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Thursday, July 31, 2008

jealous? me? really? YES!

there is nothing wrong in having a jealous trait -- or even a cupboard full of it.
because Anne Lamott thinks the way I do... not because she is a little mental, but because she is a published writer, and except for ann coulter, all published writers only say the right things.
even if they are published only in magazines in remote neanderthal countries. the thing is i never quite accepted that it was jealousy that drove the deep anger and need to trip some people so hard, they would need dental assistance for the rest of their life.
the one who can't write to save her life, but gets the breaks; the one who can't string a sentence correctly, but gets the cushy pr job; the real dumb ass from school who married this super rich, super cool dude; that darned woman who loses weight on a diet of chocolates and samosas... how unfair is this world?
i just couldn't bring myself to accept that i was jealous of people who were either mediocre in what they did or gained bunny points with minimum effort.
after all i am hardly ever envious of those who are good at what they do. i may have an occasional (or two) murderous impulse... but jealousy? no!
i can live with J K R's riches, Oprah's fame, Mandela's popularity. What the heck! I can even put up with Aishwarya's looks.
it's those who don't have the goods to back up the claim that piss me off.
the realisation that what i considered disdain, actually bordered on jealousy, i owe to Lamott's book Bird by Bird.
does that realisation make me a better or worse person?
don't know, don't care.
it's human to be emotional. jealousy and hatred as emotions are to be expected and accepted just as much as love, and all that jazz.

girl pals vs guy pals

i often hear women tell me that they get along far better with guys than with gals. that they find it easier to confide in men... and i wonder how that's possible.
i've never heard a guy tell me he gets along better with the girls. that his best friends are women not men!
is it my all girls school/college upbringing coupled with a household primarily made up of women? three sisters, mum, helpers, sundry cousins and aunts dwarfed the influence my dad and the few other visiting men had on our lives.
even after all four of us were married, only one gave birth to a son. so the dominance of women continued... my brothers-in-law and husband are most often spectators to an amusing (i assume) show. i am married into a family where again there are more women.
so for me, despite the sizeable number of 'good' male friends, girls are the best buddies.
but for all that, in most places i've worked, i've been amongst the minority. For a total of 4 years of my working life, i have been the only woman in the office/department.
and i feel that's the best work environment to be in for me.
when it comes to colleagues at work, i prefer the male of the species.
not because of the total myth that they gossip less -- oh man! can they gossip. and with such viciousness that we women can't even begin to compete.
i like them because they are low maintenance. they don't complicate -- a word is not given a thousand unintended meanings. they don't break into tears at the drop of a hat. they can take a professional argument without assuming it's a personal assault. and if you are not particularly inclined to carry your professional relationship outside of the workplace and become 'friends', they can live with it. as is always the case, there are exceptions to this rule.
still, when it comes to bonding and buddy power, i need my girls.
apart from my husband, i can't think of confiding in another man the things i would to a gal pal. there are things i wouldn't confide even to my husband, though over the dozen years of knowing each other, he probably is my best pal.
so, the judgemental me, wonders what insecurity in women drives them to claim that a being who shares none of their physical, emotional and mental patterns, is a better friend than one of their own.
is it because they haven't met the right women? or haven't i met those right men...
but how would i discuss with a man my pms woes, blood clots, morning sickness, sexual satisfaction or lack of it, the soreness of my breasts, the discomfort of discharge, the lack of good bras, the need for a good sob, the humiliation of being ogled at, the highs of being wooed…
how would a man understand things about women, that the woman herself hasn't fully yet?
a salute to my gal pals. and to the guy pals for being great, even if they are not my best, friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

benefits of a work out

the main one is that in an environment of 'working out', you are bound to keep company with some real cuties.

so during my evening dawdle at the corniche, i take in the scenery. some real tight, fast moving scenery.

the only annoyance in such environment is that there are some undesirably skinny b*****s (excuse my french!) sharing the space too.

but i guess, you need to take the good with the bad.

i am sure it sounds a little pathetic that this needs to be an incentive to work out. but i look at it like window-shopping for stuff that i neither need nor can afford. and what's in the wardrobe back home isn't bad at all. it's just the aesthetics of it, and keeping up to date!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

what's your measure of a friend?

over the years, growing older, wiser and more tolerant (my blog, my boast, so stop smirking!) i've come to realise that there are no set parameters to weigh a friend. in fact, you shouldn't even attempt it. there are characteristics, unforgivable in one person, that will be tolerated or ignored in another.
and you should not make demands of friends. you can have reasonable expectations of them. that they should defend you when you are being maligned. but you can't demand it.
there maybe broad filters on which you choose a friend -- can't be a rapist (other crimes like murder and theft can be considered on a case by case basis), preferably sane (but this again can be compromised), can't be a spouse-basher, can't be a mormon (they don't like outsiders, so why should we like them), etc, etc...
but you can't go deeper than that.
yet, so often you wonder what drives 'friends' to do 'non-friendly' stuff. for instance, why would they report a conversation to you, about you, that actually does little else but upset you?
and why some friends feed of your grief or sadness... i know some who look almost stricken when you begin to feel better mentally!
below is a forward from a friend who though a little insane, to her credit is not a mormon, criminal or spouse-basher (i think)... and that kind of sums up what we should expect from a friend.

The Socrates Triple Filter Test
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, 'Do you know what I just heard about your friend?'
'Hold on a minute,' Socrates replied. 'Before telling me anything, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test.'
'Triple filter?'
'That's right,' Socrates continued. 'Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test.'
'The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?'

'No,' the man said, 'actually I just heard about it and....'
'All right ,' said Socrates. 'So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?'
'No, on the contrary...'
'So,' Socrates continued, 'you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of USEFULNESS. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?'
'No, not really.'
'Well,' concluded Socrates, 'if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?'

why i still like a democracy...

despite the corruption, despite the country's ability to elect absolute idiots as leaders, despite the nepotism... i still believe in democracy.
watching the trust motion live (including such gory clips as Somnath Chatterjee digging his nose for a full minute and MPs behaving disgracefully), the sheer dynamics of the voice of the people, makes me really happy that India hasn't met with the same pitiable fate as its neighbours -- Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
I am really happy that however slow our progress has been, we've always looked ahead, looked forward. We are not the perfect nation (FAAAARRRRR from it), but we are a proud one. we are a hopeful one.
and even if money has changed hands, i prefer that, any day, to bloody coups and assassinations to prove a point.

ps: Rahul Gandhi – how juvenile was his speech?
pps: Is Somnathda aware that he is on camera?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Moi, Ana, I, Naan, Mein

I took it from here.
I am: Looking Forward
I think: Way too much
I know: Way too little
I want: Just a bit and a little more
I have: Just enough
I wish: Some things would change quickly
I miss: … weirdly, no one at the moment. I have my daughter and husband by me. So am content.
I fear: People. Really fear the vileness and sheer cruelty of people.
I feel: Terribly upset when I see discrimination. And I see a lot of it here.
I smell: Real awful in the morning.
I search: for hidden motives, when someone is overly nice to me.
I wonder: what people will stop at for money and power.
I regret: Quite a few of my decisions. But you live and learn.
I love: Only one person (as of now) unconditionally, and to the point of desperation. And she doesn’t even know it.
I ache: In my finger joints.
I care: for equality.
I am not: A worshipper… but
I believe: In fate and destiny. And KARMA.
I dance: Surprisingly gracefully.
I sing: Very badly, and very rarely.
I cry : When I am ANGRY
I don’t always : Think a tantrum through. I just throw it.
I fight : fair and square
I write: less than I’d like to
I win: very rarely
I lose: way too badly
I never: can stick to a weight loss program
I always: think of doing great things. And then drop off to sleep
I confuse: not too often
I listen: to people when they talk. I am a good listener.
I can usually be found: with a book, messy hair, in bed.
I am scared: of lizards. And hurting people.
I need: a lot of attention
I am happy about: The human being I am. It’s the characters that I play that bother me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Amavi Latin phrases

I love latin (and greek) terms used in English. I would love to use it as a matter of routine, but I know I would harshly misuse it.

The only term I can use comfortably is pro bono... thanks to all the Grisham novels i devour.

The term I misused for the longest term, and in this I find myself in the company of a great many, is ad hoc. It means: for this purpose. However, it's used often to convey just the opposite meaning, for no particular purpose.

Here is a term that is so nice on the ear, but so difficult to use: Non sequitur (something that does not follow).

A few terms are easier to inject into your language -- that bona fide idiot who pissed you off on the road?
Persona non grata, too... not that I am one in any place or home. I think...

Here's a new one I read and really liked, and hope desperately that I would be able to use somewhere outside of this post:
Ceteris Paribus: means "other things being equal."

Then there are some that sound suspiciously like Madras pettai slang:

Mutatis mutandis (the necessary things have been changed).
Pari Passu (at an equal pace).

The really CUTE ones, which we wish had a sassy enough English equivalent.
Reductio ad absurdum stands for "reduction to absurdity."
Sui generis: "of one's own kind" or "peculiar". I would rather be Sui generis than peculiar, any day.

And RIP apparently doesn’t translate literally to Rest In Peace, but Requiescat in Pace which means "let him rest in peace."

I know that if ever I decide to study law -- and I do toy with that idea often -- one of the reasons would be all the latin lingo I will learn, and learn to use with ease. My father for instance, can turn a mundane conversation (which could well be about an ailing pet cat) into a language puzzle, dotting it with latin phrases, ad infinitum.

ps: Amavi = fall in love with