Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Equality - does it exist

I came across this thought recently and it got me thinking...hmmmmmm – interesting

People harp on about equality. Wild statements are made – women and men are equal! A poor man is equal to a rich one...blah, blah, blah.

But, think this a universal law?

Look at the universe around you...look at life around as you can see it. In the animal kingdom, it is survival of the fittest. The stronger species survive...the weak are always dominated by the more powerful. This is the case with all living species.

We are truly blind not to see it. In fact, as one gentleman put it, we are in conflict with nature herself when we fight for equality. horrible as it sounds, the truth remains that the rich will never be equal to the poor and likewise, women will never be equal to men. It’s ridiculous to even compare men and women on an equal platform. Each has their individual strengths and weaknesses; they are distinctive in nature, but never equal.

Bigger kids bully smaller kids. Larger dogs threaten smaller ones. Lions rule while lambs shiver. Such is the order of the world. When will we, as human beings, stop fighting for these inane ideas of equality when there is none? Intelligent children outweigh dull ones. There will always be superior or dominant beings.

When will we being to be in sync with nature and realize the bliss that lies within? We constantly seek happiness, bliss, peace...why do we search so hard? It’s right there where it always was –   ourselves. It only needs to be revealed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yelling - the norm?

Have people entirely lost basic etiquette? Has screaming / shouting / yelling become the norm?

I look around me and that’s exactly what I find. It doesn’t take much to trigger a fight – people seem to be raring to go. What’s appalling is its blatant presence in offices too. Nobody stands up to bullies who yell and scream (and yes, professional bullies are usually seniors in the organization) because they are afraid to lose their jobs or because nothing could come out of it.

I’ve been watching people at work, on the road, at supermarkets and other public spaces. Etiquette belongs to a bygone era. However, this overwhelming urge to yell seems to be gaining prominence everywhere. Whether it is yelling at a servant or junior employee, at a stranger on the road or even children, people do not feel any remorse for their behavior. Need I say more?

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm back

The last year was a bumpy ride though until almost the end of the year I was blissfully unaware of how turbulent the ride was indeed! Lost in my sea of ignorant bliss, I was rudely awakened from my comatose form during the Landmark Forum.

I can’t really explain the Landmark Forum – but I will attempt to…very briefly. This three-day program gets into your psyche, shakes it up and makes you aware of what you didn’t know was present. Sound crazy??? Well, you really need to experience it J. At the Landmark Forum, I started becoming aware of myself, the way I behave, the way I perceive others, the dormant emotions that I thought I had expelled, how I react and how I DO NOT listen at all when people are talking to me. It was three days of emotional upheaval and then, I signed up for the Advanced Course.

Another three days of delving deeper into myself…whew! It was exhausting and believe it or not, it was simultaneously invigorating. I never thought I would be so moved. In fact, I highly recommend these two programs to everyone. It’s worth the money spent.

Moving on, I’ve been so cut off from the world, disconnected from people. In fact, I’ve been like this for the last two years. I don’t know why! I seem to have given up on myself in so many little ways. In my quest for fulfillment, I’ve lost my spark.

I’m a perfectionist. There – I said it. And it’s not always a good thing, especially when I come down hard on myself for falling short. I discovered this very recently. I didn’t even know that I was a perfectionist. I’ve been trying to prove to the world that I am great and in this journey, I failed to notice that whenever I failed to achieve perfection, I come down too hard on myself. Even 99% isn’t good enough!

Two years ago, I had a lot of spunk…or maybe that was three years ago. I believed in possibilities. I used to make affirmations and many of my convictions materialized into reality. Then, I lost it along the way and I’m trying to find my way back.

You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.

John Wooden

I don’t make New Year resolutions in particular, but I do make resolutions. I have to start believing again, believing in life, in myself and the universe. The possibilities are endless.

I am back.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bali and Malaysia

It’s good to be home though sometimes I wish I could just travel the world for leisure anytime I please.
Back from a 9 day vacation, which was wonderful by the way. We went to Bali, Indonesia and Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. 6 days in Bali was pure bliss. We nestled snug at Ayodya Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali. Thoroughly enjoyed walking around the charming village. The Bali Collection Centre was a hub of activity with massage parlours, restaurants, supermarkets… The food was wonderful. Picked up a range of curry pastes to sample back in Bangalore. We walked around quite a bit. Snooped for little treasures. Played at the beach. We headed to Ubud from here for 2 days. On the way we stopped at a gallery and bought a pretty painting. The Batik centre and wood carving did not really impress us much because we see the same stuff back home in India. The town of Ubud is picturesque. It’s so quaint and nice to stroll around. Peek into the Monkey Forest to see hoards of monkeys everywhere. We had to haggle for everything. We ate good Babi Guling, which is suckling pig and one of Bali’s most famous dishes. We dined at this wonder place called The Dirty Duck. Around Bali you’ll see lots of stores selling Quick Silver, U.S. Polo, Paul Smith and Billa-Bong among many other brands.

Malaysia was good too. KL is simply huge. There’s one level of shopping one can do at the high-end malls like KLCC or Pavilion. Then you have Suaweng Mall and Berjaya Times Square which cater to those who prefer nominal rates. Chinatown as one can easily guess is where you go to buy the fakes at negotiable rates.

The experience overall was great. Basic civic infrastructure is in place in these countries. I wonder why India can’t catch up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I didn’t win

My post for the Indiblogger contest did not find a spot among the winners :( 

Am I disappointed? Of course I am. Very. I really thought I’d be somewhere on the winner’s list. I read a few other posts. They were good too. However, I thought my post was better than many. But, it’s my opinion. And obviously, I’m biased. Naturally, I’d root for myself.

I battled feelings of disappointment, deflation, dejection and jealousy to name a few. I’m a sore loser, I am. I really thought I’d win. I was hoping to win the iPad. You see, I just got a new iPhone—my dear, sweet husband bought it for me, after many months of longing and subtle (well, not so subtle) hints. It worked.

I’m ecstatic. I love the iPhone. It’s fantastic. Although there was at least one person who said there were better smart phones out there and it’s only the brand conscious who really think the iPhone is the greatest invention since sliced bread, I beg to differ. Maybe some technologies work better on other phones. But the iPhone overall, for looks, usability, navigability, blah blah blah, is simply the best!

I digress. Well, I’m sad I missed winning the iPad. It would’ve been a wonderful complement to the iPhone. Maybe I’ll buy one for my husband! Or perhaps, I’ll win it in another contest.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Staying green

There is so much jabber about going green. So much chatter about global warming. Nonstop babble about reducing carbon footprint. Phew! It’s exhausting to even listen to or read another article urging people to Go Green!

I’d like to contribute. I really would. But sometimes, I indulge. I love showers, so once in a way or well, maybe more than occasionally, I shower or take a bath in a tub. My justification is that the water I use (some may call it waste) gets recycled anyway, since I live in a building that recycles water for use in the garden. Therefore, I’m not really being wasteful.

Then there’s taking public transport...This is India. Moreover, public transport overall sucks big time. Maybe the Volvo’s in a city like Bangalore are not too bad an option, but walking to the bus stop is a battle in itself. I’d have to side step uncouth people on the street, not to mention the garbage, and unfortunately, animal dung, for India is not known for its civic hygiene. Moreover, what about the smell of urine that pollutes literally every road. And I mean literally, not figuratively the way most people confuse the words!

Then there’s saving fuel...I turn off the engine at traffic lights. We try to recycle as much as possible...I sell old paper, plastic, etc., carry my own shopping bag around...the last one is easy to do since stores are now charging a fee for shopping bags.

I don’t print if I can help it. I use old paper to scribble. I can’t help but use tissue in the bathroom; it’s just so much cleaner. I put a full load of clothes in the washing machine. I use wastewater from the RO filter to water plants.

I try hard. However, when I see people around me not caring at all, I wonder if my little contribution even makes a difference. I wonder why the Government doesn’t enforce Go Green! more. It’s easy to launch a campaign, but hard to make people follow it unless it’s enforced.

Even if we reduce the use of paper, we’re still contributing to pollution of the environment in so many other ways, like commuting, using electricity, plastic packaging, etc.

My question is, if we Go Green! in some ways aren’t we still polluting in other ways anyway? If yes, then why Go Green! at all??? Then, how do I Stay Green?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My life is wonderful

Some people are never happy. I think they thrive on being unhappy. They lament, “Oh. My life is so terrible. You don’t know how it is!” If it isn’t this complaint, then its, “I don’t know why such things happen to me?”
It’s really sad that most people aren’t willing to take ownership of their lives. I see many who constantly blame others for their predicaments. One of the most profound statements I’ve heard is: You are the result of a dark and stormy night. Period.

I know many people who blame their parents for their stations / situations in life. They feel lack of love or attention, shadowed due to favouring of another sibling, no support in education...How long will they go on in self-pity mode?

Our parents do not owe us anything. Once we realize this, we can take responsibility for ourselves, our actions, etc.

Everything that happens in our lives is a result of our karma, our actions, our thoughts. It’s easy, really easy to emanate positive thoughts and have positive things happen in our lives. I know this is true because it’s happened with me. When I erase negativity from my mind, everything brightens up. Life could be so much worse. Look at people around us whose sufferings are nowhere close to the mundane upsets we feel. I remind myself every night that I’, blessed.

I have a wonderful life. I believe that it’s because I make it wonderful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Writing a novel

There are so many things I want to do...Gosh! The list seems endless. I recently put up a post for the competition Surf Excel Matic #GetSmart Contest  titled ‘Give me two extra hours in a day and I’ll stretch it to eternity’ where I stumbled on the idea of a Bucket List.

One of the things on top of my list among the others is to finish writing a book. Publishing it isn't as important as completing what I set out to do. I’ve started two books, but sadly, I haven’t even gotten halfway through either of them. Inspiration hit me when my friend Sumira put up this post: Writing a Novel in 30 Days. Wonderful idea and doable too, if one was to just make time.

Still, I haven’t gotten close. Working fulltime and trying to complete a novel is very challenging. I’m hoping to get started by January 2012 as December 2011 is tough considering I have other critical deliverables.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our ears

Until I went to the salon the other day, I never thought twice about ears. Our creator is truly amazing. Our ear is designed in such a way that water doesn't go in when we shower / bathe.

Such a simple thing, really!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Give me two extra hours in a day and I’ll stretch it to eternity

If only I had two extra hours in a day...Sigh!

I have a wish list like everyone else. With the extra time on my hands, the first thing I’d do is make a Bucket List and then get down to doing all those things. This is my first thought. For those ignorant with this term that became a mantra when the movie The Bucket List hit the cinema screens in 2007, a Bucket List is a wish list of things to do before one "kicks the bucket"; hence, the term. Interesting ain’t it?

On second thought, with two extra hours at hand, I’d read all the books I never get time to read, watch movies that always need at least two hours of uninterrupted pleasure time to enjoy, learn to dance like the stars, shop till I drop...Whew I can ramble on and on and on...

I’ll stop raving about the wonderful things I can do if only I had time. The important question is, “What am I truly not doing because of lack of time?”

As we age (and I’m not old, not by a long shot, not by any standard unless you consider a child’s viewpoint where anyone over 20 years is old), we tend to get set in our ways. We become selfish, unwilling to compromise on many things. Our egos are inflated with a false sense of pride. We stop attending family functions and spend more time at work or with friends.

All our accomplishments are for naught if we don’t have family with us to see us through the end of life.

There are stories of successful people who’ve achieve far more than any of us could have ever dreamed about. Many of them have died with regret on their lips, regret that they didn’t spend enough time with their families, regret for not mending fences when they were younger, regret that they cut ties off from loved ones, regret that they didn’t introspect enough when they had all the time in the world, regret that they were alone in their last days...

I would give up movie time, reading time and shopping to spend the extra time with my family and loved ones. I’d use the two extra hours every day visiting family, talking to friends, mending fences, introspecting so that I can be a better person and have no regrets when I get old. I’d play with children, laugh with elders, joke with friends and be happy with each day.

Random acts of kindness go a long way. The additional point I’m trying to make if it isn’t all too evident is that if Surf Excel Matic can give us the opportunity to even think about it, then we can make it happen. Cull out time to do the things that will empower you to have no regrets through life.

Thanks to the Surf Excel Matic #GetSmart Contest, I really thought about having 2 extra hours. And to speak about the product itself, well, the truth is that it is a smart buy. You save time and money by using Surf Excel Matic. Don’t blindly believe me—get to the store and try it yourself.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Random thoughts

I guess I’ll always try to blog..

I write all day long, professionally, for a company – whitepapers, articles, messages, newsletter... And I moonlight as a ghost writer. So, when do I make time to do some writing that’s just for me???
Here I am – again – after 3 months. Am I one of those bloggers who doesn’t really blog?

The good news is that working in this current role / company gives me a lot of flexibility. I can work from home from time to time. I don’t burn the midnight oil (don’t miss those days of working into the wee hours of the morning). I’m not as mentally challenged as I’ve been used to, so getting used to this kind of work is taking time.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m being underutilised; at other times I think I should be dancing in the air because I really have a wonderful work-life balance. Should I regret not going for something that is more challenging and pays more? Or did I make the right choice in choosing life over compensation.

Beyond this, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I have a great marriage, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, loving family and friends...what more could a girl want?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A hiatus from the corporate world and now I’m back

Almost two years ago I quit working at Technicolor, Bangalore to explore opportunities as a freelance writer. The years away from the maddening world of corporate politics were good. Initially, I revelled in freelance work, working hard to bag projects, even dreamed about starting my own venture. As the months passed by, I felt emptiness set in. Although I had a few good projects, income was not steady. The biggest pitfall was when companies did not pay at all. I expected a few hitches along the way with delayed payments, but it was a real bummer to fall prey to the callous attitude of companies who outsourced a project and then made me chase them for payment.

I did some interesting work along the way: grant proposals, romance novels, editing for the energy sector, medical sector, proofreading, editing, etc.

Two clients that did not pay for commissioned work:
  1. Icon Publications – a Delhi based enterprise headed by Shyam Goenka.
  2. Klub Class – A Bangalore based enterprise headed by B S Raghuram.
It is extremely disappointing to note that these so called professionals behaved in an abhorrent manner when it came to making payments for work commissioned. I would advise anyone seeking to be associated with these companies to beware.

I am now an employee at Hewlett-Packard, a return to the same workplace I was in 7 years ago. It feels great to be employed once more. Feeling overwhelm me: I’m valued, I’m good at what I do. Yaay – I have a job once more. I cannot even begin to express how wonderful I feel getting back to work fulltime.

Needless to say, HP is a great place to work. I think I am going to do wonders here. It takes me at the most half an hour to commute – which in Bangalore traffic conditions is truly remarkable for a 17 kilometre drive. I take the expressway, paying a premium to travel about 11 kilometres on the BANGALORE ELEVATED TOLLWAY. I fly to office (figuratively speaking, not literally of course). 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another way of looking at people

I grew up being called dark. Growing up in a country obsessed with skin colour, it took me years to realise that wheatish complexion is not really dark, and who cares about skin colour anyway. I have friends and family who recall horror days of being labelled ‘fat’. Even freakishly thin people are traumatised by their nicknames such as ‘beanstalk’, ‘scarecrow’ or ‘skinny’.

So often, we are asked to describe a person for the purpose of identification. Suppose you are a guy at a bar and you want to point out a particular person, say a woman, to your friend. Suppose this woman is with one other person who is fat, while the woman you are looking at is slender. How do you describe her to your friends so he identifies her easily? Do you use the words ‘tall, ‘thin, ‘tall’, ‘fair’…?

I recently read a book by Lee Child (who is one of my favorite thriller writers)—I think it was 61 Hours. In the book, a woman was described to the protagonist Jack Reacher as ‘the woman wearing glasses’. This a lesson in life, to learn to identify a person using appropriate descriptions rather than adjectives, something that doesn’t evoke sexuality, body parts, etc., but instead the more obvious unambiguous traits / elements that makes a person who he/she is.

I now look at people in new light. I observe things about them beyond their appearance that tell you what kind of person he/she probably is. I know spectacles have something to do with appearance, but it is an item unattached to the body (i.e. does not describe the body in any way. Therefore, I make a note of that. Identification by way of clothes if fine too as long as the observation is not derogatory, such as red blouse, blue trouser, polo necked sweater, etc.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gadgets-A Reflection of Personality?

Do your gadgets reflect your personality in any way? This is the question thrown up in the contest by Dell—Change is easy—on IndiBlogger – so click here to know more about the contest.

I own a Nokia smart phone—the 5320. I believe I bought it because it reflects who I am. It is odd to think that the gadgets you own are a reflection of who you are, yet it is easy to believe that your friends reflect who you are. It brings to mind a saying that people find it very easy to believe in stones (gems) for luck, but find it difficult to believe in the people around them for luck.

Needless to say, I believe that everything around—people, gadgets, furniture, spaces—are a reflection of the person you are. Walk into a home and you will see the reflection of the owner in it. Flowers tell you that the person likes pretty things. If you see a mess, you know that the person is unorganized. See many management books lying around and you know that the person thinks business. Self help books symbolize a cry for love. A high-end music system screams either money or a great love for music; the collection of CDs will tell you which one the person is. See a compact laptop and you know that the person could be a traveler for nobody wants to be burdened with the weight of a heavy laptop. A very old music system brings out the sentimental attachment the owner has; it represents feelings of finding it hard to part with something.

There could be exceptions to the rule where money rules the roost, but it is indeed rare to see a gadget that does not have a story to tell about the owner.

Back to my smart phone. Well, the 5230 performs all the basic functions of a smart phone, yet it isn’t the smartest phone in the market, but then, neither am I the smartest person around ;). The phone does what I want. I can access email, receive calls, make calls, take pictures, record videos and conversations, listen to music, browse the internet, play games, download stuff, get  birthday alerts and reminders, and perform other basic functions. I am not big on photography, and the use of this smart phone reflects that. I don’t make videos either. I listen to music though not as much as I’d like to, hence, this phone is perfect for me. If I was a music buff, I’d probably own an iPhone or a Nokia 5233 XpressMusic.

Now, to the question as to “Is this smart phone smart”, which translates to “Am I Smart?”, Well, I wrote an article on ‘Smart phone – is it really smart?’ a while ago and I’m left feeling stronger than ever that it does indeed make you smart. I was smart enough to buy a phone that does the basic functions, saving me the time and trouble of doing it the hard way, like calling on someone, making entries in a diary only to find the diary not with me when I really need it, in contrast to always carrying the phone with me. I’m making my life simpler and I’m smart enough to buy a phone that doesn’t cost the moon to do the work for me. Back to whether the phone is a reflection of me—yes, it is.

My smart phone is smart, not so compact (and neither am I), attractive (which I am J), handy (as am I), able to remember birthdays and telephone numbers (which I could before I got the phone; now the phone does it for me), organized (I work well with order and structure). Need I say more?

I want change. I want a new phone - I have my eye on the iPhone 4, and it tells me that I long to be sleek (working out to get slimmer), cool (shopping like crazy to be fashionable), upgraded (looking to move up the ladder), get more tech savvy (learning to use my existing phone's other features), and the list goes on. Change is what I seek. The next gadget I own will reflect that change.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Eye For An Eye

Should there be a universal law that claims ‘an eye for an eye’?

For those etymologically handicapped, the phrase is derived from ‘ayin tachat ayin’, literally 'an eye in place of an eye'. It stems from the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylon, 1792-1750BC. It is listed in the King James version of the Bible, Matthew 5:38 (King James Version): Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

This is a tough one, especially for me since I prefer to dance between two opposing sides of the debate as I agree with the strong points of both so I am in a limbo here.

Opinion 1 - For
Opinion 2 - Against
Crime rate
It lowers crime rate. E.g. There is a low rate of crime in Saudi Arabia where the Quran is regarded the constitution of the country, governed based on Islamic law. The legal system stipulates capital punishment or corporal punishment.
Crime rates exist though criminal complaints are resolved outside formal judicial institutions. Therefore, there is no documentation on this.
It provides a sense of closure to families suffering from injustice.
It backfires in the event the accused person is not the guilty one.
If Japan had not attacked the U.S., the U.S. would not have entered the war. It also ended World War 2.
Retaliation on the part of U.S. to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Atrocities against women
The lack of a strong deterring sentence allows atrocities against women to continue.
Crimes against women such as rapes, dowry harassment, acid throwing and physical violence take years of appeals in courthouses across the world before anything happens, if it ever does.
Retributive justice opinion
Public opinion is in favour.
Legal establishments sneer at them.
Death penalty
Murderers will wonder what they could have done to prevent this day. Fearing the death penalty could prevent a murder.
How can people be expected to learn that killing is wrong if the legal system kills people?