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Showing posts from 2015

G for Goals

Yea, the official 'The Year That Was' post is here...
I had set myself quite some goals at the beginning of the year. Most didn't happen - I didn't write a book, didn't join piano lessons and I am yet to fully master driving my car. But, I am glad I went through 2015. It was a very tough year for me personally and professionally, but sometimes adversity opens up opportunities of a lifetime !
The year has given me the courage to take the plunge and try out a few things which I always wanted to and so 2016 is gonna be one of the best years of my life ! The year has also given me amazing clarity on what I want from the next 5 years - the last time I had this kind of clarity was about 5 years back and that journey has given me what I had set my eyes on at that point in time.
I guess I am used to planning my life in 5 year chunks. In my 8th std, I was clear that I wanted to crack the Engg. entrance in 12th. In my 3rd year of college, I was clear on wanting an MBA and …

F for...

"Let's play a game" "Ok" "You should tell me the first word that comes to mind without thinking" "Fine" "A for" "Apple" "B for" "Ball" "C for" "Cat" ... "F for" "Fish" "You are fibbing. That is not the first word that came to your mind" Surprised and flummoxed "Of course. Why do you think that is not the first word that came to my mind ?"
"Because that is not the first word that comes to anyone's mind"
Now further confused"Then is it First?"
"Don't act innocent"
"Innocent? Eh, what has this got to do with innocence"
Now the other party is confused ..."Don't tell me you don't know"
"Know what?"
"The F word"
"The F word? What is that?"
Much as he wanted to flirt with me all those years ago, and wanted to see my blushing face; the gentleman that he was ensured …

E for Everything

I initially thought of writing about eggs or elephants - both of which I love ! But then, wanted to make this post more generic. 
People have been sick at home and I have been on leave for more than a week now - the only thing that's preserving my sanity is living in the moment. I am not thinking about the past or the future and although at the back of my mind I know I am shooting myself in the foot, I can't do much about it. I console myself saying that, this wound too shall heal with time.
It's my sister's birthday today. 
Rest of everything later !

D for Dream

Dreams...well, its soo close to my heart that I am feeling tongue tied !

Like most kids, my earliest dream was to be a pilot. Something which today I know will always remain a dream !

Then came soo many dreams - some came true, some didn't and in some cases the reality was far better than I could even dream of !

Anu has written about partners supporting and sharing dreams...I have nothing more to add ! Except that when one is soo used to getting 100%, giving up 50% seems like a huge loss and even though it will sound fair when spoken about in general, in reality not many men would do it for their spouses - not even the ones who would nod their head in approval when they see the TVC.

Having common dreams is soo much fun...What better enjoyment can life give than having a partner who dreams the same dreams ! Well not all dreams, but a few.

Sometimes having secret dreams and striving for them without anyone's knowledge is also fun - the thrill is similar to reading an Enid Blyt…

C for Car

Well, the last post was started on a happy note, but I ended up feeling lousy after writing it. So, here is a happy one. At the beginning of the year, I had promised myself that I will learn to drive, and start driving. Actually the 'learn to drive' was completed  when I was 18. I enrolled in a driving school and got my license. But, I never actually drove a car for various reasons. This time around, I am learning in my own car. The absence of a second set of controls (as is common in modified vehicles used by driving schools) means that I am able to get more confident about my own abilities. I am still quite some distance away from driving daily. But this time around, I will reach there for sure...Or at least die trying ! (:P)

I thought that once I start driving, I may find music a distraction. But, I realised that I actually enjoy the music.

I have grown more fond of the car too...I haven't bought a new car (I toyed with the idea of a gearless vehicle for some time and…

B for Brain

The human brain has never ceased to amaze me. I often spend a lot of time thinking about how powerful it is, and also how vulnerable. I have had health scares around my brain and I have seen people suffer memory loss - one of the worst ways to die.
I love to do work that involves thinking and coming up with new ideas. That is the primary reason I enjoy my current job !
The brain helps you in time travel - till such time science makes physical time travel a reality. One may call it day dreaming. But, living in the present is not always a feasible idea. If the present is hopeless, then one needs to escape to the past to garner confidence and imagine the future to garner the strength to push through the mundane today. The present is not always a 'present'.
I am also super proud of my brain and I always wanted to take the Mensa test. Much has been said about why it may not accurately measure brain power, but it was in my bucket list for the past 20 years. I finally managed to gi…

A to Z : And we Start with Apple

I want to see if I can do this - the A to Z blogging challenge where I write 26 posts one each on topics  starting with the letters in the English alphabet. We start with A for Apple.

Apple and me go a long way back...My first memories of an apple are my mom forcing me to have them and me hating them...I am not a fruit person and the only 2 fruits I like are mangoes and bananas. Citrus fruits are a complete no-no and apple was a tasteless fruit as far as my experience was. I hated the skin of the apple the most and finally I reached a compromise with my mom that I will eat it if she skinned it for me. Today, when I look back, I feel the love behind the action, but those days - well, lets jus say I was one rebellious child. (no, not proud of it)

As I grew up and had more freedom to choose, I used to always refrain from having apples - I even used to ask for fruit salads in restaurants with 'no apples and pineapples please'...This led to a lot of ribbing from friends who used t…

The Speech That Never Was..

I had written earlier on how much I am dreading a family get together that is being planned and for which my attendance is almost mandatory - no, make that mandatory with a big M ! I was seriously toying with the idea of giving a speech in said get together - however, considering the highly disastrous potential outcomes, I decided to refrain from said act of blasphemy. The urge to write is like the urge to give birth - I mean the physical urge when you are in labour - no one can stop it...and so here it is, without any further ado...the speech, that never was !!! "Hello everyone. I am sure everyone who has gathered here will name this occasion as a family get together. I have been spending a large amount of time wondering what is the purpose of this. Yea, I am totally Vela, you see. Or maybe you don't see. I am sure several members gathered here won't even know the names of my kids. How many know how many siblings I have? My mom's name? Dad? Not many ! Well, I don…

The Final Plea

Earth mother, open your arms and welcome me home
What they call home, there I don’t belong
No freedom, no air, no peace and calm
The scorching sun burns my dreams
Giving life to those around!
Amma, take me home….
Let me be at peace – let me rest in your lap
Thorny roses, hot candles, empty tears…
But I’ll happily snuggle under your brown blanket
Hidden from the hypocrisy once and for all!

The River

The sun and the snow - both make me
One without the other and I am no longer me
Clouds and rainbows and thunderous rains -
All part of me, but not me !

My gregarious self is all you know
But I am much beyond

You dig out my soul
You dam my flow
You poison me and yet you pray -
For forgiveness from your sins !

I am no Goddess - the throne hurts.
Just let me be !


When at last I reach my lover's arms
Even I am tired and I slow down.

Dumping my debris on the sides
I crawl ever so slowly into him,
As pure as I was born
In the lap of my mountain father !


Passion, Movies and Some More...

The last weekend my folks went off to our native place - to meet relatives, attend a marriage et. al. The initial plan was for my elder one to tag along, but finally they ended up going by themselves. After much persuasion (gentle and not so gentle) from my side and deliberation from his side, hubby took the day off on Saturday and we somehow scraped through the weekend. We ended up watching 3 movies - Burnt, Amar Akbar Anthony and Madhura Naranga.
Movies have been a craze for hubby and self - in a town where there is hardly anything else one can do by way of entertainment! However, after seeing Burnt, I felt a deep and sad longing - I was once as passionate as the hero of the movie and I missed being able to pursue anything passionately anymore.
I wanted to preserve that thought and make something out of it in my own life and decided that I didn't want to watch any more late nite movies. Well, my will power and resolve are short lived in front of hubby's puppy face. When he…

Something Positive...

This space has become my agony aunt of sorts! I used to tell myself that I can be who I am in this space as very few people visit the blog and I enjoyed the anonymity which was otherwise denied to me in real life. Over a period of time, however, I started pouring out all my sorrows and frustrations here - the ones which I could never share with anyone in person! But, I love this space a lot and I don't want to look back years later and feel 'Oh, what a grumpy person, I was!'

So, here is a bunch of things that I am happy about - right now.

1. Self worth is determined by 'self': For a long time, I struggled to arrive at a definition of self worth - I associated it with success - success garnered without stomping on another's feet - doing the 'right' thing. This path was super difficult. Now, I have accepted that life is ! Yes, life is. Nothing more, nothing less.  Anu had shared a link on FB about a Children's Book - Zoom - and it reiterated more pow…

Fused Memories

..or should I say confused memories? These days, I often think of school/college days and there were clearly 3-4 people in my life whom my mind has fused together into a single virtual identity. They all were brother figures to me - none too close - but vaguely now I think of these 3-4 people as a single person.

There was a guy in 12th commerce class - I can't recollect his name - he was nice and caring, but we would have hardly spoken more than 4-5 times in 2 years and then promptly lost touch - he is not even in my FB list.

Then, in college there was a guy in my sister's class who was again a rustic boy, and who had sense beyond his age - he used to warn my sister about the friends she chose. Teenage pig headedness and an utopian world view prevented my sister from seeing sense in his words - but, I admired him for his ability to see through people's masks. Again, I would have spoken to him maybe once or twice. His name I remember and it is this name that I have given t…

Age and Hero(ine) Worship

I have never been a huge fan of respecting age. Unless the additional experience has increased your knowledge and your application of it, there is no reason for me to respect you just because you have eaten a few additional meals than me !
Our culture expects old age to be respected - unconditionally ! The other day, there was an interesting discussion on my WhatsApp group where someone posted a link where a mother of two sons explains why she refuses to look after her grand kids. If she had just said - "my life, my choice" I would have been far more comfortable with that than the way she framed some of the arguments. My first response was "If it were daughters, it would probably have been different". 'Cos unfortunately, in the process of child rearing, the dreams which get squashed are those of the mother...and rarely, that of the father. I also mentioned that ideally as a society there should be enough infrastructure for reliable care giving so that such is…

On Assholes and Being Nice

A couple of days back, I posted a quote by Aaron James on the definition of an asshole. The quote made sense to me, and I felt like sharing it with my FB friends. This led to an interesting discussion with Anu which started off with the need for gender neutral definitions and moved on to niceness. She mentioned that niceness and competence may not go hand in hand and niceness alone does not entitle one to finish first and that one should be nice as being nice is reward in itself. I mentioned that I would chose niceness over competence any day and then the discussion veered into why choose between the two.
I then realized that for me it had to go hand in hand, but in others I was more tolerant towards an absence of competence than an absence of niceness. I also mentioned that as long as there is no specific disadvantage of being nice then its ok not to have any advantage also. We discussed hiring candidates and how interviews can be manipulated by candidates. Anu, being Anu, and bein…

The Path Not Taken...

Every life is a series of choices and outcomes. Sometimes, the outcomes are good, sometimes they are bad. Very often, you do not have sufficient data or time to arrive at the best choice. Your egos, relationships, prejudices all come in the way as well.

However, recently I have seen/heard several people brag about how the choices that they made were superior just 'cos the outcomes are superior. I find this irksome. Hindsight is always 20/20. And its extremely easy to take credit when things go right. As they say "success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan".

You never know where the path not taken would have led - you can only speculate !

Being Selfish; Being Resilient...

There is a thin line - a very very thin line between being labelled selfish or being labelled resilient...
Surprised? Well, here is a story.

A and B are both having trouble in their families and left their spouses and moved to far away places with their kids. They started a new life albeit difficulties and at least in the short term kids seem to be doing fine as well.

A is termed resilient; while B is termed selfish.


Because, A is family and B's spouse is family !!!



Now, onto stereotypes ....Most people to whom I relate this story to, implicitly assume that both A and B are women - 'cos the kids are with them....

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words !

Image
I was getting irritated about not being able to upload pics on to my blog, but what better way to introduce her here than this picture, where she is held by the person who is most proud to have her in his life !

My Little Girl...

...is no longer that little...She recently celebrated her first birthday! She has been a charmer right throughout and the difficulty in feeding her, disappears the moment she smiles at me. She is far more physically attached to me than my elder one, though when it comes to emotional attachment and unconditional love and support, her brother still wins hands down! I am re-discovering the world of fashion and style - thanks to her. I finally managed to get a gown stitched and wore it for her b'day - something I wanted for my wedding reception, finally got done after 7 long years ! And, on that note, here is to you lil' one - my first letter on life lessons.

1. Aim for the Stars and let not anyone tell you that reaching midway is good enuf. You have the power to aim for the stars and actually reach there !
2. Try to have both Style and Substance - the world expects that of you, and your mom was misguided in her childhood to believe that only substance matters. However, if you re…

Anniversaries

April & May is the time of anniversaries - my birthday, wedding, entry to corporate life, re-entry into my firm all happened in these 2 months. Summer is generally flush with positive memories for me. This time it was my younger one's first Vishu and that added to the charm. (A separate post on this one later)
Birthday: It was a fun day, I had my b'day cake. Hubby gifted me an amazing watch and the in-laws gifted me - yet another amazing watch ! And, I was thrilled - I love watches and perfumes and always love receiving these as gifts. The day was conspicuous by the absence of my birthday bouquet from the super boss and wishes from a dear friend.
Work Anniversary: It's been 11 years since I joined the workforce and 5 years in my current role. Being at the right place at the right time is far more important for career success than talent or hard work. And that is precisely where many women still lose out - late nite informal networking events are rarely attended by wome…

Airport Vistas

Some random observations (totally based on my experience - so don't generalize or take offence):
1. Most security guards spend an extra minute checking credentials of a single lady traveler and ask redundant questions such as "So you are travelling in Flight AI123 today?" Definitely not reducing security risks !
2. A lady in a business suit commands more respect than one in a saree ! If respect can be measured by "Which seat would you like today?" ; the no. of times you are referred to as 'Ma'am' etc.
3. The tearful farewells in the airport for families travelling to the Gulf, makes you wonder - Was the world a better place when smaller communities were self sufficient.
4.  Observing young kids dressed in age inappropriate clothes makes me puke - Yes, once they are old enough, let them choose what to dress in. But as a parent, why is it so difficult to accept that babies are not props ! And that comfort first, style later and vulgarity - best avoid…

Happiness

My son's vacation has started and he told me last week, "Why don't you smile more ?" That's when I realized how stressed I have been. Then the other day, he again said "It's vacation - time to enjoy - you should smile more". For which I had a ready retort "It's vacation for you, not for me". But, his answer surprised me "Amma, I am your favorite, so if it is vacation for me, you should be happy". Yea, once in a while its ok to be happy, just because your loved ones are happy !!! I am off to Indonesia next week and I can't wait to be on the plane !

Posturing

I was pointing out something to my daughter in the super market aisle and the sales woman was surprised that she is a girl. Reason: "No earrings and short hair".




In the airport a complete stranger asks me whether the waiting area is for the flight to my home town and immediately proceeds to the next question, "So, which church do you go to ?" I am quite taken aback and respond that I am not a Christian, and she clarifies " You are not wearing a bindi".


In a professional context, I am told "You may think x, but you need to speak y".




All of the above makes me wonder how important posturing is...




My baby girl's hair has a natural spike and everyone comments "Oh, girl with a spike!". The stress is invariably always on the 'girl' and not on the 'spike' ... (I hate it that I am somehow unable to upload her picture on blogger)


Breaking stereotypes is not easy, and some say its not worth it...But progress can only happen w…

Going Crazy ...

I have been going utterly crazy the last couple of months. Work and related complications has kept me on my toes on one side. Family - well, all I can say is when help is offered grudgingly and you are still shamelessly accepting it, then you are actually helpless ! Now, that's a very sorry place to be in... In fact, when I had my first born, I went through this cycle of helplessness with him - that is till he could help himself, I was dependent on help I'd rather not have had - doled out like alms to a beggar.
I am going through the same cycle again and I hate it...I hate each and every cog in the wheel called family...some for their indifference, some for their arrogance !


Does being grateful equate to suppressing your opinions? Not sure.


Something far more complicated is happening to a friend and his son and every time I remember them in my prayers I realize that I am indeed in a very lucky place. But, on a moment to moment basis none of us think of the starving millions …

New Year Wishes

I usually append my New year wishes to my readers at the end of my 'Year That Will Be' post. This time, it was scribbled in a hurry, and I left it out..


And here goes my new year wishes to all my dear readers !


"May you have the courage to revisit buried dreams,
The conviction to act on them,
And may all of those dreams turn into beautiful realities !"

The Year That Will Be..

Last year, I didn't know what I wanted from the year...I thought I will have a lot of time to myself - and God, I was sooo very wrong! I was doing all household chores exactly a week after I gave birth, so I didn't even get to enjoy my maternity break.


This year, I know clearly what I want and I have a plan to make that happen - hope God is not giggling !


I am going to start driving a car - I had learned driving and have a valid license; but I never got around to actually driving on a day to day basis, thinking 'what if I have an accident?'. This year that will change!


I am also going to write a book, maybe two. It has been a long cherished dream and I never got around to it thinking 'what if I don't find a publisher?'.


I am also going to enroll in piano classes - I will write the Grade exam by end of the year.


This year, I am going to keep aside all 'what ifs' and give everything a try...I am confident that if I try and do my part, the universe…

The Year That Was..

This post should ideally have been completed latest by yesterday, but I just couldn't get that 5 minutes to myself - and that pretty much describes the year that was...It was a year of unsung and unappreciated sacrifices and back breaking (literally) hard work....


I gave more of myself to family than I ever thought capable of - and still was occasionally branded as selfish...


I have also realized the importance of being at the right place at the right time - I couldn't and it has proved costly !


The highlight of the year of course was my baby - though I am now even more conscious of what I do with my life - I don't want her to ever feel that women are better caregivers ! (that's the biggest disservice ever done to women - pseudo appreciation before killing their dreams :(. It is a vicious cycle - the wife is forced to take care of family, kids then feel my mom was the best as they don't even know how dad would have performed same role , thus when they grow up, the…