Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I like barking!

Hellos! Feeling great to be back after taking a hiatus of couple of months! Well, it’s just been two months since I posted my last blog? It feels like ages. I really can’t understand why. Seriously! But, never mind! 

You know what I’m up to these days. This is what I do. I just bark!

After giving up six years of experience, learning and recognition which I gained in BPO industry, I have restarted my career as a journalist. I’ve been meeting a lot of people and in a spree of interviewing celebrities. And on top of all that, I write almost every day. At least, 300 words. It is satisfying indeed!

I should tell you about one thought that forced to me write a blog today. I worked in a BPO for six years. And trust me! I slogged and sweated like a pig. Was I happy with my old job? Of course, yes! Then why did I quit and get back to square one? Basically, I’m this sort of nuttu-kezhanda case. No! Not really. There were two reasons. A.  I wanted to do something different and creative. B. I wanted to write every day. So now I’m so thankful to God for blessing me with such a job that demands creativity and language proficiency. I had to be creative to handle my previous job as well. But I was enveloped by some sort of emptiness and hopeless people. Hence I made the toughest decision of my life to start everything all over again. But how has this decision impacted my life?

1.    After ages, amma and appa are proud of me.
2.    Amma keeps telling, “Kondhey, intha velai-la unakku nalla future irukku.” I wonder what makes her think like that!
3.    Appa, who never wanted to tell people that I worked in a BPO, keeps yapping about my articles and doesn’t seem to stop boasting these days.
4.    I write every day. Even if it is sagikkala type, there are people to help me out.
5.    I go for events and get to meet people. In spite of being an ambivert, I’ve developed an acquired taste for socialising.
6.    Many, who pretended to be invisible in the FB list, pop up out of blue for a chat.

1.    I work for six days a week.
2.    I can take off on Friday, which means I work during weekends.

I promise that I didn’t try to be optimistic and all that! I can think of very less disadvantages about my current profile.

Some of my friends asked me these questions a couple of times. Why did I not choose journalism six years ago? And why did I choose it now as it’s a significant shift in my career? I’ve mulled over those questions too. Eventually, I’ve managed to find the answers. Perhaps, in 2005 or 2006, I didn’t possess the ability to write something like this blog, at least. My vocabulary was extremely limited and grammar was quite shaky then. Not that they are great now. Just a quick glance will do to identify 28 errors in this blog. Perhaps, I’ve just developed the ability to manage. So I’ve taken my own time to improve my skill-sets. And the six years of time that I spent in a BPO has made me who I’m now. I seemed to have needed that time and exposure to learn and develop. So I have consoled myself by realising that I’m still not too late for a change.

At the moment, everything seems to have found its place and life doesn’t look too bright nor too dark. A sort of grey, as always. It's the usual melange of blah and fascinating things.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jenma Jenmamai by Indra Soundar Rajan

Jenma JenmamaiJenma Jenmamai by Indra Soundar Rajan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The memories of relishing 'Marma Desam', 'Vidathu Karuppu' and all the other serials that were based on the books of Indra Soundar Rajan were indeed fresh when I released this book from my shelf that was covered with dust.

Indra Soundar Rajan didn't disappoint me even a bit. 'Jenma Jenmamai' is about an atheist who got to learn that he was about to kiss death and reincarnated as his son's son.

The author's narration got me glued on to the book and thoroughly liked reading the tidbits on 'Life After Death'.

The book has also got another novel 'Pei Pisasu Bootham' which I'm yet to read but couldn't resist rating 'Jenma Jenmamai' which was certainly thought-provoking!

View all my reviews

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bof-cut (Yeah, that way!)

Boy-cut or bob-cut or bof-cut (as pronounced by the Tamil Folks) is the coiffure that I’ve been sporting since I was 11 years old. Against the comfort that I enjoy in maintaining short hair, I’ve been made to manage quite a few predicaments. This blog accounts stories on the funny and weird incidents which occurred because of my haircut.

All-girls School and my challenges

Most of the girls who were put in single-sex education fantasized someone in the class as a boy. Unfortunately, I became one such boy for umpteen number of girls in my school. Along with my haircut, 2 other factors that increased my masculine attributes were my height and weight (Well, I confessed about my weight ). It was quite an ordeal to digest the coy smiles, fake pleasantries and pretentious care. At any point in time, I would not resent the girls for their strange behavior, but would blame the hormones. It wouldn’t hurt much to own up that I enjoyed the pleasure of being a cynosure.

Restroom Happenings

I didn’t go to college as I responded to the call of the Corporate World. In a way, I was glad that the Radhe-Krishna stories ended and I believed that the BPO would find no difference in me. But you will understand that my belief was shattered. Many a time, as I entered the office restrooms, the ladies in the loo screamed till their throats burst out and started laughing realizing that it was just me who entered and not a man. In my hastiness to attend to the nature’s call, I didn’t fuss about such things. However a security-guard annoyed me a bit when she asked, “Sir, why have you come here?” when I rushed into the toilet. In a split-second, having realized that it was me, she was sorry.

I’m still okay if the ladies just have spasms when they mistake me for a man. But I strongly loathe the ladies who stopped me from using girls’ toilet. A middle-aged woman quickened her foot-steps when she heeded that I was about go into the restroom in Mayajaal. I could hear a loud call from the back saying, “Sir, the gents’ restroom is in the right-hand side.” You know that such calls were not new to me. I turned around with an impassive face and said, “Sorry, what did you say?” She couldn’t purse her lips owing to vehement laughter and I still wonder if she laughed at her mistake or my appearance. Oh, I was not glad about making that lady laugh, certainly not at my expense

Society’s Menace

It was around mid-night when my husband and I were on our ride back home from a cinema. We noticed a group of policemen carrying out their night-checks. We were under an impression that the South Indian Police would not stop the vehicles that had women in them. But unusually, one of the cops walked forward to stop us. My husband obliged but couldn’t believe the fact that we were stopped and so both of us didn't get down from the bike. The officer came close, tapped my thigh twice and said to me, “Thambi, erangu pa” My eyes widened and jaws dropped. I wanted to confirm if I heard him right. I told a feeble ‘what-sir’. The policeman was taken aback hearing my voice and said “Oh, Ladies-ah! Romba sorry pa!” The bike picked up speed and we couldn’t stop laughing. It was winter and so I was clad in a denim-jacket, t-shirt and jeans. (Now I caught your question. Winter in Chennai? Yes, to me! ) Perhaps, the policeman mistook me for a boy because of my attire. But most importantly, the first deceiver would have been my hair-cut

I like travelling in the city-bus. But during the annoying occasions, when men leaned on me conveniently and pushed aside with all their masculine force in the rush to get down from the bus, I detested being there. The only reason that my co-men-passengers could give me was that they thought I was a man. Well, now I pray for all the men who endure such savage pushes in the bus. Poor souls!

Hairdo and Culture

I have a difficulty in understanding the relation between marriage and hairstyle. Looking at my wedding album, the curious viewers wanted to know why I sported bob-cut on the most important day of my life. I have always wondered why a girl should have long hair to get married and I still haven’t ascertained the reason. If you know, please drop your inputs in the comment box. Luckily, I’m married now. But now the question is asked from a different perspective. My acquaintances and friends are eager to know if I would grow my hair before having a baby. How do I answer this question? Hair-style should not be a criterion to become a wife or a mother and such positions demand a lot of other better things. I’ve stopped answering those futile questions.

My say

It’s indeed a challenge to put up with the ladies’ convulsions, society’s threats and the million-dollar questions posed by my friends. My answer is, I prefer comfort to style and that’s me for you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Progressing in baby-steps, but Progressing

As Featured On EzineArticles

It's been 3 weeks since I decided that 'Writing' would be my profession. Since then, Internet has become my virtual dwelling. I surfed, signed up, applied, spammed, sniffed and accepted rejections. For what? Why did I put up with ordeals every day? Just to get an article or a short story published in a recognised website and that happened today when that was the last thing that I would have expected. I'm spiritual and so will put the blame on a Super-Power. Great things happen in life when you are busy carrying out your daily chores or when you are in despair :-) I was stuck with both when reality struck me with this great news.

I'm indeed feeling euphoric to see my first feature article being approved and published by Access the link given below to read my article titled '5 Tips to be Self-Motivated'.

5 Tips to be Self-Motivated

I managed to submit 3 articles on the same day and the other 2 are in their Quality Control Queue. I'm hoping that those will pass too and you know that I won't wait to start bragging about it. In other words, you will get to see those here :-)

A snapshot of the Certificate that I received today.

I'm going to sound a bit cliched :-P

Well, this is just a beginning and I'm determined to write Quality Articles and Short Stories in the future. You continue to visit me quite often and don't miss to share your feedback :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

For every...

Sam and Deepika

For every dark thought,
You have given me hope,

For every foggy tunnel,
You have given me sight,

For every small defeat,
You have given me strength,

For every rough day,
You have given me hug,

For every big fault,
You have given me smile,

For every silly wish,
You have given me word,

For every tiny second,
You have given me life!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mylapore Days - Story 2

Bright Clothes and Tarnished Thoughts

18-March-1997 – 06:00 P.M.

Sethuraman was not a happy man since his heart was bleeding about the riot that occurred at home that morning. Unlike the men from other parts of Madras, most of the gentlemen of Mylapore preferred getting high by circumambulating Kabali and Karpagam to immersing in the intoxication of Kingfisher and Kalyani. The middle-aged Sethuraman walked around the temple till his feet turned red and chose to disappear in the crowd that was witnessing the Vocal Performance by Balathirupurasundari. The incident which looked like a fiasco to Sethuraman refused to escape his memory. He relived those moments and chewed the words that bruised his ego ruthlessly. The ripened voice of the singer didn’t have the capacity to make the family man forget his woes. Sethuraman closed his dull eyes, opened those back in few seconds and started walking to ‘Sharadha Silks’.

18-March-1997 – 11:30 A.M.

Bagyalakshmi, the significant other of Sethuraman was busy micromanaging her scullery maid, Panjali. The mediocre housewife said, “Panjali, that’s a sari which he bought just yesterday. Today is our wedding anniversary and that’s his gift for me.” Panjali was scrubbing the dishes, but picked up the sari upon her mistress’s instruction. “Oh, maami. Wedding Anniversary! Have you prepared any sweets today?” asked, the curious maid. Bagyalakshmi sighed, picked up the new sari and narrated the story for Panjali. The homemakers in Mylapore considered the maids as their friends, but was jolly well firm about setting the expectations clearly. The maamis of Mylapore believed in entertaining the house-maids by sharing the daily affairs with them and also stated the disclaimer and warned the ladies to keep those zipped up. Mrs. Sethuraman confided in the maid and spoke her heart out. “It’s our 10th wedding anniversary today. He pestered me asking what I want this time as gift. I wonder why he asked this time, when I had to remind him about our wedding anniversary all these years. I told him that I want the ‘vaanam’ sari that Rajam has bought last week. Did you hear about that sari?” Bagyalakshmi questioned in an inquisitive tone. The housemaids of Mylapore were overqualified to substitute their mistresses in carrying out the daily chores. They were cognizant of the daily affairs and took pride in their ability to converse in broken-English. Panjali nodded her head vehemently and said, “I know that, maami. In truth, I saw Rajam maami clad in that ‘Vaanam’ sari. It’s a cotton sari, isn’t it?” Bagyalakshmi ignored that question and threw light on the debate that occurred between Sethuraman and herself. “I told him that I want only ‘Vaanam’ sari and it’s available only in ‘Sharadha Silks’. In spite of having shared all the details with him, see what he has got for me? He didn’t go to ‘Sharadha Silks’. His alibi is that he didn’t hear me properly and ended up buying this sari from ‘Sujatha Silks’. Panjali, from any angle, does this look like ‘Vaanam’ sari? It’s called a ‘Vaanam’ sari because it’s sky-blue in colour. This blue is darker than the original ‘Vaanam’ sari's blue. I’m deeply disappointed. I didn’t cook this morning after he showed this to me. In my 10 years of married life, this is the first time, when I have asked a gift for our wedding anniversary. When he has paid the least attention to my preferences, then it proves that he had bought this for the sake of it. I didn’t smear ‘kumkum’ on it and didn’t touch it when he was around. I didn’t talk to him, didn't cook and didn't go to see him off.”, told Bagyalakshmi querulously. The dagger that pierced Sethuraman deep was that his wife failed to send him off that morning, which was a tradition that all the almost every Mylapore couple followed religiously.

Bagyalakshmi left the sari in the scullery unknowingly after her whining session with Panjali when the cooker shrieked and to prepare coffee for the maid. Panjali picked up the clothes from the scullery and failed to realize that the new sari gifted by the injured husband was also a part of the worn clothes. The maid filled a huge tub with water, soaked the clothes and thunderous noise could be heard by the neighbours when she beat the clothes to drive the stains away. The sincere maid rinsed the clothes and dried those in the shared terrace. The clothes wore the look of Sethuraman’s face. They were shrunk too.

18-March-1997 – 05:30 P.M.

The lazy homemaker enjoyed her siesta, savoured her filter-coffee and climbed up to the terrace to collect the laundries. She was jarred at the sight of a ‘Vaanam’ sari in the terrace. Along with Bagyalakshmi’s clothes, a ‘Vaanam’ sari was moved by the evening zephyr. She picked the clothes and was perplexed about the strange appearance of her favourite sari. The child-like wife of Sethuraman hurried to Rajam’s house to learn if that belongs to Rajam. The cordial neighbour uttered a negative response and the ladies chatted for a while. Bagyalakshmi was bewildered and was preoccupied with her thoughts on the sari. The maid was late for her evening duty and hence tip-toed into the scullery to clear the dishes. But her efforts were turned futile by the mistress who caught her moving in and stopped her to quiz about the uncanny incident. Panjali was puzzled too and both the ladies started to search for the sari that Sethuraman gifted that morning, but their quest ended vain. After sieving the entire house, Panjali screamed in the tone that Archimedes would have employed when vocalizing his victory. “Maami, you left the sari here when we were talking this morning. Perhaps, I washed this along with the other clothes and the colour has faded after the first wash itself. You are lucky, maami! You were upset that maama didn’t get the ‘Vaanam’ sari, but this looks exactly like the one that Rajam maami bought from 'Sharadha Silks'. You must be happy, maami!” told the maid. Bagyalakshmi looked pensive, pondered about the series of events and couldn't agree more that the faded cloth looked just like her favourite. She rushed to the kitchen, put all the ingredients for 'Rava Kesari' in a huge vessel and the entire neighbourhood was filled with the aroma of the scrumptious sweet.

Bagyalakshmi appeared gay when she spread a bit of vermillion on the new avatar of the sari which her husband had gifted. She draped the ‘Vaanam’ sari and took meticulous efforts to get the folds right. The house was filled with the godly odour of the incense sticks. She hurried to the verandah hearing the call of flower vendor, decorated her braid with some flowers and continued to wait at the threshold to see her beloved partner to return home.

18-March-1997 – 06:30 P.M.

Sethuraman, the henpecked husband stepped into ‘Sharadha Silks’ that was filled with ladies lined up to buy their piece of the sari that was getting sold like hot cakes. Sethuraman, who wore a tired look picked up his wife’s favourite sari and asked two customers to ratify if that was the piece which Bagyalakshmi wanted. Sethuraman lacked the interest to return home and moved a bit faster than a snail to the counter to hand some notes. The busy cashier stamped the bill and told something that Sethuraman couldn’t comprehend since the man at the counter talked nineteen to the dozen. The gloomy husband of Bagyalakshmi asked the cashier to repeat. The annoyed man said, “We have Buy 1 Get 1 offer for ‘Vaanam’ sari, sir. Please show the bill to collect both the saris in the delivery counter.” Sethuraman smiled, thanked the cashier, collected his bag and believed that he had sated his wife’s wish.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Don't Give Up!

I know not how long this will go,
but it is me that chose to undergo,

I know not how to be positive,
when time refuses to be co-operative,

I know not how the future would look,
for a tender heart that's tired of crook,

I know not if I would battle and win,
but I certainly know that giving up is a cardinal sin!

I know not if there would be light at the end,
so help me live through this tempest, my dear friend!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

An Endless Path

Hey, you, lonely path!

Take me to the unknown end of your track,
as I reflect, meditate and look back!

Let me forget the hustle and bustle of life,
and be with me when I laugh at all the strife!

I heard that you are a great listener,
and would you listen to this silent dreamer?

Shall we talk about my failures and pains?
or trash those and relive the pleasures and gains?

I dreamed to learn, win and grow,
but succumbed to many a blow.

I hold a heart that’s wounded by poignant words,
but it refused to be a part of the common herds.

They say that it’s a sin to nourish one’s ego,
so I’ve let many a friend to forget and go.

I am haunted by those big-decisions,
and perennially warned of my impractical visions.

They hate me for my restless mind,
but I blame it on my Zodiac sign's bind.

I love them for what they are,
and that has let me walk so far.

Think of the place where you are going to take me,
as I retreat and lose myself under this lovely tree.

Thank you for staying with me,
when I chose to be low-key,

I wish to see a bright sun at the end of this walk,
and I should confess that I’m boosted by our small talk.

I reckon that you’ll be my permanent aide,
and I’ll come back when I need some shade.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mylapore Days - Story 1

Teju and Tommy

The General Knowledge class was not very fascinating for the 6 year old girl Teju. She scratched her head when the fat teacher posed her a question, oscillated her hip and uttered a feeble ‘I-don’t-know’. The teacher bellowed, “How could you not know what is the National Flower of India! This is bad, Teju. At least now did you get to know? It’s Lotus! I’ll ask you another time in the next class.” Teju looked into her toy-like watch, attempted to ascertain the position of the clock-hands and tried to put her head out of the window to see if the school-bell was about to go. The bell deafened the ears; she repacked her bag and fled out of the class just to hug her mother.

Teju’s mother, Hemalatha, enjoyed the luxury of being a Home-maker and devoted all her time for the welfare of the family. Teju put her hands around Hema’s neck, whimpered about her inability to answer the GK teacher’s question and blamed her parents for that. The patient mother picked up the heavy rucksack from the ground, held Teju’s hand and headed home. Teju didn’t fail to notice all the tiny elements of the street for which she was a habitué. The rainbow on the oil spills in front of a garage, the poster of a girl showing her bosom partially and biting her lips vehemently, the goats that relished those posters and the oranges and apples that hung in baskets in a fruit shop. The climate of the street didn’t change much except the actors in the posters. Teju loved the walk back home everyday and so typical of her to ask mom about what was waiting for her to have for Tiffin again almost everyday.

The modest house that they had rented was an adorned palace for the little girl. She placed her schoolbag in an open-shelf, slipped into a starched white tunic and couldn’t resist the aroma of the evening snacks that her mother served in a stainless steel bowl. Teju screamed, “Aw! Vadai! Ma, Vadai!”
“Yes, Vadai. Just for you, Teju. I’ll switch on the TV for you. Have the Vadai and watch cartoon for sometime. I’ll clean the dishes before we start our homework.” Life was in its simplest form for Teju. She savoured her evening snacks, which tasted heavenly for her, switched on the TV and started talking along with her favourite cartoon characters. Life was all about that day, the next day and the day after tomorrow for the tiny girl.

The ecstasy didn’t last long, when the TV screen flickered and only grains appeared. Teju was chagrined and ran to her mom for rescue but returned with a long face. The TV was switched off and on and the remote was tapped by the tiny hands, but all her efforts ended in vain. The last resort was her mom and so she called for her vociferously. Hema was more annoyed than Teju. She walked to the drawing room adjusting her clothes and wiping her hands with her clothes. “Now what, Teju?”, Hema said. Little Teju explained the strange thing that happened to the TV. “Something is wrong with the cable. Our TV is fine. Don’t worry about that. Now quickly run to Ramu mama’s house and ask for someone to fix this. Probably, Kumar mama will go to the terrace to fix the cable. It will just take 5 minutes. Hurry up!” told the young mother.

Convinced Teju started floating to the cable operator’s house and having forgotten her mother’s instruction to hurry up, she took baby steps. During her quick trip to Ramu’s house, courteous Teju exchanged greetings with the launderer, halted to see and think of the flies that were resting on the cow-dung and reached her destination with an absent-mind. It was a narrow passage that she had to cross to step into the verandah and the doors were unfastened. The tiny tot who was lost in her world ignored the doors that were not locked and legged in.

Ramu’s Pomeranian, Tommy was in the vigil, when Teju stepped in unknowingly. Teju screamed at the sight of the white animal that was sprawled in the living room and found her way back home running and yelling. Least efforts were taken by the horror-stricken kid to look back and find out if the tiny animal was chasing. Teju broke the silence of Hema’s living room and lied supine on the floor. Hema was petrified at the sound of Teju’s panting and rushed to the living room for assurance. Gasping Teju described the account and the concerned mother cursed Tommy for all of it. Hema lifted Teju and walked in the pace of an athlete to begin the word-duel with Ramu. Summer was at its peak and influenced the heads of the people promptly.

Hema pushed the calling bell incessantly to express her anger. Ramu came out buttoning his shirt and Tommy was at its owner’s feet. “I just got a couple of calls, mami. Kumar is in the terrace already. It should start working in another 15 minutes. Why did you…”, Ramu intended to finish the question, but was interrupted by the emotional mother. Staying as a clueless person, Ramu was bewildered and lived through few confused moments to get the real glance of the situation. Hema scowled, “We have told you many times. That dog of yours is unruly. Teju came here few minutes ago to complain about the cable and this animal has chased her till my house. Little baby came home breathless. Thank God! She wasn’t hit by any vehicle, when she escaped from your house. You definitely have to do something about this dog. If not, I’ll call up the corporation to clear this off our neighborhood.” Tommy tilted its head to right and left and listened to the conversation keenly. The small animal would have understood the emotion in Hema’s voice. Ramu was injured by Hema’s heated argument and chose to talk back to the lady. “Didn’t you teach manners to your daughter? I’ve been at home since this morning. I didn’t see her at all here. Why did she come in when she knew that I have a dog? It’s my personal preference to raise a pet. If you call the corporation, I can still show Tommy’s license and it would continue to be with me. You better mind your words and leave the place right away. I wonder why your daughter lied…”, Ramu summed up. The beloved pet couldn’t stand the noise of the humans and so crawled out for peace.

The argument strengthened and called the attention of the vegetable carter, priest, flower vendor and all the other passers by. The fighters were enveloped by a bunch of spectators who enjoyed the duel and helped the debaters by quoting more examples. The performers and the audience were engrossed in the fight and missed to heed a beautiful sight that would have turned everything futile.

Teju was bored by the fight and rested in the porch, when the debate reached its crescendo. At her tiny feet, Tommy sat, looked at Teju, wagged its tail and yawned. Teju was reminded of the cold vadai in her hand. The little angel broke the vadai into 2 pieces and chose to savor one half by her and feed the other half to the Pomeranian. The vadai gratified Tommy’s palate and it drooled for more. Teju patted the dog, wiped the drool off, hugged it a bit and Tommy rested its chin on Teju’s narrow shoulder.

The fight ended when Hema called for her husband’s intervention. The crowd was dispersed after an hour and Teju’s family returned home with dissatisfaction. Hema who was incognito of Teju’s new acquaintance said to her husband, “We should definitely do something about this dog. Teju couldn’t breathe when she came home. The dog chased her so fast. She couldn’t even explain clearly.”  Unworldly Teju released her mat and settled for the night.

Hema and Teju still had to cross Ramu’s house everyday to go to the school. Ramu and Hema avoided eye-contact. But the little ones, passed love through their eyes. Everyday, religiously, Tommy waited in the evening to see Teju, wagged its tail looking at her, she slipped a flying-kiss into the air for the pet and her mother cautioned her to stay away.

- Written by Sarada Deepika

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Blurred Vision

It’s 04:00 A.M. in India. The dogs that howled and sent a chill down my spine seemed to have retired for the night. Beautiful dreams should be entertaining my family that’s enjoying their slumber and needless to mention about my pet dog which is deemed to dream about bananas all the time. Yeah, that’s what the scientists have ascertained about Ladradors’ dream pattern J

So what am I doing in these devil hours? There is this one point in life when you don’t dream when you sleep, but you get to battle against the dreams which don’t let you catch forty winks. The latter is exactly what is happening in my range. A desire that was cultivated in me unknowingly, that grew along with me effortlessly and now when almost entire city is busy snoring, this urge of mine is stymieing my eyelids from kissing and has made me purge out my thoughts.

Just like every other Indian kid, several opportunities circled me to exhibit my writing skills during my school days. What a pleasure was it to create original content for the essay writing competitions! Internet was still a ghost that wasn’t woken up from the grave then. Preparing for writing competitions was considered as a Himalyan task, for the research that the students had to do patiently. Unlike other kids, the end-result didn’t have a great influence on me. The pleasure of writing simply made me participate in the competitions. (Sorry about the little bragging there ;)

Dormant period ensued schooling. I was hibernating from reading and writing perspectives and that’s when I was hit by a thunderbolt. I reckon that it was predestined; perhaps that’s what is called as Karmic twists and turns of life. A beautiful BlogSpot of my cousin, which I visited, rekindled the fire in me. My alterego that was so addicted to the pleasure of writing responded to that wake-up call by creating a writing corner for myself and posting few stories and articles, like a toddler that goes around the house, crayoning in the wall proudly. It wouldn’t hurt much to own up that so is the case still.

It wasn’t easy for a beginner to continue writing by gathering courage to thwart destructive criticism. Little did I know then, that I wasn’t destined to quit writing, when I halted responding to a sabotaging feedback.  When the rough waves receded, just like an ostrich that pops out its head, I slowly started to scribble again. Bitter experiences are imperative for one to ponder and introspect. Those days have made me a resolute believer of the saying that, “Problems and failures are like washing machines. They squeeze you, rinse you and swirl you. But you would come out clean and fresh after the rough run.”

After few years of making modest efforts to read and write constantly and having become a potpourri of all the authors that I have read, I’m now contemplating on taking giant leap in my career. Possessing a heart that’s so full of writing and a brain that’s longing to learn more about writing, I reckon that it’s ideal to pick up writing for the next level and choose a profession that would support to sate the urge. ‘Blessed’ is the word to describe how elated should I be to be a part of the family that backs me up and inspires me to go further. Mulling over the thought of adopting the role of a writer, I’m intimidated by the thoughts of finding a purpose of the career that I’ve had so far and overwhelmed by pessimistic thoughts on seeing victory over the radical decision that I’ve chosen. Having said and done, without taking a look back, I’m geared to march towards the horizon that looks bright and peaceful and I’ve chosen to put my rationale to rest. Ruskin Bond is to be blamed for the volte-face that I’m going through. Bond said that, “It was possible to make money out of one’s hobby was something I was to remember when writing became my passion.”   J

I firmly believe that I’m not about to get carried away with that beautiful quote but I’m certainly deep-rooted about the principle that one should do what they like doing. If writing is what that would make me feel complete, let the blurred vision that I have now become clear and focused. Inspire me!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Time for a Volte-Face

On a scorcher, when I was comfortably seated in the office cab, travelling from Ascendas to Ambattur, I gazed at a hoarding as I was in my usual auto-pilot mode. It was a billboard which all of us would have sighted many a time, but unusually that one got my back bone straight and I shook myself a bit to take a good look at it.  It was a huge hoarding of a teeny-weeny girl, who attained puberty recently and the billboard was erected to request the passers-by to bless her. The names of ‘Thai mama, amma, appa, thatha and paati’ of the girl were also printed in bold fonts and duly followed by their educational qualifications. I took a deep breath and decided that I would jolly well record my opinion about the folks who religiously follow the rituals and conveniently ignore the underlying meaning of the customs.

I can still remember an occasion which I attended when I was a school kid. A teenage girl was made to sit in a fancy chair on a huge stage, the hall was packed with happy relatives celebrating the girl’s puberty and 100 pairs of inquisitive eyes were on the girl. The girl’s family wore the look of busy-bees and made the girl slip into multiple costumes. The funniest part was that the girl was made to act like Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswathi and was also given a Veena in hand to create precision. The photographer and the videographer were swimming amidst the crowd gathered around the stage to record the most awkward moments of the girl’s life. On the other hand, it was a fat occasion and loads of cash would have been spent for the celebration.

As I was born and brought up in a Brahmin family, I went through the same phase in my life too. In spite of my resistance, my family had to give in for the society and they weren’t able to understand how their daughter would take that. I was also bewildered about the very purpose of celebration, when it’s just done to sustain self-esteem.

A lot of thoughts bombard my mind, when I start to think about the families’ mindset and the rationale to publicize a sensitive thing. Why is the similar kind of custom not being followed when a boy reaches his puberty? With a bit of logic that I can apply, in a way, I would want to infer that such customs were definitely formulated by male chauvinists. Or the families lived in the ancient times would have wanted the society to know that the girl is physically ready to reproduce. It would have been considered as a recognised system, maybe because there were many girls in the family and it would have been a predicament for the families to get them married. But we know what the India’s census results proved.

In the current way of living, I couldn’t find a reason to celebrate a girl’s puberty when it doesn’t add any value to the life of the girl. Why should we have to be celebrating an occasion, when it sabotages the morale of the girls and the families have the least idea about it? In my opinion, following the rituals without establishing and understanding the purpose is a futile act.

In truth, communities have gone through exponential changes and people have gathered courage to drop the pointless rituals, but the families which still get knocked down by mere pressure created by the society should give a deep thought and create their own stance. I would definitely want to be loud about my opinion that the parents should understand the change in the girls’ lives and be of great support to their children.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life is fair to all

This is definitely not a fresh morning for me. My client who was with me last night wanted to kill his wife, I suppose. It was a terrible night with him, but I’m glad that he decided to wind up early. Thanks to him, I got to catch forty winks. By reading this, I’m certain that you may infer that I’m a sex-worker. But don’t get carried away with the clichés that the sex-workers are unhappy and are subjected to endless torments. The latter part of the previous sentence is true to a degree. But I consider that as work-hazards. Does my outlook astound you? Maybe yes! I’m definitely satisfied with my profession and working hard to scale great heights. I can catch the thoughts running in your mind now. How would a sex-worker define great heights? Yes, let me explain that to you. Just like how the white-collars and blue-collars have got to retire at 58, we would also be forced to retire at some point in time depending on how well we can maintain our beauty, body etc., Do you get what I’m saying? So I’m a kind of planning for my future. My colleagues strongly believe that I’m a visionary. But I believe that I’m an optimist. I always get prepared for the future. So what’s my post-retirement plan? Maybe, I would want to open a boutique, which would target elite class customers. If not a boutique, a unisex salon is also on my mind. I’m elated about the fact that beauty and clothing are overrated. I’ve decided to take advantage of it. Okay, let me not digress now. I would have to start saving a lot of money. Like these IT geeks and BPO show-offs, I don’t get the salary credited in my bank account, you see. My regular clients are my angels, who would visit me as the clock works. But to be dependent on the mediators is something that I don’t like. But as long as the clients are lined up for me, I don’t want to whine much. These days I get sunk in the thought of sculpting a beautiful future for me. So I really have to buck-up to get some handsome savings. By the way, I really have to get ready swiftly to meet a first-timer. He might want me in his place by the early evening itself. Let me better hurry up with my daily chores!

This first-timer is a late-comer. I’ve been waiting for almost an hour at the place he wants me to be. But he still hasn’t shown up. There I can hear someone talking over the phone. Oh god! This one should be in his mid-twenties. Are you wondering about my age? That’s against my work ethics to talk about my age. This client of mine just smiled at me. That’s a friendly smile, I should say, which I rarely get to see.  He comes close to me with a bigger smile.

“Hey, have you been waiting so long”, the first timer asks blushing.

“Yes! For almost an hour. I wouldn’t mind though. Unusually, you wanted me to be here by early evening. So that’s just a change in the routine”

“Sorry about that! I was busy in a shoot and had a long day”

The clients usually wouldn’t talk this much. This guy is a real bore. I am definitely not in a mood for a talk. Coming early to work doesn’t happen often for me. So my mind is definitely looking forward to calling it a day as soon as I can.

“The chief explained the terms and conditions to me. I’m pretty clear about those”, he says.
I’m a kind of finding this different. This guy sounds like he’s going to sign a contract. He should be working in one of those huge IT buildings.

“Great that he told. I can be here for another hour.”

Even before I finish my sentence, his phone rings and he says, “I’m not at work now. Send your cousin to office tomorrow. I’ll take him to the studio with myself and make him participate as one of the participants in the tomorrow’s shoot itself. Hey! That’s okay! I’m more than glad to do this for you... How about his general knowledge? All that I can do is to make him participate. But this guy has to prove himself in the preliminary to get to the hot seat and prove harder then. Ask him to prepare a little bit.”

The word ‘hot-seat’ rings a bell for me. Right! This show that I follow, which calls the viewers to participate and win 1 Crore, I think he’s talking about that. It’s indeed a great show. Quick-money! I love quick-money!

“We really wouldn’t know the type of questions which would be asked in the show. Haven’t you watched the show? It’s pretty random... Whatever! Ask him to be confident...” he says.

Now I can see what he’s doing. I usually don’t put my beak into my clients’ businesses. But I know about that show. Just participate and work hard to get to the hot seat. The types of questions which they ask are sometimes extremely silly. I can crack those questions just like that. I’ve watched that show many a time. How grand would it be to win 25 lacs or 50 lacs in an hour and get settled for the entire life with my boutique or the salon!

“I’ll give you a buzz later, bud. I’m a stuck with some work here. Talk to you tomorrow, Bye!” he says.

Right after the call, he really gets busy with his business with me. I think, it should be almost an hour since I met him. He gets ready to say good-bye. This guy is really courteous and different. I am obsessed with the thoughts about my boutique. I really want to ask him something. Since he is different and nice to me, maybe let me try asking. What’s wrong in trying, anyway?

“I could understand that you work for this great show.”

“Yes, I do. Have you watched it?”

“Yes! Almost every day.”

“Oh! Great! Do you like it?”

“It’s a wonderful show. What’s the procedure to participate in that show?”

“You’ve been watching it almost every day. Don’t you know the procedure?”

“I thought that there should be a short-route to get in, like how we have everything.”

“There isn’t any. You have to follow the procedure that comes up in the show.”

I should’ve known my limits. How would someone want to take me to such shows?

“Okay. Bye.” He says.


He walks out of the room, but he looks like he’s thinking of something that he’s forgotten to pick from the room. He gazes and stops when the eyes reach me.

“Come to the studio at 2’o clock tomorrow and meet me. And by the way, you would be asked to mention your profession. And just say, you are a play-school teacher. You look like one, anyway!” he smiles.

I just couldn’t believe this and I’m short of words. But didn’t I tell you this guy is different?

“Thank you. I’ll do so.”

He walks away and I am immobilised because of elation. Tomorrow is going to be my day. Maybe, I would have to retire sooner than I expected. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve to find a nice place for the boutique, choose a catchy name for the shop, so on and so forth. You know that I’m optimistic, don’t you? This is it! Life is indeed fair to all!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Life is Beautiful!

Praying for skillful swim against the hard currents,
Longing for optimistic view towards adversities,
Trying to give huge smiles and nice words for the folks around,
Finding too many things on the path, but too little time to collect,
Thinking of indelible memories of quarantined negative thoughts,
Yearning for finesse in juggling work and life,
After all, Life is still beautiful!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Little, Little, Little!

Little rain to beat the heat,
Little peace to calmly retreat,
Little focus to reach the summit,
Little strength to perform a feat
Little, Little, Little blessing to forget all defeats.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Message Beyond Words

2012 – A very scary number to a lot of us. Without heeding the destiny’s way, I’m back in my blogger with my first blog for this year and with a resolution to write about every book that I’m going to read this year. I seriously doubt that I have got this ‘I-can-write-only-when-I-feel-like-writing’ syndrome. In order to get rid of that thought and to write regularly, I’ve sworn that I’ll compose a write-up on every book that I would read henceforth.

In spite of having seen my father reading Osho’s books for almost a decade, I wonder why I didn’t grow curious to try Osho’s works. The realization hit me in the month of December 2011 and I dove into a book called ‘The Message Beyond Words’.

The Message Beyond Words (TMBW) – 504 Pages
TMBW is Osho’s interpretations of Kathopanishad, which is the conversation between a boy called ‘Nachiketa’ and ‘Yama’, the Lord of Death. Most of the Osho’s books are the written forms of his extemporaneous discourses and TMBW is one among them. I picked up the book thinking that I would get elucidated on the most mysterious thing called Death. However, I should own up that I am more confused now. Going by the words of Osho, in a way, it’s good to stay confused and restless.

The book starts with Lao Tzu’s quote on ‘Truth’ – ‘The truth that can be spoken is not the truth’, which is a controversial statement by itself. In a way, I agreed, but from another perspective, the quote bewildered me. Despite of pondering, I couldn’t get settled with my thoughts, forced myself to go ahead reading without applying logic and intellect. I quelled the rationales and chose to simply move with the flow. I also established the reason for conflicts. It’s just that I’m new to the world of Metaphysics. Little did I understand then, that I had to unlearn quite a few things before trying to comprehend the words of a Mystic. The confusions which sprouted made me realise that I also lacked people who would love to discuss these things to throw some light.

As I was reading the book, at various places, I lifted my eyebrows, laughed out loud, shed a couple of tears and uttered ‘Wow’ vehemently. This blog records such things which pushed me into elation and also into disgust at times.

I fell in love with Osho’s definition of ‘Silence’. It’s time to forget the ‘pin-drop silence’ that we were taught in schools. According to Osho, Silence is all about emptying one’s mind. It’s the permanent truce between oneself and his / her mind. The question of practicality is unavoidable here. I have this question on how well one will be able to try this and succeed.

For Mommies and Daddies
I strongly recommend this book for all the parents to understand Osho’s philosophy of Parenting. Do you cosset your kids or does the rod do all the talking? You think that your children aren’t excelling at school? Perhaps, you must try reading this book. I am glad that I got some valuable inputs on the importance of choosing the right way to raise kids.

Sweet Dreams
My long-time quest on the interpretation of dreams has been strengthened by Osho. It’s good to know that I’m not wasting my time in trying to understand my dreams. Osho says that dreams convey messages about our future and about our unquenched desires. So I think I can just continue searching for a good dream interpreter.

It’s just a chemical reaction and not divine
A facile approach was handled by Osho when he talked about Sex. I couldn’t understand quite well about why he would preach abstinence. I was under an impression that Sex plays an important role in improving the bonding between the couple. Maybe, he targeted his Sanyassins and wanted them to practise celibacy.  

Many a time, even a logophile would run out of words to explain certain emotions. Osho says that quite a few enlightened people couldn’t find words to verbalise what they felt and gives a fitting example too. Kabir used paradoxical words to articulate his feeling. Like, “A fish climbing a tree.”
I really want to write about what I went through when I was reading about Kabir, which is not germane to this article. I had a vision, maybe a vision of a fish climbing a tree. I was quite sure that I wasn’t trying to visualize what I was reading, but had a déjà vu effect. I tried hard to recollect and firmly believed that I’ve seen a fish climbing a tree, which is again not possible. My husband intensified my woes stating that I was seeing such visions since I was just too worked up. Whatever be the logic that others might try to feed into me, I resolutely believe that it was a phenomenal experience.

Thanks to Wikipedia
Even if you don’t believe in ‘Metaphysics’, you still have got a reason to read this book. Osho talks about eminent personalities of various fields. I took use of ‘Wikipedia’ quite a few times to read about Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Carl Jung, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Kabir, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Vincent Van Gogh, Immanuel Kant, loads of Sufi Mystics, Mulla Nasruddin etc., It’s indeed a jaw-dropping experience to learn some interesting facts about the aforesaid people.

Bhagavad Gita
Osho urges us to understand ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and Lord Krishna. I was red-faced when I realised that I didn’t make effort to learn Bhagavad Gita all this while. Now I’m completely intrigued to read Osho’s interpretation of Bhagavad Gita and another book called ‘Krishna – The Man and His Philosophy’.

Did I lock the door?
How many times have you gone back to your car or to the door to check if you have locked it? Did you ever try to understand what makes us forget what we did? The fact is that we didn’t live at that moment. We would have been at the threshold locking the door, but would have been thinking about something else. TMBW made me understand the importance of doing things consciously.

A man should never cry!
Women have eyes and men have eyes too. Both the sexes have hearts, desires and encounter failures. But in the name of civilization, the poor men have been deprived of the rights to cry. Until I read TMBW, I believed that men should not cry too, but now I realise that there is nothing shameful in crying. Ultimately, it’s good to purge out and feel light.

In the beginning of this blog, I mentioned that I couldn’t understand and relate to quite a few things in TMBW. However after I read the last page of the book and caressed the cover, I realised that there is a mindscape. We have the ability to comprehend certain things effortlessly and find a lot of things absurd, just because we are incapable to understand. TMBW has perplexed me, but provoked to give a thought about things which I wouldn’t have known otherwise. 

If you are a book-buff, it’s worth living through all the 504 pages.