Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Gray Skies

The good times have ended. I've got piles and piles and piles of work again. Posts to revert to their normal one paragraph length. Ta!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Between one project and the next

1. There is time to go to the gym.
2. Random assignments, audits, opinions and reviews are handed for turning in quickly.
3. The blog is updated and how!
4. Finally it is possible to schedule an appointment to get arms and legs waxed.
5. There is time to supervise work being done at the new house.


Da Boss is on the plane with RICHARD GERE!!!!!

That's it, I'm leaving for the airport to gawk at Richard Gere pick up da boss.

My colleagues very unsportingly refused to get an autograph for me. Die! Asshats! Die! The next time you drop over for coffee, watch out!

Room Service

Work takes me around a lot and I've calculated that I spend 100 days a year travelling. I seem to have stayed in every chain hotel and some boutique and five star hotel known to the face of this earth. The one thing that I love about hotels is freshly laundered towels everyday (I often decide on my travels to start doing the same at home, but after the second day, my towel changing enthusiasm wears down - there is nothing like being waited on hand and foot, is there?) and heaps of bath products that one can help one's self to. I really, really enjoy all the L'Occitanes, Molton Browns, Crabtree & Evelyn and Neutrogena (depending on which part of the globe one is) there is to pick up and sample. I've discovered wonderful products that I didn't know existed and my bathroom shelves feel the brunt of it. What to do, I am a total product maniac. Also, whenever I give gifts to people I have a pile of products to add to the gifts. Some people are fooled easily and the ones who are not, I readily admit the origins. Still to me, the best part of staying in hotels will always be the samples of products that one can take. One can always make out how good and detailed a hotel will be by the quality of products it lays out for its guests. L'occitane - very good and may tend to traditional, Molton Brown - snooty and good, Crabtree & Evelyn - good but don't get the point, Neutrogena - good and great value for money, Lush - good and trendy, any product with just the hotel's name and label - time to whip out your own products and avoid their restaurants like the plague.

Things to do in 2005 list - Update

I seriously thought I would never be able to achieve anything on this list I made in December 2004, but I have.

1. Lose weight - An eternal favourite and one that I suspect will top my list forever.
2. Send my applications this year for that MBA and not get frightened by rejection and sit on them like this year.
3. Visit England. I think I am going to Manchester this year, though it could be Edinburgh too. By England I mean the UK, for those of you who like to nitpick.
4. Buy my dream home and not wait for the non-existent prince to do the ground work. I am scouting for houses and can't decide on apartments or houses. Apartments mean less maintenance, which is good for a on-the-move person like moi, but houses have gardens. Gardens have soil. Things grow in soil. Ah the dilemma! - Apartment it is, a house would be really hard for me to maintain given the circumstances and demands of my job, travel schedules and studies.
5. Go to Egypt.
6. See the Louvre.
7. Go to a Bob Dylan concert.
8. Get my driving licence.
9. Join music classes.
10. Buy more paintings.
11. Paint the masterpiece.
12. Learn to bake my own bread.
13. Take up one case that really challenges ze grey cells.
14. Snorkel in the Lakshwadeep.
15. Ride more roller coasters, all the ones that go 360 degrees atleast.
16. Relax and not feel guilty about it.
17. Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge.

18. Name a race-horse.
19. Have a dessert named after me, actually a cocktail would be better.
20. Meet the professor who flunked me in one crummy course and thank him. Had it not been for him, my life would have never been such a series of adventures and I would have never seen or taken other opportunities.

6 out of 20 is not all that bad for the midyear, what?

Things to do before I die - Update

Things I want to do before I die

11 done, 32 to go!

1. Run a 28 mile marathon.
2. Spend a summer in Paris.
3. Go backpacking across Europe.
4. Actually paint a masterpiece - a mural.
5. Weigh 55 kgs.
6. Walk on the Golden Gate bridge.
7. Learn to speak French.
8. Watch a Bob Dylan concert.
9. See the Rolling Stones.
10. Bungee Jump.
11. See the Amazon Rain forests.
12. Go to Brazil.
13. Write a book.
14. Swim with a dolphin.
15. Meet Bob Dylan, even to get tongue tied and make an complete ass of myself.
16. See the Sistine Chapel.
17. Learn to eat Caviar without puking.

18. Ride a Gondola in Venice.
19. Shave my head.
20. Learn to fly an aircraft, even a tiny one.
21. Learn to play the drums.
22. Go to a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
23. Go ski-ing in the alps.
24. Grow my own herbs and tomatoes and own a tiny farm.
25. See the Louvre.
26. See the Great Barrier Reef.
27. Walk along the Great Wall of China.
28. Go snorkelling in the Lakshwadweep Islands.
29. Learn to control my road rage.
30. Drink feni at Dona Paula, Goa.
31. Drink champagne in Champagne.

32. Drink Bordeaux in Bordeaux.
33. Pluck tea in Darjeeling and run along the furrows in a tea garden.
34. Find out more about my family's past.
35. Totter on a Manolo Blahnik.
36. Go hiking in the himalayas.
37. See the wild-asses in the Rann of Kutch.
38. Go to the valley of flowers.
39. Make my own cartoon strip.
40. Learn how to use a potter's wheel and make myself a bowl.
41. Learn to fly a kite.
42. Plant an orchard.
43. Buy original paintings and not just prints.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Take the MIT Weblog Survey


I've been broke after almost 2 years now, and since it is for a good cause I don't really mind. The new house seems like a white elephant that just eats and eats and eats money. Its a catch 22 situation really. I want to move in as soon as possible, but need to fix it up before. The fixing up requires money and I will be able to save only after moving in. C'est la vie!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Handbags and Gladrags

I strongly believe that young people in the developed countries are a thoroughly spoiled lot who just do not understand or sympathize with anything beyond their comfort levels. Read THIS. India has almost half as many states than the USA and the languages spoken in each state are totally different from one another and one accent is totally different from each other. In my college we had professors who had different accents and our Indian brains absorbed each accent without even a twitch of a muscle. I am currently enrolled for a course which has students from South East Asia and we have tutors from USA, Canada, Australia, England and Germany. All our tutors have different accents. My German tutor is actually half French. It takes us south east asians maybe a day to get adjusted to accents and to understand what is being taught in class. Maybe if all the lazy cribbers in THIS article actually tried to open their brain to what was being taught and tried to know their TA better, it would be easier? On more than one occassion I have met Americans (and mind you it is mostly the Americans who crib so much, I haven't met one Brit who complains about the punjabi accent of his friendly neighbourhood grocery store owner) who will just not get what I am saying because I am *foreign* and hence must be swinging from the trees when I'm not in the land of opportunity. Bah! Complaining and making feeble excuses seems to be the lot of young people in the USA, not to say that young Indian students don't do it. However, I really doubt any national daily would print such a nonsensical article about a non-issue.

Another point, most people in the developed world tell me that there are lesser students in their engineering and science courses and there are more asians in these courses. Its a simple explanation. Asians know that hard work is the way to a better life. They are used to countries without social security and science and engineering require hard, hard labour. I would not be surprised if very soon most faculties world over would consist of atleast 80% asians. So non-asians should just suck it and try understanding Taiwanese, Indian and Chinese accents. If you can adapt to eating raw fish with horse-radish, maybe you can adapt to understanding what the person who made it is talking about. Non?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

When night comes falling

Sleep is lost, appetite is not and the home gurls are all ready for long, introspective chats.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble

Ancient footprints are everywhere.
You can almost think that you're seein' double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs.
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room,
Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece.
She promised that she'd be right there with me
la la la la la.

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin' time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see 'em,
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb.
Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
la la la la la.

Sailin' 'round the world in a dirty gondola.
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

I left Rome and landed in Brussels,
On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried.
Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin' muscles,
Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside.
Newspapermen eating candy
Had to be held down by big police.
Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
la la la la la.

When I walked down the Spanish steps, suddenly my song began to play everywhere - in the pizzeria, in the cafe, in the hotel and I was happy. My feet are swollen with too much walking on cobbled roads wearing high heeled business shoes. My neck and shoulders are ready to break into a million pieces and I have three 256 Mb memory sticks full of memories and laughter. Now, only if my feet would not ache so!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

I am a wife magnet for my exes. Seriously. All the exes have got married and now I can breathe in relief. I got two mails from 2 exes today, one informing me of his lovely half-amriki-half-indian wife and the other with wedding pictures. What are the odds? Anyway...

I was wondering, should I feel insulted when my exes tell me that I'm too independent and they didn't expect I would get married or should I consider it a compliment? Should I break it very gently to them that they were genuine asshats which is why they are exes and ignore all condescending remarks?

Also should I point out that I've done fairly well despite not getting "married" and that I AM "settled" considering the fact that I employ 4 people as household help, 1 as a chauffeur, have a nice house to come back to (and a housing loan that breaks my back, but I digress) and a regular lifestyle? Should I point out that it is not I who still advices without being asked, or who is even curious about any ex?

Should I remind them gently of the time when I was "rejected" by their families, in particular mothers when they learnt about my mom's health problems because they wanted picture perfect daughter-in-laws and not someone who was liable to drop dead any time because of health problems in the family? Does it make them even slightly guilty or ashamed to know that my mom is fine now and all it required was an operation? Do they realise that I opted out not because I was too independent, but because I didn't want my partner or my partner's family to lack decency and basic human values?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Walk of Shame

This makes me cry. I remember a similar walk in which I was told I was too plump. Funny, how this was discovered only when his mother pointed out that I was "shaped like an apple and so ready to drop dead anytime". Sometimes one can almost feel one's heart chipping off bit by bit. Which is why I still have a hard time getting used to the fact that I'm actually attractive. Not attractive enough to turn heads, because I am plump, but attractive enough to have someone never get tired of me. If I was on Oprah, I'd say, "I'm beautiful inside, sniff!" I'm actually not, I'm nasty and whimsical and critical, but I'm not a woman who could ever let anyone get bored.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Slip and Slide

There is a lot of satisfaction in doing things all by one's self, from scratch. Now that life has become an endless succession of suits, installation of software, games, defragmenting hard drives provides one with immense satisfaction. Today has been particularly bittersweet. First it went horrible, really horrible. Then suddenly, things started moving and in the early afternoon after a successful project launch, breathing was easy again. Then again, my heart stopped on the realisation that my approach was absolutely wrong and that I would have to begin again. Then, things went downhill and seemed to crash and just when all hope was lost, suddenly things started looking up again and it poured, and then some! I can still feel the glow and suddenly life seems bearable once again. Why is life such a roller coaster?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Please may I have one more?

I'm seeing my parents after 2 months and I miss them. Mom asked me what I wanted to eat and I almost said, "Papa's Special Sandwiches". When I was a kid, every single day of the week, we had huge breakfasts. Eggs (fried, scrambled, omelettes, boiled whatever), toast and butter, cheese, jam, honey, seasonal fruits and bananas (especially after mom was prescribed bananas everyday for potassium to strengthen her bones), cereal, porridge, milk, one Indian thing like poha, upma, uttapams, idlis, plantain cutlets, vegetable croquettes or chilas and the most flavorful darjeeling tea.

Sunday was always a special breakfast day. We often had jalebis, one heavy Indian breakfast dish, eggs and more often than not, Papa's special sandwiches. In my family, Papa was the official sandwich maker. His sandwiches were yummy and even when I and my sister were at our rebellious highly strung teenager best, we succumbed to those sandwiches. Those sandwiches were never planned into the menu, they just happened. When Papa had that sandwich gleam in his eyes, we would all sit still and wait for our sandwich made to our specification with Papa urging us to have just a little bit of any food type we were then protesting against. He would start by slicing cucumbers, enlisting Mom's help to slice the tomatoes, because he could never cut tomatoes into fine slices the way Mom did. Then out came the onions, and we would wrinkle and start listing our demands. Then Papa would peep into the refridgerator and look for his secret ingredients. Sometimes it would be vegetable croquettes, sometimes plantain cutlets, sometimes fried eggs, sometimes boiled eggs, sometimes baked potatoes, sometimes lettuce, sometimes salami, sometimes sausages. Then he would start layering the sandwich. Mom would start spreading the butter, and Papa would assemble each layer carefully. Then he would sprinkle a smidgen of salt, pepper, chat masala, churan or even garlic salt. Then he would put a fat piece of cheese, pour some ketchup and close the sandwich and ask who wanted the first one. The process would continue until we ran out of ingredients. Later when we got a griller, the sandwiches would be grilled. Even my Mom, normally a very picky eater wanted seconds when Papa made sandwiches.

Our bitterest fights would meet a truce when Papa would declare, "ok, I'm making sandwiches, does anyone want a bite?" We would scramble to the dining table to get our specifications right. So, when I go home, I would love to have a sandwich breakfast once again, even though my father is much too busy and my sister and brother will not be home.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nothing Was Delivered

I went window shopping today. I bought samples of curtain material. I checked furniture, ticked off brochures, made list of plants and fittings, hunted for bargains and selected metres of furnishings. Then I returned home and dreamt about the day I would sip tea in my balcony and enjoy the skies pouring - alone.

Things were not meant to be this way. I was supposed to do this house thing with a significant other. Why is it that when my friends start having babies it hurts so much? I hate my hormones. The bastards are not supposed to kick in just now.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Mother Goose Once More

My dearest friend's going to become a momma in October. Her doctor thinks she needs to very careful and I'm praying everything goes well. For some reason it makes me want to cry.

Old Wine New Bottle

Sometimes I have nothing to say at all and sometimes I can speak for hours, just depends on whether I've drunk red or white. Hic!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Player

One would have thought that my brother would have some morals atleast, unlike his sister, but no, the bloke seems to be a chip off the old block. Right now, he is seeing this girl from work who seems to be ok and rather helpful, but talk about the future and he says, "Oh! I have a major crush on this chick in college and I'm waiting to see what develops." Twenty three and a player already? What is it about India that turns all men into assholes, when it comes to love and romance? As a repeated victim of the "I love you, but my mother/ father/ grandmother/ aunt/ second aunt's cousin on the father's side/ neighbour/ dog thinks I deserve better" syndrome, my sympathies go out to the young lady.