Saturday, October 18, 2014

On Death and Hope

I shall skip the formalities of apologizing for my lack of posts and vacant promises on how I shall be more judicious with updates.

My father has met his maker.

Yep, the man who was a friend more than a father has finally taken the long rest. I was there by his side when he took those final rasping breaths… Every moment of that day is etched in my memory… and I have tiny panic attacks thinking of that day! But all that said and done, I am glad in a way. You see, when someone is in so much pain that they cry out for death every waking minute, Death comes to them like a blessing from Heaven above. He had severe internal bleeding and a complete loss of appetite… I am just amazed that his final moments were much calmer and painless compared to how he suffered in life.

I grieve every day. And I know that this is one feeling that shall not leave me for as long as I live. Everytime I see or hear someone interacting with their father… every time they talk about how they did this and that with their daddies… I shall smart inside. Because, I’m only human… 

That said, his death has made me a different person. I can now empathize with those who’ve lost a loved one. All those condolence messages that I’d sent before my father’s death seem so hollow and without life compared to the ones I send now. Now, when I say I know how someone feels about the loss, I don’t feel like a hypocrite anymore! And when I tell them that they’ll get over it, I don’t sound like a jerk. Because we do get over death… we do carry on. We do survive.

The grief is always there, it goes from being the numb unfeeling heaviness to a sharp pain in the gut to a remnant feeling that is in the backdrop of all things we do. My father was an amazing human being… a better human than most people I’ve met. And he loved making people laugh. Now everytime I see his photo, I smile… remembering the good times… knowing in my soul that he’s up there next to God, making him laugh!

If anyone who’s reading this has lost a loved one, know this, brethren… Your loss will make you stronger… you will survive! And you will become a beautiful testament to the power of Hope and Love!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hope... or what's left of it

My father is terminally ill… there… I said it! It’s not easy being diagnosed with CML. And yes, when my father got the news six years ago that he had CML (a form of leukaemia), our entire family was shaken. It was like the whole family was diagnosed with it. So far, we’d only heard of people suffering from cancer. It was very much an ugly word that was synonymous to pain, suffering and death. Then, the drugs started and surprisingly, he had none of those side effects that one associates with chemotherapy. We’d joke, saying that he had a very expensive form of diabetes and that was all there is to it. We’d tell other people about how he was battling the disease like a champ.

We went through so much, in those six years. The ups and the downs. And then, a day came when his body just didn't take to the medicine like it used to. Fevers, bleeding, pain, drama… a good two months in various hospitals, with doctors wringing their hands and shaking their heads, we decided to just bring him home. The prognosis was that his disease had progressed from the chronic phase to the next phase.

It came as a shock. I guess we all knew from the start that the day would come when the diabetes jokes would stop. One more stop towards the end. And then, the real chemotherapy started. All the resolve I’d associated with my father had gone, replaced with despair and hopelessness. I had to be brave and tell him that everything would be fine, even if I knew I was lying. I had always wondered what feelings would come out in the open when the end would be here. Sure, we’re not there yet, but there’s a mixture of fear and sadness… and strange sense of calm in the background.

Now, as he lies in bed, a mere shadow of his former person, I wonder how much longer he should suffer before release. It’s a battle we've all been fighting, knowing that the final wave would do us under, as is its wont. But still, there is always this tingling feeling of hope that something good may happen in the darkest of times.

My mom and I have never been this close… and I must say dad’s suffering was what did the trick! And we’re discovering newer strength in each other. Sure, there will be sadness… and tears in the dark. 

But I know in the end, everything will sort itself out. Hope… it makes the world go around… doesn't it?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oy Vey!!

Today was a day of mixed feelings… just like almost any other day. But the difference is that today, I managed to feel the best of feelings with the worst!

H-chan, my soul sibling, (One of my soul siblings! But you get the point!) is back from Shanghai. It was quite the surprise when I walked into work today, already tired of all the imbeciles that I encounter during my commute and more inside office, when I see his refreshing face and that dazzling smile welcoming me to work! Sure, he’s going to be around only until his work permit is ready but hey, I’ll take what I can and be mighty grateful, thank you!

And then there was the horror that was a meeting with the higher ups who were smarting after having received a 3/5 feedback score from our Japanese clients. Now, they want us to come to work at seven in the morning and also work on Saturdays! If only they could see that people hardly have to interest to work five days a week in this project and they’re slowly beginning to loathe all things Japanese!

From the looks of it, I guess I had better start looking for other jobs. Changing two trains and then getting into a bus just to get there at an unholy hour as 7 am is just not happening! I’d have to board my first train at 5!

Why do things always go south after a vacation (even if I didn't go anywhere!)?!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Have you ever felt that sense of helplessness as you watch the people around you find meaningful connections to other people around them and you’re left all alone, unable to relate to the ones around you and yet unable to withdraw from it all and leave?

I guess people like me, we’re a doomed kind… we crave for the companionship but we’re never happy with what we have. It becomes all the starker when we find ourselves in the fringes. We’re never the centre of attention to anyone. We’re just the ones that people fall back on and then, when it’s time for them to move on, we’re left, cold and unwanted. 

Before people accuse me of being an attention monger, something that I've been accused of being, by a few, some as close as family, let me clarify. I am in no means villainizing the others. Power to you, well liked extrovert, for being all that I want to be but never can!

For those who've known me long enough, they never believe me when I tell them how much of an introvert I am. They have always seen my smiles and the silly jokes that it could never occur to them, bless their souls, that I could actually find it daunting to speak to someone I don’t know! They forget all too easily that when they first met me, they either thought me the insufferable bitch or the infallible snow queen. Time… how he changes minds!

But am I jealous? No. I know I can never walk up to a stranger and strike a conversation! I’d think up of a million scenarios where the conversation goes south and I never utter a word beyond that point. I am aware of the many opportunities I miss because of this habit. This blog was started initially so that I could lose my inhibitions baring myself to the world. But baring your inner thoughts on the internet is not even close to opening yourself up to people in the real world. There are no delete buttons and you cannot close your account when it gets overwhelming. You have to stand there and either suffer as the people around you pick you to pieces or you run away to some place where you know they won’t follow.

I am braver online than I am in real life. Funny… having been through the ordeals I’ve been through (and still am going through), people scoff and call me vainly humble when I tell them that I don’t feel brave. That I am not strong!

If I were truly as strong as they claim me to be, I wouldn't be here, writing this.

To all my friends, old and new, I love you! Please don’t for a moment, think otherwise. It’s just that when you run in that fast pace of yours, meeting and greeting strangers, being so confident with your accomplishments, smiling and dazzling the world, people like me get left behind. And sometimes… just sometimes, we feel an emotion akin to resentment. The reason I don’t outright call it resentment is because it isn't. What I feel when I'm in that position is a feeling of mixed guilt, disappointment and just a dab of anger with a copious dash of sadness. 

When we’re in a group and suddenly, I am not longer part of the conversation, I feel this emotion. Strangely, I seem to innately feel when someone else is left out. Maybe they don’t mind. But I feel them, and my attempts at including them in the conversation has irked quite a number of people. I guess we know what it feels to be left out, the introverts who’re dying to have someone pay attention to us… acknowledge our existence.

They lie when they tell you that love is the greatest gift of them all!

No… to be heard and to be seen… that is what everybody craves for. We humans are a depraved and pathetic species like that… it’s all about us… it’s always about us. And sometimes, when you’re left out, you realize it all too soon.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The pencil

They’re both present. They’re both ready. She seats herself in front of the speaker phone. Her notebook is already open to a fresh page and her writing instrument of choice is all set for action. The engineer seated to her right takes a peek into her book. She’s clearly written the date of the meeting and places her instrument across the page where she can easily pick it up again as she will have to.

His eyes widen just a little when he sees she’s used a mechanical pencil. He’s known her to be a stationery fanatic. But in this time and age, when everyone just grabs the nearest pen and doesn't think twice about it after using it, this woman seems to treat her pens and pencils like they were souls who feel the pain of misuse just like any living creature would. And a pencil? True enough, there’s a block of eraser that seems to be well cared for. One end looks unused while the other was worn almost symmetrically.

“Really?” he breathes, assuming her not to hear. But she does.

“Really, what?”

“You use a pencil.” His smile widens.

“So? What is so surprising about that?”

He idly picks her pencil up and deftly spins the pencil between his fingers. The call would start in another five minutes. She turns to look at him. Their eyes meet as she places her hands over his, stilling the twirling pencil. Brown gazes into blue.

“You really want to know?” her voice holds a tinge of mischief. He comes a little closer. She does not move back. The air conditioning in the room is the only other audible entity. Their lips are merely inches away.

“Try me, love.” His voice is deeper than usual.

Her hand on his chest is soft but firm. In an instant, she pushes him away and grabs the pencil from his grasp.

“I don’t like mistakes. With this,” she looks down at her writing instrument and then looks back at him, her smile widening,
“I can always right the wrongs…”

There is silence as their gaze is unbroken. And then the phone rings.

It’s business as usual, once more. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014


I realize that I’m not exactly the most qualified person to be writing this… but I feel the urge to anyway. So, if I am not seeing things from your perspective, dear reader, I humbly urge you to forgive me.

Jealousy… that scaly green eyed drake that is said to awaken when we feel we’re not being appreciated for what we’re worth when someone else gets what is our due. The colour of green that adorns our thoughts at times. I’ve been a victim of his (her) charms quite often.

But this post is not simply about the sharp pangs of jealousy we feel when our colleagues or siblings get praised in out stead… this post is about the clawing of the beast within us when someone we love is attentive to someone else who is not us. The jealous lover who eyes his or her paramour lavishing attention on another person is someone we’ve all grown up listening or reading about… or being.

I’m sure there are cases where the jealousy is fully warranted and is but the most obvious reaction that is to be expected. But there are those cases where someone is so insecure that they cannot bear to see their special someone in the company of anyone other than themselves.

I’ve had friends who’ve embodied this type of jealousy. Women who have the best of men for a companion and yet, they’ve been nothing but miserable about how they fear the whole world is out to get their man. Yes, that may very well be the case, but what of the trust that they are supposed to have on their man? The one they chose over droves of other men… the one to whom they gave their hearts? The one who in turn chose them and the one who has the special smile and twinkle in their eyes reserved exclusively for them?

Please, don’t get me wrong, dear reader. Having been mostly single, I've always mused on this concept of amorous jealousy. And as much as I know it is bad, I wonder if I will feel its sting myself if and when I fall in love with someone. It’s a concept I am not entirely comfortable with.

I hope, when I do find someone, that the person I fall for be the sort of person who can be loved and loves everyone in return. Yes, I did say love. I shall pray for the strength and the trust to know that he will love everybody as we all should but in his heart, there shall be place for only a few… and that I shall find a place there. This jealousy that I speak of is not merely limited to those who’re most likely to replace us. It is also at times, directed at anyone who is close to the one we love. It could be a sister, a mother, a friend, anyone…

I shall pray that my man have a large enough family to cherish… a loving family that shall love him dearly and one with whom he shall have a strong bond. They cared for him well before I was in the picture. They have loved him unconditionally and in a way that I hope to emulate – maybe only to fail… but still, they’re an integral part of his person. And that means he is the person I choose to love because they made him that way. I should be grateful then, shouldn’t I? True that sometimes, people tend to take their significant other too lightly… I’ve personally been there… having been relegated to being a figure in the background as the man chose to lavish his family with attention. As much as I did not begrudge him for what should have been my share, in my case, he treated me with indifference that bordered on abuse. He refused to protect me when I've known men who’re not even romantically attracted to me did. But that doesn’t mean all men would be that way. And as much as it sounds silly, I wish to be part of his family… to see his loved ones as mine and to assure them that there is enough love to pass around without anyone getting the short end of the stick.
Am I being an idealist here? I don’t know. But this has been the way I've always seen the world and the people in it. As much as I am cynical about finding someone to love, I am sure that when I do find someone, I shall cherish that person and make it known that I trust them enough to share them with the world. Because I know, there’ll always be a special something that shall never be shared and being accorded that honour is in itself the greatest feeling!

But I know I shall feel the beast awakening within me at times… I am but human! But when that time comes, I pray for the good sense to look beyond the apparent into the actual. If my man is good at heart, I shall trust him until he proves otherwise. But whatever it is, the person dictating the way I react will be him.

And thus, I come to my final prayer – let me find someone worthy of my trust and love.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The pristine white… nothing mars its surface. And I am loath to put pen to it, spoiling the perfection that is so becoming of it. But it cannot be helped. I've been deliberating on this exercise for so long, I feel any further delay will not be for the best.
But when you look at it, isn't it in these most tangible things that our lives’ memories are stored? An unwritten page… the drying ink well… the coffee growing cold… the splatter of the rain against the window pane. All those inexplicably tangible things… they all remind us of certain events in life.

Some of these events we cherish and bemoan the fact that they’re long gone, already a memory. And some, we wish would remain in the past and not ravage our minds with the pain we have associated with them.

This memory… of a lazy afternoon with the rain pouring from the heavens above… with just myself for company as my favorite song keeps playing in a loop – I’ve long since associated this with utter bliss. A time when things were so uncomplicated and simple. I claim simplicity is an illusion that one would do well not to cling onto. But I know I’m the hypocrite here. How I long for the simple past where I had stories to hide myself in… stories that I had made up in my mind, with characters from a well-loved book or from a television series that I just couldn't get my mind out of.

But it is the very fact that we can never go back to those simple times that makes them all the more precious. And all we have are remanences of those times left behind in the many tangible objects, the connection strangely and ironically intangible!
Maybe if given enough time, we can transfer our entire life’s essence into enough tangible receptacles to live on… even if only to the select few who can make the connection.

A moment immortalized until there be someone to remember. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


She is one of a kind. She wakes up in the morning, her dark brown tresses far from perfect. Her eyes are all groggy from sleep and on some days, the vestiges of her makeup from last night still cling on to her skin. She smiles sleepily into the mirror as she remembers last night’s conversation. She has seen too many men court her… become her friend, praise her wit and then get intimidated by the same thing that they praised. She intimidates them… and that has always left her with only herself for companionship. The men… they can’t seem to know what to do with a woman with brains and soon, the cold feet follow.

But this time, she swears it’s different, as she did for all of them in the past. The Kanji on the wall next to the mirror is a stark black against the white paper. “希望の正夢へ頑張ろう”. Her smile widens. Yes, she has toiled towards making her dreams come true. Her hand travels across the mattress, under her blanket and pillow until it grabs her phone. She smiles again thinking of how she dozed off in the middle of the conversation. He’s sent her some funny picture… a meme… a funny retort. Her silent giggles penetrate the morning air as she sends another in reply. And then, she waits. She waits for the telltale chime that a reply has come. The times are good for her. She can’t wait to go to work… to meet him.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grumblings of a person denied a bath!!

It has officially been 2 days since there has been a “cable fault” near our house that has rendered our motor practically useless! That means it has officially been 2 days since I’ve taken a bath! And that too on a weekend! Yes, it bugs me a lot that I can’t seem to be able to wash my hair in what feels like a million years. But what this episode has helped me do is that it showed me just how much of an asshole the average human being can be.

My father is currently in a hospital undergoing blood transfusions, thanks to his Dasatinib medication giving him the roundhouse kick while killing away his cancer cells. And I’ve had a partially torn ligament (whatever that is!) that’s virtually left me bed ridden.

Add to that, douchebags for tenants and a really irritated father who’s just dying to take out his anger on random people for random reasons, I can assure you, it has not been a good weekend so far.
Ugh… it sucks to be hurt and dependent.

And in India, the people who work at the electricity board talk to you like they’re doing you some sort of favour repairing lines…. Like they’re doing it for free. I know as an Indian I ought to be numb to these imbeciles and their antics by now. But there are times when I wish for nothing better than to go and smash their skulls in and ask them how they like it now! Anger management issues, much? Hah!

All in all, it’s been a lovely weekend! I hope yours is going well!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Workplace rants - on make up and people!

The decisive chime of the elevator indicated that I was in the 6th floor. This is where my office is. I step out of the elevator car and gingerly take a step outside the elevator car. I have a walking stick to do the job that my right leg ought to be doing. And the people are staring. Their eyes go from the walking stick to my backpack with its many badges and stuffed animals attached to it. I can sense the range of emotions that emerge from behind their eyes... sympathy, curiosity, disdain... I hoist my bag a little higher up my shoulder as I punch in my employee number. This will make sure I get paid today. Once that is done, I trudge down the corridor, swiping my access card in front of doors, making sure they open up without a problem. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I am allowed here... that I belong.

And then, I see them. My team waits for me. There are faces that show genuine worry in seeing me walking with the stick in hand. I smile at them. Wouldn't want them worrying now! Mani... my little brother - merely a child... he smiles as he pushes chairs out of my way, while cracking a joke at my limping in the most light-hearted way. Hari.... my soul sibling grins as we share the 'yep-I've-survived-a-torn-ligament-bitch-bring-it-on!' smile. But then, there are those who don't share the same amount of sincerity. 

One of them approaches me and the first question thrown my way is, 

"Sensei, you're not wearing make-up. It makes your face look weird. You don't look good."

I smile back, "I'm sorry. I didn't know your approval on how I looked was needed to progress through the day today, sir."

I see that the remark has done its job. The person's smile falters a bit and they then hastily add about what they really meant. They say I look sleep deprived. Yes, try sleeping with one leg burning like it's been dipped in flaming petrol, why don't you? They say I have dark circles. Yes... So? And when they run out of excuses, they scuttle back to their seats, pretending to go back to working. But I know they're still smarting and seriously, I couldn't give a shit!

And it gets me thinking. The other day, after days of shuttling between the hospital, for my really ill father and work, for my daily bread, I was left with absolutely no energy to put my face on. And that was when people started telling me how I ought to doll up a little. Now, as much as I don't have anything against people giving others advice, I always tend to see if the timing is appropriate. But I let that slide. 

When my father did get better and I was able to better afford time to actually put mascara to lash, the same people came about and jibed about how different I looked and how there were now layers of face paint. The same people who seemed to think of it as a cardinal sin to come to office without make up now ridiculed me for putting stuff on my face. I let that one slide too.

And now this... This was strike no. 3 and they were out... they had better start walking back to the bench!

I know we live in a society where women are forced to either doll up or apologize for dolling up. I am in no way against make up or for it. I am against people telling me what I should be doing with my face. I will decide when I'll put my make up on. I'll decide whether I wear pretty earrings for the day. I'll be the sole reason why I dress up. I don't dress up to impress my colleagues. I don't smell like some of them do. I don't wear shoddy clothing. My hair is not all over the place... so, why can I not decide when I need to put that lipstick on. And when I decide to put it on, why do I need to feel sorry about it?

There's just no pleasing some people... and then again, I don't need to. That's the good thing of being me!

Nasty ads up my turf!!!

Is it just me or is anyone else getting these weird ads on your blog's home page?

I don't know what happened, but I get these ads only on the first page. I also observed that I had this weird plugin called Adanak that seemed to pop up every time I did a Google search. I managed to find the adware in question and uninstalled it. But despite that, (the plugin in the search pages have long since vanished) I keep getting these ads popping up in my blog's home page. Mind you, it's only in the home page that I get to see these ads and only in the Chrome browser. I want to know if it's just my computer or if everyone is seeing these ads.

For anyone who's browsing through my site, if you find these ads popping up, could you let me know in the comments? That would be really helpful!

EDIT: The ads have seemingly vanished, but I would want to make it doubly certain. So, if there is anything weird with the blog at all, do let me know!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cold coffee...

The curtains dance in the wind. The steady buzz of the computer’s fan is the only sound in the room. It isn’t too hot. I don’t switch on the AC…no, I don’t need it today. There is a slight hint of a shower in the horizon. Yes, let it rain… about time it did! My hands scroll the roller of the mouse downwards as I see the Facebook page ride upwards.

Updates… of people from an age long gone by. Smiles, happiness, joy… all of the emotions that suddenly seem absent from my life. I know I sound like I whine… I know there are plenty of reasons for me to be truly happy. I know there are those who’re not even half as lucky and blessed as I am. And yet, the sigh that escapes my lips belies the fact that I am unhappy.

Stupid bitch! I scream in my head. Why do you give a shit what other people are up to? They sure as hell don’t! My eyes travel to my right leg. It’s heavily bandaged to hide the swelling that just does not go away. An injured ligament is what they call it. Hell’s calling card is what I call it.

A random acquaintance has gotten married, the stupid social networking site screams. She stands with her handsome as hell husband and exudes positive radiance… like a gazillion nukes going off simultaneously. I snort. I look at the vacant ring finger of my left hand. And I remember… how he held it as though prolonged contact could give him some horrible disease. I smirk as I think of the line he drew on our bed, commanding me not to cross over. A bit rich coming from a guy who looked like a walrus in a suit. Another sigh follows… marriage… a farce in my case! I click on the link that opens her album. She exhibits her wedding for the whole world to see. And rightly so! They look so happy… so in love. My thoughts again turn back to the day I saw him for the first time in person. An engagement that lasted a year did nothing to break the ice. All we spoke about was the stupid internship I’d take if I ever was to join his side as his wife… a job interview. That was what it was…it was always about the job I’d get. Never about the life we’d build together. I snort back a laughter as I think of the person I was back then. How could I have settled for so little? But then again, I look around me. There is nobody here. Little was all I had back then… compared to the nothing I have right now.

I sigh again… I seem to slowly be replacing my breathing with sighs. I truly wish her happiness as I close the album. I can’t afford to have them see me crumble. They say it’s much better out than in. They say I’m sure to get a good guy to look after me. Like I need to be looked after. They worry I’ll be all alone when they leave. Little do they know that I’ve always been alone. I’ve always felt this way even in a room full of people. And sometimes, being alone both inside and outside is worlds better than having to radiate a warmth I don’t possess surrounded by people who couldn’t give a shit.

I log off. My coffee has gotten cold… just the way I like it. I take a sip, savouring the sugary goodness that would be lost in the heat. Life is bittersweet. And somehow, it makes life all the more beautiful and precious. I don’t give a rat’s ass if I will ever find a soulmate… no… I’ve already found the perfect partner. My eyes dart her way as we walk towards each other. Our hands reach out to each other as I take in her messy hair and her lined eyes. Her eyes crinkle into a smile as our fingertips touch each other. The cold glass pane is all that divides us. Myself from myself. We take another sip and close our eyes.

We’re finally where we want to be, precious! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On the realization that I am a Feminist!

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one. I am a feminist. A Fem-Nazi as some term it… and I’ve never been prouder of the fact.

There was a time in my past when I always wanted to walk the “mid-path”. You know… not be thought of as being too radical… not being too passive at the same time. The moderate path, where I chose to be and expected the world to do the same. But that, my dear reader, was a fool’s hope. You see, it took some beatings to realize that the world is not going to cut you some slack just because you view the world in a very moderate light. Sure, there are good people and bad people everywhere. But it wasn’t until I chose to break the bondages of an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage that I began to realize, the world views us women in a very harsh light.

Let me explain more in detail here…

In my country, no matter how much we claim to be advanced, there is always this undercurrent that connects our actions to our dark past. And we shrug when encountering it, calling it part of our culture. A culture where women were expected to just bear the brunt of being with abusive people – whether parents or others.  They hailed women to be the givers of life but they never asked if she wanted to. They called her a paragon of virtue while they denied her every right to pleasure. She was to be the mother, friend, lover and advisor of her man but when the final decision was made, she had to acquiesce with nary a murmur. That was the sign of a good woman, they said… One who could be called upon when needed and one who shut up when not.
Women were, and still are treated to be some sort of an abstract idea that is applied to people possessing the right gonads. You’re born a women in my country? Well… you can be all forward thinking and what not but there will always be limitations…. Always!

Before people come up in arms against me, claiming I’m being too harsh and that this is not the moderate’s way of thinking, let me explain.
I've realized that being a moderate is not helping anyone! Not the women who’re being taken for granted… not the men who claim to be victims of “feminism”. Nobody. You’re either with the downtrodden, in their pits, fighting their fight… or you’re against them… oppressing them further with either your indifference or your actions – both equally dangerous.

I have chosen a side. I've chosen the side of the feminist. And this does not mean that I am going to burn my bras or clank my sauce pans in public… please! What is that going to achieve? But let this be marked well… for any injustice that is done against any of my sisters or brothers anywhere in the world, I shall take it as injustice against me. And yes. I did say brothers. That includes the men, for those who’re too shocked to comprehend.

Feminism isn’t about putting men down… it’s about raising women up. It’s not about the supremacy of one gender over the other – it’s about all people being equal. It’s about people being treated as people rather than as some template upon which society has placed values and virtues to suit its taste. It’s about treating everyone as a living, feeling, emoting being and giving the due respect. And if that makes me a Fem-Nazi, bring it on!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Work and how it's progressing.... mundane updates from the new place

For the first time in my life, I've actually managed to get a colleague hate me! And yes, I seriously am so proud of myself.

Before you begin to wonder about my sanity, let me make it clear. I am well loved by everyone else and it is just one individual who has decided to heap the hatred on me for the singular fact that I testified truthfully against her in office.

Having either been a wallflower all my life, I've never been in the thick of things, you might say. I've always been the one who got the news last. Always the minnow at gossip tables. Always the one who was part of the decor. So, it is really interesting that suddenly, I am noticed... like a teenager being hit on by the big boys for the very first time... it's all so exhilarating yet scary.

Work has been leaving me with absolutely no energy left to do just about anything outside it. People are kind for the most part and everyone is helpful and friendly... except that one person...

She has, what one would call, a hypocritical heart. She balks against orders while she has absolutely no qualms handing out orders to people at the drop of a hat. She speaks against discrimination while she treats those below her with such contempt and superiority. One wonders just how she has the audacity to go on being who she is and still expect the world to bend to her every whim. She shouts at people just because they don't treat her like a heavenly maiden whose descent into our mortal plane must, according to her, have us singing her praises every day.

Well, I don't exactly wake up to please her, anyway.

For the rest of the people, they're all nice. Coming from a place where people have always had a smile on their faces while they've sunk their blades into my back, having well meaning bosses who unsmilingly see the goodness in me and treat me well, is a nice change.

I have my own cubicle and I'm given control of a single batch of Japanese studies. I have everything that I've missed in my old office with none of the bad things.

Recently, I fell down and tore a ligament in my right leg. I could have taken the day off the next day. But somehow, I felt like going. My workplace has become a sort of home for me. I miss the work... I miss my friends... and most of all, I miss the sense of inclusion I feel there.

Am I turning into a workaholic? *Le gasp* I sure hope not! And even if I am, it's good to be busy!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The fonts just don't seem nice!!

I'd observed a few days ago that the custom fonts that I had used for my blog have suddenly stopped working. I was irked more than I care to admit. So, for the time being, I've changed the fonts to what I believe are the closest to what I would have chosen if I had all the fonts in the world to choose from.

I'm in the process of finding a good font and the technical know-how of how to put it there. The method I tried last time isn't working. Maybe I'm doing something wrong... maybe the method just doesn't work anymore. The more I undergo these ridiculous issues with my blog, the more I'm tempted to start writing in my own domain. But that requires a little bit of time and money. Even if I do have the latter by God's grace, I am poor on time right now.

So, dear readers whose eye is twitching the same way mine does when a font is just not right, bear with me.
I'll soon find a solution. I can't stand it just as much as you!

So, off I go!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A little reminder

For anybody out there who has been worried about my absence from this blog, I'd like to reassure them with the news that I am well, if a little too busy. I've gotten myself a better job and a new laptop from which I am writing this entry.

And life has generally been good to me mostly.... actually, there have been some really rough patches here and there... and when I mean really rough, I mean insanely rough. People have asked me in open wonder how I've managed to get through those patches. And I do not brag, dear reader. I don't know how I got through. There was God helping me along the way, I guess. He's always there... always by my side, protecting and guiding me to where I need to be.

This post is just a place holder. A little reminder to everyone who'll chance upon it to smile and believe that no matter how hard life seems right now, it will get better. The whole universe is working hard to get you what you want. Whatever it be! So, don't give up. And remember... there's always hope!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Karna's Wife - The Outcast's Queen: A Book Review

There are stories that we are told right from when we were wee little babies in our crib. Stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next - sometimes as a story that is told or sometimes as a book that is written. If there is one thing that is common about all these tales, it is the fact that they change as we age. What was a mere fable of how Good triumphed over Evil from our childhood suddenly turns into the perfect character study of the complex nature of the Human psyche. And if we were to line up all the stories of the world that boast of possessing such richness of depth, I am in no doubt that India's Mahabharatha will be among the top three.

I remember listening with wide eyes and a gaping mouth as my grandmother extolled tales of the Pandava princes and their quest for justice and cheered whenever they won over the evil Kaurava princes.
And now, a good two decades later, as I re-read the tales, I am able to read between the lines a little more and it amazes me how perfectly this particular epic manages to capture human emotions in all its complexities. The black and white world of my childhood has greyed out into a myriad shades as I see the goodness in the Kauravas and the sliver of evil in the Pandavas.
So, it would be the most obvious guess that I was delighted when I saw Kavita Kané's newest book, Karna's wife - The Outcast's Queen, calling out to me from the shelf of my neighbourhood book store.
"The Book"
The book is from the point of view of Karna's wife - a fictitious character who goes by the name, Uruvi. Uruvi, the kshathriya princess of Pukeya, defies societal norms by choosing the charioteer's son, Karna over the illustrious Arjuna for her husband. And from then on, the book goes on to tell the age old tale through her eyes.

Truth be told, I could not put the book down for the first fifty or so pages - the swayamvara - a ceremony where a suitor is chosen for the princess or one where the princess chooses herself a husband, was so well written that it felt like I was actually standing there, right beside Krishna (the only other person who knows the future), and watching the scene unfold.
But towards the middle, the story sagged a bit. The writer, suddenly, moved from telling the tale from Uruvi's point of view to just giving what seemed like a third person's point of view of the story, just that it was being quoted by some character to the protagonist. I find this a classic example of loss of focus. As an amateur writer myself, I know how it feels - being in the middle of the story, suddenly losing the drive to write, you feel lik you're being dragged down by the scene you're in. You see the end but it keeps moving farther away even as you inch towards it. But the mark of a true writer is not wavering from the mission set and finishing the story as one coherent piece. The prowess to do that sets apart the stalwarts of the trade from us, the mere mortals.
That said, I should say Uruvi is a character with a lot of potential. But towards the middle, she loses that something that makes her relateable. I found myself more attached to Karna - his character being truer to character than his wife. 
The dialogues were, truthfully, very painful to read. Half the time, I skimmed through them without missing much of the story. And that, again is not a good sign. I wish she had been a wee bit more intangibly descriptive - like Stephen King or Herman Hess. But I fear I have very high expectations out of my writers, don't I?!
Characters were slowly becoming two dimensional and the only one who stood above them all as a believable character was Karna. But since the book is not from his point of view, I had to wait with bated breath for him to make an appearance. Kane has managed to make Karna the vulnerable tragic hero that I loved. Towards the end, even Duryodhana, the 'vile' Kaurava prince was portrayed to have a sense of humanity. It brought a sense of familiar perfection that I had long since associated Mahabharatha with.
Everything said, I did feel a bit of a twang in my heart when the final page was read. And that must mean the author got something right!

This is the author's first work. So, I am sure she will only get better with the next one - a take on another amazing epic from India - the Ramayana; only this time, the story is from the point of view of Urmila, the forgotten sister of Sita and the dutiful wife of Lakshmana. I am looking forward to reading that.

All in all, I give this book 3❤'s out of 5.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Interpreting the mundane!

I'm in the middle of a meeting with about five Japanese gentlemen.... make it four Japanese gentlemen and a Korean gent. Or....five Japanese gents of whom two can converse in Korean... You know what? Forget it!
Interpretation.... such interesting prospects! You get to connect two people who would be so pointlessly lost without you. Such responsibility.... such an honour! So wow!!
But today, it was quite the ride, my brethren! And now, as I sit... having struck idle conversation with the one person who actually wanted to talk to the likes of me, I understand it clearly. We're all the same, aren't we? We all bleed red and poop brown.... well, surely we all bleed red at least!
And in that moment of epiphany, I realize... my shoulder hurts like it's been set on fire. I seem to have quite the delicate stomach. And I believe I have a fever. Oh joyful times! Perfect for talking about sales deeds and invoice management!