Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Did they really say that?!

So many people dead and injured, a whole nation shocked and confused, yet politicians and others alike are falling over each other to give sound bites and gain leverage. Shivraj Patil resigned and though I agree it that it was too late, was it really necessary for the BJP to point that out a day after all this had happened? Was it so difficult for Advani to put aside petty politics for once and actually show a united front along with the congress because isn't fighting terrorism beyond trying to get into power and all that? Enough has been written already about Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ramgopal Varma so what more can I say except even if it was a 'coincidence' as they claim how insensitive can people really get? What about RR Patil with his 'bade bade deshon mein choti choti baatein' comment? Do people really think before they speak? Just heard another sound bite from Muqtar Naqvi that women in lipsticks think they have a right to hold protests or something ridiculous like that. Oh and the worst of all the CM of Kerala saying if it hadn't been for Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan not even a dog would have looked at that house. Seriously?! Do people even have half a brain? And obviously these are just some. Oh wait. I forgot the piece de resistance - Raj Thackrey apparently said that one of the reasons there was so much chaos in Mumbai was because Mumbai is overcrowded due to all the north indians living there!!! That has to be the ultimate. And this just when I was wondering where he had disappeared through all this. Absolutely disgusting.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

'Tis a Charmed Life

A letter arrived at my door...It required my signature...which it got...and now the letter is in the mailbox

and wheeeeee just like that i'm officially employed!

what a strange feeling.

now i know where i will be for at least the next two years of my life

the last few days since i heard life has felt a little unreal...i meant it's not like i didnt expect to get a job...i just didnt expect it to happen so soon..

the funniest thing is it was where i didnt expect...and also the place that i now realize i fit the most into. lovely people. lovely company. and lovely happy me!

my life continues to be a series of happy coincidences

and hence i maintain - 'tis a charmed life!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victory for some, loss for others

I am in Chicago in the middle of all the celebration. It was an incredible victory last night and to call Obama's speech moving is an understatement. It really does go to show that people CAN look beyond differences and look at what a person is really about. But then so much has been written about Obama's amazing victory that I can't add too much. I am happy, I am excited, I am ecstatic. And I hope Obama lives up to his promise cause there really is a long road ahead. I am also scared about how people will react. Already I read blogs about people being scared at the possibility of Obama being president - they are scared because of the allegations that were made all through the campain and shows why personal attacks are such a bad idea. Because at the end of the day one will win and one will lose, and the supporters of the one who lost will continue to believe the lies and attacks made on the one who lost. And will forever doubt. How then must one have a united country? But I hope Obama will face this with the same grace that he has faced everything else.

So the loss...well there is the loss for the McCain supporters and seeing him give his speech last night I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He truly is a great man who has done a lot for his country. And until the arrival of a certain Ms Palin I think I was neutral between Obama and him. But the very idea of her in the whitehouse is enough to give me nightmare. Nevertheless I do feel sorry for McCain.

But that is not the loss I am talking about. I am talking about California. I am going to be moving to California at the end of my school and I've heard great things. So liberal. So open-minded. So everything. And yet what a terrible loss for California. Perhaps the nation's most progressive state and here's such a regressive decision. Prop 8. How could it have passed when it is about basic human rights. While the nation has shown that there will be no differentiation made towards those of color why then this discrimination? While the nation has elected an african american man to the nation's (and arguably the world's) highest post why then are people being denied rights just because they are different. I am upset. I am saddened. If California can vote to ban gay marriage what of all the other states and nations fighting to have it passed. While a leap has been made for civil rights, I think this is a huge leap backwards. How could these two have happened on the same day. It is really really sad. And I pray that there is a way out and things can change again. Oh and am I gay? No. But I am a human being.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Best. Video. EVER

just didn't see the punchline coming

absolutely BRILLIANT!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My biggest strength

Yup I have discovered it! After years of searching I now know exactly what I'm good at. Perhaps it is what I am here for. My purpose of existance.

Yes I know I have got your attention (all 3 of you that ever would read this post that is) - *drum roll please* - procrastination!

Yup that's it. Why else would i be sitting here just 2 days before some of the biggest days of my life.

No once again not getting married - I'm all about the interviews right now though the matrimonials too are apparently being searched in the background or so I'm told - hey apparently it's about optimizing the process to make sure everything is taken care of - the career and the personal life. Lest I end up an unemployed old maid (I was just talking about this to a friend yesterday - with her wondering what the possibility of her ending up a 'bachelorette' for the rest of her life is - uhuh I said - the word would be SPINSTER. uggh! what an ugly word! why is it the word bachelor brings up the image of a good looking eligible guy that girls would be falling all over and the word spinster brings to mind an old lady with cats. *sigh* such are the ways of the world!

Oh I have digressed...what was my point in this post again - oh yes - procrastination. It is amazing how small an attention span I have. Started on one thing and going on about something entirely different. There I go again! Crap this is a bad sign with all these consulting 'case' interviews coming up where the number 1 tip is to not blabber on and keep referring to the central question. Fantastic job I am doing at that!

ANYWAY so where was I? Yes. Procrastination. Hmmm I really don't remember what I was going to say about procrastination but I promise I had all these witty lines all made up in my mind. I did I did! I swear!

I suppose instead of complaining about this I better go work on preparing for those damn interviews. So yes. Big week coming up. Good luck me!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I feel a change in the air...

Big days coming up next week (no no i'm not getting married or anything like that) - all the interviews lined up including a couple that I have my heart set on. I just hope I dont take either of them for granted and also with the possibility that it doesnt go well and I dont get through I dont end up too disappointed. Either way in a few days all will be clear

So technically I should be stressing out but I suddenly feel very calm. Like nothing could really get to me. Strange cause just 2 days ago I was so agitated and easily irritated at the smallest of things (not to mention a couple of people that totally annoyed me). Throw a couple of other disappointments in there. And technically I expected to be ready to explode sometime this week.

But nope. Here I am not really worried about anything. Things will happen as they have to. I will get a job at some point. And since I know there is someone out there watching over me I will get the one that is right to me (and perhaps I just don't know what is right for me). How could I not believe this after what happened in the summer. The job I ended up getting (and accepting) was great no doubt and gave me really interesting experience. But the main thing that it lead to was invaluable. The job took me on a week's trip to India. Where I met my grandfather. Just 1 week before he was admitted to the hospital. And 3 weeks before he passed away. I saw him one last time while he was still healthy and that to me was more than a coincidence. Everytime I think of this my faith that everything happens for a reason gets reaffirmed. How do you put a value on seeing your grandfather one last time? And there is no way that would have happened had I not taken that job. Sometimes it really is best to wait for the reason to happen when you can't understand life.

I still can't believe he is gone. Though I try to think of him only through my happy memories from childhood. He was an amazing man and I have such great memories of him. Of him pushing me into the deep end of the pool practically when I refused to learn to swim - and him being the reason I now am obsessed with water and swimming! Of him bringing home some goodies or the other every time he went to the 'club' with his friends. Of him telling all his friends proudly about how well his granddaughter studies!! I don't want to get sad thinking of him cause he led a full life and he was someone who liked to make the people around him smile so I don't think he would want me to be sad about him. I only pray for my grandma.

But anyway sadness and my tata were not meant to be the topic of this post.

I really do feel a change about me. Things I was getting stressed about are starting to stress me less - the finding of a job and the pressure from family regarding guys (particularly when other people call my parents recommending guys to introduce me to). I know both will sort themselves out as best as they can. I can only try my best and leave the rest to God. I'm talking about finding a job here! As for the guy thing a close friend recently got engaged (and met her better half through the parental-set-up process) and she seems so happy. Plus talking to her made me feel better cause i realized i wasn't the only one who goes through these emotions of being scared, getting disappointed, not knowing what I want through the whole process. But she said meeting THE guy made her not so scared anymore. And she knew it was right. So perhaps I too will know when it is right.

Either way a change is definitely in the air. And I am happy

I hope I remain that way through the next few weeks of the job hunt...and then beyond! :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

B-school is such a roller coaster

There are times when I wonder why I am even here - especially now! Could there be a worse time to be graduating from business school when all anyone ever seems to talk about is the market going down. Companies aren't hiring as much, everyone from the finance world seems to be everywhere else and just in general noone knows what's going on. I even considered the possibility of doing another degree just to get through this wave. Anyway i guess my bank can't really handle that.

But then at the same time I go to classes with such amazing professors that it seems to make up for it. This is the first quarter that I love every class I am in and everytime I'm in the class (particularly in Intl Finance) I wonder how I am so fortunate to be listening to these people!

I do love business school and every aspect of it. The people, the classes, the activities. It's just recruiting that I dont get. Why does it have to be so early. I feel particularly bad for the first years who just got here and already need to figure out what they want to do with their life. The part about experimenting during your internship I'm not so sure about - I did that and look at me - here I am having to go through this process once again. Perhaps it would have been easier if I had taken up something that I knew would convert into a full time thing. But then there is no point having regrets so I shall not.

The thing I hate most about recruiting is what it does to the atmosphere of the place - people seem quieter, there seems to always be something on their minds (and I am guilty of this too - someone just asked me the other day if there's always a lot on my mind because i look lost all the time!!). And it's scary cause last year I saw people in a way that I hadn't before - apparently parts of their personality were well hidden during normal times but came out in full force once recruiting started. Thus I've decided to keep away from school as much as possible - apart from the classes and meetings I just like to be home and it is so much more peaceful.

It has helped in the last few days to have my mum here so it at least puts things in perspective for me. I remain calm because after spending time with my mum I realize that it's not the end of the world if I don't get THE job. I have a lot better things in life to care about. Hopefully I can maintain that attitude once she's gone later this week.

omg i won i won!


Thank you Ashanka and Amrit for giving me a blog award...i am honored to say the least

And how I have to pick people to give it to as well

Well the first two I'd pick are you two...

Amrita's is the one who got me into blogging and here I am 2 years later...her's is the one blog that I have read from day one and will always continue to - it's a great way for me to keep up with her life now that i'm so many miles away...and i love reading her opinion about random aspects of life

Ashanka's blog I discovered just a few months ago through Amrita - and she always manages to make me laugh just through talking about daily life - and that's a brilliant gift!

Also sending it through to a few more blogs that I read on a regular basis

A reporter's diary - Alaphia being a professional of course is in a class of her own...and i really enjoy reading her reports

Bollywood fashion police - that's my guilty pleasure - who doesn't want to look at pictures of celebrities and their fashion faux pas (and the good clothes too of course) - ok maybe everyone doesn't...but well i do!!

Archit's blog I discovered through a common friend way back when I was still in NZ...and it is a testament to how small the world is that I am now in b-school with him!! Anyway just a quirky fun blog with some great insights

India TV Ads - I love indian adverts - and here's a great place to check them out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some amazing people who don't exist

A new tag from Amrit - my 10 favourite literary characters...pretty challenging one this for me...Just because I read so bloody much...anyway here goes nothing and I am certain I will be second guessing myself the minute I press that 'publish post' button

1) Aslan - I had to start with my favourite character growing up. The Chronicles of Narnia were my favourite books for a very long time and I loved the character of Aslan. So powerful yet so gentle. So wise yet so mysterious. With an aura that makes everyone love him yet be scared at the same time.

2) Othello - This is one that will forever remain on my list. There is something about this play that makes it my absolute favourite - and this coming from a die hard shakespeare fan says a lot. It's such a tragic story yet I can read it any number of times - and the character of Othello - I want to hate him for he killed his true love, yet I can't help but sympathize. "I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this. Killing myself to die upon a kiss"

3) Karna - Since the Mahabharata is a book I think I can include this here can't I? The best character in the Mahabharata for me - and the only completely honourable one.

4) Josephine March - I can't remember the number of times I have read Little Women and I remember stopping and wondering about being Jo. What a girl...! Though I'm not sure I would have the courage and compassion to make the decisions she did...

5) Elizabeth Bennett - I think when I was in my teens I constantly lived with a hope the world around me would be that of Jane Austen's books. And what better book than Pride and Prejudice and who better to be than Elizabeth Bennett. So full of life, so simple yet complex.

6) Hector - While the world talks about Odysseus and Achilles, the character of Hector to me is the real hero. A great warrior who gave up his life in the war he thought unnecessary.

7) Connor Fitzgerald/Florentyna Kane - I thought at least one character from my favourite author has to be in this list and I can't for the life of me decide which one I like best. Both just amazing characters. Connor is probably the most honourable of any modern characters I can think of - there is something about men that are patriotic and serve their country that i really admire. As for Florentyna Kane - she is the ultimate heroine to me - amazing aspirations which she finally achieves, yet so grounded into her personal life - and with such a beautiful love story too.

8) Ebenezer Scrooge/Miss Havisham - I've always found Dickens' characters fascinating - particularly the ones you want to hate - yet you know there is something else there. I again couldn't pick between these two.

9) Gerry and Holly Kennedy - This is from one of my most recent reads - PS I Love You. I don't know how long it will actually remain on my top 10 - its just that I read the book only a few days ago and as of now am enamored by these characters. I am not usually one for romantic novels but the way these characters are portrayed and the love between them is absolutely beautiful. I kept going back to parts of the book and rereading just because I couldnt let them go. I would have said just Gerry - but it feels so wrong because they should be together - if only in this list.

10) Severus Snape - This one will seem odd to many but I couldn't not put this in because I spent most of the latter half of the series really believing that there was something truly intriguing and inherently good about him. I remember arguing with all and sundry between the release of the 6th and 7th books that Snape was the good guy. And I cried in the 7th book when his past is revealed...and when his character comes to an end. For some reason, I think he is my favourite character of the Harry Potter series.

phew! done

ok i'm pressing publish before i start thinking about this too hard!

I pass the tag on to whoever wants to do it! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lovely Lovely Halong Bay

I can't stop thinking of this was so incredible. So just to relive the memories - some pictures - during the afternoon, night and early morning


unfortunately my photos dont do justice...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I left with great looking feet and a happy tummy - Kuala Lumpur

Following a trip to Vietnam was my two day stopover in Kuala Lumpur where I had two lovely hosts - a friend from New Zealand and his total sweetheart wife. My trip started with a slight glitch - with a delayed flight - but everything was smooth from there - owe that completely to my hosts!

The first morning I was told that I was going to be taken to a fish spa - what's that you say? So apparently many years ago in some country (I forget where now) someone discovered (I would really like to know how this discovery was made!) that there were certain species of fish that feed on dead skin. So the concept of this spa is you put in your feet and legs (knee down) into a tank of water and the fish will come and eat at your dead skin. Yes I know - scary thought. But then - must try everything once right (that concept should have been thrown out of the window after the Turkish Bath experience!). So I started with the tank with the small fish - I tried not to look down first but when I did I was freaked out - more than a dozen little fish on my feet nibbling!! My friend then went to another tank which had fish up to the size of my palm - there was no way I would try that - apparently women aren't allowed to put their feet in that one more than a minute or two because of sensitive skin. On being dared I put it in for 5 or 10 seconds but no more! Went straight back to my small fish - and sat there for the rest of the half hour without looking down. It wasn't too bad then - just felt like my feet were tingling and vibrating. I have to say the feet did feel really nice after!

Following this very umm interesting experience we went to a local eatery (apparently called kopi shops) and followed up with some shopping. I managed to stick to my resolution of not buying more than one or two pieces anywhere - I had even taken a very small bag on my trip to force that. It was hard but I did it - so proud of myself! Walked around town - saw the Petronas which are more standout in person than any photo I've seen. On to Chinatown for some more walking around and shopping. Oh and another food massage - foot reflexology apparently! I really did come out of KL with my feet in their best shape! Then an indian place for food - where you're served on banana leaves! I definitely ate more than my fair share!!

The next day we went to a place about an hour outside town where there are temples built into caves. So another thing I left KL with is some good Karma - does visiting temples give you good Karma btw? The temples were beautiful and very different from any I had seen. And right outside the caves was this HUGE HUGE statue of Lord Kumaraswamy. Also on the agenda was a tour into a dark cave - which is just that - a dark cave. But it was an interesting experience - for a little while we were told to turn off our flash lights and not make any sound just to experience what the creatures inside do. And wow I never knew such darkness existed.

My last evening was spent relaxing - and eating. And thus ended my short but memorable trip of KL. Again all thanks to my two wonderful hosts!

Yet another country, yet another story - Vietnam

-- I wrote this a few days ago but couldn’t connect then to upload here, and then forgot about it till now --

As I sit here at Hanoi airport waiting for my delayed flight reflecting on the past week the song that plays on my mp3 player is so fitting - 'Yaaron'. Yaaron dosti badi haseen hai, yeh na ho to kya phir bolo zindagi hai. Truly what would life be without friendship. The past few days have been so much fun - great friends, great food and a great new country. What more could you want in a holiday? Except a few more days to stay and savour it. If only…

The trip started in Ho Chi Minh - quite an interesting city but probably not my favourite place in the world. The traffic, the noise, the craziness was possibly a little much for me. It might also be because I sometimes am in denial of the sadness and the pain that the world often sees through war and Ho Chi Minh reminded me of that. The war remnants museum while likely biased towards the Vietnamese was very powerful. The photos of people dying, a lifesize model of a jail cell, a guillotine that was used on thousands - the very idea that these were real people - it shook me. The museum was great no doubt but I'm not sure I could take more than a certain amount of time in there - we walked into the museum a chatty bunch posing in front of the tanks and being silly - but walked out quiet and completely overwhelmed. The day after brought on more reminders of war with a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels which were used by Vietnamese guerillas during the war and also by children and women to hide. We were shown traps and mechanisms used to kill people - all by a tour guide with the weirdest sense of humour (a guide who called himself Stifler - as in American Pie). Walking just 30m in the tunnels made me so claustrophobic - how must people have spent days in them? War causes so much suffering - why does it keep happening then? The most ironic part of the tour was that after two hours of seeing this and being reminded of how bad war is we were taken to a shooting range and told we could now use AK47s, machine guns etc. WTF?

Anyway, enough about the war. On a brighter note, Ho Chi Minh - and well all of Vietnam - had some of the most delicious food I've ever had. It felt like we created our itinerary around all the food we wanted to eat!! Oh not to mention a fantastic massage - that's my one must do every time I visit asia - even one in a great salon is so cheap!

On to Hanoi - a much nicer and slightly less busy city - though still busy and crowded enough to make me pray for my life every time I crossed the road. We spent our days in Vietnam just walking around and exploring the city. Really quaint architecture - where all the houses have really narrow fronts but are deep and tall (between 3 and 5 floors). I was explained the significance of this on my way to the airport - apparently the french started a property tax where they determined the tax to be paid based on how much of the street a house took up and thus the people started building houses which only took up 4.3 - 5m of the street by were deep and tall! While the tax doesn’t exist anymore culturally people have become used to this style of buildings. Even the countryside had houses which had tons of land yet the front was less than 5m! I loved walking around Hanoi - where our hotel was close to a beautiful lake and a great shopping area. Across the lake was a temple that had an amazing atmosphere of peace - really strange in such a bustling city. We just sat around the temple for nearly an hour taking it all in - especially after the craziness of Ho Chi Minh. Next to the temple was a theatre which all the guides told us we must visit - for the ancient art form of water puppetry. Hmmm…perhaps it is really amazing but well it isn't something I would say is a must see (sorry lonely planet!). Maybe I'm just not cultural enough!

The next day was by far the best day of our trip - Halong Bay. Truly the highlight of Vietnam and the one place I really want to come back - and perhaps I will one day with the husband (if and when there is one). After a long slow ride to Halong city we were taken on a little motor boat towards Halong Bay which seemed crowded with many so-called Junks all the time with me praying that the junk I had picked looked good since the girls had won against the guys on getting a luxury one. As we approached - not bad I thought. The rooms were nice - well it was my first time on an overnight cruise so it's hard for me to compare and it had 2 beautiful decks. Lunch in an hour we were told - and what a lunch it was. They said with these boats - well Junks - you get what you paid for - and apparently we had paid for a 7 course meal of without doubt the freshest seafood I have ever had. I am usually not a big fan of seafood - save some types of fish and prawns. I'm usually wary of crabs etc - thus was skeptical when a whole crab shell et al was put on my plate. But well, I would only be here once (well hopefully not) and got on with struggling with my crab - providing some great entertainment for the rest. As for the prawns - oh man! - if I could eat those for the rest of my life I'd be a happy girl. Following lunch we got on another small boat and were taken to some limestone caves. While I have seen many of those before nothing compared to this one - it was HUGE and absolutely magnificent. The strange thing however was the stall of food and drink right outside the cave. Oh and I forgot to mention the little rowboats all around the bay trying to sell the people on the boat junk food and BEER! Though I'm not sure how they would have got it up to us - maybe I should have bought something just to satisfy that curiosity. We then got into some kayaks - this time just the six of us on 3 kayaks plus on kayak to guide us (and make sure we came back alive I suppose). After half an hour on the kayak something hit me - I am actually here Kayaking in the famous Halong Bay as opposed to Mission Bay back home like every other time I've been in a Kayak. It was beautiful and it was a completely surreal experience. Back to the boat for yet another 7 course meal and then we went up to the deck - being a bit loud we had the top deck pretty much to ourselves and we just lay there looking at the sky which was filled with more stars than I've ever seen in my life. The next morning I got up to see the sunrise which unfortunately happened behind some islands but still the sight was again amazing - so calm so beautiful - I don’t know how many pictures I ended up clicking. After spending the rest of the morning on the boat - including another fabulous meal - we were put on our way back to Hanoi.

In Hanoi first on the agenda was to pick up a dress that I had ordered 2 days before - something I saw on the window but obviously with the size vietnamese women are - it was something I had to have remade in my size. I was scared as I hadn't had the opportunity to try it on but as soon as it went on - oh my God. Its definitely now my most beautiful dress - but unfortunately I will have to wait a while to wear it since it needs a fairly special occasion - but I think it'll be worth the wait!! After some more shopping and walking around the city and eating (of course!) - it was time to return. Which I did with a very heavy heart and a longing to spend more time - and see the Sapa Valley - or Hoi An - or the Perfume Pagoda. There are definitely more reasons to return. The one thing I would say to anyone going to vietnam is with limited time it might pay off to only go to Northern Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An etc.

Anyway that's my account of Vietnam. And here I am at the airport waiting to fly to KL. Just been told that the flight will leave 4 and a half hours late! *Sigh*

Friday, August 22, 2008

Random (and really stoopid) thoughts....

So I was looking at something random and came across a close up shot of Matthew McConaughey (wow I had to google his name to make sure i spelt it right) - and i was fascinated by his facial structure. Don't the jawline, the cheekbones just all spell perfection. Like Man the way he was meant to be? What must God have been thinking while sculpting this one?

And then coincidentally (i swear it was...i wasn't googling hot guys or anything) I came across the trailer of Dostana and it had my ultimate man - John Abraham. To me the best looking guy on any side of the world. And yes I admit I watched the trailer a few times (Poor Baby B gets totally overshadowed in my eye - just like he did in Dhoom2 next to DemiGod-like Hrithik). Now what was God thinking when he made John (or Hrithik for that matter)? Now that's one gift to women.

Why is it that some men (and women too I suppose) are made so perfect? Is it karma?

I have no idea why I'm even typing this crap here...but dang that boy is H-O-T

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Of poverty and olympics

Read an piece by Shobha De and couldnt help but comment

here's the article firstly:
Mera Bharat Kahan?

So I don't get it. What is the relevance and what is she trying to say again? I know I am not the sharpest cookie but seriously!

What does a girl selling a newspaper (no matter how impoverished) have to do with Abhinav Bindra winning a gold?

While a part of me does think that the medal has been made into a huge deal - in that it was a great achievement for Abhinav Bindra but not for India considering a country with a population such as ours should not end every olympics with just one medal ( though we managed to go from bronze to silver to gold), i think the article takes it two steps too far. How can she undermine his achievement? And sure he has a lot of money and thus why should the maharashtra chief minister give him more? But what of the encouragement this might provide to other aspiring youngsters and perhaps their parents who might then push their children's passion. And by saying he shouldnt be rewarded monetarily just because he already is wealthy is such a leftist mindset but coming from the source it is it is just so hypocritical - what of Ms De who herself is a big socialite? How often will she think of the little girl while she indulges in champagne and caviar later in the warmth of her own home?

And the little girl. How easy it is to make judgements. About her. About her parents. Sure they are poor and sure the child is working. But how easy it is to say that the girl will end up a prostitute and her parents will live off those earnings. It is not the family's fault that they are in that situation but perhaps they are trying to make the most of what they have - and maybe just maybe they won't find themselves in a situation where they will need to sell their daughter. Just because she is seen the street makes her a future prostitute? Sad must be the mind that sees the future in this light.

On and what of the line - "He won despite being an indian"
Sure India doesnt offer the same sort of infrastructure to aspiring sportspeople but is she trying to imply that he had to overcome the 'hurdle' of being Indian? What in the Lord's name?!

But I digress here. The article feels to me like it was written because Shobha De wanted to be cynical about the olympic medal and here she found her opportunity.

Who is Shobha De anyway? I've always though her over rated. A model, an editor (of Stardust mind you!), an author (questionable in my head since I could never read more than a few pages of her books whenever I attempted to) and social activist. What is a social activist though? One who sits on the wall and makes judgements and yells out the same nonsense over and over under the pretext of getting people to bring about change? How about for a moment trying to be part of that change instead?

What if Ms De instead of trying to create this 'intelligent' piece in her head while watching the girl had taken the same time to maybe help in some small way. What of the small chance that she may have been able to make a difference to one person - instead of pretending to change society itself?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How far can you push your quest for perfection?

So the whole world and its uncle has heard the news that broke out today - the girl everyone saw and fell in love with at the Olympics opening ceremony was not just her but in fact two girls. The face. And the voice. To ensure that they had the 'perfect' representation of their country's image they chose to lie. Now I agree that there are many things that we see on tv that are not real. Hence I don't really say there is much wrong with the other fake stunt - of adding digital touches to some fireworks shown on tv. But the decision to use a different child's voice in the background is a blatant lie. While I agree that the world is filled with lies, haven't you by doing this taught a child that it is ok to lie? This when to all speak the truth is perhaps one of the biggest lessons any parent tries to teach their child. And what is even worse is that by doing this they are teaching children that it is ok to discriminate - based on looks or anything. Just because the girl with the amazing voice did not have the 'perfect' face she couldn't be put on tv. But this is a child!!! Aren't all children beautiful? Is it ok to tell a child she isn't pretty enough to be on tv? And another to pretend she is singing? Is it so important to be perfect that it justifies corrupting children? Is it worth the price?

Monday, July 28, 2008

What inspires me

There are often stories in the papers about people who have succeeded in spite of an unfair hand dealt to them in life and they are all so inspiring. The one i read today made me cry - not because I felt sorry for this person but because I was amazed at his outlook towards life. He really seems to believe that things happen for a reason - and never talks about his disability being a burden. I'm inspired not just by his achievements against all odds but his attitude towards life. There are so many people who talk about what's wrong in life and never count their blessings. And here is someone who has the right to complain but has not a single negative word to say. If I could only be 0.5% the person he is.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I am scared

Two days. Two sets of blasts. The second one bigger than the first. And following the incidents in Jaipur not so long ago. And Hyderabad just last year. What is the world coming to? Why does it have to be this way? I believe in being positive always - but how can one continue to be when there is no peace in the world. If people have to step out of their house not knowing whether they will come back home - and not because of some random accident but by a deliberately planned plot not aimed at them but just anyone. All to make statements? And what is the statement that is being made? I am too much of a nobody to understand the politics behind all this but all I know is the more such things happen the more I wonder about the future. I am no doomsday conspiracy theorist (is that a term?) but it is just sad to see random people die. I know I shouldnt question God every time something bad happens in the world, but if he is the creator, the preserver and the destroyer - why does He let these things happen? Everything is part of a bigger plan but what is the bigger plan here. And where's the end to it all? The politicians talk about wars against terrorism and themselves partake in acts of violence just to give themselves and their subjects (yes i use that term deliberately because sometime I feel like the concept of democracy becomes optional to these people) a feeling of satisfaction that something is being done. And yet violence is everywhere. And while the chance of something happening to one person is very small - the point is it could happen to anyone. This is a very far off thought but is this the world I would some day want to bring a child into? I am scared.

I think I'm in love...

with the idea of being in love. I am such an old fashioned girl when it comes to love and romance. Ever since I was 16 I've had fantasies of being swept off my feet. About being wined (umm well sparkling grape juiced in my case) and dined. Of red roses (though I do prefer yellow myself) and long walks. But seriously - there is something about being in love. The idea of someone in your life, someone who will take care of you, someone who is just there. Someone whose very thought would bring a smile to my face. Someone who I look forward to talking to or seeing at the end of every long day. I really miss that. When I see couples in love I couldn't be happier for them, but am left with a lingering thought of when I will find that one that I'm looking for. Don't get me wrong - while I dream of love - I'm not one to believe that we all have this 'one' person who is made for us.

I know there are many people out there that I can be equally happy with and I'm sure whoever I end up with will make me very happy. Until a few months ago the idea of arranged marriage scared me - part of it because how do I marry someone I haven't spent enough time with to really know. But I dont think that was the main reason. I truly believe that most people in this world are inherently good and I don't think I will end up with someone who I won't like. I do trust my parents - and I know that they will give me all the time in the world to make my choice. So why not give it a go. It's just one way to meet someone new right? So back to what it is about arranged marriages that I'm actually against - the thought that my dreams of so many years will remain unfulfilled. The idea of falling in love. The idea of romance. But then the silver lining I see behind every cloud says - why should I think I won't fall in love with said guy? And why would there not be romance in it. My mum and dad had an arranged marriage - they barely even knew each other when they were married - yet you would never know the way my dad behaves! So that's the one wish I do have - whoever that guy is - I hope he is the one I've been dreaming of. And whatever I did dream of does come true.

Actually I take that back. That would be wish number 2 for me (If God gave me three wishes). And what is the first wish I would ask for? That if there is such a thing as another life - that I be born to the same parents again. But more on that for another day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is this the news that people really read?

Every time I open I am amazed at the headlines that they choose to display as their front line stories. Either it is about Bollywood actors or some bizarre thing that has happened in a remote part of the country that is just there to create sensationalism. I mean sure even I like my healthy dose of Bollywood gossip and these strange happenings need to be covered - but the headlines? Sify in particular just comes up with the weirdest things. Today's Sify headlines include - "Brit Blokes are the biggest bedroom liars" (sorry?), "Liquor fed chickens sell like hotcakes" (riiiight!), "Wanted: Urine donors for NASA's space lavatory" (HUH?).

But apparently I shouldn't blame the website. Guess what the most clicked-on story of the day from Samachar Top25 is? "Amrita Rao left red faced as her choli slips off"!!!!

I am in shock. Why would someone even write a story like that? Sure she is a Bollywood actress and they know that being part of the news (whether good or bad) comes with the package. But she is still a girl. What would have compelled a journalist to write something as embarrassing as that. I feel sorry for her. And apparently it is the most 'popular' article of today too. Disgusting!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Congratulations on flushing education down the toilet

Read the following article and please for the love of God explain it to me

HRD orders faculty quota, IIT directors livid

I think it was sometime in the early '90s - I was 7 or 8 and I remember a group of college students broke into our school in protest. I have very vague memories of the incident but remember being told that it had something to do with reservations. It didn't make much sense to me then and a few years after that I moved out of the country thus never really felt the effect of reservation. But as I've grown older and seen how this phenomenon has spread I wonder where it will end.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for inclusive growth and I agree that in India perhaps the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting left behind. But the amount of reservations in the top institutions of India is shocking. Plus when it comes to inclusive growth shouldn't it be based on economic condition as opposed to caste. Yes now there is the whole 'creamy layer' thing but there are so many loopholes in there. Is it really fair that some people have to work so much harder to get into the same colleges just because of being born in an 'affluent' caste - where it could very well be that their parents in fact are not that affluent. Anyway, forget all that - that is an old topic that will never die down, but this article today makes my blood boil. Must affirmative action be carried so far that the education of the country's youth be jeopardized.

What is this new ruling if not that? To start a quota for backward classes in the faculty of the IITs? Could anything be stupider? The IITs have built such an incredible reputation for themselves of shaping some of the brightest minds in the country. People all over the world respect you for being an IITian. And what is a college if not for a great faculty? Is that possible when spots in the faculty (including tenured professors) are given out based on caste? FIFTY PERCENT OF THE FACULTY!!!

I am not saying that there are not great candidates for the roles from this group of people. But will it not be that the deserving ones will apply through the general slots (just like they do as students). And that means that half of the people who are supposed to train the future leaders of the country are not competent enough to do so. What sense does that make?

Explain this to me. I understand that spots are created in undergraduate classes for the underprivileged as they have not had access to the same resources (at the same time I reiterate that these should be based on your economic condition). I then question why there must be reservations in graduate degrees - haven't both X (from a scheduled caste) and Y (from a non scheduled caste) been given access to the same education thus giving them the ability to compete on even ground. But no. Here too X must be given an advantage for whatever reason. Ok I will let that go too. Here's the big question pertaining to the faculty. X got into an IIT thanks to reservation and did ok but not enough to get into a graduate degree on his own merit. Thus X once again applies to get a further education once again through a quota.

At this point X has had 8 years of education with the same 'privileges' that Y did (while Y perhaps had to work that little bit harder to do well enough to get into that graduate degree based only his academics). How then does it make sense that X must be given priority for a faculty position? In these 8 years any difference between X and Y has been wiped out hasn't it? Aren't they at least now equal and shouldn't they be treated equally? In the name of affirmative action, why must Y suffer? What has he done that is so wrong? Will it be that some time in the future Y's children and grandchildren will need the quota because Y lost so many opportunities thanks to reservation? Or is it then surprising that Y decides to give up on the country altogether and leave?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na - If only...

Every once in a while I watch a movie where I wish I was the character in it. No it doesn't happen in superhero movies. I have no fantasy of flying or saving the world (though come to think of it, it doesn't sound like a bad idea). That feeling usually comes in cute love stories - though not all of them. I always feel that way when watching Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. If I could choose a love story for myself it would be that one. The movie I watched this weekend gave me the same feeling. It was the perfect story - best friends who discover that they have been in love all along. What could be nicer than falling in love with your closest friend. That's always been my dream since I was a child. Yes I admit it - I was the typical girl who dreamed of love since very young :)

Back to the movie - there is a certain freshness about it that really puts a smile on your face - even though there is nothing new to the story and the climax in particular is oh-so-cliched! Yet that cliche seems adorable here. All thanks to the simple script and the amazingly natural acting by the whole cast. Imran Khan makes a fantastic debut - he could pass off as Aamir Khan's son with that same cheeky smile, a smile that is conveyed even through the eyes! Genelia has long been one of my favourites - especially after watching Bommarillu (there's another movie I would love to be a part of!) - there's something about her - she becomes the character and you never for a moment think it is a movie. Everyone is the movie was splendid - I especially loved loved loved the scenes between Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak - great chemistry there!! And I have to mention the guy who plays Genelia's brother - who I later found out is Smita Patil's son Prateik - he is around in just a few scenes - but absolutely fantastic! My favourite two scenes in the movie are those between Genelia and him - first when he confesses he misses her and second when he tells her she is stupid to think of marrying anyone else.

The story of the movie is very simple - two people who have known each other forever refuse to acknowledge that their feelings for each other are anything but platonic. And to prove it to the world, they find each other perfect partners. Only to discover that they can't stand the thought of someone else being closer to their friend. So perhaps friendship is love and love is friendship?

But whether you believe it or not, to everyone I would say - go watch the movie!! And while you're at it - find me a Jai Singh Rathore :)

Kabhi kabhi aditi zindagi mein koi apna lagta hai....

what's going on?

I must be a crazy one for thinking this but is it so wrong to refuse to drink and not have a reason for it? Why do I find myself constantly in a position of having to explain why i DONT drink? While friends I grew up with accepted this from the very beginning moving to the US was another story altogether. People sometimes thought I was acting pricey and sometimes thought I was trying to put them down for drinking. But I never have - I don't care who drinks and who doesn't - as long as noone asks me to drink. Thankfully after a couple of months people gave up. Why am I talking about this now then? Because this weekend I met a whole bunch of new people and found myself in the same predicament again. But instead of having to explain myself I got myself a glass of a non-alcoholic drink so people could assume whatever they wanted. Or if someone asked I said I didnt want to right now. Just to avoid questions. Isn't it crazy that one must lie about not drinking?

Yet another thing that triggered this off. A radio talk show host said that she doesnt trust people who have never even had a puff of a cigarette or a drug in their life or who don't drink because they are TOO much in control and she is scared of them. What the HELL?? am i the only crazy one here?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The vogue of political incorrectness

A few months ago I got told by a friend that I am the most politically correct person he knows and no it wasn't a compliment. He said I should round up a bunch of people like me and we could form a very good PC police. Right. I actually think it's quite funny that to call a person politically correct is now a derogatory term or maybe it always was since the phrase was conceived. What is to be politically correct? Wikipedia (the ONE who knows everything) seems to define it as languange, ideas, behaviour that seeks to minimize offense. I missing something? Is that not a good thing?

No by this I do not mean that we should all hide the truth or our real feelings all the time - but sometimes is it worth offending others for your own satisfaction of not being PC? Isn't it better to then be politically correct?

The reason I bring this up is now that I have a car again I am finally listening to the radio in the US. And I was a little appalled at the topics that get discussed on the radio and the way people are criticized and insulted. And so much of it is pointless. To me if feels like it is all in the name of being 'cool' Un-PC people.

So is that a trend then? To talk crap just so you can claim to not be labeled PC?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The best man I will ever know

A couple of weeks ago it was fathers day in the US, but I think it is on a different day in new zealand so I don't know when to wish my dad. But then, every day is fathers day because without my dad I would be nobody and I don't just mean that in the literal sense.

Last week I had a bit of a crisis and I think it was him worrying a lot more than I was. But then perhaps the reason I wasn't worrying was because I knew he was there and somehow he would magically make all the problems go away - and he did!

What can I say about him? At time we are such opposites that he drives me crazy with his views on what I should do. I fight with him like there's no tomorrow - and it happens that once in a while we are both so pigheaded that neither wants to see the other's point. Then I realize that maybe we aren't so different after all. And sometimes I just give in because I would rather do something that makes him happy than be stubborn.

Because ever since I can remember, he has done everything possible and more to make me happy. I don't actually remember ever asking him for something and not getting it - more often than not I have had it before I have even asked for it. I am yet to figure out how he knows.

At the end of the day he's just there. At the other end of the phone any time of day or night - whether it is for silly things like me being lost (yes I actually call long distance to find directions when I'm lost - that's how dependent I can be on him) or stressing about exams. He's always there. And I thank God every day for that.


At work today there was a picnic for all the employees' kids - not that I have any of my own but I thought to stop by the picnic where they had a person doing an animal show. I was amazed - not by the huge reptiles, though those were pretty incredible too - but by the questions children ask. Their sense of wonder at the world in all things we consider small and insignificant. The world is filled with things that we should all feel like that about, yet we pass them by everyday never stopping to look and wonder. It must be nice to be young enough and innocent enough to appreciate the little things. I so wish to be a child again so I can just live. So I can be innocent again. So I can see things the way I used to.

Where and how do we lose that innocence and our sense of wonderment towards the world? Does knowledge and experience get rid of that? Or is it the drudgery of everyday life? Here we are earning money, supposedly making the world a better place - being a doctor, an artist, a mother. But are we really enjoying the world the way we once did? And if not was all the knowledge and 'maturing' worth it?

On another note, watching kids makes me realize every time how much I love them. And how much I would one day like to have my own. Yet thinking about this already makes me scared of the day that they in turn lose their innocence and stop being children. I know it sounds silly but how will i live on that day?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Not Khan but the movie. Definitely the best movie I've seen this year. I saw good reviews but thought it was one of those things that a lot of Indian reviewers do where as soon as a movie is even mildly 'different', everyone is applauding it whether it's a good movie or not. Reservation number 2 from me - Rajeev Khandelwal. Never liked his Balaji show, and thought his acting was just so cliched. And so many TV actors do inconsequential movies just to return to the small screen after failing.

But God I hope he doesn't fail. The man is brilliant here. Through the whole movie he says very little, yet you feel like you are inside him - going through everything he is going through - seeing the world through his eyes. And what a world. Mumbai as I never knew it was. The slums. The dirt. Everything feels so real you can almost touch it. The music and the sounds are still playing in my ears. Speaking of which you wouldn't think a movie like this leaves space for good music but another surprise - I'm downloading the songs right now.

At the end of the day I give all the credit to the director - rarely have I seen a hindi movie where I felt like I was experiencing what was on the screen - I was the protagonist and I was going through these bizarre events. Because I am not super human. I react like any normal human would. Yet perhaps in every normal human, there is the ability to be more.

I won't reveal beyond that...all I will say is watch the movie!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Time flies and how

Lying in bed I just realized that it is my penultimate night in this room. It just seems like yesterday when I walked in (with uncle and aunt in tow to make sure i 'settled in' ok). I remember being a little worried, yet definitely excited. First time away from home - big moment, blah blah. How would I handle it? What would the people be like? Would I fit in?

And here I am - end of my first year - half an mba and about to step back into the real world, even if it is only for 10 weeks. Am I ready for it though? Yes and no. Actually, more no than yes. While it will be interesting to be out there working and fun to not have tests and assignments to worry about, I don't know if I want to leave yet.

The place that I was so unsure about just 9 months ago now feels like home. So I wonder - if I'm homesick while away on my internship would i be missing my actual home or this place here?

Friday, June 06, 2008

More advertising

Putting in a plug for a friend's site

i've always loved indian adverts

there's some awesome one's from the past here...definitely makes you nostalgic :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My life the musical

I'm not a big fan of blog tags but this one from Amrit was too interesting to pass up...if my life was a musical what would the songs here goes nothing

a lot of them probably don't fit but went with what i could think of... :)

Opening credits: Barso re Megha - Guru (sorry i had to be a little narcissistic here!)

Waking up: Beautiful day - U2

Average day: Jeene ke ishaare - Phir Milenge

First date: Aaj mausam beimaan hai - Loafer

Falling in love: When you say nothing at all - Ronan Keating/ Aaj jaane ki zid na karo - Farida Khanum

Love Scene: Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge / Everything I do - Bryan Adams

Fight Scene: We will rock you - Queen

Breaking up: Chalte Chalte - Chalte Chalte

Getting back together: Build me up Buttercup - The Foundations/ Mitwa - Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Secret love: Pyar Hua Chup ke se - 1942 A Love Story

Life’s ok: Aashayein - Iqbal

Mental Breakdown: Itni shakti hamein dena - Ankush/ Maula - Chak de India

Driving: I'm a believer - Smashmouth/Hotel California - The Eagles

Learning a lesson: Haan Yehi Rasta Hai - Lakshya

Flashback: Linger - The cranberries/ Jab Koi Baat Bigad jaaye - Jurm

Partying: Say na Say na - Bluffmaster/ Namak - Omkara

Happy Dance: Mucho Mambo (sway) - Shaft

Regretting: Drive - Bic Runga

Long night alone: Its all coming back to me now - Celine Dion/Tadap Tadap - Hum Dil De Chuke

Death Scene: Rote Hue aate hain sab - Muqaddar ka Sikandar

Closing Credits: Livin on a prayer - Bon Jovi

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dear God

Do I have to give up on worldly pleasures to be one with you? Because I so want to be. Yet I'm not sure I am ready to not care about material things. Why is it that every spiritual guide tells me I must disconnect with myself and everything around me to find you. If you are everywhere why don't I see you like the more learned ones claim they do. I believe I see you, in my heart, in my conscience. Yet should I do more? Should I wait for you to reveal yourself to me in some form the way you have to those who have persevered in their pursuit of you and given up all that is dear to them? And if I must not care about the world to find the eternal truth and you, why did you create the world around me to tempt to be a part of it?

More Istanbul...

More of the magical City

The Hagia Sophia

The Blue Mosque

Bridge separating Europe and Asia...and that beautiful water I couldn't get over

There's that mix of amazing architecture against the backdrop of water that I so fell in love with

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Europe to Asia all in a day - Istanbul

What a gorgeous city! I wish I could have stayed longer. I even momentarily considered moving there - when I saw some of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen in my life - only to realize that even if I did I'd never be able to afford them. Unless I find me a rich :)

But seriously, there was something about Istanbul. There are two things I love on holiday - to be in or near water, and to see a part of history. And here there was both. The Hagia Sophia and the blue mosque had amazing art and architecture. And oh the history! A building that has been around for centuries or millenniums stand in there and read about everything the building has gone through right from the 4th century. To think about everyone who has probably stood on the same spot that you are!

My highlight of the trip however was the Basilica Cistern (photo here). Entirely underground, with water and beautifully lit. There was a peaceful yet eerie feeling all at once. Definitely one of the most memorable buildings I've seen in my life.

And then there was the water. Blue. Clear. Pristine. I must have been a fish (or a mermaid perhaps! ;) ) in a previous life the way i get excited every time I see water. We caught a ferry that took us in the Bosphorus channel that separates the European and the Asian sides of Istanbul (which I thought was pretty cool in itself) - and it was during this that I saw those houses overlooking the channel...*sigh*. See it is something to do with the water. I'm sure that mermaid theory is true!

And the two guilty pleasures of Istanbul - the food and the jewelery! The amount we ate in two days was probably what I eat in a week. And the jewelery - if only I had the money, I'd have bought it all!! If I start talking any more about them, I will start craving I'll stop now :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nature's Fury and more

What a terrible few days. China. Burma. So many people dead. Mother nature can be cruel sometimes. All those children trapped with their parents waiting outside. So many people rendered homeless. Why? What does it all mean.

And as if nature hadn't done enough, man had to have his say too. Bomb blasts in Jaipur. More people dead.

It is scary to think how many people died the last week that weren't supposed to. Or were they? Strange are the ways of God. Yes I am still hanging on to my faith. But looking for an explanation

Monday, May 12, 2008

Finding myself?

I was talking to a friend about the article I mentioned below - and how once in a while I question why if God exists, he allows such atrocities to happen in the world. My friend questioned my assumption in the first place - that God exists. What is God he asked me? My conscience - God is within me - He is who makes me not do something wrong. Then what about that man, he questioned. Did the God within him make him do what he did to his daughter? I had no response. Then we talked about Buddha - how He went out into the mountains and put himself through so much hardship believing that He would find God. And just when He thought He did, he realized how wrong he had always been. He instead found himself. He had never been the Prince Siddhartha or Gautama - he had always been Buddha. And that was the truth.

Find yourself, my friend said, don't question the world and what is right or wrong, but who you are. But how? Who am I? And what do I do to find myself?

I don't understand

I keep talking about being optimistic and happy all the time but there are times when I question myself. There is so much happening in the world that is so wrong. But why? If there is a God (and I do believe in my heart that there is) why does he allow these things to happen. Just yesterday when I felt compelled to research Kamal Nath I read so much about the Sikh massacre that happened in 1984 - all done by educated people. And it disturbed me so. So many people dead - so many mothers lost their sons - so many children were orphaned. All for nothing.

I have been a little low all day - I don't quite know why. Maybe it's a combination of what I read and on a smaller scale because a friend of mine who has been dealt a very unfair hand in life, yet takes the blame of this upon herself. And when I got home, the first news article I read shook me completely. About a man in Iraq who mercilessly killed his 17 year daughter, helped by his sons, just because she was caught talking to a foreign man.

I know I have read of things like this many times, but they never fail to sadden me. To kill your own daughter and sister? What human being can bring himself to do that - and to be proud of it too? Why is life so unfair to so many people in so many ways? To good people. The girl in this case did nothing wrong - she was helping other people. Yet to die such a horrid death - and have your killer go free (and even respected as a hero) - what did she do to deserve that?

My 'about me' talks about feeling blessed - and I agree I do. But sometimes I wonder about how unfair that is. I haven't done enough good in my life to deserve so much happiness. While I am thankful to God for all he has given me, I don't understand why. What about everyone else? Why do so many continue to suffer? Why is it that the world is so divided in terms of fortune - some have everything and the others have worse than nothing? Why?

Its very sad...

We had a great conference at school this weekend. Except - there were protests about a certain speaker. Kamal Nath. I didn't quite know the history there till I decided to look it up. And there is so much there. About his involvement in the massacre in 1984. Whether he was physically involved or just present watching it happen - it is still bad isn't it? There were so many people part of that atrocity - yet so many people got away free. Why? And how can someone with such a reputation be a part of the government. Perhaps I see the point of the protesters. Is that really the person we want to represent India outside our country?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I am blessed!

What did I do to meet such amazing people everywhere I go? I had the best birthday ever and I dont know why I was thinking I wouldn't! People around me just made it so special I nearly cried. What did I do to deserve it? I must have done something really good in my past life.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Quarter life crisis?

I remember blogging a couple of years ago about turning 23 which to me at that time had seemed a big deal. Now that I am on the threshold on 25 I couldn't quite remember why I had felt that way - so decided to go back and read it. Apparently the big deal was that 23 is closer to 25 that it is to 20 - and by 25 I better officially be an adult and have figured out what I want to do with my life.

But here I am at 25 still unsure of what to do. When will I finally grow up?

My birthday this year feels a little strange. Most years I start counting down a few weeks in advance and getting excited about nothing in particular. But here I am just 2 days before the so-called big day feeling a little pensive. What is it that I want from life? Here I am at a great business school, learning so many new things, meeting so many amazing people - who all seem to have life all figured out. Yet here I am almost drifting. But then this is how I've always been - it's just that I have been incredibly lucky to have ended up at the right place every time. I was always afraid that my luck would run out one day, but had hoped that by then I would have started to make decisions based on logic and knowing what I want.

What is it that I feel? People talk about midlife crisis - but is there such a thing as a quarter life crisis too?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watch this video...

Then tell me...Are you a donor? And if not, why not?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lest we forget

Interesting how I never made it a point to go to the dawn Anzac service every year while i lived in Auckland (i did a couple of times but was never regular) - but when here someone invited me to come to one, I jumped at the chance. So there I was up at 5 in the morning to get to the 6am service in downtown Chicago, and I'm really glad I went. Was beautiful to listen to the Ode of Remembrance and the Last Post, and to really think about the people who fought out there, for families that lost their sons and their husbands so far away from home.

At the service we ran into a Vietnam war veteran who said he goes to the Anzac service every year because he is happy that at least some war heroes are paid respect to. He said it disturbs him when people ask him why he fought a war - 'hate the war, not the warriors' he said. How true.

I am no fan of war, don't get me wrong, but I have immense respect for soldiers. To put your life in danger and go out there to fight for your country, there is something incredibly honorable in that. Perhaps I am biased. My dad spent 18 years of his life in the army, and I am so so proud of him for it. And well, it was an unfulfilled childhood dream that I would step into his shoes one day. I sometimes wish I had.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Random ramblings

Do we really understand the significance of things in life? Could it be that one moment that seemed entirely insignificant could then go on to shape the rest of your life? A split second decision that you didn't think made any difference changed everything for you...and perhaps you don't even realize it? Is that fate? Or just random coincidences? Do parallel dimensions get constantly created every time you make a decision...if so then wouldn't it be interesting to see the effect of those decisions?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is happening to me?

Does it ever feel like you end up doing the very things you dislike in other people? And then you start to dislike yourself for it. All my life I could never stand negativity and cynicism - yet of late I find myself being that way. Am I losing my positivity and innocence? A friend once told me that I look at the world with rose-coloured glasses - but I think I liked being that way. Suddenly I feel like I'm losing that and seeing something entirely different. Pray, why is this happening to me? Is age finally catching up? Is it because I am finally out of the protective world that home was? Or maybe it is just a phase...please let it be just a phase. I don't want to add to the already too big list of cynics in this world.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The great supermarket conspiracy

What is it about supermarkets? Are there many people in the world who can actually walk into a supermarket and walk out with just what they came in for? Every time I'm there I seem to come home with all sorts of random things that I didn't know I need - or even wanted! Yesterday I set out with a mission - I needed four things for a dish I was making - just FOUR things - and that was all I would get. But as soon as I walked into the supermarket I started looking at something else and for five minutes had no idea what I had even come in for cause everything else looked really interesting. But I woke myself up from the trance like state and set about my task like a soldier - and actually managed to pick up just the four things I needed (though I had to fight off the temptation to buy anything else - my mission would be unsuccessful) - and made it all the way to the check out counter. So close. And then I saw it. "Exotic Chocolate" - chocolate with really weird flavourings and fillings - salt, chili, even bacon! And for some reason I saw myself pick up the chili flavoured chocolate (my mission all down the drain) and put it in my pile of things. *sigh* Why do I even want chili flavoured chocolate? I dont really. Especially not one that cost me $8 for a tiny slab. So here I am with my exotic chocolate - yet unopened - just so it can remind me of the great supermarket conspiracy and how I got trapped into it.

As an aside - I forgot to wear my watch and looked around for the time, but couldnt find a clock anywhere. Is that just that one supermarket or do supermarkets like casinos not have clocks either?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

City on Steroids - Shanghai

I had seen a lot of pictures of Shanghai (and Mission Impossible 3) before and I guess I knew it was a big city with buildings everywhere. But nothing could have prepared me for Shanghai. Looking down from the tallest observation deck in the city as far out as the smog will allow you, all you can see are really tall buildings. I mean of course, that in itself is not new - but considering just 10 or 15 years ago, so much of this didn't exist, the city completely stuns you. In the past few months at business school, I've heard India and China talked about in the same breath (albeit everyone does mention that China is ahead as of now) - but I still expected China to be more or less like India. But the infrastructure in China just blew me away. Nothing in India (in any of the cities I have been) can compete.

But then, my perspective on that is that to build a whole city in a communist country is not the same as even building a single structure in a democracy. And well, while Shanghai is amazing, and it would be a dream to achieve something like that in cities in India, I wouldn't give up democracy and freedom for anything. Even if because of it India does take time to play catch up. But this discussion for another day. For now, back to Shanghai.

Our first night in Shanghai was spent on Nanjing road, which is basically a street made of neon lights. The lights are completely blinding! My first meal in Shanghai was interesting to say the least. I ordered a dish called 'Chicken with Capsicum' and when I did, the waitress said 'you want chicken with peppers'? Of course, I said yes assuming that like it would be here, peppers = capsicum. Apparently the translation got lost somewhere, and whoever had written the english menu assumed capsicum means chillies and I received a dish which was 50% red chillies!

Most of my time in Shanghai was spent walking around the streets, shopping, seeing more big buildings (including the interestingly shaped but not-so-appealing-to-me TV tower). I also found out that they were in the process of building the tallest tower in the world - but before they could finish it, the Taipei 101 was built, which will soon be surpassed by the new structure coming up in Dubai - making the one in Shanghai the 3rd tallest.

Some of the interesting things I saw: Old couples practicing ball room dancing in the park; a lot of people practicing martial arts or traditional forms of dance in the park; people stopping you every five minutes on the road asking if you want to buy a rolex or a prada bag (one of these women actually followed a guy in our group around for a long time trying to convince him to get something, anything!). Oh and I rode on the Maglev train - 431 km/h!! But just didnt seem like that big a deal while you are sitting on it. Though it was cool to get to the airport in 7 minutes!

Shanghai was just a brilliant city - buildings, food, shopping, nightlife, people. I was so so impressed. Hats off!


Spotted a really cute guy yesterday at the movies...not that I approached him or anything - but I think I totally blushed when he looked up. Suddenly felt like I was 15 again (and considering I'm turning 25 in a month...well that's interesting!) :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What an amazing trip!

Back from my trip and my promised travel log has still not happened. But what a trip it was - Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul - each city amazing in its own right. Shanghai for its crazy neon lights and huge buildings. Seoul for its people and food. Beijing for all the history. Every moment was more memorable than the other. But I would say my highlight of the trip was seeing the Great Wall of China. What an appropriate name! It really is breathtaking. Every time I go to a site that is known the world over I realize that the world wasn't joking. The Eiffel Tower brought out a strange sort of romance from within me (completely unexplained). The Tajmahal practically brought tears to my eyes (to think a husband could love to wife to that extent, and to remember that he spent the last years of his life in imprisonment just staring at the Taj). The Great Wall just left me breathless (and not just because I was too unfit to climb!). What a structure - to think it was built all those years ago - and here the world is competing to build the tallest structure. I don't anything will ever compare. That's a little something about my trip for now. More coming up. Hopefully!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another favourite quote

Since in a post yesterday I mentioned on of my favourite quotes (On Success), here is my other fave:

Khudi ko kar buland itna
Ki har taqdeer sey pehley
Khuda bandey ko khud poocchey
Bataa, 'Teri razaa kya hai?'
- Muhammad Iqbal


Endow your will with such power
That at every turn of fate
God Himself asks of you
'What is it that pleases thee?'

Powerful words!

I'm now 33.33% an MBA!

With the assumption that I have passed my exams! :)

Second quarter through and tomorrow I leave for a trip to China and Korea. Will be amazing. I think I need to start keeping a travel log. I've seen all these great places but in the future they will just be a distant memory - and I think I'd like to remember how I felt about each place. Will start with this trip - at least make sure I make one blog entry for every city I visit. I did start this when I went to Europe - but only managed to do two out of the four cities - my laziness then caught up. Perhaps one of these days I'll do a recap of what I thought of the other places I've been to as well.

Here's a random photo - I have no idea what it is or when I took it - but it kind of looks cool. I think! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just to make the blog more colourful

I think my blog needs more photos - especially since I love taking pictures...will try to put up some of the ones that I like. Here's one of my fave shots (out of those I've taken). In Jaipur - outside some palace (cant remember which one - there were palaces everywhere - speaking of which, it was an amaaazing city!).

Grades = Success?

Have an exam in two hours - and though I think I will be ok...I do sometimes wonder what the purpose of exams is. Is it a measure of how good you are? I have known people through college who probably had the best knowledge of a subject and yet could never get past a B - and others who may not have understood what was going on yet got straight As. (and I'm ashamed to say sometimes I felt like I was part of the latter group - I have As is courses that I'm not sure I did actually understand everything - yet probably knew what the teacher expected). Just doesn't seem fair.

And what are grades anyway? What does an A mean against a B? If I have an A does that mean I am better than you? Better how? All seems to silly and pointless. How can this single letter be some way to tell me that I have been successful or I haven't. Isn't there so much more to being 'better' or being successful. Oh well, I suppose when you live in a world, you abide by the rules - and these letters seem to mean something here. So I shall go back and attempt to get that A.

Speaking of success - brings me to my favourite quote(I wish would stop telling me I have a spelling error every time i type 'favourite' - what if I dont wish to go the american way and drop the u??). Anyway back to the quote - this pretty much sums up everything I believe about life and success:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A man-made sunrise!

My flatmate's brother watched the launch of the shuttle Endeavour yesterday. Here's a photo he took. Absolutely stunning! Copyright to Parag :)

Friday, February 29, 2008


A friend of mine started a new blog...and its definitely worth a look! And it has real information. Not like my random rants.

So have a read!!

Time flies and I wonder what is ahead

Yesterday a friend of mine put up photos online that were from four years ago. Now I cant decide if that feels like it was just yesterday - or it actually feels like it was a lifetime away. I get both feelings, isn't that bizarre? But I do have to say that time definitely flies. It definitely feels like just yesterday I was thinking about coming to business school - and now I'm close to the end of my second quarter - which marks the completion of 33% of my degree.

Sometimes I feel I came back to school to escape reality for a while, and that is exactly what it is. Being here in this artificial environment thinking we're all invincible (though you get a wake up call from that during recruiting season). But if time goes so fast, it means I have to go back to the real world again and soon. Am I ready for that? And this time it will be for real. When I finished my undergrad, I went back to do a masters - prolonged being a student for a little longer. But even when I did start working, I continued to live at home. And that is far from reality. I still had the comfort of knowing that if I screwed up my parents were there to stop me. Coming to business school is my first sense of independence and 'taking care of myself'. But then, as I said this is artificial too.

So what will happen in an year and a half when I step out into the real world. Alone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This one's for you Amrit...

so apparently I have been tagged by my darling friend Amrita ( i have to now give out six random quirks about myself

pretty hard that - considering how perfect i am and all

but oh well, here goes

1) Every morning when I get up (no matter how busy the day is or whether I have exams on the day) - I have a ritual online of a set of websites I go to - including email, social networking, news, cricket and yes even celebrity gossip. Thus I make sure I wake up at least 20 minutes before I should have. If I want to start studying at 5, i wake up at 4.30. Rather lose half an hour of sleep than let go of my ritual.

2) When I'm really bored or a little depressed, I try on pretty clothes. Just in the comfort of my room. With accessories. Weird. I know.

3) I always have a couple of new clothes in my wardrobe. Always! Its great when I have an occasion when I really want something new to wear - I dont have to go shopping in a hurry. And yes, I love wearing new clothes :)

4) 99% of the time I wake up 5 or 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. Yet I always set 2 alarms to be sure.

5) I never chew or bite chocolate. Never. Even if there are nuts around or inside, i will wait till all the chocolate melts in my mouth first.

6) I never go out without lip balm or lip gloss. I find it comforting. Dont ask me why.

apparently the 2nd step is to tag 6 other people but unfortunately i dont have 6 friends - so this is enough for now!

Friday, February 15, 2008

And it keeps going

DING DING goes the sound. One rejection after the other, and the old ego is suffering. No matter how hard you try to keep up a brave face at one point you do start to wonder - inspite of all the reassurances we have been given that EVERYONE lands an internship (am i going to be an exception to that rule??). Oh well I suppose it's still early days and I mustn't give up hope, but damn this isn't easy! But I suppose life never is. Which makes me wonder - maybe I have had it too easy till now in life. Getting everything I wanted without having to struggle. Maybe this is life and I'm finally getting to experience it?

Oh well, I shall not think about such things - and head to New York for a fun weekend. Ok at least i will TRY not to think about this! Either way - New York here I come :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Poor Student:0, The Great Recruiting Monster:1

One battle down and one battle lost. Apparently my strategy of being myself didn't quite cut it. First interview of the season and the first ding. Ahh its an interesting life. Time for Plan B. Prepare the heck out of everything and be the robot they want you to be. And what a hypocrite I will be. But what can one do when one must find a job?

On another note, chicago weather can be pretty interesting. Yesterday morning started with a beautiful 9-10 degrees. The entire day was warm enough to walk around in a light jacket. Even when I walked to class at 6 in the evening, the weather loomed just above zero - but still completely manageable. Three hours of class later - walk out and there's a snow storm! what the hell! it was interesting walking in the storm (a mild one it must be said) - i actually enjoyed it. I must be insane - got my first rejection yesterday, and walked through the snow with no gloves or hat - and i was so happy in general.

Everyone around me seems more and more stressed while I feel like i'm on holiday. I mean sure I want a job too, but I just cant seem to get myself to worry about it enough to forget everything else in life. I mean seriously. Its a job. You will get one. Take some time to stop and smell the roses. Or the snow

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And it begins...

Here I am two hours before my first internship interview (keeping up the tradition of blogging at the most inappropriate times)...very mixed feelings right now. I know I should be nervous cause I am not as ready as I know everyone around me is. But I am finding it so difficult - preparing for an interviewing...practicing the answers you will give to questions...the whole process seems odd to me. Is it just me or is it an American thing? Or perhaps its an MBA thing. Which would make sense I suppose...with engineering, as long as you can do the work, people are happy to hire you - no bullshit required. Here it feels like - they can train you to the work, but they want to make sure you have the ability to bullshit. Sorry for sounding so cynical - but well, i am!

Yesterday was the first day of recruiting and it was pretty freaky seeing everyone in suits getting in and out of interviews...everything feels different at school now. Everyone working towards getting a job - and not really caring about anything or anyone else around. I suppose thats life, and thats what we're here for. Feels like classes arent even important, with the attendance lower every day - because after all, we're not here to learn. We're here to find a job. It totally sucks...Cause I'm really enjoying class, but definitely not this recruiting stuff...

I'm sure once I screw up today's interview - which I just might - I will stop being cynical and get my ass down and prepare. But for today, I have decided, I will be myself - and see what they can throw at me. And leave the rest to fate, God, whatever...

So let the games begin

Saturday, January 12, 2008

happy new year and all that

So 2008 is seriously???! where did the year go? Why is time going so damn fast? doesn't it sometimes feel that every year goes faster than the previous one? So here's my very silly theory of why that could be - every year is a smaller portion of your whole life than the previous one (so when you're 1 the past year was your WHOLE life and thats a big deal, when you're 10 the past year was 10% of your life and when you're 25 the past year was 4% of your life) maybe thats why the years feel shorter? yes i know it doesnt make too much sense. well it does to me. and this happens to be MY blog. so shush.

My new years eve this year was the most uneventful of the past few years but still so nice. Didnt feel up to going out at all and was so happy at home that I spent it watching a movie at home with my parents. Home. Sigh. Hard to even start to say how homesick i feel. A lot more than I was when I left. People did warn me that it would happen - but I thought that was strange. Still think its strange, but at least now I believe its true. Anyway I'm sure I'll get over it soon. Lets hope!

So what do I think 2008 will bring to me? Love, Wealth, Prosperity...I will meet my dream man, find my dream job, become famous...blah blah. Actually I'll take peace and happiness for me and my family/friends. Rest will come with time i'm sure! A tad too philosophical? ok fine..i'll take the dream man - and maybe the dream job? ;)

My new years resolutions? Well there's the whole need to lose a bit of weight and get more fit blah blah crap. But its so ambigous and easy to here's my resolution - at least 20 mins of exercise everyday...small but easy to do? lets see how i go with that. And there now that I have it in writing it will remind me to keep at it! :)

Anyway now that i'm back to school, it feels like I never left. Schedules are back to being busy and people are running around like headless chickens with their job hunting worries. Welcome back to business school