Posts in Category: Blog

I am THIS…….. and more !!!


What are you doing these days??? This is a question that is asked at least 5 when times I meet people. My answer these days usually is “Nothing” or “I take pictures…… The answer usually varies depending upon the person I am talking to. Some years back when this question was asked, I would launch onto a rhetoric monologue about the challenges of the industry to survive in the present economy…… to my current predicament of having no time at all or the current job market….. but these days my answer usually stuns people. Over a period of time I have realised that this question is usually an ice breaker to a conversation and people in general would rather speak about their professional lives. The other alternative is usually gossip or serials which is something I steer very clear of.  I have been in the career rat race since a very long time. Having started working at the age of 16 and been working ever since, independent, self-reliant et al…….. somewhere down the line I realised that I didn’t have any life apart from the professional life. I was very ambitious and at that point I wanted to change the world and do awesome stuff.

But all I did was wake up in the morning do my regular household chores rush to take the train or drive myself to work, where I battled the traffic then the office politics and all the paraphernalia that came with it only to return home to do more work cooking and cleaning and then fall exhausted to sleep only to repeat all the things all over again. Holidays were dreaded!!! Because it meant a whole day of marathon cooking cleaning washing and more cooking cleaning washing. Well I was disillusioned. Being independent self-reliant was a joke because I was a slave to my job and the monotony my master. Don’t get me wrong I loved my work like any other person was even very good at it and also kinda loved cooking, but the monotony of the whole thing finally got to me. Striking a balance was unquestioned because I was miserable in what I did. I didn’t have time for anybody not even for myself, just an isolated sad self-pitying case…… I was just a nameless spoke in somebody elses well oiled machine.

So when I happened to break both my ankles at the same time and was confined to bed with my feet in the air I took another look at my life. I was standing on my own two feet one day and the next day I was literally off it. I didn’t like what I saw!!! I was another piece of a huge machine which was just that….. a piece of machine. I didn’t do anything besides being a very miniscule part of the machine. Also my health was suffering and when I saw my wardrobe I realised that all the clothes I possessed were stuff that I went to work in. So basically that meant that I didn’t have a life, I was unhealthy and I didn’t know where I was going and most important……. I was not happy. So I took the forced medical break and decided to make the most of it. I realised that I loved painting and took to it in a big way. My love for the camera which had been present ever since I first held my dad’s Agfa and my sister told me to stop my breath and press the shutter for that perfect shot became the highlight of my life. My love for plants and flowers. Experimenting with cooking and inventing and innovating in the kitchen.  The biggest surprise that came to me from nowhere was that I loved teaching. It hit me hard because I always thought of myself as a hard-nosed corporate person. I belonged to a family of teachers but I always believed that I was the odd one out. This was a surprise that hit me hard.

I took to all of these with the same focus that I put in my job. The result was that I didn’t go back to work. I won’t say that I am the best photographer or the best painter or the best chef  or best gardener or the best teacher…….. I am all of these and more and these are things that make me very happy. I wont lie about missing the Gandhi factor in my life which I got at the end of each month. But the compensations in comparison are far more immense…… my professional degrees are put more to use today than it has been when I was working full-time. My brain can think from angles I had never thought of before. I feel I don’t have any limitations and can do anything and everything. I find new things to do at every turn in life and I enjoy all of them and the perfectionist in me gets them done to the “T”.  I have learnt to improvise and accept things and today I realise that I have much much more to achieve than I have till date. I have more time for my personal relations as compared to before. I have to acknowledge here that if it hadn’t been for hubby I wouldn’t have been able to do this. But since he is taking care of the monetary aspects of life I have the liberty to do stuff that I like. And I am very thankful to him for that. Today I am no longer a corporate person but I am so much more…… I am a better wife a better daughter a photographer a teacher a temperamental but still….. a painter,  an ok cook, a gardener………. also a very happy person and much much more………


This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.


God is a Gamer……. a review

Ravi Subramanian is the author for best-selling thrillers and he has not disappointed his fans. God is a gamer is an absolute page turner guaranteed to keep you engrossed and on your toes all through till the end. It has a whole range of everything…… terrorist attacks, murders, suicides, hit-and-runs, espionage, ATM heist, cyber crimes, online phishing, money laundering, illegal sites, online crimes, politician and underworld nexus etc. This is my second Ravi Subramanian book so when I started the book I knew what to expect and I was not disappointed. I read the book cover to cover non-stop in 7 hours……

The book takes you to the fascinating world of Bitcoins for use as alternative currency for online transactions. What follows is an interwoven series of events spanning across New York, Washington DC, Mumbai, Goa etc. The book starts with the assassination of US senator and close aide to the US President, Gillian Tan in Washington DC, on his way to a meeting with the US President for the use of Bitcoins as a legal form of currency. A phishing scandal in New York International Bank in Mumbai has disturbed the peace of the banking world and has put the job of Swami, head of retail banking on line. Meanwhile Josh Connelly in New York is preparing for a major ATM heist using the TOR browser and making online transactions on “Cotton Trail”, a website for all illegal activities like narcotics, prostitution, banned substance even paedophillia which is accessible only through TOR and making payments for all of these via Bitcoins.

The book is about Aditya and Sundeep…… mentor and close friends of Swami who are floundering with their gaming business. The death of a top banker and aspirant for the post of RBI governor Malvika puts the whole plot in a frenzy with the CBI and FBI joining hands to solve the various interconnected crimes. The job of solving all this falls on the FBI officer Adrian, Tony and Dan and CBI officer Kabir.

The story also revolves around Varun and Tanya. Their love and romance puts the story in a lighter note. While Varun helps his father Aditya’s floundering gaming business to get back into track, Tanya tries to come to terms with the mystery surrounding the death of her mother Malvika and suspects the finance minister’s hand in her death.

The book is beautifully interwoven with lots of twists and turns in the plot. I was very fascinated with the whole bitcoin theory….. the first I heard of it….. also using the concept of downloading Bot malware while updating the gaming programs into the plot was a genius. Gillian Tan’s wife Nikki, daughter Gloria and White house head of staff Mike Hendricks keep the plot twisted and confused. The thriller ends with the hooker’s blog connecting all the dots to complete the picture. I kept wondering about the tag line “Is revenge a crime”…….. I understood it only after I finished the epilogue.

What I liked about the book was the pace in which it moved. It kept me glued to the book asking for more. The chapters are very small so for a person with a short attention span this is god-send. I was totally flummoxed reading the epilogue. It turned the story round totally and gave the whole book a totally different angle. The book is very informative….. I had no idea of the .onion pseudo domain host sites that can be accessed only through TOR browsers. Using hotel key cards for an ATM heist and hacking into the bank servers to increase the withdrawal limits made me realise we are totally not safe at all times and that cyber crimes have reached our door steps….. we better wake up and take note. All in all I was transported to a whole new online world of cyber crimes which I had no idea about. It was an absolute revelation. My knowledge barely covered phishing and hacking….. The events took the concept of cyber crimes to a whole new level.

The cover of the book has the white house in the background and the Bitcoin logo. The pictorial depiction of the black clouds moving towards the White House in view of a whole new kind of sophisticated criminal genre in the form of Bitcoins being used to finance crime is a new challenge for the whole world and therefore very apt for the theme of the book.

What I didn’t like about the book were the number of characters in the book that kept increasing with every chapter and often I lost track of them…… some of them were totally unnecessary. The book moved too fast from Washington DC to New York to Mumbai to Goa and back so I wasn’t really able to connect to the characters or empathise with them. The prologue was absolutely unnecessary and was not part or in any way connected to the main plot. Some of the events in the book were totally not necessary. The dramatic end where the FBI and CBI are revealing the killer reminded me of CID’s ACP Pradyuman and Salunkhe and I kept waiting for Daya or Abhijeet (Shome) to do some door breaking 😀 (LOL ).

The book is a gripping thriller and absolute value for money. Must read for all!!!

Thank you Blogadda for the autographed copy of the book it was an excellent read.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Daddy….. the birth of a Father……. a review


Tuhin A. Sinha’s latest book Daddy….. The birth of a Father came to me via PR Pundit. This is the first time I am reading a Tuhin Sinha. The book is a non-fiction book for childcare written by a hands on dad. This is the first book that I have read that is a comprehensive and pragmatic account of childcare and parenting from the father’s viewpoint. The book covers the dos and don’ts of child care from the time the parents know of the pregnancy, the ultrasounds, what to expect when pregnant, all of it from the fathers perspective to the birth of the child to the challenges of a hands on father with a newborn upto the age of 2 years when the child leaves for pre-school.

In today’s urban life of nuclear families with little or no support system we often find ourselves at a juncture of balancing the home and workplace. In the past this has been a job which has been exclusive to the woman. She gives up her career or has to balance both. In the process even though she tries hard it becomes impossible to justify both and she ends up feeling guilty. Sharing of responsibilities is so essential in the modern day fast life.  Today we see more and more women returning back to work soon after the maternity leave, and more and more fathers opting for a flexible job timings so that they can be with the kids and take an active part in their initial days. This is a joy that was not an option for fathers in the past because it was “a woman’s job“.

Daddy is Tuhin Sinha’s personal journey of becoming a father and all the challenges that he and his wife have gone through in this process. The book depicts this role reversal and the challenges that the couple have faced. The book also takes into account the experiences of many other fathers with similar predicament and the result is a beautiful compilation of childcare from the father’s point of view.

The book also has write ups by a child psychologist and pediatricians simplifying some otherwise scary aspects in the life of a newborn. Tuhin Sinha has simplified childcare and has shown that you can be loving and doting parent without being overly obsessed about it. I have come across many parents whose obsession with children take childcare to a whole new platform…… which is absolutely not healthy. Tuhin balanced his utter total love for his baby without being obsessed about it. The “helicopter parent syndrome” was dealt with very nicely. Especially considering the fact that  parents hate being told that they are so.

The balance of extended family with grandparents and parents taking an active part in the child’s upbringing was dealt with very beautifully without stepping onto each others foot. The happy and secured upbringing for the child is an essential factor and including the grandparents and using their experience to give an all round development to the child was highlighted.

What I loved about the book is the simple language. The chapters were not too long and the anecdotes kept you glued to the writing. He simplified the mammoth task of child rearing and got you to enjoy it. He has amply justified the nuances of stay at home fathers and removed any stigma that has been associated with it. I found this fact refreshing. The pictorial references for swaddling a child, massage, bathing the child, burping the child are really a nice addition. The pragmatic approach to things that will happen and the practical way of handling them is something nobody else will tell you. The chapter on nannies in the Indian context was very informative.

Relationship of new parents post birth of a baby was a unique addition which I liked. The fact that life does not only have to be about the baby was endearing. The inclusion of a list of illnesses and a table of what to do when it happens was a good addition.  The chapters come with a short summary  at the end of it which lists the content of the chapter which in turn could serve as a to-do list for most fathers. The references from other fathers has helped give the book a well rounded approach and made the book sort of a handbook for fathers to-be. The dreamy and emotional letter in the end was a fabulous end to the book.

The cover pic of the two hands was beautiful. As a photographer I loved it. It clearly showed the love between the father and the child with the child grasping the finger of the father…..  The personal pics in the inside covers makes Neev Tanish very real to the reader and also makes it a pictorial depiction of Tuhin’s personal journey.

What I didn’t think necessary was the lengthy prologue. The book is complete by itself….. the Bollywood connection to justify it was not required…… it was trying to validate the book. The effort was obvious…….The experiences of the common hands-on-dads made it more approachable because the book by itself is a beautiful rendition of the relation of father and son and love comes through to me as a reader. All in all a good read and full value for money. A must buy for fathers starting a family and must gift for would-be mothers to gift their clueless husbands.

Tuhin’s  sensitivity of the whole what to expect when you’re expecting and later bringing up the child was so beautiful that I personally think all would-be mothers should be shoving the book down their hubby’s throats…. I know I would…….. “Kuch seekho”!!!

Thank you PR Pundit for the excellent read.

Private India…… a review


I received this book as part of the BlogAdda Book review program. This book is a culmination of two great minds. Our very own Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson of the Private series fame. It’s an absolute page turner thriller and promises to have you glued asking for more. The collaboration has the protagonists of both the authors coming together to solve this absolute interesting maze of events.

A series of serial killing rocks the city of Mumbai. The women murdered are strangulated with a yellow scarf. The  murdered victims are the movers and shakers of Mumbai. They belong to different walks of life ranging from a doctor, to a journalist, to a singer, a politician, a principal, a judge, an actress……. with nothing in common among them on the face of it. The only common factors are the yellow scarf used for killing the victims and a series of trinkets placed around them. What ensues is a chase with a body found at every corner.  The story is also of the troubled head of Private India, Santosh Wagh who lost his family in an accident. He is entrusted with the investigation of the serial murders. He and his team of investigators Nisha, Mubeen and Hari Padhi look for clues only to reach a dead-end at every corner. The entry of Jack Morgan fastens the pace of the investigation with all fingers pointing to the Attorney General who is embroiled in the killings at every stage.

Sanghi’s penchant for mythology comes through with the interesting trivia about the thuggee cult and the navratri festival, making Goddess Durga an important part of the story. Mumbai is the central theme where the book is based. So the author takes you everywhere from Malabar hill to cuffe parade to Mira Road. The book has a little of everything criminal in Mumbai…….. the nexus between the police officer Rupesh and the underworld don Munna and Godman Nimboo baba, the corruption between the politicians and the judiciary, the betting racket angle, the bollywood angle, the maimed child beggar angle, child abuse, prostitution and political nexus and of course the terrorism angle……. just about everything criminal in Mumbai.

The cover of the book has this lovely picture of the gateway and the Taj hotel together in one frame, taken in magic hour. I particularly loved that shot also the pic of the bandra sea link at night is beautiful and it does show the Indian connection to the Private series…… very apt.

What I loved about the book was the small chapters. It kept me glued without letting me lose focus of the plot. Also the pace at which the book moved was fast enough to not let me lose the plot. Mumbai being one of my favorite cities and having lived there for a decade, I identified with the plot and the investigators. The trivia about the thuggee cult was totally new to me. Also the trivia about the various sects in India who were listed by the British as the killers was something I had never heard of. Being a Bengali, Durga and navratri are my favorite festivals so the significance of the nine avatars of Durga used in the book in this manner was well imbibed and a revelation. This is the first time that i have read Hindu mythology being used in a thriller in this way.

What I didn’t think necessary in the book was the terrorism angle…….. the Indian Mujahideen angle and the Pakistan and ISI angle could have been avoided as it did not contribute to the main plot in any way. The Nimboo Baba character was also unnecessary. The book was long winding and some of the details regarding the Mumbai serial bomb blasts was totally unnecessary though I must say that it is the first time that the serial blasts in the Mumbai locals has been highlighted. Usually it is only the Taj attack that people talk about.

All in all the book is a great read and value for money.

I want to thank BlogAdda for the excellent read…… it was wonderful!!!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Another day of life

Whatta day!!!! It is just the wee hours of the morning. Infact I haven’t even properly started the day and it is already seeming a downer. Every now and then i have these days of disillusionment. Where one after another i come across more people giving up…… the pessimist in me agrees…… it is for the better,…… but the optimist in me wants to change things.
A 14 yr old is disillusioned in the puppy love. She croons sad songs and puts up stuff which say that everyone has loved someone they cant have. Isn’t 14 too young to decide that???
A friend wishes to throw in the towel and move on her own. She has worked so hard in her life for everything….. now at this juncture giving up everything……. wont it be a wastage of efforts put in.  Don’t we have enough responsibilities and frustrations in our lives that we want to borrow more. Will giving up help. Why is life such a fight at every stage?
Why can’t people mind their own business? Why do we need to have highlights in life? Can’t we just be grateful that we are moving from day to day successfully without a hitch. Life has become such a compromise. I don’t remember what it was otherwise. Standing up for basic rights….. when did that become difficult or wrong. Are we just supposed to mend and move on and ignore the stitches in the middle. Can’t i smoothen it all out and make it all new?
Why can’t we just live for ourselves for a change? The way we want to. The way we dreamed of living.  Is that wrong to ask? Is it impossible to get?
Expecting people to stand up for me is something i have given up a long time ago still…… when somebody lets you down it still hurts.  I should have by now acquired a full non expectation armor but…… i guess i still believe in unicorns…… hahaha
My friend just shared a wonderful quote :

“If you dont like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
~Maya Angelou~

Tea stalls in Kolkata

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This is a pic of a tea stall in Kolkata.  Interestingly this pic was taken at the pinnacle of general election and has the posters of two political leaders waving at you from the corner of the pic. Kolkata is a politically charged place. Anybody and everybody there has an opinion on the political scenario….. The three topics that everyone there talks about over a cup of tea at an ADDA (get together) is weather, politics and their wide range of illnesses…… and ohhhh I forgot Football!!!

Tea stall like this one is a predominant feature in the corner of most streets of Kolkata. The tea stall owners also sell biscuits, chocolates, mint, cigarettes and sometimes some fried eatables to accompany the tea and a paraphernalia of eatables.

This tea stall is close to my mum and dad’s home in Kolkata. I like this pic especially because as a kid i used to love going to this shop. They had these sweet and sour lollipops made with tamarind and jaggery and cumin which I used to love. In my vacations my aunt would buy me two biscuits from this shop every evening. Sometimes she would give me a coin and ask me to get two biscuits for myself.

The shop has since then changed hands a lot of times. The initial owners I remember were my mother’s childhood friend so I would get lots of freebies.

Going to Kolkata during holidays was fun. My mum and dad live closeby so everybody who lived in and around mom and dad’s place were related to me from either side. Either that or they were my mum or dad’s friends. So as soon I would go there people would ask me when I had come for my visit. I was known to all by face. This was a contrast to living in the city where nobody knew you. I resemble my mom too much…… so much that in that place I needed no introduction.

Things have changed these days. The entire demographics of the place has changed. The oldies have either passed away or they have moved for better opportunities in other cities. It is not the same anymore. When I was younger I could knock on any door and just have a glass of water or be welcomed in their home….. made me feel I belonged there. Not anymore….. it doesnt feel like home anymore…… nor do I long to go back there…… in the instances that I have held on to memories and gone there, I have returned disillusioned. My grandparents have passed on and my uncles who were close to me have either passed away or are too old to understand my presence. But yet the place holds the first memories of my childhood…… and all of them happy. So it will remain close to me.

I recently read a beautiful quote by Dalai Lama which I must share.

“I’m now nearly 79. At 16 I took responsibility for Tibet and lost my freedom. At 24 I lost my country and became a refugee. I’ve met difficulties, but as the saying goes: ‘Wherever you’re happy, you can call home, and whoever is kind to you is like your parents.’ I’ve been happy and at home in the world at large. Living a meaningful life isn’t just a matter of money; it’s about dedicating your life to helping others.”

Queen….. the Rani who finds her wings !!!!

I saw Queen yesterday. The movie where Kangana Ranaut plays Rani, the main protagonist. The story is of a simple and “GOOD” girl who gets dumped at the altar by her bf of many years….. only to embark on a journey to her pre arranged honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam all by herself, meeting people who are totally different from her, beating thugs in paris, selling golgappas in amsterdam and finding herself in the process.

The character of rani is so beautifully balanced. Though she comes from an orthodox indian background….. where at every juncture in life she is told what to do by her parents or her fiancee or her friends……. she totally accepts the other people she meets on her journey without wanting to change them. Yes she is scandalised on more than one occasion. Be it when she finds her new friend sleeping with lots of men or when she meets the stripper at amsterdam or when she has to  share a room with three other men at a hostel. But her journey to discovering independence for herself is beautiful.

Her non judgemental attitude stands out. Be it the waitress who has a child out of wedlock or the stripper in amsterdam who is waiting for a package from her mother from home or her mother in law who thinks she shd join the kitty party. She takes people at face value. People are the same world wide. People from all parts of the world whoever they are….. are scared of lizards….. i think tht is what we need to realise. Color language sex dont really matter. The humor in the movie is totally not lost on the audience infact it is superbly timed and keeps the audience glued….. asking more. The total lack of melodrama and the punju crass makes it more appealing to me. The simplicity of the main protagonist is outstanding….. it makes her more endearing to u.

For me the movie is about finding wings……  every girl needs to find her wings and shd know to fly….. every guy needs it too but girls need it more than them. Because at every juncture in life they are forced to prove themselves and at tht time it helps to know your true potential.  Nothing can beat the independence of soaring high and feeling you can do everything and achieve everything.

The movie was also about finding goodness in the seemingly worst situations. The best part of the movie was not making a love equation between the main protagonist and the guys she meets on her journey. She lets them be for what they were. Friends on a journey who share moments of time together and help each other close traumatic chapters of their life and discover themselves….. and then move on with a promise to keep in touch…… you really dont need to marry everybody u come in contact with u no. It was a fresh breath of breather from the other bollywood movies where getting hooked up is soooo necessary.

I personally think every woman shd take a trip like this one atleast once in her life….. without the cocoon of protection from family and relatives. I loved the last scene where she hands back the ring to her fiancee and thanks him. I had a smile for all the 15 kms ride back home. I think i am inspired enuf to go to a trip like that one.

I would give the movie a 10 out of 10…… full paisa wasool.

Forgive yourself……. as you would forgive your neighbours.

All through school and college…… one thing was dinned into my mind by teachers parents….. never point a finger at others. Point it at yourself. When you point a finger at others remember the other fingers are pointing at you. So on and so forth. Until we reached a stage where we were told that never find fault with others. All the fault remains with only one person…… that is you. To the extent that we hate our own existence on planet earth. It is very easy to convince such a person that Hiroshima Nagasaki and tsunami happened because of one and only one reason……. YOU…… just because you lived on this planet……. your existence caused it……. you are responsible. The fact that I wasn’t born then does not really hold any significance…… could be preamble to my birth. 
I think they over did it…… self recrimination is such a common thing that these days they teach us about forgiving yourself. Let go…… being benevolent towards ourselves. Louise Hay in most of her books talks about the same thing. She explains that most diseases that ail us today are a mirror to the hatred we have of our selves. We r too demanding of our selves and expect super human skills….. which is an absolute mirage. The dissatisfaction that we have of our selves is today reached a point that we need to look at ourselves from other peoples point of view to reach the “I’m-not-so-bad” place. We look at ourselves not from our own eyes but that of somebody else and accept their judgement whatever it may be. We can be non judgmental about the world at large but when it comes to ourselves…… naah…… never….. the crooked nose….. the crooked eyebrow or the increasing waistline is all we see.
These days forgiving other people for hurting you is so much easier than forgiving yourself.  You have to constantly remind yourself that you are a nice person. Remind yourself to Forgive yourself on a daily basis for not meeting your targets and not be upset with yourself for not being able to reach the Utopian place that u have set yourself to be in and forgive yourself for hurting others and also a constantly remind yourself that you are not responsible for the whole world. You are already doing your bit and stop beating yourself up for the mistakes that other people make…… That is part of their learning curve. It will only make them wiser and smarter in the long run.
The control freaks that we have become push us beyond the levels that are sometimes inhuman. We crave for a lot of stuff which are sometimes beyond our means….. but we convince ourselves that we can only be happy only if we achieve that and then push ourselves to achieving it. In the process we accumulate a lot of self hate and make very very less concessions for ourselves for not achieving it. We become our biggest critic and very less tolerant about our mistakes and spend a lot of money on long therapy sessions of standing in front of a mirror and telling yourself that I love you and that you are a nice person. 
I remember watching a Bollywood movie where the main protagonist tells “main apni favorite hu” meaning i am my favorite person. That is my favorite dialogue till date. Also there was this part where on looking in the mirror she says “you are so beautiful…… how can anybody look so beautiful”.  I wish i would reach that place someday and fall in love with myself……. so i too can forgive all my so-called sins….. like i forgive everything about the people i love. If someone calls you a narcissist its their problem not yours.

Save me…….. save yourself !!!!

When people cry “exploitation” or say that they are being exploited and complain and cry about it to others. I don’t have the patience of feeling bad about such people. If you think you have been exploited you ask for an explanation from the exploiter and rather than playing victim and crying over it, you fight for your rights. And if you wish to continue the existence of the one exploited you should  cry over it at your convenience at your own abode. 

The victim is as much to be blamed for the exploitation as is the exploiter, simply for the simple reason that they wish to take the sacrificial mode. I understand that in most cases you might  not be able to do anything about it. But atleast speak out that you have been exploited, and refuse to be the end of any more exploitation.
Gone is the era of Sulochanas and Nirupa Roys. Today you have to stand up and fight for your own rights. If you don’t do it you will be deemed as weak and only the faces of the exploiters will keep changing. Your status-quo will remain the same. That of the poor sad victim who is weak……. a person who needs protection. Is that how you wish to be mentioned???  Not me!!! Id prefer going down fighting than stay back and cry. Call it the Maratha salt in my blood but I don’t budge from issues that I believe in.

I don’t believe in the tolerance method by Gandhi…….. waiting for the person’s subconscious to alter his decision and make a better judgement. That could have been applicable in that particular era but I believe in the philosophy of non-tolerance:  “You cant take me for granted and treat me like that……. I deserve more respect……. you either give it to me or butt off from my life“. 
If I give people their due, is it wrong for me to expect the same from them???
The world is round. All that goeth cometh right back. Well that might be true…… I have even seen a lot of stances of that coming true but for me waiting for the world to go around and then complete its rotation and making things equal is barbaric. Id rather speak my piece and let peace reign for the rest of my life than waiting my whole life for the other shoe to drop. I don’t need people who live off other people in my life. Maybe my world gets a little smaller but I live the way I want to on my own terms.
I am not talking revenge or anything violent just the fact that “I am a person just like you and you should treat me like you treat yourself ” If you think something is not good for yourself how can you take it that it would be good for me. In family I see a lot of people who would buy a very expensive dress for themselves and give away the thing that they don’t like to somebody else. If they think that the dress is not fit for wearing why do the expect the other person to wear it??? Does the world have different rules for you and me???
You and you alone are responsible for yourself. If you bog down and accept it without voicing your opinion you are nothing but a coward. Because even if you don’t voice it, it wont stop you from feeling cheated and bitter. I would rather speak my mind and hold my peace for life than keep feeling robbed.
For its survival every relationship should be based on a set of rules, which are equal for all. I have seen that when there are no equal rules, the relationship becomes bitter and disintegrates and falls apart at some point of time. It is deemed to break down. On the other hand a relationship with rules has boundaries and nobody is taken for granted……. nobody feels cheated. A relationship based on trust and mutual respect lasts a lifetime and even more. On the other hand a weak relation of one person encroaching on the other….. one person calling shots and the other person not getting an opportunity to have a say feels cheated and usually crumbles. 
Sulochana’s and Nirupa Roys are symbols for sacrifice they usually lived in poverty were cheated felt bad about one and all and cried all the time but Shasikala always got the best clothes make up the best cars never in poverty a happy life……… What i want to reiterate is Id rather be called the bad person than sit back home and live my life subdued and all the time feeling cheated. People have to understand that every human being on earth is equal and everybody deserves to be treated well. I quote the bible here (my convent upbringing):
Mathew 7:12 :  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Ohh to be young again

For the past few days I’ve been coming across a lot of people who get whimsical and melancholy when they mention their youth. The very thought of going back say twenty years made me think….. do I want to go back. What would I change??? 
When we were young all we wanted to do universally is…… to grow up. Old age at that time was anybody who was 15 years older than you. As we grew up our goals changed but we wished we reached higher in life in all spheres. Twenty years ago for anyone my age was the time for new hopes dreams ambitions a new lease that life is giving you. A time for love some budding some missed opportunities some mistakes. Ambition career….. A carefree…… stress free……. no baggage existence. You didn’t ever have to use the words “You remember ” ending with “I told you so” Because then there was absolutely no past…….. good or bad…… just the beginning. Unlike today where it seems to have become a prefix before every sentence we use.
Most of the people I know would want to go back unerringly to the past. A whole billion and trillion dollar industry is thriving on this whimsical nature of humans. First it is the pimples they cater to and then soon when you are just about breathing a sign of relief it is the wrinkles that get to you. Crow feet get a whole new meaning….. they are no longer talking about a species of the animal planet and you actually know what botox is. You open any newspaper in any country or surf any channel in any language in any country. There will be people reminding you of that glorious time of your life…… your youth. Mothers of a grown child being called a college student. Husbands suddenly being besotted with their wives all over again…… and so on.
When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.
Mark Twain

I recently encountered a group of mothers who wished to be called “Babes”, it made them feel younger. The social networking sites are teeming with eloquent and enviable sighs of   “You are looking so young”.  “You have stopped aging what is the secret”……. that, I think is supposed to make you feel happy unlike Mark Twain who thinks otherwise. 
Aging has now become a big time commercial market teeming with umpteen number of products. Just recently I visited a mall which had two floors full of only beauty products 75% of which were of anti aging products: creams food tablets shape wear you name it. 
Is aging an emotional condition or is Youth something to hold on to as the passage of time. Is living in memories a good thing or bad thing. 
For years I have seen my mother age gracefully. She has taken pride in every strand of white hair that has sprung up….. every tooth that she has lost. She has never tried to look younger. But don’t we all want to get younger???
 A friend of mine told me that if he got younger again he would lose all his money and all the knowledge and experience he has gained. He was happy in his skin and the place that he is now emotionally and had all that he wanted today……. loving family friends job etc. Aging had therefore worked well for him. He was wiser and richer. Another opinion was that they could catch up on missed opportunities and undoing mistakes. Being younger opens up a wide arena of options in life which you lose out in the race for a perfect career, perfect life partner, perfect house, perfect kids, perfect retirement. Only to look back and look longingly at what could have been. Or wait for the elusive time machine to actually be invented.
Aging is a natural process so embracing it is the only way to go. It is the could have beens that haunt you. Since this is a one way path, there is no going back. Aging means you can take life real slow and don’t have to be anywhere at any point of time. Because you understand that nothing can really change if you don’t. Failures in life have only made you stronger. Mistakes taught you a new way to think. They have only enriched your learning curve. 
My generation saw the transition from paper to computers to laptops to tablets. For us we don’t really need to study the history of processing of information. Especially in my country where we moved from a closed to a global economy.We lived history. Suddenly from watching one channel we were watching 100’s. Armani gucci made their way to our shops. Unlike today’s generation who will probably have to read to understand filing or will never have known life without an enter button. 
For me aging is a relief. I dont want to go back and relive the past however fabulous and glamorous it was. Going back would mean having to live all over again. go through all the travails again. Yet when I pause at the could have beens I am wistful for a moment. Living in memories is surely not healthy. But visiting them occasionally is good for the soul reminds you of what you wanted and gives you clarity of what u have to do to reach the peaceful state. 
I carry a pair of really old jeans of the bygone era wherever I go. I dont fit into it anymore but it symbolize all the events of the past.  And when I fit into it believe me……. You cant make me stop smiling. My very own anti aging product. You are after all…… as old as you think!!!
Purani jeans aur guitar……..  bas yaaden yaaden yaaden reh jati hai !!!!
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