Monthly Archives: July 2007

>Tagged – Judgement Day

>I’ve been tagged by a blogger who did not invite me! And he’s given me the almost-cathartic job of being judgemental. Ha! A tag that actually allows you to get all judgemental when all I’ve been trying all these years is to be non-judgemental.

I was once called “opinionated” by a person who didn’t know me too well. And who retracted her statement after she did know me. If she reads this post, she’ll have reason to regret her retraction!

Here I go judging:

  • I judge people who think sons are better than daughters because of their genders. Even now, in this age.
  • I judge people who lie, who are dishonest – in relationships, at work, to themselves.
  • I judge MCPs – ALL of them!
  • I judge children who don’t care for their parents. If you can’t take care of the people who took care of you when you were incapable of taking care of yourself, you should be ashamed of yourself.
  • I judge everybody who doesn’t like my family and can’t see their goodness!
  • I judge pseuds – of all kinds. Who can’t be themselves. Who’re fake, trying to be someone they are not.
  • I judge people who are supposed to have received a good education, but it doesn’t show in the way they talk, live, act, think, react.
  • I judge people who don’t know how to have fun. Not just my kind of fun, any kind of fun. If you can’t find a reason to let your hair down once in a while, what are you doing?
  • I judge people who’ll like you only if you have an impressive bank balance. You have it, you want to flaunt it, fine. But don’t go judging people who can’t, don’t or won’t!

I tag the first five people who comment on this post.

>Kalam Namaste!

>

The Indian media today is an all-consuming giant looking for the tiniest bits of news to devour and then spit out at the public. Creating news is what the media does better now than reporting it. No surprise then that the hitherto neglected Indian Presidential elections were widely covered by the nation’s media this year. But to give the devil his due, Prez Kalam had his role to play in making this into a much-talked-about affair.

The scientist-turned-statesman made the “rubber stamp” Indian Prez into a living, thinking being and the post even a coveted one. I don’t remember caring who the President of my country was before this. And now that Kalam isn’t occupying that post and somebody called Pratibha Patil is, I do! You had e-petitions doing the rounds asking the government to elect him for a second term. When has that happened before in Indian history?

But the point isn’t just that Kalam is far more popular than Patil; the point is that one man can make all the difference. It’s not the job you do but how you do it that matters. Not many of us know how to make ourselves indispensable and maybe we could take a leaf out of Kalam’s life to learn that. The much quoted “successful people don’t do different things, they do things differently” is totally useful in conveying what I want to say.

You’ve got a situation you can’t change – what you probably can is the way you work within it. And that’s why I think Prez Kalam is so inspiring! We let the system get to us, but if we care to think out of the box, things could be better.

>Compliment-ry

>

Chedi dada – our house help for over 50 years now – is usually the grumbling, irritated, frowning man that you’d expect 70-year-0lds to be. Some of it has to do with me – I’m always cribbing about how oily the food that he cooks is and how unhealthy. But he’s been smiling a lot lately. And been exceptionally nice to all of us. No, he’s not in love! He’s just been told he makes excellent parathas and we want to have them every single day. So he’s beaming, elated with a simple compliment and that’s all the reason he needs to be happy!

Now don’t blame Chedi dada’s old age for his reactions. If truth be told, we all love hearing nice things about ourselves. And not just women! All it takes to make someone feel special is a compliment. And yet, we’re so stingy with just a little bit of harmless flattery.

I had a friend in school who made sure to never say anything nice about me. So when I got a haircut, she told me she hated it and went ahead and got the exact same haircut a day later! At an Ethnic theme party, she told me my lehanga was not-so-pretty as others thought it was and wanted to borrow it a month later for her cousin’s wedding! Such back-handed compliments are called jealousy.

I learnt the art (and reason) of complimenting from an Uncle – a family friend who later became my sister’s father-in-law. At 13, he made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. And he made sure he found something nice to say about everyone – my mom’s laughter, my granny’s skin, my aunt’s cooking, my new dress, my sister’s coyness, my brother’s swagger, my dad’s witty one-liners, Bahadur’s hospitality… It was almost unbelievable how he could bring a smile on our faces with his compliments. At one point, I’d almost begun to believe that they were just a bunch of lies. And I was precocious enough to ask him that. Which is when he explained that it took nothing to make somebody’s day and that’s why the profuse compliments.

Of course, some people totally overdo it. Like this aunt who’ll rave about anyone’s cooking even before she’s tasted the food! Now nobody believes her even if her compliments are genuine.

And some people, like presumptuous 3-year-old husbands who forget to tell their wives they’re looking hot in that sexy number, just assume the other person would know they’re looking lovely! And yes, that’s why this post!

>The First Person Third Person

>

If we could stand out of our realities, would our lives still seem the same? Just for a moment, if we were to view ourselves as not you or me but as a third person, how different would the picture be?

I try to think about how the same thing viewed from different perspectives can make all the difference. And it’s difficult to do that – think of yourself as another person. But just suppose I do manage the feat, how would I see myself?

For one, I’d see myself as having altered irreversibly over the last few years. I can no longer see myself as who I am without thinking about who I used to be. I’ve changed and I know you’d all have me believe that it’s only natural. But somehow, the changes jar me. And I find myself wanting to be able again to laugh like I used to, live free like I used to, love like I used to.

Somewhere deep down I still am the same person probably, but the creases that form with age are etched in my heart and not my face. I wonder when I lost the ability to see things with an unbiased eye. And I can’t think back.

In fact, I used to think about so much more than work and woes. And now there seems to be no time for any of those things that occupied my mind for so many years. I’ve begun to dream less, hope less. I probably have less time for any of that. And sadly, I miss my fantastical world. I’m too much of a realist now; I used to be a dreamer. When my perfect plans were thrown out of gear, I realised it doesn’t help to think of life ahead. And I stopped making perfect plans!

I also see how my relationships have changed because of how I have changed over the years. There’s more love, less passion, more tolerance, less compassion, more pity, less sympathy now – all in different relationships, of course. There must be something good about the way I’ve changed. But I can’t see it. If you like to call mellowing down good, then that’s a good thing I see in myself, but I’m not sure how good that really is.

>Tagged Again – 8 Simple Things About Me!

>I’ve been tagged again. By Prince Kazarelth again. And I’m ready to do his bidding again. So here it comes: 8 simple things about me.

1. I’m not a simple person at all. In fact, I’m rather complicated!

2. I thing shopping therapy works. For me. It works wonders!

3. I love eating. But I’m very choosy about what I eat. I don’t eat more than halve the things there are to eat. Actually, my eating habits are painful! They were for my mom. And for everyone else who has had to live with me. But I’m quite okay with what I eat 😛

4. I’m paranoid of getting fat. Of a loose, jelly-like tummy, of flabby arms and a double chin, of love handles that aren’t lovely at all and thunder thighs and a BIG butt! God save me.

5. I think I’m addicted to exclamation marks! All my sentences seem to need one.

6. I luuuuuurve shoes. All kinds.

7. I’ve dreamt about building my own home ever since I was a kid. And doing it up the way I want to. I’m rather house-proud!

8. I can’t think of 8 simple things about myself.

>Belief, you, me!

>
And I rebelled. Again. And again, it was apparently for nothing. But I knew that my rebellion wasn’t a whim. It was an assertion of what I believe is right. And surely, superstition must be wrong.

Why must people go out in search of solutions to their problems to unconvincing pandits, tantriks and even vaastu experts? And bind their happiness to little tricks that these ‘well wishers’ hand out like a 2-minute noodle recipe?

So astrology is a science and I understand and believe in negative and positive energies, but surely there’s more to solution-finding than all this. Why, when you have exorcised that evil spirit in the house, do superstitious people find no peace? Perhaps, they forget that they too have a role to play creating problems for which they seek solutions.

I believe in vaastu, even in pandits and poojas. But I don’t believe they can work in isolation to improve anyone’s life. You can’t just sit happy and let a hired pandit perform a ritual and think you’ve done your bit to make things better. It’s a mind game. You have to believe things will be better. You have to believe in yourself. And that someone up there is listening to your prayers.

Those lucky bamboos will wilt with negativity. And no amount of restructuring in the house will make it a home till the people living in it don’t restructure themselves. If the Laughing Buddha did bring prosperity, why would there be poverty? Does superstition really make you so blind to reason?!

Belief vs Superstition – I’ll rebel each time I’m coerced to fall in line with what I don’t believe in.