Friday, November 30, 2007

Virtually Happy!

With the crunch of space on earth, I think we have only our mind to expand. With Internet and the world becoming one global village , with culture, custom and cuisines getting intermingled between different parts of the world, this seems to be only true. So, the reality is we are virtual - we feel virtual, we seek virtual, we live virtual.

The Chinese real estate magnate, Anshe Chung made a million by selling house virtually http://secondlife.com/ . Initially, I found the idea to be weird. I thought we are happy in our home because we live in it. We enjoy because we can feel it, as in, walk on the floor or carpet, sit on the sofa. But by the amount of money Anshe made, I am obviously wrong. The concept is same as buying a house in real life. Choose a good neighbourhood, create the design, get the finest furniture and home decor and feel happy seeing it.

Then, came the concept of owning/adopting and pampering virtual pets http://www.virtualpet.com/vp/links/links.htm . I am not a animal lover. I have nothing against them but I cannot take care of them. The only pet I believe I would be able to have is a fish. I have friends who have pets. From what I understood, they own pets because they love animals, want a companion, feel good (cuddling, playing and pampering them) and be responsible. I am not very clear how you can feel all these virtually.

Well things don't end here. There are online sites, where all one needs to do is get registered online to get engaged or get married virtually. And there are the concepts of soul mate, soul friend, work spouse. All these clearly emphasis that happiness is just a state of mind.
I think we have already started living a second life - one is real , what we see in the mirror, the other is virtual, what we see through our mind's eye.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A table is a table

Our daily conversation dictionary is ever expanding consuming words from the environment we dwell in and the professions we work in. We start speaking a mixture of language without us even being aware of it.

In our teens, in Hindi we used to refer to a boy as "banda" and girl as "bandi". Initially my parents used to be pretty annoyed hearing it. Though there was nothing wrong in saying it, they did not like mutating the language. As we all absorbed from our surroundings, my parents imbibed some of my vocabulary and now pleasantly refer to a guy as banda.

When I was in college, all the computer jargon were slowly getting into our conversation. In one of the classes , the professor had written a sentence in the blackboard which had the proper name "RAM" (as in Hey Ram!). My friend, Inder who was a computer geek even then could not understand how RAM (Random Access Memory) was constructed into the sentence. Later a friend cleared the confusion saying the word was puzzling as it was in "capslock"!!

Later when Internet invaded India, I got my first VSNL student account and got connected to the world. Most of my friends were living in the same city as me and I had very few cousins/friends with whom I exchanged emails. Slowly the abbreviations and short forms creeped into my emails. It would read something like this
"Dear xyz,
How r u? V r fine. Talk 2 u l8r. "

My mom was terrified that my English is deteriorating and shovelled out the "Wren and Martin English Grammar" to polish my lost language. As she accepted the new generation language, she is having more fun in writing it. In fact, now the emails that I get from her are more abbreviated. She sometimes comes up with her own abbreviations and I rack my brains to make some sense of it . Her email now reads thus
"D J, (Dear Joy)
HRU ? vent 2 CP. will go 2 DH 2mr. Got some nice SKs for u.
(How are you? Went to Connaught Place. Will go to Dilli Haat tomorrow. Got some nice Salwar Kameez for you)
Luv "

If I were to take my high school English test again, I don't think I would be able to pass it now, especially the comprehension section. With all the text messages and SMS, writing English sentences has become more terse and cryptic. Already, I can't understand the text messages or orkut messages written by teens any more. Maybe the blogs might also be written in this new mutated terse English.
S uf nu, I m jst tkful tat blogger has spellchecker 2 karect me
(As of now, I am just thankful that blogger has spellchecker to correct me.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Driving me crazy

To be very honest, the only thing I know about cars is driving it. I am pretty challenged if a conversation revolves around anything except this. I have had few experiences of car breaking down. Thankfully in all occasions, either a friend was around or I did not have to leave home. As long as it does not part with me midway, I am fine with it.

Last winter, one evening I was driving back from work and was stuck in a pretty bad traffic jam. There was a 5 way circle (Golchakkar) which I needed to cross. There was no traffic light and basically everyone had to respect each other and yield in order to cross this. In a nice afternoon, this drive would be a breeze. But not today. People were getting aggressive in squeezing their way through. I was no angel.

After about 1 hour, I was able to come at least close to the circle where I had to turn right. Just then I saw a huge truck in my side. I could see that it was coming closer to me. The driver was also trying to say something, making gestures. On a normal day, I am pretty good at roads and yield to people. If someone wants to go straight but is in a left only lane and lets me know, I am more than happy to let him/her go before me. But it was different today. I tried not to look in that direction. I could see that he was trying hard to catch my attention but I still ignored. He even pulled down his window and braved the winter chill to tell me something. But all I gave him was a deaf ear. It took me long to come to this distance and I am not going to yield to anyone. Finally I came closer to the circle, turned right and zoomed past. The truck was soon out of sight and I heaved relief.

We have grown learning to be aware of strangers. I am somehow very careful regarding trucks and trailers just by their gigantic size. Maybe I should stop judging drivers by the vehicles they drive but I feel I am more comfortable with a person driving a car than a truck.

I was only happy to reach home. In the morning, I again started my car to go to work. I realised that something did not sound/feel right. I stopped and checked and figured out that I had a flat tyre. There was a big nail in the tyre beneath right passenger's seat(In US, it is left hand driving) . I then realised what the driver of the truck was trying to tell me for which I paid no attention.

It seems that in dire consequences, one is supposed to drive a car with flat tire for maximum of 5 miles and that too at a very low speed of approx 10 mph. Well, ignorance is bliss. I reached home driving a car with flat tire for 30 miles at a speed of 45 mph.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dare to dream

Inspiration can do wonders
Teaches even a mouse to roar like thunder

In a world of humanity
When dreams can attain reality

What one needs, is seek out
To the people around who are trying to reach out

For if you dare to dream
The world conspires to help you achieve it!

(This is inspired by a saying in the book "Alchemist by Paulo Coelho" : 'Dream and the world conspires to help you achieve it'.
I heard it in the morning and I am brimming with high energy and optimism. )

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am Tagged!

Thinking Aloud did think me over to do the following tag. Thank you and hope you are still around after knowing me better :)

Tag Name :Seven Random and / or Weird Things about Me.

Rules : Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

The Seven Seas:

1. Afraid of aging: As a kid I used to think I would age gracefully. Not that I am not, but I am now afraid of celebrating birthdays. Mind you, I don't mind getting gifts but dread the age.

2. Books: I have always loved books. If I like a book, I tend to read more by the same author. I also get so inspired and overwhelmed with what I have read, that I blurt it all out to my friends. Archana and Madhu must have gone crazy hearing the books I read of Alexander McCall Smith.

3. Not too much into financial: Even though I have worked in financial industry and love math, the financial numbers don't attract me at all. I do want to learn but have never gone beyond half a page of a financial book.

4. Wacky brain: As a teenager and a young gal in early 20s , I used to love all PJs and all wacky mind teasers. When my brother and sis-in-law left for US after getting married, I accompanied them to the 1 hour drive to airport. Instead of being emotional, me and sis-in-law played the Bruce Lee series the entire way. E.g what is Bruce Lee's fav vegetable - Moolee (radish or dicon). After years, my sis-in-law is much saner but my mind still enjoys these wacky games.

5. Try to clean: After two kids, my house is decently(Ok Ok for most parts) clean but definitely not going to win Martha Stewart's best cleaned home. I have this eternal guilt in me of cleaning the house, which drives H crazy. Unlike India where cleaner comes every day, in US we have a cleaning lady coming every 2 or 3 weeks. I feel so terrified what she would think, that I clean most part of the house before she comes. H teases me that to have the house cleaned , just ask her to call us every week.

6. Driving: I actually enjoy driving. I knew I would enjoy it even before I learnt how to drive or got the license. I seriously don't mind making 2-3 trips / day to a mall or shop to get something.

7. Love marriages: I like love marriages esp between couples from two completely different cultures/religion/sect/region. Even though people have voiced their opinion saying that in these marriages, culture, languages etc get mixed up and tend to get lost over generations, I adore it because it brings the basic human quality of love and acceptance.

The seven people who need to cross the seven seas at their own risk are :

1. Arch
2. Madhu
3. Archana
4. Sumana
5. Ziah
6. TysOnIce
7. Sreejith

All you lucky people, plunge if you feel like . Otherwise, it is fine too. All other readers, if you feel like taking up this tag , please be my guest.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dressed to impress

We girls love variety. One can sense by the wide range of clothes and accessories. I don't think guy's clothing has even changed in years, may be centuries. If you see, the trend of girl's dresses keep changing every few years. What used astound me was there were clothing which ergonomically will not make sense still girls loved to wear. That was till, I bought a nice smart short sleeved sweater top.

My work place is unduly cold because of some wrong AC settings. One of my colleague, in full shirt was trying to fumble with the AC settings and was pleasantly surprised seeing me short sleeved. He warned me that this place is like Artic and we really need to keep ourselves warm to save us from being frozen. When he realized that the short sleeved top I was wearing was actually a sweater, he just could not figure why was it ever designed and made in the first place? To top it all, it even had a hood!

Hey but hold on, don't we make the world go on, else it would have been so drab and mundane.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wishes for a bright and beautiful life

Wish you all a very Happy

D ear
I nspiring
W eb
A migos
L ovable
I ndians (& Non-Indians)

Monday, November 5, 2007

I understand. Oh Well!

I have been asking H to install a Water Purification unit in the kitchen sink for quite sometime. He has been preoccupied with other stuff and could not get time to do it. We do get filtered water in Refrigerator. The doctors also say the quality of tap water is quite good. But just to put my mind to rest, I got a simple water purifier from the store -"Stop & Shop". I do admit that it was an impulse buy. I was actually looking for something else and saw this in front of my eyes. My mind sent out a pulse of guilt and the next moment , the purifier was in my shopping cart.

I came back home and showed it to H. He asked me whether I did any groundwork to understand different purifiers. I pretend not to listen to him and not spoil my little joy of finally finishing (well, almost) one of the procrastinating agendas. Then he asked me, if there was a way to turn filtered water off, for washing dishes etc. My ears stood up and I realised that I bought a wrong product.

Next day, I went to "Home Depot" since it is a hardware store and should carry wider range of water purification systems. It did not offer as many choices I thought ( For all I know, water purifiers might not have the wide range of selections. That, I would have come to know if I bothered to do some groundwork on these). I did find one good purifier, satisfying all the essential criteria. I was quite happy with myself.

After purchasing, I immediately went to "Stop and Shop" to return my previous purchase. While waiting in the return counter, I realised that I had misplaced the receipt. Since I had bought a day before and it looked brand new, I thought I should not have any problems returning it. Well, the guy at the counter refused saying it was company's policy not to accept without a receipt. I tried as hard as I could but he did not budge. Oh well!

I returned home, only to realise that the new purifier that I got did not fit our kitchen sink faucet. Sweet. So now I have two water purifiers , totally useless to me unless I change the faucet itself !

I finally told H as I did not want to go to the return counters again. He gave me a displeasing stare but agreed to return the things when he gets time. I also meekly mentioned that I lost the receipt to one of the purchases. Since winter is setting in and Fridge filter water is a little too cold, I am currently contended drinking water directly from faucet. I am waiting for H to install the purifier as it is after all a guy's job.

Yesterday, H returned both the water purifiers without any hassle. I was amazed how he could do it. He had told the guys at the return counter that his wife purchased a wrong product and both of them , in two different stores nodded and smiled understandingly, did not even bother about the receipt and took back the items without any problem. Oh Well!

Spring Forward Fall Back

I used to be baffled by the idea of daylight savings. The clock is moved an hour early in spring and then moved back an hour in end of autumn or fall season. I know it is based on saving and enjoying more sun light during the spring/summer. It does benefit someone somewhere I believe but to me it really does not make any difference. For me, a day has 24 hours and how it is used depends on the situation. If I have lot of work to do, then I really don't care what time of day it is. Just try to get it finished. If I am free, then try to relax and enjoy. I am a person who likes things irrespective of season and time. I can enjoy an ice cream even at midnight and in winters.

The daylight savings just adds more work to me. I need to remember the two days when the clock change. Earlier I used to forget what happens when. Few years back, during one of the spring mid terms, I had kept a portion of the subject to be finished in the morning before the class, only to realise that I have one less hour to do so. During a class in fall semester, I arrived at the class on time to find that it was empty. I was almost going to scream with joy thinking the class got cancelled, only to realise that the Professor would be giving his quiz on time an hour later!

I needed a way to remember all this time manipulations. Finally, I found my answer in a Sunday Comic strip - where they used this phrase "Spring Forward, Fall back". I really like this phrase a lot. To me it reminds me one of deeper philosophies of life - To Spring Forward and grab the opportunities but at the same time, remember to Fall Back and let things go.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jinxed

Last year, me, H and A went to a county fair organised by H's office. It was held in 2 sessions on a Saturday in October. The place was about 2 hours from our home. We got the morning slot of 10-1 pm. Although I knew the games organised in a county fair, I was not fully prepared what to expect in a corporate one. We reached at 10:00 am sharp and were greeted by enthusiastic organizers. The ambiance was fun and festive. There were lots of rides and games. H took little A to many rides. I played almost all the games with her or by myself. We ended up winning about 10 prizes and H had to search for an unused large trash bag to carry these home. You can imagine my happiness. I was showing off H my capabilities to play county fair games and he seemed fairly impressed. We came back home with a bag full of soft toy jungle. It was great fun and I had no clue how 3 hours passed so quickly. I was eagerly looking forward to the upcoming fairs.

This year, we got the afternoon slot. One of H's friends came along with us. That's good. The more, the merrier. He was mentioning that maybe we should stay there for an hour. I insisted I would be there for the whole 3 hours. Silently, I wished for the choice of prizes to be different this time. I saw most of the games were the same and prizes were little different. Good. I was all eager to experience the same magic again. In fact, H quietly got a big unused trash bag in order to save the rush later.

About an hour passed and I played quite a few games but no luck. I started feeling frustrated. I told H that he jinxed me by getting the trash bag even before I started playing. He gave me an unperturbed stare and asked me to just enjoy myself. I ate more food and went on more rides this time. Finally after 3 hours and 2 prizes, I was eager to get back home. We all definitely had fun but I did miss some nice soft toys which I would have loved to posses.

Last weekend, I met Arc and Inder after quite some time. I felt ecstatic when Inder started talking about my blog. I did not know he was a passive reader. I told I am very happy to write, that it is giving me some inner peace and I have so much stuff to share and am happy that there is a space where I can put all my thoughts together. I was pretty eager to listen his opinion when he said - "It looks like you have nothing much to do as you write quite often". I was dumbstruck and did not know what to respond. Since then, everyday I log onto my blog but my mind is as blank as how the school blackboard looks after the summer break. There, I am jinxed again.

Hopefully, November would give some respite and my mind should start churning some thoughts.

All that matters...

In a world where people

smarter than me captivate

bolder than me take the risk

wealthier than me rule

I still have a hold of this life

Which confronts me with problems that is multitude

For all that matters is attitude.