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Friday, December 28, 2007

another martyr!!

and so another corrupt politician turns martyr!

Monday, December 17, 2007

7 years and done?

Last night, at work, I had some down time. I sat thinking about the couples I know and know of. Family, friends, strangers...
And what struck me was that 2 good people did not necessarily make a good marriage. 'Being a good person' is not the criteria for a good marriage. If you can ignore, accept and accommodate, then that is far better than all the goodness in the world, for marital purposes at least.
How many times have we asked "how does her/his husband/wife put up with her/him", and then have been surprised to find that they don't get along that bad at all?
I guess that's were the ignoring and accepting and accommodating comes in... not any one, but all three.
That's a tough act -- you have to be either highly 'stupid/dumb' or half a step away from sainthood to do that.
Then again, it begs this questions. What is a good marriage? Where the children are happy/well-rounded? Where the spouses are equal? Where the husband is a good provider? Where the wife is an awesome home maker? Where they have orgasmic sex every day? Where there are no expectations? Or where all expectations are met?
I am beginning to endorse that German politician who says by law marriages should be a 7-year contract, extendable by mutual consent.
An interesting thought, and one that probably would do a whole load of good.
Not because we can get done with it and move on.
But because, we will make the best of the time together, when we know it could be for just 7 years -- when we know that we can't wait too long to say 'I am sorry', 'Let's try', 'I love you', 'Let's have a quickie' or 'Let's send the kids away for a day for a romp'.
We know we have only 7 years, so we will hopefully be less rude and more accommodating.
Of course, can't rule out being total jerks either, because we know after 7 years we would be free -- but such relationships are not meant to be in the first place!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


sad while alone
alone in a crowd

uncomfortable amongst strangers
stranger amongst friends

detached from those who matter
bothered by those who don't


Friday, December 14, 2007

'The Know It All's

Knitas -- that's what we will call them.
I must say the South Asians have a larger number of Knitas amongst us.
While in most societies knowledge is seen as a tool to not appear foolish, for us Indians, it is often seen as a tool to appear over smart. So much so, that in the absence of knowledge, they pretend.
We sit down for lunch. A couple of Indians, a handful of Lebanese, some Egyptians.
And while the Arabs talk about Indian cuisine and how they love tandoori, the Indian wants to show off his intellectual superiority. He talks about the Lebanese economy and how badly it is faring. As if that were a big secret.
While the Ls try to dismiss off, he decides that his mouth is too big to accommodate just one foot, so puts his other in it too -- and looks to borrow a few more.

Knita: "So do you think you will ever go back to your country?"

L1: Why not?

Knita (alias Mr Sensitive): "Because you have bullets flying. You don't have a proper economy or opportunities."

L2: Bullets are not flying now. And it's no secret about our economy. But it is our country all the same. Our families are there.

Knita: The Sri Lankans, who are just like you don't want to go back.

L2: We are not like Sri Lankans.

Embarassed Me: It is not the same situation at all. In Lanka it is a civil situation...

Knita: Oh you don't know economics. I know a lot of Lankans.

Embarassed Me: Obviously, you don't know too many Lebanese.

L3 (trying to change the subject): I cook the best tandoori chicken. I grind the spices too.

Knita: The Lankans don't want to go back. So how can you say the Lebanese situation is different.

L1: It is different because we are not Lankans.

Knita: I know a lot of Lankans, and I know economy.

L1: Forget the Lankans. Our situation is different.

Ready-to-flee me: Why don't you listen to what they have to say. Maybe they do know more about their country.

Knita (staring daggers at me): You don't know economy. I know it. And the Lankans don't want to go back.

L3: See the two top numbers on my phone are that of Indian restaurants.

Knita: When there is war, people run from their countries. That's why they are here. The Lankans and Lebanese.

Ready-to-kill me: They why are we all here. Everyone of us comes here because we earn better, or at least hope to.

L2: I am here because my standard of living is better. Nothing to do with fleeing the country.

Knita: No, in India we get very high salaries. We are not here for that.

At this point all the Ls turn away and start conversing in Arabic. After all just not worth making an attempt with Mr Knita who is here only for charity, and not for the money.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kafka On The Shore

Haruki Murakami, have you read him?
Sputnik Sweetheart was good.
But Kafka on the Shore is awesome! It is fantastic -- literally.
What's real, what's not?
It disturbs you.
It makes you wonder.
It scares you.

Here and Now

you know how people go on about music no longer being what it used to be? gone are the days of x, y or z...
i am not so sure about that.
Illayaraja, ARR, Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghosal -- Class acts. No arguments there!
and that holds good for authors as well. i am a HUGE fan of the classics, give me a Dickens, a comfortable bed and some coffee, and you have made my day.
but great writers are there amongst the living too. Ann Patchett, Murakami, Mistry...
For every Chris Plummer there is a George Clooney.
For every Gandhi, there is a Mandela.
Amongst the living, as the dead, there are class acts. There are people who are inspirations... people who make a difference to the world. With their voices, their words, their actions, their looks (sigh! brad pitt!).
we just need to appreciate the present a lot more. Not dwell on the past or brood about the future so much, that we totally lose the most important moment of all. Now. Here.
ps: and while on the subject -- stop fantasising about the ex and the could-be, and embrace him, while he is still next to you :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

with kids there are more questions than answers...

...will anyone disagree?

what's the right thing to do?
Praising your child for everything s/he does or, be selective?
Set the bar high or not?
Get them involved in a lot of activities? Or is that too taxing?
Expect them to succeed or is that putting too much pressure on them?
Explain/answer everything, and they end up being argumentative.
Shout at them, and they grow up angry.
Hit them and they grow up too meek or too violent.
Coddle them too much, and they never do grow up.
Do everything for them, and they are not independent.
Expect them to be independent, and they grow up too quickly.
Not switching the channel when there is a sensuous scene makes them precocious.
Switch the channel, and they become secretively promiscuous.
All that you do for your child, what you hope she becomes, when you want her to excel... is it for her. for you. or for the people around you?
is it in competition with other kids/parents?
can there be one simple answer to this -- how do we stop ourselves from really messing up our kids?
that they don't carry their upsets/disappointments/betrayals/insecurities into adulthood. just as most of us have...
brings to mind a line from Savage Garden "...I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do..."
I believe that.
Just hope my little one believes that too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Smitten, then bitten

Once bitten, and twice shy...
So he sang his way into our school girl hearts.
George Michael, for whom every girl in my school swooned.
Yesterday and today I hear his songs on the radio, from his 'still in the closet' phase.
Then he stepped out, and a million hearts broke. It was like a personal betrayal; as if we 15-year-olds stood a chance with him if he had only been straight.
Now a more mature me listens to his songs, and is still swayed. In my mind, he will always sing to me...
Last Christmas, and this, and forever more.

Monday, December 03, 2007

gym tales again

they wear the abhaya and hijab (black flowing robe and headscarf). some even wear the veil, revealing only heavily made-up eyes through a slit.
then they enter the gym, look at the women who don't observe the hijab, who are wearing long or three-fourth tracks and modest tees.
they smirk at us. then drop their yards of black. some are in proper workout clothes. but many are not. they are wearing lacy underwear, skimpy vests, tight shorts, they scream and chat loudly with each other, or talk long on the mobiles. They barely do a few minutes on the treadmill, before they reach for an energising drink.
they laugh at our unbranded, non-designer wear.
i used to be annoyed, frequently irritated. No longer.
In this room, where no men are allowed they can be as they please.
just as they are in the all-women sections at restaurants, in the malls...
a freedom amongst strangers, that they can't enjoy at home.