued to the first one.
Q: Why did the third elephant fall out of the tree?
A: He thought it was a game.
Q: Why did the fourth elephant fall out of the tree?
A: Because when his mother asked “If all your friends jumped out of a tree, would you?”, he said “Yes!”
Q: Why did the tree fall down?
A: It thought it was an elephant.
Q: What’s gray on the inside and red and white on the outside?
A: Campbell’s Cream Of Elephant Soup.
Q: Why did the elephant stand on the marshmallow?
A: So he wouldn’t fall into the hot chocolate.
Q: What do you know when you see three elephants walking down the street wearing pink sweatshirts?
A: They’re all on the same team.
Q: What’s gray and has four legs and a trunk?
A: A mouse going on vacation.
Q: What do you call an elephant with a machine gun?
A: “Sir”.Q  What do you call an elephant with a pink dress and ear muffs?
Q: What do you call an elephant wearing pink earmuffs and a dress?
A: Anything you want: it can’t hear you.
Q: Why do elephants drink so much?
A: To try to forget.
Q: What’s gray, yellow, gray, yellow, gray, yellow, gray, yellow … ?
A: An elephant rolling down a hill with a daisy in its mouth.
Q: What’s gray, yellow, gray, yellow, THUMP, gray, black, blue, gray, black, blue … ?
A: An elephant rolling down a hill with a daisy in its mouth, that hit a rock.
Q: Why do ducks have flat feet?
A: So they can stamp out forest fires.
Q: Why do elephants have such large, tough feet?
A: So they can stamp out flaming ducks.
Q: What’s gray and puts out forest fires?
A: Smokey The Elephant.
Q: What do you get when you cross elephants with peanut butter?
A1: Elephants that stick to the roof of your mouth.
A2: Elephants that spread easily.
Q: Why did the elephant wear red sneakers?
A: So he could hide in the apple tree.
Q: Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
A: To hide in cherry trees.
Q: Why do elephants hide in cherry trees?
A: So they can jump out and stomp on people.
Q: How did Tarzan die?
A: Picking cherries.
Q: What do you get if you cross an elephant with a kangaroo?
A: Big holes all over Australia.
Q: What kind of elephants live at the North Pole?
A: Cold ones.
Q: What’s convenient and weighs 20,000 pounds?
A: An elephant six-pack.
Q: How do elephants talk to each other?
A: By ‘elephone.
Q: Why do elephants have cracks between their toes?
A: For carrying their library cards.
Q: What’s gray, has large wings, a long nose, and gives money to elephants?
A: The Tusk Fairy.
Q: Where do elephants with skin problems go?
A: Pachydermatologists.
Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhinoceros?
A: Eliphino _(Hell-if-I-Know)_
Q: What’s the difference between an elephant and a piece of paper?
A: You can’t make a paper airplane out of an elephant.
Q: How do you make an elephant float?
A: Take two scoops of ice cream, some soda, and one elephant.
Q: How can you tell if there’s an elephant in the ice cream shop?
A: His bike is outside.
Q: How can you tell if there are two elephants in the ice cream shop?
A: There’s a dent in the cross-bar.
Q: How can you tell if there are three elephants in the ice cream shop?
A: Stand on the bike and have a look in the window.
Q: Why do elephants have gray skin?
A: To hold their insides together.
Q: Why are elephants so wrinkled?
A: Have you ever tried to iron one?
Q: Why do elephants have trunks?
A1: Because they’d look silly with glove compartments.
A2: Because they don’t have pockets.
Q: Why do elephants have wrinkled knees?
A: From playing marbles.
Q: Why do elephants have crinkly feet?
A: To give the ants a chance.
Q: Why are elephants large, gray and wrinkled?
A: If they were small, round and white, they’d be aspirins.
Q: What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?
A: Time to get a new fence.
Q: What time is it when an elephant sit on your sofa?
A: Time to get a new sofa.
Q: What time is it when an elephant sits on your toilet?
A: Time to run away.
Q: Where do you find elephants?
A: It depends on where you left them.
Q: What do you say when an elephant sneezes?
A: “Gesundheit”.
Q: How do you fit 5 elephants in a Volkswagen Beetle?
A: Two in the front, two in the back, and one in the glove compartment.
Q: What goes, “Clomp, clomp, clomp, squish, clomp, clomp, clomp, squish?”
A: An elephant with a wet sneaker.
Q: Why did the elephant cross the road?
A: It was the chicken’s day off.
Q: Why did the elephant lie down in the middle of the road?
A: To trip the ants.
Q: What would happen if an elephant sat in front of you at the movies?
A: You would miss most of the show.
Q: What is the biggest type of ant?
A: An eleph-ant.
Q: What’s as big as an elephant, but doesn’t weigh anything?
A: An elephant’s shadow.
Q: Why were the elephants kicked out of the swimming pool?
A: They couldn’t keep their trunks up.
Q: Why wasn’t the elephant allowed on the airplane?
A: Because his trunk wouldn’t fit under the seat.
Q: Why were the elephants the last animals off the ark?
A: Because they had to pack their trunks.
Q: Why did the elephant paint her toenails all different colors?
A: So she could hide in a bag of m&m’s.
Q: What would you get if you crossed two fish with two elephants?
A: A pair of swimming trunks.
Q: What should you do to a blue elephant?
A: Cheer it up.
Q: What should you do to a red elephant?
A: Quit telling it dirty jokes.
Q: What should you do to a yellow elephant?
A: Teach it to be brave.
Q: What should you do to a white elephant?
A: Hold its nose until it turns blue, then follow the directions for a blue elephant.
Q: What should you do to a green elephant?
A1: Wait until it gets ripe.
A2: Bury it! You were only supposed to hold its nose until it turned blue.
Q: How did the cheerleader die?
A: She tried to catch an elephant doing a split.
Q: How does an elephant get out of a phone booth?
A: Same way she got in.
Q: Why don’t elephants ride bicycles?
A: They don’t have thumbs to ring the bell.
Q: What weighs 5,000 pounds and wears glass slippers?
A: Cinderelephant!
Q: What has 6 legs, 3 ears, 4 tusks, and 2 trunks?
A: An elephant with spare parts.
Q: What’s large and gray and goes around and around in circles?
A: An elephant stuck in a revolving door.
Q: What do elephants have that no other animals have?
A: Baby elephants.
Q: Why do elephants stomp on people?
A: They like the squishy feeling between their toes.
Q: What game do elephants like to play most?
A: Squash!
Q: What did the cat say to the elephant?
A: “Meow!”
Q: Why do elephants paint the soles of their feet yellow?
A: So they can hide upside-down in the custard.
Q: Did you ever find an elephant in your custard?
A: No? Well, it must work.
Q: How do you catch an elephant?
A: Wait at a street corner, and when you see the elephant raise your hand and yell, “Yo, elephant!”
Q: How does an astronomer catch an elephant?
A: With a telescope, a matchbox, and a pair of tweezers. Go to the jungle, and when you see an elephant, turn the telescope the wrong way around and look through it. The elephant will now be so small that you can pick it up with the tweezers and put it in the matchbox.
Q: How does a programmer catch an elephant?
A: Fly to Cape Town and head east. When you reach the ocean, go slightly north and head west. Keep repeating this until you see an elephant, then grab it.
Q: How does an experienced programmer catch an elephant?
A: The same way; but before you start, you place an elephant at Gibraltar, so you won’t fall into the Mediterranean if there are no elephants.
Q: How do you get an elephant into a matchbox?
A: Take out all the matches first.
Q: How do you get an elephant out of the water?
A: Wet.
Q: How do you get two elephants out of the water?
A: One by one.
Q: How do you smuggle an elephant across the border?
A: Put a slice of bread on each side, and call him “lunch”.
Q: How do you shoot a blue elephant?
A: With a blue elephant gun, of course.
Q: How do you shoot a yellow elephant?
A: Wait for it to run away.
Q: What was the elephant doing on the freeway?
A: About 5 miles per hour.
Q: What do you call two elephants on a bicycle?
A: Optimistic!
Q: What do you get if you take an elephant into the city?
A: Free parking.
Q: What do you get if you take an elephant into work?
A: Sole use of the elevator.
Q: Why do elephants wear tiny green hats?
A: To sneak across a pool table without being seen.
Q: How many elephants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Don’t be stupid, elephants can’t change light bulbs!
Q: What do you get if you cross an elephant with a whale?
A: A submarine with a built-in snorkel.
Q: How do you know if an elephant’s been sleeping in your bed?
A: Peanut shells under the pillow.
Q: How do you know if there’s an elephant in your bed right now?
A: He has a big ‘E’ on his pajamas’ jacket pocket.
Q: How do you know if there’s an elephant under the bed?
A: Your nose is touching the ceiling.
Q: How do you get an elephant on top of an oak tree?
A: Stand him on an acorn and wait fifty years.
Q: What if you don’t want to wait fifty years?
A: Parachute him from an airplane.
Q: Why isn’t it safe to climb oak trees between 2 and 4 in the afternoon?
A: Because that is when the elephants practice their parachute jumping.
Q: Why are elephants’ feet shaped that way?
A: To fit on lily pads.
Q: Why isn’t it safe to go into the pond between 4 and 6 in the afternoon?
A: That’s when the elephants are walking on the lily pads.
Q: Why are frogs so short?
A: They go onto the lily pads between 4 and 6 in the afternoon.
Q: What do you give a seasick elephant?
A: Lots of room.
Q: What’s more difficult than getting an elephant into the back seat of your car?
A: Getting two elephants into the back seat of your car.
Q: How do you know when an elephant has been in the baby carriage?
A: By the footprints on the baby’s forehead.
Q: Why did the elephant wear sunglasses?
A: With all the silly elephant jokes going around, it didn’t want to be recognized.
Q: What do elephants do for laughs?
A: They tell people jokes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

cellular truth

impish eyes, crooked teeth and a dimpled smile gazed at me from the screen, as I saw little Stanley recite a poem at his Rosey Maam. Popping Caramel Popcorn in my mouth, I smiled along with him, allowing the director complete access to play with my emotions as the movie worn out. 

This is not a movie review. Ok fine, for a review here is the shortest version of it. Well made - as it captures the innocence of childhood moments in the minute details of reacting to science teachers, the hum drum of the good mornings, the spying on the hot teacher, group dynamics and the banter that boys make lives about. You have a sense of Tare Zammen Pe dejavu, you wish part 2 moved a bit faster and the director realized that he had made his point in frame one vs frame 12 but the kid makes up for the repetitions. 

A lot of credit goes to the child artists, for the sheer naturalness of their reactions. Even when the dialouges are lame, the innocence of their impy faces carries the moment through. Overall, don't go look for a flawless film, look for a honest-ish film and you will be all right. Ok, not even that honest, because lots of kids may not even be as lucky as Stanley was, but honest-ish is still a good word. 

(Random thought number #456- why are most movies involving kids and schools made around boys and boy schools?? Personally I think its because boys just have more fun, doing this, making planes, spitting, fighting whatever, vs girls where conversations dominate action and they are content to sit around and talk a lot more than do silly things.. am biased.. yikes!)

Right so movie review over. 

My reaction to the movie in my own very view was very very sweet. Instead of reflecting on the message behind the movie, and the truth it conveyed, etc etc .-- I focused on the other very crucial aspect of the movie
the mystery of dabbas

One of the most vivid memories of my school time, is this. 

Mom being a teacher, for a while used to go to the same school as me. The rule of the house was YOU MUST FINISH YOUR TIFFIN EVERDAY. Failure to do so, would not result in beatings, but torturous sessions about Africans kids not been given enough to eat, or WORSE being asked by the maid or mom depending on who caught you with the leftovers, as to what is it that you wanted in your tiffin, so that there was no reason to complain. 

This is where it got tricky. 

For my entire life, eveyrones elses tiffins looked far more appealing than mine. When I asked Mom to make that what I envied, it somehow never tasted as good in my own box and would end up not eating the special request- RESULT - more kids in africa seemed to die.. sigh!!!

So devious me, at the age of 8 (class 4 am guessing is that age) made a strategic plan. In hindsight I was as obvious as a monkey wearing a red jacket yelling watch me, watch me on the road, but in an 8 year olds head I was a genius.

The plan was. 

Step 1 - Get off the bus faster than mom. Mostly failed, as teachers sat in the front and got off earlier. 
Step 2-  Mutter and panic, at failed step one, walk faster than mother to reach colony gates. Also often failed as I would have a 12 kilo bag and she none. Not to mention mother thought that this was a perfect time for 'quality time' with daughter. 
Step 3 -  With the looming presence of the house coming closer, shorter breaths would mean i needed to take drastic action. Would pretend to have a sun allergy, or spot a random dog/cat/stone/moving grass/imaginary friend that needed my immediate attention.
Step 4- Dash with 13 kilo bag to they by lanes, make sure mom is not within eye distance, unclasp bag, haul out tiffin, throw out contents, BREATHE!!! curse arfica and the rest and then shove tiffin in, clasp bag, whistle or pretend to whistle a tune.. and trot back to the house
Step 5 - Get home and praise the tiffin

Think other than step 5 i had got the others nailed down pretty well. Secretly nervous about being a disaster tiffin making person, I did the reverse test to myself today morning. 

After being rudely awakened by the newspaper vala, who insisted on HAND DELIVERING the paper to me at 6.30 AM!!! who does that in the morning and why???? was wide awake with no desire to open the paper and have the world leap at me just yet.

Opened the door of the veranda, walked to the kitchen and made my own dabba. 
one for me, one for the roomie
cut, boiled, garnished, fried
packed and sat back with a smile of contentment

I got my own dabba to work today, and ate it all. Mommy i promise to be nicer to urs dabbas now too. promise!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Punjabi Bahu

Had the weirdest dream last night. For the people who know me, the moment I mention this I am sure you will crack up laughing. 

So last night, after being a  couch potato for the whole day.

(Saw tv all day long. Yes it was a Monday, Yes I do have a life and office, and yes I saw TV all day ;-) .. here is what happened, drank a big glass of bitter tasting water melon juice, sat in an auto, was bumped around, burped several times, thought about morning sickness. came home, crashed into the loo, hurled and heaved the watermelon juice out, plonked on the bed and never moved)

General Knowledge updates included. 
  1. Cigerettes and Coffee- a french movie with random snippets of people consuming the above. fell asleep half way through
  2. urban legends - college kids keep dying
  3. hollow man 2
  4. son of shark - very bad dont see
  5. hells kitchen- monster chef pretending to be a dr jakel and mr hyde character and doing a good job of it
  6. 20 minutes of enemy of the state, diamonods are the girls best fried, my super ex gf, fantastic four and troy
  7. aladin. 
Thats a lot of TV to watch, for anyone in a day. As i dozed off to the 30th snippet of coffee and cigarettes, there was a dream that rose from the depths of my subconsciousness. It involved me dreaming about how for some reason i am married and am a Punjabi Bahu. think it was something to do with the 20 minutes of  a hindi movie called out of control that I saw that had random characters like Mango and Jelly walking the streets of New York, looking for the married man who had abandoned his village wife

Never mind.

So in my dream, I am married to this bloke a simpleton fellow. The family is raising eyes at me and my behaviour - consisting of holding hands, -big frown. wanting to not eat after anyone else - bigger frown, generally jumping around and being a couch potato bigger frown. So fed up I finally sit in an auto that is being driven by a woman auto driver who can only go at the speed of 10; certainly not fast enough to escape the draconian father in law, so I end up driving the auto myself. Which was a lot of fun and think made the dream happy. 

Through it all though, a nagging thought was constantly there. Like a jagged piece of thorn, the reminder that there was something that i was forgetting, this morning when i did wake up minus the salwar kameez, the aloo parathas, the draped and bowed head, there thing i was forgetting came back!!! I wasnt a good old punjabi bahu who had to worry most about making sure there was the right amount of sugar in the kheer!!!

Wheeww what a relief ;-)

Also made me realize that no matter what, I just cannot ever be made to do the arranged marriage thing, the poor sod i was dream married to quivered at the very sight of me.. hheee

MNC or Family Businesses?

As a consultant, often there is a lot of work that ones does with professionally managed family concerns. These are huge enterprises, with businesses generating a few crores, a legacy that can be traced often to the early 1900's and a plethora of businesses that may often range from mining to selling mobile chargers, the sheer spectrum is amazing. 

However, the 'professionally managed' tag to me seems very hilarious a term. in my limited experience, it often takes a large amount of egolessness for the chairman/ceo who is the son of the legacy to be just that. the CEO and not become the mafia god. 

Let me explain 

Family owned business, with an active chairperson have almost got an anal string on the decision making process. By default this implies that all the routine tasks of everyday funtioning are delegated while the key actions that may make or break a company held safe. Having made the decision, implementation is delegated without often delegating the requisite power/authority/resources that go with it. Result lop sided growth, where the employee tries hard to be the change, and is thwarted by meddlesome processes of detailing each action to an non involved boss. 

Getting to more fundamental basics, it also often causes an employee to become subsurvient. In most actions, there is a 'homage to the legacy' that becomes critical. The lifestyle of the owner becomes the informal environment of the company.

Take for example, a large flashy company that has risen the ranks, and over the past 20 years invested lots into brand building. AND MADE IT. everything about this company now, from the office, the branding, the company employees, the language is about LARGE! making it big, noisy, flashy, scale.. IMPOSE. The employees too are that, agressive, loud and culturally adopting the practices of a winner

Cut to company 2. Same industry, different mindset. Here the conglomeration was headed by a family that exhibited humbleness in its dealings, but the family name was to be protected at all costs. It was not unnatural to see some head of business, walking up the family chairman and bowing low before the start of the day. Somehow something about it also did not seem ass licking, but more like 'parampara' ..... Would have made me smile, but the location of it in an annual conference was more jarring than soothing.

In all these establishments, addressing one by their first name is frowned upon, luxuries like secretarial assistance are common, the pace of work is intense but one understands the needs of family and self time, there is a laid back attitude that the offices speak of, where the machineries clank in a rhythm of their own creation. Productive but unhurried. 

Walk into any of the other MNC"S the classical Pepsicos, or the new age banks and the very first difference is in the intangible office environment. Silent cubicles, layers of security men, casual attire yet feeling of movement subtly in the air, the conference rooms having strange names and the feeling of 'namelessness' of employees. 

The company seems larger than the person. and the individuals recognise their impermanence rather thrive in it as it allows them to do and leave. Not attachment is the motto. Or rather fuck this shit, the moment the shit crosses and unknown line.

In contrast for all its slowness, the family business seem to have got something right in the relationship building department. Agreed that the people who have stuck on over the years, are conventionally older and of another generation but there has to have been something more than money, that made them stay. 10 years., 15 years or sometimes even 20 years are the durations that one sticks on in these jobs.

As a wannabe corporate person, in my early 20's I found the stifling atmosphere of lordmandship that hovered in family businesses unbearable. As a consultant, I find the love and concern of these families towards their business, adorable. As long as I am not 'under the thumb' of anyone its fine, but the thing is, each of them offer something to you. If you know what makes you tick, it makes decision making much easier. 

Mafia-ed u are in any case! 

Temptations Mistresses

A deep sigh, is the feeling that best explains the mode and the tone behind this post.

Temptation is a bitch, she slides in cloaked in mystery, seductively easy to attain and often just lies beyond reach. Swaying by herself, displaying contentment, she is alluring, mysterious and softly smiles to herself; as she moves out of your eyesight. But even then one gets the feeling that she hasn’t gone. She has merely gone to dance somewhere else. You my friend are marked. She sees you, sees through you and knows you are the one.

One of those – the ones who are seeking something from life they cant explain, the one who wants marriage and security, yet wants to be able to momentarily live the underwired life, the life of being a nobody, identity less where the rules of interaction are not about name, career, age or status, but about seduction, interaction, creation and deduction. To get lost to find themselves, and she – the tempteress of seduction sees that, her glittering eyes gleaming at her next bait and slides off, scheming her devious plots

Ah. But you are on to her. There is nothing that she can do to you. Because you see, you are aware and real.  You know her tricks, have been there before. This time you are sure. Now its another stage of life, a marriage a family a child, the life of maturity beckons. It is time to bid her goodbye. Throw her out. Stamp her very existence and the moment she shows up, to deny her the comforts of your mind and heart.

Or so you think

A year passes with her dancing from the sidelines. A few more years she occasionally comes closer, never for more than a minute or two, just skirting you, a fleeting touch an embrace. Enough, to wake up that box covered sealed and thrown into the sea.

The next year, she sees the jadeness in your eyes, sees the body slump, the belly swell the exhaustion in your life.  Standing at the sidelines, she throws her hair back, smoothening it with her hands ready for the kill.

Before you know it, something changes. Spring appears in your life. There is a lightness to your legs, the phone is tempting. Concealed plans, hidden deeds, behaving like a teenager never seemed more fun. Guilt comes in as you turn the key to your house, watching your partner engrossed in her/his book, the heart feels a faint twitch.

But you love the partner, that’s home, that solid. This is  cloud, its gonna past race by as meaningless as a handshake exchanged in a conference room.  Rationality covers the heart. The conscience washed out in the shower. Tempation tiptoes in to the privacy of your bed room. Sleeping alongside you, prohibiting you from embracing your own life, your partner, your vices getting in the way of honesty

They will never find out. You ensure that. Careful and Discreet

They find out. They leave. Things change. Temptation plays her songs, the tempo is now steep. Devouring you and holding you in, you surface occasionally to breathe before diving back again.

She looses interest. You are not a challenge any more. A puppy in her hands. Becoming a weaker version. Concealment and Deceit the  co-conspirators leave from the door. Mundane is; what was once exotic.

Temptation hates mundane. Flees.

You turn the key into your house, and see the chair where they sat. You shower and there is nothing. You sleep the bed is empty. The tears come, the pillow soaks it in. Silent witnesses to the circle of life.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chinese Thinkers Indian Servers

There was an article this morning regarding the Bamboo innovation of Chinese concerns, amognst other things it bemoaned the fact that there was no real innovation springing out of China, where 'real innovation' had been conveniently coined as the concept of 'breakthrough products' only. (http://www.economist.com/node/18648264?story_id=18648264&fsrc=rss)

But the article contended that China did what it did well. That is, was unparalleled in combining technology and getting products at a low cost in the market, having flexible production lineups, getting in place new gadgets based on re-engineered products and costs.

Bottom line even if Chinese firms are developing more than creating, it still is fulfilling a real need for masses of people beyond the limits of China, that in my limited view is innovation in any case. I have been associated with the world of innovation in the past 2  years and have often struggled to define the term and what it means.

In the Indian context too there isnt all that much to rave about, the moment one removes the frugal/nano innovation from its scope. Large centers here have also resorted to deploying a lot of energy into reverse creating products, or at best ensuring that the products are tweaked here and there. Juggad innovations abound, but rarely are these spur of the moment engineering tricks taken to the commercial scale parameters that define an successful innovation.

What however is a difference in mindset in both the countries is the level of dedication to discipline and control. Having read Tiger Mom, there is a huge overlap in the social mindset towards living a life. My thinking aloud take on it is, this

1. Indians as a race are a very content lot. they want more for themselves and there families but as a societial thing, there is a deep level of resignation and hence acceptance of things being half baked. This acceptance often seeps into the standards that they then expect from themselves. The quaility of work, service, or even simple operations are glazed with a 'it sort of works so deal with it attitude' am no expert on China, but the feeling that I get is that standard of what is acceptable from others is higher and hence the output one delivers to the world is higher too. Of course the quality of work here too is often not the best, but each person attempts to do more

2.  Indian parents and Chinese parents, what makes one differ from the other, is the huge societial expectation that spurs the parental expectation. ie a indian parent often wants his child to do A/B or C because Mr sharmas son is doing these things and not otherwise, if the kid wanted to do something very path breaking like an X, there better be a commercial stance to it to make sense. Indian parents need to see everything have an end goal it must amount to something tangible, be it a better chance of getting admission, a revenue source or at the very least access to a better school.

The same thing applies to the child raising process. Keeping the window open only to the urban niche population the child rearing has become a treadmill job, there each child is made to do several things in the spam of a day. The intention being to expose and allow him to explore what all he can do. A mix of helicoptering and tiger mommying is done, but the key difference is that often its enough that the kid does these activities, without having to demonstrate excellence in any.

Thats the mindset again, as long as you are seen doing this or that, the need to be a champion is not that high, we are content to believe that something is happeneing, some growth will be done and let it go at that level.

Wonder how I reached here from where I began

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tiger Mom- Mothers Day

Mothers day was on Sunday, in my little brain it took place on Friday and so I spent most of the day plotting what I could do for mommy dear. Idea planned and executed, feeling good I proceeded to the airport. Landed at the wrong terminal, zoomed to the other one and then moved to sit in the aisle seat of a rather uncomfortable, steadily shrinking spice jet seat,  where the plane refused to fly because the pilots were having an issue deciding what seat to sit on.  Or that’s what the airhostess said.

Anyway, am a little late in commenting on a topic that has been debated, raged and forgotten by the world at large, but it was only last week that I read the phenomena called

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom’

Time rated her as part of the top 100 people who influenced our thinking, NY times article on her book raised a storm in many a tea cup, and Chinese parents for the first time were applauded for being who they were.
The book starts with a list of things that a Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires. Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do: 
  •  have a playdate 
  •  be in a school play 
  •  complain about not being in a school play
  •  not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama 
  •  play any instrument other than the piano or violin/ not play the piano or violin
The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin. Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene: "According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing:
1. Oh my God, you're just getting worse and worse. 
2. I'm going to count to three, then I want musicality. 
3. If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!

Anyway, the details of how she brings up her two kids is well narrated with a very honest assessment of herself as a mother, the one parent who was willing to be hated if that is what it took to ensure that her daughters reached the pinnacles that they could attain for themselves.

As I shut the book and exited the plane, I pondered over something that my mother had said just that afternoon. “ Sometimes I think I offered too much choice to you and your brother, maybe if there was more decisions made on your behalf you would have actually done more than play endless hours of hide and seek’

I sat back and reflected. Someone recently said that childhood was about lots of things, one of the crucial ones being foundation building, ensuring that your child finds the avenues to express themselves in myriad ways so that they can choose the ones that they then would take. In the liberal parenting school, children are seen as individuals, as choice makers capable of thinking through for themselves and deciding. Free will and actions perculate down to that level.

In other schools, the understanding is that a child has to be made to stick to something before they realized what they are good at. Practice, Perseverance and Perfection come only when children are compelled to do something over and over again. The transition of a hobby into a ‘passion’  occurs when a person knows that they are good/great/magnificent in something. In her book, Chua categorically states that Chinese parents believe that their kids are magnificent in everything and hence they are made to excel in all that they do.

A line from the book however refuses to retire from my mind. 

Chuas mother in law, was one of those feisty women with a fiery personality, a child of the 60’s with a firm belief in self discovery, time with nature, free flowing thoughts, good taste and fine life that came from an understanding of culture.

She kept asking Chua that she be allowed to spend 1 day, or even just one afternoon with the kids, go to the waterfall, swim in the pool, bake cookies and do the things grannies and grandkids do.

They never had one afternoon free. 

In the pursuit of excellence, they had to ensure that they were in music school, or practicing at home, or excelling in maths and ensuring that they were getting A’s and never B’s. The completion was with oneself and the other, the deeper question remained who was the completion organizer. The mother or the child.

As the book, started to end, the tone too altered. From the battle chanting tiger mom the person with the answers and the firm conviction that Chinese way of parenting was indeed the one and only solution, there was a softening stance. The battle hymns gave space to lower chants, rock and roll made an appearance and choice was allowed to make a stage appearance.

Close friends are becoming parents, some of them are not the most disciplined souls themselves, but one cant help and wonder if as parents, what will be their stance, Chinese Tigers or Indian deer. Leaping and moving from one to the other?


The underworld life.

These are incidents that came into my life in the past 24 hours, random stories that were shared by people in the course of an evening.  There is nothing alarming about them, just an reflection of the Indian canvas that never ceases to explore.

Diva boy called breathless with excitement because he had been called to the dream event of his lifetime, where the person was to come as a threesome. Any combination was a justified, any drug was permitted and anything was allowed to occur. An exploring bisexual, for him it was a dream event with the ooh laaa laas there to applaud and cheer the explorations of mankind. Diva boy, incidentally having opened up this facet of himself has been blessed with experiences galore of kink, threesomes, teeth pulled clothes, night long conversations and wordless intimacies. In a city that makes a kaleidoscope look like  a plane jane, there are new age children who are either recklessly heading towards boredom or are jubilantly appreciating their lives for the here and now, where it ends is anybody’s guess.

A person shared an incident, where the star of a latest Bollywood hit was smashed out of his wits at a Prodigy concert. He was shoved around by the bouncers all over the place and kept yelling that he was now important and they could not do this to him, when it got too much he yelled and said ‘yaar maat karo mere izzat ka kya hoga’ hahahaha, apparently he was so so drunk that the bouncers took him backstage, shoved him into a car and were stripping him to take pictures and sell it for a scoop to a magazine when they were sheepishly discovered by the crew.

2 friends were getting married, and the jai mala was about to take place. A green age newly aware about everything environmental, they suddenly shrieked a piercing yell into the sky, as they saw that the garlands were made of dead flowers. Cut flowers were wilting and bound to die. New relationships cannot be begun with dead flowers and they horrified sent their families to find sandalwood malas that were to replace these. Forgetting that these sandalwood malas are what are used to garland those dead.. Sigh the new age fundas sometimes get to be a bit more than not

A friend organized a conference in Maldives, where top IT businessmen were escorted for fun. One of these dealers was being taken to his car in those golf carts that you drive from place to place. The driver was a women, in the night, an obvious statement that she wanted to be laid, comeon why else would she be driving him to his room? Or so he thought, and so decided to drag her to his room. Another guy was mesermerised by a german lady he met in the corridor and in a phase of spontaneous love decided  to hug and smooch her. She however was not in a very loving mood and got his ass sent packing right back home.. the lovely Indian ambassadors that we harbor is amazing.

There was the experience of a man who took 2 years to head on 5 dates, a couple vacationing in the high Himalayas who were shocked to see hairy boxer clad men, semi naked plunge into pools of sulphur water and yell in glee. They sat holed up in their room and didn’t budge for day 1, 2 and 3.

In the mean time, my closest friend and dearest enemy who is reading this post for sure is truly going under.. water and meeting sharks in those exotic places and nations whose names start with Z. He must have been an eagle in his past life, soaring over and over one nation wondering where all to land.

Wondering what today shall expose.

giggling maddness

I cant stop giggling today. I am not entirely sure why. This is the debauch day that I have had, and for some reason am giggling like a school girl at my own silliness.

Get up at a bright and not so early time of 8; realised its not so early, refused to heed the realization fell back into the bed, pretended that I did not know that the dog had assaulated the not to be assaulted bedspace and snuggled in next to me, kept my eyes shut as the maid entered and drifted back into serene dream land, while the subtle conscience yelled at me not so subtly.

Made it to work only by about 11 am. Hopeless. Helped that the boss came in at 11.07 am, so hahah was not the bad late employee at all. Sat and did the one little thing that the formatting guy working on my laptop had asked me to do.

‘madam just transfer all your data from the d drive into the external hard disk and then format the d drive and then transfer it back, other than that the computer is ready, and oh also please update ur norton and the tata photon cd’

Profusely thanking the man I had exited his shop at 10 pm on a Saturday evening, thinking to me the blessing every formatting person needs, I hopped and forgot all about the instructions till Monday, arrived bright and sunny.

This will take just a minute, I hummed as I wrote sheets and sheets of things that I needed to do for the day.
·         Injected hard drive, copied D drive, pasted it in a folder called backup.
·         Injected Norton, Norton needed the net
·         Realized the wifi was not working
·         Injected the photon, realized that had been formatted and was not working

Swore at the world and every person part of mankind, tried to repair wifi it refused to move. The D drive took only 8 hours to transfer content, the apple guys told me they would charge rs 1000 for 5 gb worth of content transfer for basically hitting the copy button and all in all I was ready to smash the laptop to bits and pieces.

Forgetting the woes of work and more, I decide to stop the transfers, head home have a elaborate coffee session with an old friend, follow that up with going to the 2 gyms, giggle like mad over friends and their escapades, come home to laugh even more at the disaster encounters behind events and drunken gigs and sleep

Only to dream of contessa’s the cars that are moving in bright yellow and blue, giggle in my sleep and wake up all happy with the giggly world. Life is life this only. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good Morning Dilli

All right then. I am going through an aunty crisis. For the uninitiated its the ability to feel like an old maid. Lines from Jaded seem to run through the mind, actually not lines just the big fat word JAAADEED... and am not sure why.

Ok I know why. I am missing NEW NEW!

AB called and told me about strange man who had come over at 11 and stayed up till 4 am kissing him in underssing him etc etc. the regular we were up al night. PK is contemplating a photo course next year, AD a move to new york, G is getting married,. GR is sitting in London and for the umpteeth time am feeling like a bleached whale on the imaginary shores of blore

yea yea the work is good. india has the more exciting potentinal yada yada yada. But there is stuff that i need to do. the idea that came up now was that there is a need in me to dedicate some level of discipline, something that i belive in and then stand for. it could be a passion or a thing. its something that u do. that u get known for, fame not necessarily but appreciation maybe.

Hmm, or maybe this is how you feel as you tend to simmer down. Bollocks. dont but that. the more you challenge yourself the more you grow, the more you learn the more you do. the more you do the more you expand and that is how you remain young.

So the challenge is to not waste time. wallowing
this is a bullshit post na. but think its a seasonal mood swing that comes and goes, the feeling that u get once in a while, then get a boost to do something about it and move on

only a few things are cystal clear. this sense of purpose is not about work. have that sorted, it is not about friends or partying, am in the no drinks and the useless lazing around banter is well useless, but in the lets galvanize and do something that is meaningful stage. Write. Post images is one thing that i will do and get a hang of this year. and study, have to do a course abroad, for me its important, mything that i want to create for myself, just have to. its my expansion window. have let fear hold me back, but it is something i wanna state even 20 years from now. that i did study what i wanted to that i know.

so be it

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Unsocial Social Networks

I wrote the best post ever and the silly net evaporated it! serves me right was bitching about the virtual world, but so what had made a really really fine art of bitching about it. Recreating a post is never the same as writing one fresh.

So attempted rewrite

After a watermelon break, here goes.

There is an application in Facebook that lets you 'checkin' to a place. it could be anywhere, the loo, the airport or even the hairdresser. intent the world gets to know exactly where u are.
In an ipad, there is a cool function where you can open a picture embedded into a book, and from there go on to check the field it was in, the landscape there, the soil, the water, the works
Twitter seems to be dedicated to news spinnets that put CNN n BBC to shame, speacially after dear osama died and its a disgraceful thing, if you dont have a smart, cryptic comment on world events that can be conveyed in less than the allotted words
and heaven forbid, if you want to tweet about the song roaming around in your head. that is just too trivial for global attention.
Recently on a holiday a friend lost a costly, and more than that a lifeline worthy device called the Blackberry. Somehow we were able to track it down to within 50 meter radius of where it was, navigational maps et all, yet nothing happened, we left the phone beeping there and got home, woeful

Whats the point?

Nothing not made before. In this world where everyone is forever connected, attached and progressively informed it seeems almost like a collossal sin not to have a point of view on events at home, in the neighbourhood, the oilspill. Everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else and there is much amusement at silly videos that share moment of others pain.

As I took a dump, I leafed through the 100 most influential by TIME magazine. Sheepishness turned to self shame as I realised that I knew maybe 15 of the people mentioned there. Given the bommardement of news, RSS feeds and apps that surround me this was a disgrace.

Resolving to be better informed I read the paper today page to page. Read about the hidden tactic of Pakistan, the meaning of the shell alaska move, the RBI savings tax rate etc etc. Read and realised that i still did not have an opnion or a point of view.

in the trivial life lead by me, i was far more engaged in the mail that a dear friend had promised to write to me about. Disgusting, I groaned to myself.

But as I wrote the earlier version out, I pondered if it was such a bad thing to have phases where the external world did not have such a strong pull on you. I am not defending ingorance, but from another perspective these hosts of tablets, smartphones, cloud carrying information and not rain, there is a simpler life that I lead

I hold my books and turn a page made of paper when i read
i eat caramel popcorn and grip cinema seats
skype does not feel the same as a coffee on the couch, with you
i ask someone for directions, by rolling down the window
and i seek information only when i so need it

its a strange notion, but when i am travelling and truly exploring a place, i have recently found that often i am so there, that i dont feel the need for my phone, forget often to take images from the camera, dont feel the need to upload, tag and share instead am content to live and let go.

Thats the time when living life here fills me so much, that there is no space and time for virutalness.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Breaking Silence

May 3rd.

Finally after almost two months there is a desire to write again, and when there is such a huge timelag, one wonders what one reminesces about and what one leaves out.  Sitting on the couch yesterday, someone mentioned a movie that is a kalidescope of images that weave through the canvas, a silent non voice over movie the sileouhette of images leaves one grasping for breath as it forces the audience to deal with the greusome realities of life. (Baraka http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraka_(film)

In the past months there has been that, floating images that have woven through villages in the east and north, some cities, beaches and paradise, airports and towns, relationships and deaths, inner dilemas and external musings, from this carasoul of incidents some little things remain get lodged as memories.

Borrowing into the rabbit hole of time.

A beggar women standing at a buzy intersection getting her slipper repaired in Patna, a tiny boy looking wistfully at a plate of grapes that 4 rich farmers were eating in front of him, as he watched, holding him on my lap feeding him grapes watching him gobble as many as he can, drinking rum in the backseat of a car, sipping drinks out of plastic cups after ages, standing on a cliff face watching waves bash into rocks, sitting on the rooftop of a swanky delhi resteraunt thats empty on a Friday night, red neon lit place advertising Hell Kitchen, a farmers son defiant in his refusal to farm, an old man nodding his head at the changes needed, village children showing off their puppy, two black dogs playing in the sand, tired men haggling devil horned headcare day after day on the beach, fat men and women lining the beach belching the beer, sitting cross legged in front of a tarot card reader, hearing the best and the news together, watching children dance in front of a dead body, a ailing grandmom, crying over book thief, agonizing over the future, reading osho for the present, twins to appear, ganda flowers strewn inside a loo with the sun streaming in its May splendor, sipping a cold coffee early in the morning, hugging him tight in his green tshirt at the airport, aurangabad and the waiter who comes popping into the room, clapping hands in front of the TV as india wins the match, signing cheques off, eating the best watermelons, learning about lenses and photography, gifting a book, recieving one, watching chickens poop on themselves in a Punjabi Dhabha, craving simplicity, silence of the sea and blue beads.

Nothing of note and yet this is what the last few months amounted to. In the world of airplanes and airlines there is not a lot to hang out to there is so much that ones sees.

As I travelled through the Indian villages, leaving them behind for indian towns and then zooming into the cities the ageold theory came back, there is only you that you take with you. There is one eternal truth that however seemed to leap out over and over again.

Standing there, moving through the brick lined tiny village lane, cocking my camera to take a image of the bullocks eating in the cow shed, a women creeped up next to me demanding to know what what the meaning of this shooting, I smiled and nodded my head hoping that I came across as neutral and non threatening. Walking away, all i could smile and state was, that it could be me.

There is no race, no where to go that makes life such a race. Its all good.