Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I like you, I like you not

XH tagged me on 10 things I do not like about opposite sex. He tagged me couple of weeks back but it took me this long to jot down few points. Can you imagine that? Few years back, I would have given a long list of things I dislike in guys but now growing wiser and more patient, I do not think any of these characteristic are freaky. I have understood that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus and God knows what we are doing in Earth. Whatever said and done, even if we share lots of common philosophy and ideals, we still look life through different glasses. I doubt if I could cover 10 things about what I dislike in guys. I would be happy if I can cover 5. So guys, who are reading this, please do not bloat under the assumption that I think you are great and perfect, just that I have come to terms with reality, which are mentioned in the above lines.

1. Not picking up the call: It does not matter whether a guy is loaded with cell phone, black berry, pager and other electronic gadgets, there are very few individuals I know who actually pick up a call the instant they receive it. I have no clue what these gadgets add value too other than being girl's equivalent of jewelry to guys.

2. Converse: I understand that sharing and conversing depends on individual's personality. But I have realized whenever I would like to converse regarding something that seem important to me, the other person is always quiet and would not like to talk, maybe because it is not of so much importance to him. Hence the only conversation going on is between me and my conscience, which keep advising me to grow up. In reality, the whole episode is forgotten but the lessons learnt keep bugging me.

3. Assuming things to be done by gals: I dislike if a guy thinks that cooking, cleaning and other stuff are to be done by girls alone. I do enjoy these but do not like to be taken for granted. My feminist self is especially flared up when they give their opinion on changing name after marriage or quitting job after kids.

Other than that, I just reiterate the fact that I think man and woman are two different species but with some efforts and understanding can bring the Heaven to earth.

I’ll tag Arc, Ziah, Prats and Thinking Aloud as I think they can do some more justice to this tag.

Monday, March 24, 2008

With all the bags and baggages

I like to travel/roam about light, with minimum things in my hand. To be more precise, with just one thing in my hand. Since I need to have a handbag, I like if everything fits into my bag. My bag should not be too huge, which means I need to carry less and/or the things need to be smaller in size.

You can imagine my plight in rainy days. Though I have nothing against rain, I just do not like to carry an extra baggage of umbrella. If you ask me, there is no point in having one. In light rains, one cannot get much wet. Even if one does, it is easy to get dried up quickly. In heavy rains, there is no point to have an umbrella as in any case, one is going to get wet. However, this logic is not well taken by my family. So, I do have a small umbrella, which can be folded into a size of about one foot and can easily fit in my bag. We used to have a bigger sturdy umbrella, which we lost last year. It was a good one and would protect us from any sort of rain. In spite of its good qualities, I would never take it with me just because of its size.

With the same logic, I cannot carry a separate lunch bag. I don't mind taking lunch to work as long as the lunch box can fit into my bag. I know friends, who have nice lunch bags, which hold lunch and snacks for the whole day. These all are good for others but not for me. Lately, I have this trouble of remembering to take lunch boxes home. If I eat my lunch and don’t have the box near my bag, you can be assured that it is going to rest at least one more night at my desk.

Last week, I had forgotten to take my lunch boxes home twice. So, on Thursday when I came to work with my third lunch box, I made a mental note to take all the three back home in the evening. Since it was a long weekend for us (yes, we were off on Good Friday), we were given an option to leave early on Thursday. In all that excitement, I forgot to take my lunch boxes again. Can you imagine forgetting thrice on a four day week?

I came to work today with no lunch as I do not have a box at home to carry it. The first thing I did in the morning was to pile up all the lunch boxes near my bag, so that I definitely take them home tonight. One of them has spent a whole week at my desk! Thankfully, I do clean my boxes after having lunch else there would have been a plague at my work desk.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

C'est la vie

I do have a good sense of direction. But as even experts can falter, I do have a plausibility of losing my way once in a while. This has happened so frequently in last few months that in any unfamiliar road, my toddler checks if I know where I am going.

I have to buy something from a wedding registry at a store for a reception we need to attend this weekend. There is a store branch near my work and home. The one near my home is actually a good driving distance. So, in order to save time, my mind came up with this brilliant idea of purchasing the gifts close to my work. I am not familiar with all the roads close to my office but a little adventure in the afternoon is always fun, isn't it?

To save some more time, I checked online for the items that could be purchased. For whatever reasons, the website did not allow search of non purchased items. I had to browse through the whole registry to figure out what I would like to buy. As luck would have it, any item I liked was already bought.

In the whole hassle, I did not check the exact location of the store and went off to the close by mall where I assumed the store was located. The store was not located where I assumed, but was in a place where it was actually built, which was not too hard to find.

Since I had not figured out the gift I wanted to buy, I had to go to a cash register to get the wedding registry printed out. The lady at the register tried her best to help me get a printout. But for some reason, it failed to show up the items. She conveniently put the blame on the new cash registers which they have acquired and not familiar with. Finally, after about fifteen tries and couple of phone calls, she successfully printed out the item list. To my surprise and pleasure, only the non purchased items were printed. I took the small piece of paper and grabbed the next available store lady to help me get these, only to realize that this particular store carry none of the non purchased items!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

I had read it somewhere, if there is a mirror, there is a girl standing next to it. Coming from a girl's mouth, it is absolutely, whole heartedly true. We so much have an urge to checkout ourselves every now and then. So, any passing mirror, to be more correct, any reflective surface, has seen us eye to eye. It doesn't matter whether it is a nice looking mirror, a car window or a spotless glass panel of a building. We can glance at any of these to see if the hair is looking good or the face is looking fine.

In the morning, after dressing in front of a mirror, I do take a last peek at myself on the car rear-mirror before entering my work building. For whatever reasons, irrespective of the work locations and the building floors, I generally look a little blemished. I often wonder how can an hour of work, if any, take the freshness out of me.

Even in a bright nice dress, in which I felt so good in dressing up in the morning, I don't feel the same at office. But after a long, drudgery day at work, when I get back home, I seem to be fresh again in the mirror back home. I assume it has to do with the lighting or the reflective index of the mirror or maybe it is all in my mind. Even when I was young, I used to prefer one mirror over the other in my house.

Having said all these, mirrors do make an excellent adornment for the home. They make the room look more spacious. According to Fen Shui, if correctly placed, they induce positive vibes into the atmosphere.

One of the best gifts I have received is a beautiful mirror. It was gift to me from my dear friends in college. It was a nice oval shaped mirror embedded in a wooden bamboo handicraft. It had a nice reflecting surface and never lied to me. So, you can assume that I always looked good in that. It hung in my room and my day would start and end looking at it. In the next trip back home, I think I should get it with me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Art of doing Nothing

All of us crave for some free time doing nothing. Surprisingly, we enjoy these pleasures in childhood without being aware of it and then crave for it all the years of our adulthood. Not to ignite feelings of any of the readers, but it seems to be that guys seem to enjoy it more than girls, in their adolescence.

I was good at it when I was a kid, when I could coolly shut my eyes and ears off to my mom's sermons. Now it seems difficult. If I shut my eyes, everyone else still seems to be watching me. If I shut my ears, actually I would be happy if I could shut it off once in a while, but somehow it doesn't seem to work or I need to learn it again.

As a kid, I have stared in the bright blue sky hours watching the clouds float by. At nights, I used to gaze the stars and the constellations and had dreams of joining NASA. In our 24 hour train journeys, I used to memorize all the stations, including the small ones, where the train would halt. I had even noticed the animals sitting on the train tracks/platforms when the train stopped. To that extent, I and my brother composed a small poem
"Lalitpur ka kauwa,Itarsi ki gai,..(Lalitpur's crow, Itarsi's cow...)"
I have forgotten the other animals in other stations but it was a very fancy song for that summer vacation. You can imagine how much time we had in our hands to while away. Earlier, the earth used to rotate and make the day and night for us. Nowadays, it feels like we are spinning the earth, making the time go faster.

The best part of life when one can idle is the student days. Nowadays, with all the activities and tuition, even that seems to be a far thought. I have enjoyed summer vacations, which seem to drag endlessly, reading books/comics, playing and pestering my mom. I have not enjoyed such a pleasure for a long time but I know the culprit. It is my mind. The "Nothing" in my mind has changed to "Something" and since then, never given me rest. If it ever turns into "anything", I would be more than happy, or at least be at peace with myself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tring, Tring

Phone has come a long way from being a luxury to becoming a necessity. Earlier days, there used to be one phone at home, which was used not only by the owners but also neighbors, incase of emergencies defined by them. Now we have a cell-phone for each member of the family.

When I was a kid, my dad's office provided a grey color telephone. He used to be very strict about using it. We could not talk much on the phone. Conversations longer that a certain time would be met by cold stares from my mom. The dial used to be the old circular one with numbers. The fun was to hear the numbers actually being dialed to connect to the other person.

The phone did teach me some manners. As a kid, I had this annoying habit of saying "What?" so loudly that it would startle the person hearing it. Many times, if the voice on the other side was feeble and I could not hear I would scream "What?" and the person on other side would just apologize and keep down the phone. The funniest part was even though (s)he would not hear what I said before, (s)he would clearly hear my "WHAT?". Finally, with some sermons from the family and my own common sense, I became more polite on the phone.

The amusing part was the amount of wrong numbers we used to get. One can literally get anyone’s calls from around the country. Of course, it was bothersome, but with some creativity, it was be fun picking up these phone calls. For sometime, we used to receive calls asking whether it was Tihar Jail. After denying it innumerable number of times, my mom finally responded "Which crook do you want to talk to?" This surprisingly put an end to it.

One of the other callers would insist on talking to a certain Mr X , who is supposed to live below our house. We said emphatically that there is no such person but the calls persisted. Finally I told him that we live on the ground floor (1 floor in US standards) and it is impossible for someone to live below us and if he still wants to talk, I would be the last person to go and get Mr X.

I shared many friendships over this phone. One particular day, while in conversation with my friend, I had to keep the phone down and she promised to call back immediately. When the phone rang shortly, assuming that it was her, I picked up the phone and said "Hello Devil!". There was a long silence and finally my dad's friend spoke “Hello beta(child), can you call your dad?". You can imagine my shock. I apologized profusely and requested him not to mention a word to my dad. He, being very kind, obliged and I am still alive to write this post.

This phone has heard various emotions of our life. It became more a part of the family than just being an equipment. Later, when features of caller id and call waiting became popular, we still kept the same instrument but did have another phone with all these features.

We finally had to part with it, when my dad retired. Even though I have used other phones and cell phones with all jazzy features, this phone still remains dear to me. I know its number by heart and wonder many times, to whom does it belong now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What's cooking, Goodlooking?

Cooking is an art. With practice and imagination, we can create some delicious gourmet. As a kid I would never enter the kitchen, except to get goodies to munch on. As I grew up, my help to my mom was limited to cutting vegetables and making rotis sometimes. To feed myself, incase of emergencies, I knew how to make a toast, tea and maggi.

In high school, while some of my friends were learning how to prepare the full course meal, I was getting my hands dirty on trying to learn volleyball. Year later when I was in college, we were in a situation when me, my brother and a cousin had to be home by ourselves for 5 days. My parents and uncle and aunt had to be away to attend an important family occasion. Since we were teenagers and loved such freedom, we assured them we would be fine and asked them to go ahead with their plans. There was only one glitch, I and my cousin had exams during those days and also, we did not know how to cook. My brother on the other hand, was just bothered about India's outcomes on the World Cup cricket qualifying match. Also, our parents were returning the next day our exams were getting over, so we did not have much time for any fun. Anyways, we planned to use the best of what was given.

For the first few days, we managed on whatever mom had cooked and bread. The day mine and my cousin's exam got over was the day that India lost to SriLanka in the World cup qualifying match. My brother, due to the gripping match, had gobbled up all the eatables at home. When I reached home famished, the only bottles not emptied were the ones containing pulses and spices. With some courage, I started peeling potatoes to make a sabzi. As the food started smelling nice, I got ambitious and made sambar. I finished just as my cousin entered home, tired and starved. We set the table and were eager to try out the dishes. With the first taste of the morsel, which also happened to be the last one, we realized that even food can be deceptive. Even though it smelled good, it tasted horrible as the spices proportions were all mixed up. We finally had a dinner in a nearby restaurant and that was the end of my kitchen ventures for a long time.

Few weeks before I was to get married, I had crash course on cooking from my mom. I would stand next to her and nod on all her instructions as she would narrate the proportions of spices to be added, how and when. Everything seemed pretty straight forward at that time and I could not understand why people used to make fuss about good cooking.

Months later, I was here in NJ at our apartment staring at the closet filled with bottles of spices and pulses. Onions and tomatoes were lying on the countertop to be cut. This was the first time I was preparing food for H and his friend, who was coming home with his wife. I felt the same fear pang I used to feel on the days of practical exams. During the whole semester in lab practical, we could do the experiment with help of the teacher or the lab assistant. Exam days would be lonely and scary. At that moment, I missed my mom more than ever. Anyways, I put up a brave face and went ahead. Any art needs lot of time and patience. It was especially true on that day. To prepare a simple meal of pulao, puri and chole, I took 7 hours to complete!

Times have changed. I take much less time and hopefully the taste has also changed, err.. for better.