Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What I want changed in television

This is a tiny list. Just a few items written down while I am giving this issue a serious thought

1. Ads. I don't want them. Or I want more interesting ones.
2. Nice local programs. I won't mind watching something funny in tamil. Something without children acting like adults
3. More HD channels. I love the clarity in them. Would love to have a few more. Thankfully almost all english entertainment channels I watch have a HD version now.
4. A doggy channel. It would be interesting to see what my dogs actually like to watch.

New beginnings

I feel light. I see opportunities at every turn. There is so much potential and so many possibilities. Perhaps a change of scene brings out such emotions in me. Something big is gonna happen. I can feel it and more than anything, I am ready to face it. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Finding Paradise

I feel, Paradise is not a where, it is a when which can be found anywhere. I was watching a few scenes from this movie Inside Out. There is a very insightful scene in the beginning where you get to see the point of view of both Happiness and Sorrow to very similar things. That got me thinking - Paradise, even if it is a where, could be Hell for those that cannot see it that way. But even Hell can be Paradise for those that want it to be.

I wonder what would comprise Paradise for me. A place where I can read. watch some interesting television series, maybe write and spend time with those that matter to me. That is all I can concoct now.. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I find it very often, I just dont treasure it enough.

I am sitting in my own piece of Paradise now. Something tailor made for me and that is better than anything else.

The new friends

Recently, at a community event, we met someone whose son was interested in writing. The kid came home to meet Sachin to receive tips and I invited his brother to read.

We started reading together last weekend and this weekend, we spent a considerable amount of time playing board games with them. The dogs seemed to like being around them to and they came out on walks with us.

It was a refreshing change as I learnt a whole lot from them. Their energy and happiness was contagious and rather than get upset when my afternoon siesta was disturbed, I welcomed the distraction. I am not sure how long they are going to continue coming home, knowing how easily children are distracted. But for now, I am enjoying the attention and the time.

The giver quatret - Lois Lowry

I like books which talk about how the world can change from what it is to something else completely. Not the gory post apocalyptic ones, but the ones where you can see what people can do to each other without any real physical violence. Those are scarier and more real.

The Giver quartet, by Lois Lowry is one such series. I read the first book way back in July and was a little too affected to want to read the rest of the series. Somehow, I got myself to borrow them on kindle unlimited and finally completed them.

There are four books in the series - The Giver, Gathering Blue , Messenger and Son.

The books are set in a world after something bad happened to the world as we know it. People live in communities, separated from each other and often unaware of the existence of the other. The first two books are set in communities very different from each other. While the community in the Giver is pretty scientifically advanced and treats people as commodities, the one in Gathering blue is not as advanced and relies on the land for all their needs.

Both communities are unrelated and separated by a forest which plays a very important role in the third book. Jonas, from the first book belongs to a community where everyone is assigned a role in their twelfth year. He is assigned the role of a Receiver. Someone who will get to store all the knowledge about the world and use it to guide the community in times of need. The knowledge involves awareness about colors, emotions and life in general because in an attempt to reduce pain and increase productivity, all forms of creativity have been removed from his community. There is only uniformity, even in color so nobody gets treated differently.

The Giver and the Receiver were the only two people who are aware of things others dont even know exist.

You watch and fall in love with the boy who learns about a strange world and comes to terms with it and makes a very brave decision.

Kira, in Gathering blue, is a handicapped girl, who is allowed to live only because of her mother's persistence. All damaged children are killed as soon as they are born otherwise. After her mother's death, rather than be destroyed, she is given a position of power - to mend the singer's robe and to record the story of the community for posterity.

She is especially skilled with thread and needle and she starts weaving a new story for the village she is a part of. She slowly comes to terms with her powers and understands the reality of the situation they are in and rather than try to run away from it, attempts to change it.

Kira and Jonas meet in the third book and Gabe, a kid in the first book plays a very important part in the fourth.

While the first two books were really well written and interesting, I lost interest from the third book on. The fourth was definitely the worst, as I was really let down by the ending. I wish it had not been that way. I would still recommend reading the series as the writing is lyrical and the characters are so beautifully crafted.

The ceaseless patter

It was a very hot afternoon today. So hot that I gave the two jokers a bath with my husband and their new friend. (More about them in another post)

They dried in a matter of minutes and so did all the clothes that I had put out to dry. We had an awesome lunch and a peaceful sleep in the afternoon. After our walk, we saw some clouds and before we knew it, it was drizzling.

As suddenly as it started, the drizzle stopped and we went about doing our usual evening stuff.

When I was writing my farewell post, it started pouring like crazy. The drama artist in me wanted to think its a sign, with nature matching my mood. It is raining, rather pouring now and as i watch the ceaseless patter, I think of how the rain means different things to different people. Or different things to the same person.

I love watching the rain. Absolutely love the sounds of rain on the roof too. Today, it feels like a cleansing to me. Something to symbolize the fact that things can change easily and the rain will wash all the dust away and create something new.

The rain will give my garden some hope and all those tiny plants will bloom, sprout and just make the world a better place to live in.

The rain will forgive all that was, all that could have been and just let all that is be.

The rain will pave way for the new me and for new life in general to emerge.

The rain will just create and move on, becoming one with the earth to come back when needed.

The ceaseless patter continues to comfort and inspire me. I love it and wish that it would stay somewhere in my mind all through.

Farewell, my love

So, This is a farewell post. To the place that I fell in love with and spent almost 5 years in. Tomorrow is my last day in my most favorite company in the world. Why I am leaving calls for a different post, but suffice to say, it has got more to do with getting out of my comfort zone than anything else.

It has been a few weeks of mixed emotions ever since I took the decision. I still have to come to terms with the fact that I wont be seeing a few of my friends at work everyday or that some of the others are no longer just an email away. I will miss my mentors who were always willing to listen and gave me words of advice on how to handle work or life. They were so amazing! I will miss my team..

Not to mention the work that I was so familiar with and loved. I am one of those people who has always loved their work. I will miss some of the regular things I did.

More than anything else, I will miss the organization. It was one of the best places to work and it made me who I am thanks to the open and honest culture. I am proud and happy to have been a part of it and now I hope that I can live up to the expectations I have for myself.

I still remember how I was when I joined. I knew very less and I was not as confident as I am now. I learnt so much, I have evolved so much as a person and become someone the earlier me would have respected and looked up to.

Thank you for everything. I hope I am able to make you proud someday. :)

Farewell, my love. We had a great run together. It is time for me to bid adieu.

Until we meet again...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Another cog in the wheel

Imagine a beautifully crafted head. Proportionate, Essential, Exquisite.

Then another, and another, yet another. All of them different, all of them with a sense of self importance that is inflated to say the least. What they refuse to accept is that, each is like the other, as essential as it is unnecessary.

What happens when the acceptance seeks in? Will there be a certain dullness? Will there be a slow down? Or will it just not matter in the long run? I wonder.

Being just another cog in the wheel is fun and it is taxing. What do I give more importance to?

Picking the pieces

The actions we take often have consequences we expect the least. Today, I was faced with one such consequence. An event I thought might not even make a dent in someone's plans was much bigger than I ever thought it would be. One of the reasons I was giving up on it was I felt it was not significant enough to the people involved. The conversation I had today, made me feel that it was anything but.

If my priorities had not changed over the last few weeks, I would have never seen this action coming and now I have to live with the consequences. How do I pick those pieces which have the least consequences? How do I move on without breaking any promises that were far more serious than a simple handshake? I really dont know. I just have to wonder and ponder. :)

Uncharted territory

Yesterday evening, I was navigating the roads in Bangalore. My usual reaction a year ago was to fret and frown when I had to drive on my own. But now, I am zipping through the roads like a pro. :) I got out of my comfort zone and became a brand new driver. Similarly, I am going to do something new, take on a new role and see how things go.

I have always been in an amazing comfort zone, watching the world go by.. But like I have been ranting recently, I needed a change as I was becoming just another cog going with the flow (bad mix of metaphors :) )

After a lot of thinking, I am going to do something I never thought I would do. All fears and apprehensions aside, I think I am ready.

I need to accept that I am young and I have my whole life ahead. Taking my first risk (which most people wouldnt call one) and hoping that somewhere in the future, there will be a lot of smiles over my fears. :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monkey Menace

Yet another rambling post from me about the monkey menace here. A few incidents that happened over the last 3 weeks in our community has made me wonder whether to laugh or to cry.

1. The alcoholic: My friend has a bar in the terrace. He collects fine wine and whiskey, and has parties in his terrace. A group of monkeys rummaged his cupboards, drank the alcohol and broke the bottles before leaving. He is now figuring out how to repair his terrace
2. The savory lover: We had gone to a nursery to pick up plants for the backyard. When we were out, two monkeys opened the loosely bolted kitchen window and entered the house to make away with a pack of murukku!!!  Zelda caught them just in time before they could take a packet of cheedai.
3. The sweet tooth : My neighbor has a sweet tooth. So do the monkeys who visit her house. Day before, they made off with burfi on her table. Yesterday, it was half a kg gur. Both days, they ran away taking the packet. But today, they  helped themselves to a packet of ladoo, sat on the table while the lady hosed them, finished the whole box and then left.
4. The garbage police: We have a garbage collection schedule and some monkeys are in on it. They arrive a few minutes before the garbage collector comes, rummage through the dustbins, eat what they want and watch while he takes the rest away
5. The thirsty one: Another group of monkeys open waterbottles, taps and even tanks to quench their thirst.

As funny as it is, it is also a menace and I sometimes wonder when the conflict will come to a head. A shopkeeper lost 4kg of banana to an attack and is pretty upset about the incident.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Perhaps..

It's one thing to yearn for something.. But quite another thing to find the strength to achieve it.

I heard this quote in one of the many TV series I watched today.

When I think of what I yearn for and what I have to do to achieve it, I sometimes drop things due to the effort involved. A few other times, it doesn't seem so difficult and the end is worth the means, the tears and the pain.

Perhaps everything in life comes with a filter criteria. A filter that removes every thing unnecessary without much ado. We just fail to see it that way as we're caught up in our version of reality.

Maybe it all happens according to the most logical plan. One we cannot see as it's just too big for us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Roots

When I first thought of owning a house, the idea was exciting and scary. The magnitude of money involved was a deterrent, as imagining such a huge loan to my name after having a debt free existence, was scary to say the least.

Somehow, we managed to get the approvals and buy a house. The day we registered it was special and we moved in and just did a basic set up. Never one for interior decoration, we put together things that were mostly practical and avoided wasting money on anything unnecessary. Over time, we got our own cozy corners and favorite spots. Our routines revolved around different places in the house.

The house became a home and now, I can't imagine life elsewhere. We often flirt with the idea of leaving the suburbs and living in the city and I almost moved away from the country. The home had its way and I'm sitting here writing.

It is very quiet here and we are far away from all possible action. It's a drive to reach any restaurant or book shop. We don't meet friends on weekdays as they live too far and the traffic is a pain. We are OK driving long or hiring a driver...

But we really can't get ourselves to move out. Is this place holding me back from truly spreading my wings? Or is it giving me something to come back to, no matter how far I go? I tend to lean towards the second option as I feel that ones roots have to be strong and deep if they have to grow. Mine are here now. Deeper everyday.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A world apart

Today, I was driving near the K R Puram bridge. Traffic was bumper to bumper and as usual, there was no staying or moving. I was stuck in an especially painful place between two buses intent on coming to my path and racing each other. I gave up and just stopped the car and let them continue their race without me.

Right about then, a really old man in a cycle comes to cross the road. For a few seconds, I actually pause to watch him forgetting that my legs should be battling with clutches and brakes. He is struggling a lot to maneuver around the traffic. He is already tired and I see beads of sweat poring down his face while I sit in an AC car. His legs are pushing the pedals hard and for a second I thought he was going to lose his balance and fall down. I feel very sorry for him.

Unfortunately, the honks behind me bring me back to reality and I get to start moving, but only after I let him go ahead. It was the least I could do.

I am a world apart from that old man. Not just in age, but also in terms of our finances. Should I be thankful for my blessings or upset because there are so many like him out there in the world?

Waking up

For years, my day began at 2 in the afternoon. Today, is one of those days where more than 3/4th of my work day is over at 2 in the afternoon. I have yet to decide which one I favor. Having the morning all to myself or the evening all to myself. But what I have really woken up to is the fact that I need time to myself every day. Whether it is to walk the dogs or water the plants or to read or to just not do anything, my time to myself is non negotiable.

I think I have finally woken up to understand the real priorities in life. Aint that a good thing? :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My adventurous evening

Most people who know me are aware of my dislike for driving. However, recently, I have been forced to drive alone as there isn't any other option and my hatred for driving is much lesser than my love for the world.

I did get used to it and today, i had a very adventurous evening.

First, I drove to an area I had never been to. Second, i parked in a road and adjusted the angle etc. etc. only to find out it is a no parking zone where the board has been removed but from where vehicles are still towed. Third, I found another spot and parked with the help of a guy walking his German Shepherd. Finally, I drove back all alone a little later than usual. I am happy with life. ;)

It was awesome getting help from the man with the gorgeous German Shepherd. Life figures a way of giving me solutions when I really need them. What do you say?

How I live with it

Everyday when I leave my house and hit the streets of Bangalore, I see hopeful eyes. They're everywhere and they give me such a heart breaking look. Puppy or doggy eyes, it doesn't matter. I am very tempted to pick them up and take them home. Every time I don't, I imagine how the dog is going to struggle. More often than not, they don't struggle much.

I see a few of them every day. Happy in their own way with their lot. Some live, some die, some hurt, some love... But that's their life and they're so free.

I think of that and be happy and live with myself. Else the house will be full of dogs. :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Puppy love

I saw these puppies when I went to a nursery to pick plants for my garden. They were so happy and healthy. Such a far cry from the usual city indie pups. Thought I'd share the magic with the world.

Romeo and Juliet

Here is Zoya searching for one of her many boy friends. What do I do with her??

Morning glory

This is not morning glory but a flower which blooms just in the morning. I love it. I planted it myself in the pot. So delighted...

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Exploitation

I know it is a big word. But one way or the other, all of us are culprits in this process. One recent incident that has me fuming is the desire of people in our gated community to regulate the wages of the household help. Now, I am not a great believer in house work. I am really happy to have a maid who understands me and does what I ask without throwing a tantrum when I give extra work because on most days, there isnt much work to do here. We hardly use half the rooms in our house, so it does not matter if she skips sweeping once or twice a week.

When we go to work, a lot of us complain about how less we are paid. (I dont. I am delighted with most aspects of my work) The same group of people, think it is ok to pay the maid less because she doesn't do any work. How is any of it fair? When the maids work across multiple houses, they make a decent earning. Enough to feed their family and also manage expenses. But if everyone decides to pay them less and also off load a lot of work, they will not have enough time to even visit multiple houses. They are tired, over worked and ultimately as poor as they started out to be.

I find that some of the elite I see around me are ok spending a few thousands on a couple of dinners out, but dont want to pay the maid any higher as it is ok to exploit them. I am not talking about paying them a huge sum, I am just saying that we should treat them better and give them slightly better pay. Sigh...

The flipside to this argument is, once you pay well and try to be humane, most maids bunk a lot. They come alternate days, dont finish all the household work etc.. How do we strike a balance and not be exploited or exploit?