0

‘Tis the season…

…to be dark, broody, annoyed….. and a bit jolly.. FALALALALALALA!

I kid, I kid! It is almost Christmas, you guys! This year has passed by like the falling stars that I keep trying to take pictures of. It started with a daze and the crazy excitement of traveling back to US with my parents. Their long visit flew by swiftly, I stepped into my last year of Twenties, and Diwali came and went. Everything has been such a blub of memories with somehow, my memory registering almost every food that I ate. I think it is partly because that food still lives on parts of my body as adipose layer. Damn you, pesky inches!

But I love the buzz in the air that started with Thanksgiving last weekend. I strolled into the mall for some Black Friday shopping and was defeated by long lines and mobs of people. After more than 7 years of living here and claiming that I will ALWAYS shop on Black Friday, I have bummed out of it. At some point in Sephora, I just stood in a corner for 10 minutes staring at people going nuts over makeup that wasn’t even on discount! I dropped the idea of buying my sunscreen that day and took off. Target was much better and I bought a few things that were on my list. Oh, I also got a set of Pyrex bake and store set in my bid to do away with plastic Tupperware and that made me feel very grownup and ladylike.

Since the past couple of weeks, I have caught myself singing ‘Rudolph-the red nosed reindeer’ and ‘’Tis the season to be jolly, FALALALALALA’ so many times now! I distinctly remember leaving this bar previous weekend, with my buddies in San Diego, singing Rudolph. I had a backup chorus too thankfully! That friendsgiving rocked!

Can you all smell this sweet, pine-y, cinnamon-ey scent in the air? No? Oh wait, because I do have a cinnamon roll on the desk.🙂 I can’t help it! All the cookies, brownies and candies are screaming out my name! The air everywhere is so thick with the fragrance of Christmas. Most parking lots around homegoods stores have been turned into makeshift Christmas tree stores. I can breathe in and out that woody, sharp scent day all day long. I would have gotten a tree home, but they are expensive! And I know I won’t find a gift under my tree on Christmas morning. My Santa is miles away in the Indian sub-continent.  Maybe I will get a small wreath one of these days from Trader Joe’s.

You have to be living under a rock if you have not seen or heard about the Starbucks holiday cups. After the useless debate about the plainness and political correctness of their cup design last year (plain red, that’s it), Starbucks went all out and brought a lot of happy into their design this season. They are bright and cheery and scream holidays!

Everybody has their fairy lights on to herald the holiday season. Yours truly is not behind and I got a brand new string of lights and hung them up. The only problem is that the new multicolored lights are sort of clashing with my older cool-white and blue icicle lights. For a normal person, it’s not a grave issue, but hey, we are talking about me here.

In spite of all this happiness, I hate to admit that I am going through a rather low dip right now. There have been ups and downs, with a long, low, stressful dip going on right now. Hopefully my little buggy will be able to crawl out of this pit unscathed and much happier. I have been feeling this emotion where I just want to give my loved ones a long bear hug and cuddle up with them. I am taking anything that comes my way for a bit of that warmth. I have caught myself becoming teary eyed when some of my best friends have been giving me tight hugs. So, if anyone needs a big hug for any reason and needs a pick me up, here, have a huge, giant, all-consuming, warm as Butter hug! XOXOXOXOXO

hug

PS : Let’s ignore the mini breakdown I had at the gym today with Shawn patiently patting my head with a healthy dose of ‘There, there…’
“No sirs, I am not crying because he is forcing me to workout!”
12

PINK : A Guide to Women’s Safety

I finally got around to watching the movie PINK two Sundays back starring Amitabh Bachchan. It’s been quite some time since the movie came out and I had heard really good reviews about the movie. My father specially had raved about it and he is not easily pleased by Hindi films. After I saw it, I have nothing different to say. It’s a fantastic watch that will throw you into a whirl of thoughts.

When I started to watch the movie, I had to stop and text Moo because I was starting to feel this rage inside me. That rage only built up to a crescendo like Falak Ali’s until she lashes out at the lawyer. It was making me so angry because the movie is not simply a fictional tale about women caught between lust, lies and political mileage, but has elements of what every working, independent woman has to go through in different shades of sexism. But it was just a movie. And a one that I made sure from Moo, ended in a non-depressing note. In real life, that’s not the case always as learnt from countless cases like Ruchika Girhotra, Jessica Lal, Bhanwari Devi, and many more.

Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of an old lawyer, desperately trying to report an abduction/molestation, then an almost bumbling defense attorney, and then a questioner with conviction, brings up some points that show how the world has moved ahead but the mindset of men is still regressive. Side effects of patriarchy have made sure that men continue to follow medieval rules and resist any changes towards equality for men, women and even the LGBT community.My father has an interesting point of view on this. He feels its an inherent jealousy of women(the assumed weaker sex) being able to do everything and more, than men.

If you have have watched the movie, you will remember his ‘Guide to women’s safety’. Dear ladies, if you want to survive, forget thrive, in this world, you need to follow this guide book. The rules will ensure that you live till a ripe old age. You may suffocate to death, but you shall be safe.Nothing else will protect you better than these rules. Not even a simple word or seemingly complete statement ‘NO’. Like the State Lawyer says, consent is highly fashionable these days and unnecessarily pranced around. Follow these rules to be safe.

  1. Do not go out alone with men anywhere. Men are boys who actually are toddlers that get swayed easily by your blooming sexuality. You are responsible if they cannot keep their feelings in their pants, specially being led to a lonely area. If you are alone, it’s a natural lead on to physical intimacy.
  2. Don’t smile or laugh too much. I am a personal victim of this. I have been called a sl*t, wh*re, easy, and many other fun names in Hindi/Marathi/Gujrati/Punjabi by my classmates and college folks during Engineering. When I moved to US, I thought I have entered a bigger, more liberal world, but many of my fellow countrymen here did not share the same sentiment. I realized this even more when I melted into the pot of different cultures that was my lab. I enjoyed company of people and I liked being friends with everyone irrespective of their gender, if we had a matching wavelength. I also liked being expressive about my attraction to a guy and the idea of a normal, healthy dating life. But how dare I. I should have known that I am a good Indian girl. So, ladies, if you smile or laugh too much, you are driving these innocent boys into helpless fantasies, who can’t help acting on it.
  3. Your character depends on the clock. Almost all of us have heard this one or the other time from concerned neighbors, family, friends’ relatives, teachers, and the entire community. Coming back late at night means you are easy. It doesn’t matter that you work hard in shifts, or that you may like to have some downtime after work. A girl walking alone in the PM is calling for it more than the girl walking alone in the AM, who is also asking for it to a degree though.
  4. Do not drink alcohol, use cell phones, eat Chinese food, or get educated. Like AB says, the ill effects of alcohol for men end at health risks, whereas it’s a whole new list for women. We don’t just get sick, we make people around us sick, with lust. Again, a personal victim of accusations stemming from this. Then there are the amazing concerned members of the society who are worried that ‘too much education gives girls much more to talk about’. Curb their mouths, curb their lives, and keep them safe.
  5. The venue you are at determines your character. If you break the Rules 2 and 3, but are in the presence of family, or are home, or in a temple, you may still have a chance. But if you are at a club, or a concert, or a café, you are providing an open invitation to men. Be careful of where you go. The nature of a venue has a direct relation to lust.

Ladies, be careful of what you wear, how you behave, and where you go. There will be men out there policing how we need to be. If we don’t reign ourselves in, they will not hesitate to discipline us. After all, we would be asking for it.

25

First World Terrors

She had her perfect Minnie ears and smeared kohl for a scary Minnie Mouse in the house. Her costume had been appreciated at work and the Halloween party had been a success. She stepped out of work to a dark and gloomy sky and walked to the parking lot. It was only 4.45 pm but the overcast skies made it look darker. The area was empty and a little chill crept up her neck as she tugged on her sweater. She got into the car, and got a startle! The radio was accidently set to the max volume. Strange. She never hears music that loud, she thought. She shrugged and drove out. 

She was stressed. And for some reason, she felt frazzled. She was nervous about something, but she couldn’t put her finger on why that was so. She decided that the best way to calm herself down was to haul herself to the gym. She took a turn and drove herself to a work out. After finishing her work out, she stepped out of the gym and shuddered. Was it her imagination, or was it way too chilly and dark? Dementors crept up in her (Potter)head, and she shook herself to push away those thoughts. She did not need anymore negativity than what she already had.

She drove herself to her home. She was listening to the radio to keep her mind in a better place. But it was Halloween and between every two songs, there was a phone call with people reporting in their paranormal experience. She kept shutting off everytime the call was put through. Living alone, such stories were the last thing she wanted to hear.

She got home, finally. She looked at her beautifully carved pumpkin at her doorstep. She got her tealight candle out to light up the Pumpkin for the night. It was glowing beautifully. The darkness in the hallway though was giving her the creeps. Was it her imagination, or was everything just wrong with the night? She whipped out her phone and started to take a picture of the glowing Jack-O-Lantern.

She was not prepared for what happened next!

Her phone said:

10

N-N-1 again/ The 200th!

This is my 200th post, guys! Whoa, I really did write all that?

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It was N-N-1 time again, and Norm was hosting it. He asked us to send in a picture that we clicked on Saturday, Oct 8th at 2 pm. By a fabulous stroke of luck, a wonderful story and picture fell into my lap! It’s a wonderful story of love, hopes, dreams, life and happiness. And the makings of a bridechilla.

Gowns

Gowns…

We wondered about them when they had accidentally ‘disappeared’ during the Halloween party. We were almost sure when we saw them bonding in the research lab. We had called them out during the Christmas Secret Santa party when they both went to the room ‘tired’. K5 and I had ended up as neighbors in my last year at SDSU and CT was there a lot! It all became superbly clear after he moved in. Chadillac Thrills thought he was being sneaky! Haah! After 5 glorious years of friendship, love, game nights, Grad school, traveling, pizzas and boba tea, parties, camping, hiking, they are getting ready to spend their lives together, officially as a married couple. The anticipated engagement did not happen during their Europe trip, although there is an adorable picture under the Eiffel Tower tagged #didnotpropose. But it happened in true Chadillac style, calmly and sneaky-ly, where they started playing Sunday night games and there was the diamond in the Lego sets. I am glad to have witnessed the making of this amazing couple, right from the inception of their relationship. I am even happier that they consider me close enough to be a part of this beautiful journey. Last Saturday afternoon, at David’s Bridal, I helped K5 try on different shades of white, as she took on her role of a bride-to-be. There were tulle and organza, sweetheart necklines and mesh capes. There were pearls, lace and sequins. There were Zac Posens and Vera Wangs.
And, so it begins…

PS : Please pray that I can RSVP “Princess Butter + 1” for this August 2017 wedding…

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Rest of the pictures and stories are linked below. Head over to Norm’s blog from here!

Classical Gasbag

It has been about three months since the last N-N-1. Rather that let it fade in to a mere memory we’re doing it again. One of the things that I love about N-N-1 is how people from different parts of the world connect electronically to share brief moments of their life. We see differences and recognize similarities. To me, it shows once again that while there are billions of people in the world, humanity is a singular noun.

The first participant is Pins n Ashes.

Poori-masalaPoori-masala

I was at one of my favourite restaurants, lunching with friends enjoying one of my favourite meals. Poori masala as we call it.

Next is Her Royal Highness Princess Butter with a picture and story dear to hearts of many Princesses. Oh, and thanks to the Princess we now call this process N-N-1 rather than just sticking in numbers that change with the number…

View original post 559 more words

12

The case of the lost shoes.

Let me start this off by saying I hate my feet. They aren’t particularly ugly or anything, in fact they look positively cute with fuschia nailpolish on my toes. But I hate how delicate my feet are. Shoe shopping is a nightmare. I not only have to make sure that shoes are comfortable, because, thanks bunions, but that they are actually available in my size, because, thanks tiny feet. So, it all boils down to my hating buying new shoes. I needed new shoes for my Turkey trip last year because I wanted to wear cute clothes and I definitely did not want the look to be ruined by ugly running/walking shoes. I had bought these Skechers Bobs after hours(weeks) of consideration(painstaking research at work). Moo had a pair and she had told me how comfortable they were. They looked casual, sneaker-ish and would have gone well with casual dresses, shorts and jeans as well. They weren’t outrageous in cost but were more expensive than what my other casual shoes cost. That was a sacrifice I was ready to make once I tried on the shoes at a Skecher’s outlet. The memory foam felt like a cloud and I knew I had to buy them! Except, the smallest size in my store was still big for my feet, and we ordered it online right at the store. The shoes truly were amazing and my feet were thankful for them after the trip. The shoes have seen a lot of Fridays at work and even more casual hang outs where walking was involved. I even had these adorable Gap no-show socks to go with them! Red and cream, and pink and silver. How cute!

So, I was going down to San Diego on Friday night to attend the Balboa Diwali night festival and meet Abhi’s parents because I ended up missing them on their LA day trip while taking care of other commitments. I got back home after work and working out, took a quick shower, and started packing. Then I remembered that Nish mentioned about a trip to San Diego State was in the offing, since Abhi and I both had attended school there. I thought of my Skechers but decided to keep my Keds(thanks SA!) instead. For the shoes, I opened my sock drawer to look for my socks. I picked out the pink and silver, and I noticed, there was no hint of the red and cream. I panicked. Not just for the socks, but because I hate losing stuff. I looked everywhere and I couldn’t find the socks. Then, a sudden dread filled me and I wondered if the socks were in my shoes, tucked away happily and lazily. This exercise resulted in a thorough search of my home, only to figure out that the shoes were now missing! If you thought I was disturbed earlier, you should have seen my state then. 

I managed to calm myself by assuring myself that they must be at Abhi’s. So as soon as I reached, I went to their shoe rack, and looked for my shoes. Nope. Abhi said they weren’t there. Nisha suggested that I could have left them at Del Coronado when I stayed over there. They may as well have been stolen by a raccoon then. As good as gone.

By this time, I had put on my Nancy Drew hat and had my Famous Five notepad in hand. I got through the weekend with the case of the lost shoes burning a hole in my head. Meanwhile, a new possibility crept up. I may have slipped them off quickly in a rush to get to my yoga class in my flip flops and I could have left them at LA Fitness. So I got through Monday with a renewed vigor and headed down to the gym. But alas! There were no shoes in the lost and found. There were sandals, yes. But shoes, no. I got through my workout with a determination that I was going to call up the hotel and have them find my shoes from the suites we had. At that point, I did not care how utterly stupid I was going to sound. I just wanted my beloved shoes back. I contemplated even calling up my MOM! My plan was to make her look around on FaceTime. Mothers can find anything.

After my workout, I headed out to the grocery store for my weekly groceries. After I had parked, I had this bulb go off in my brain. What if I had simply peeled off my shoes in the car, worn my flip flops and run to the gym? So I opened my passenger doors, rolled out on the back seat and started digging under the seats. But, nothing. I did find a hair tie, and some change. And a straw. I sighed and looked around. There was a plastic bag in the mesh behind the front passenger seat. I thought I may as well trash it with the other junk. I pulled it out, and screamed with joy, loud enough to scare the 3 Indian kids few cars down! My shoes! There they were with the socks tucked in nicely in them! Oh, my grey trusty Bobs, with my red and cream socks! My travel companion, my feet nuzzlers, my personal tufts of clouds! My dread was gone. My worry about ordering another tiny pair was gone. I saved some $$. I heaved a sigh of relief, and went down my merry way to buy myself some food.

Now if only, that ‘lost’ bunch of 1000 bucks shows up….😀

31

29 it is!

Another year older, another year gone by so quickly!

Yep, it was my birthday yesterday and I had a wonderful time with some of my favorite people.

Like all princesses, my birthday isn’t limited to a single day, but spans across the weekend. The celebrations started from Friday afternoon when my buddies at work took me out for a huge birthday lunch. They ordered a shot of Fireball and beer for me and the result was 10% of efficiency for the rest of the day. I kept myself awake at work by thinking of elaborate ideas to take a nap, but without real success. I should have taken a leaf out of George Costanza’s book of ideas like the hammock under his desk.

The celebrations extended in the evening when I went out for a Japanese dinner with Shawn, Alicia and a few others form the Softball team. I love Ramen and their Ramen was no exception and I really enjoyed the vegetable sushi as well after a very long time. I am not big on sushi because of a few wasabi related incidents in the past(fire in the brain and tears from eyes, nose and ears), but this sushi was quite good! Abhi, Nish, we have another new spot to go to! After the dinner, we headed to a real divey-dive bar, in Tustin where our group became bigger as more of our friends joined in. Now, it was a Karaoke bar with an open mic. We belted out quite a few songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Sweet Caroline, etc. But the real highlight of the evening was the thorough butchering of Summer of 69 by Alicia and yours truly! I think we were hopping like bunnies more than singing! The DJ announced out that it was my birthday party and the entire bar was upon me to wish me.  We sang almost all the songs as a chorus to whoever was singing and by the end of the night, we had lost our voices. It was all worth it!

Saturday passed by in a whirl, where I did grown up things like laundry, vacuuming, renewing my apartment lease, crying at the depleting bank balance. I was expecting Abhi and Nish in the evening, but flight related incidents with their mom and sis postponed their visit to the next day. Shib called from Kerala after fighting with terrible phone network. I spoke to Hazra over video chat for quite a bit and the poor guy tried to order a cake for me which turned out to be a fail. I was so touched by his gesture and assured him that it truly was the thought that mattered to me! I headed out to the mall in the evening to use my discount coupons and birthday vouchers from stores that I may not shop full-price from.😛 I ended my Saturday at the grocery store where I had an unexpected ego boost when the cashier gave me student discount without even asking me if I was one! To celebrate, I treated myself with some Chinese takeout. Yep, I love Asian food!

I spent most of my Sunday being lazy and talking to friends on the phone. Thank you Moo and Ani for the infinite wishes, and so much love to Ani’s Jonah for the cutest message ever for his PB Maasi! The xBF also called and we spoke for a long time. It truly made me happy and very satisfied that we now trying to get to a stage that we can joke and laugh and look back and look ahead without ruining our moods and dissolving into tears. It was good. Abhi, Nish showed up late afternoon with some absolutely yummy desserts and I finally cut my birthday cake/dessert and got to make a wish by blowing out the candle. Well, I think I forgot to actually make a wish! The day ended with another FaceTime chat with the folks.

Monday came bright and early and really hot with 100 F or 40 deg C and 9% humidity. More friends from work took me out for lunch and we had Thai food. Did I already mention that I am a sucker for Asian cuisine? I skipped gym yesterday and chilled at home with my friend Adriane to watch the presidential debate. We had my birthday dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy and celebrated with the group of friends that I call the OC squad! Of course, the prime members are Shawn and Alicia.😀

It was the culmination to a fabulous, celebratory weekend and I couldn’t be happier. I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by people who love me, care about me and keep me in their thoughts and prayers. No one can take the place of my parents, my family, but my friends come very close. I feel grateful.

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I have entered the last year of my 20s. I am determined to make it worthwhile. I want to do everything so that I can look back and say that I ended up my 20s with a bang. God willing!

11

These (battle)scars…

I was watching a Hindi TV show the other day and the heroine has very newly fallen in love with the hero of the show who isn’t aware of her feelings. Aah, new love. It’s a mature and modern show a compared to the other garbage on TV these days and shows relationships like they are in reality. She is a very hardcore, independent woman who is also a doctor and doesn’t take nonsense easily. But falling in love has made her, err, clumsy? The hero asks her “Ms. Bose aap aajkal itna girne kyun lagi hai? Pehle toh nahi girti thi.” It loosely translates to “ Why are you tripping so much these days, you used to be pretty steady earlier.” She is not as bad as other TV show heroines though. This is mostly a common scenario in Hindi Soaps where they try and show a girl to be very bubbly, cheerful, fragile, delicate and she is so careless in her excitement of chasing the invisible unicorn, that she keeps tripping into the waiting arms of the hero. Utterly ridiculous and far from cutesy if you ask me. First of all, who the hell is that bubbly, cheerful when I can see myself as dark and dreary as a storm cloud. Lenny, from the shopfloor who gets me pizza slices, disagrees vehemently when I say that, but nevertheless. Also, if I were a guy, I would get so irritated with such a clumsy person that I would drop them on the ground and move on.

There is a girl I know who is friends with my friends. I get a feeling that she is perennially sick and keeps fainting all the time. I feel harsh when I say this and I know it’s not her fault(entirely) for being so weak and passing out so much. But I can’t help feeling irritated with that. I feel like holding her shoulders and shaking her hard while yelling “Faint at your own time, girl!” Honestly, I don’t even know what that means and I know I am being mean.

But I don’t think I am any less. I have been known to sport gauze bandages when I and my close friends are aware that I have a millimeter size of cut on my finger. I had once stabbed my finger with a knife while opening a jar of jam in the hostel room. The stab was tiny but it was bleeding profusely. AM was quick to retort, “Uh oh, we need XXL bandaids for that!” All the pain was forgotten in the peals of laughter after that. My instagram also carries proof of the fact that I will advertise my injuries and create this air of hurt around it, rather than tending to it. I don’t know who is younger, a 2 year old, or me.

I cry easily when I get hurt. My threshold of pain is low and my first reaction is to cry or to shout at the person next to me. This happens often while I am cooking. A burn will make me irrationally angry, but of course, I will not clean it, dress it or apply ointment on it. I will only continue to be angry at the world. I had an oven burn when my parents were here and I got into an altercation with my dad because he was being a smartass and was trying to justify it by saying that if Chandler would have said the same, I would have laughed. But I did not take care of the burn and now I have a scar on my forearm. There is already one another burn scar forming an acute angle with it and I look like I am on my way to a branding of deathly hallows. Trust me, I am not.

One of my strangest desires has been to have a fracture on my left arm. I have always found arm casts to be very cool, specially when they are colored and have writings on them. I know I am a strange person to want a fracture. But a left arm will also be a lesser worry than a right arm, I think. Well, at least that would have been the case in school days when there was still a lot of writing involved. With typing and driving these days, I don’t know how bad it will be. But my biggest worry remains about washing my hair and salons here are not cheap. Again, I am not trying to give myself a fracture deliberately. Now I get old people injuries like a hurting knee, hurting shoulder after working out, lower back aches and feet that are falling apart.

One of my best/worst injuries have been on my right ankle that gave me a lot of glorious time off school, at the cost of being in pain for a long time. In Ahmedabad when I was in 4th grade, my school had been let off early for some reason and my dad sent the office helper to pick me up on his bicycle. He placed a mini me on the pillion seat and started to walk the bike. I don’t know what happened and my foot got into the spokes of the rear wheel and got twisted. I screamed and in the confusion, he ended up moving the bike backwards and the foot twisted in the opposite direction again. I had a massive wound with a lot of skin and flesh scraped off and a raptured ankle ligament that did not get detected for 3 days. I was given an L shaped cast that had to be removed everyday to dress my wound and was held in place by bandages. I still bear the scars on that ankle along with other scars from an accident in 2nd grade where a scooter hit me while crossing the road in front of my home in Delhi. My right foot has born 80% of the injuries I have had. I also have very battered looking knees that convince me that knees were created to get bashed up while riding bikes.

I have a very strange injury on my body that reminds me every once in a while of itself. While on a visit to India in 2013, I went with my dad to the bus service office to book seats for my parents for a trip to Mumbai. They were going for their Visa interview. Oh, that was also the epic trip where they met the xBF’s folks and tried to come to a middle ground but it became very clear to us that our ways are separate. Talk about actual scars, eh? I was going to stay home, taking care of Moony and Ani was supposed to come for a sleepover that day. It was the monsoons in India and it was raining that day. I was wearing my flip flops and as soon as I stepped out of the office, I slipped on the wet stone stairs on the door and landed firmly on the edge of the stair in a sitting position. My tail bone, yep, had made perfect contact with the sharp stone edge and I was delirious in pain. A 26 year old me broke down like a 6 year old from all the pain and the realization that so many people saw me fall. The walk from the shop to the car was beyond painful and I couldn’t even hold my b*tt and walk. I wonder if I aggravated it while walking my dog Moony and having to carry him for a bit because of his arthritic legs. There was no way my parents could cancel their Visa appointment, but at least their trip was successful. There are times when I can feel some hurt while doing deadlifts with barbells or while doing something as basic as sitting down on the restroom throne.

Well, at least some scars make a good talking point. I can sometimes pretend that I got into a bar fight in downtown Santa Ana, rather than admitting my idiocies. 

“You should see what I did to the ‘other person’.”

20

If I were God, or Oprah…

I was reading a list on Forbes magazine that was talking about the highest paid careers for 2016. Now I like to read that list hoping to find my chosen field in there and then crying because it is never listed. Amidst the orthodentists, anesthesiologist, a zillion other kind of doctors, software engineers, construction specialists, financial managers, I can see so much money, enough to make Uncle Scrooge blush scarlet. So, I started thinking (Yes, that does happen) about the rest of the careers. IF I was the supreme finance guru of the universe, and I had to pick 10 professions that really, really need a raise right now, these would be my pick.

  1. Teachers : These would be the first set of people to get a nice fat raise. Teachers have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to shape up the little humans into the kind of large humans they would turn into. I have had some amazing teachers and some absolutely pitiful ones. My dad had a Maths teacher in his middle school who he swears was Prof. Snape without the redeeming quality of ‘Always’ in him. He loathed my dad and probably turned on the Math-phobia in him. They deserve so much more so that there is motivation and inspiration to undertake this massive responsibility.
  2. Farmers : After the issues I have had with my puny tomato plant, I have so much more respect for farmers who deal with a crop that is a million times the size of my plant with exponentially more problems. Everybody is aware of the pitiful state of farmers in India. The only political party who actually gives a sh*t at any point of time for them, is the party in opposition at that given time. Nobody cares.
  3. Construction workers : These guys are living, real life Spidermen/Spidermans(?). Have you seen them dangling off the high risers in New York City? Have you seen them perched on top of a bamboo stick on the 21st floor of a building in Mumbai? Did you hear of the news where 9 workers got crushed under a falling slab where they were working without any gear? Some of the most used and abused bunch of workers are in construction. I will also throw in some sunscreen for those long hours in the sun. Cancer is a real b*tch.
  4. Nurses : These ladies and gents are the people who do the dirty work after la-di-dah doctors give their diagnosis and swish away to get into the list that Forbes compiles. The nurses are the ones who end up saving lives a LOT of times. They clean you, change you, help you with pee and poop too without being related to you in any way!
  5. Housemaids/cleaners/helpers : Do you even realize how hard it is to clean up such disgusting, filthy homes? From what I hear, I specially pity the lady who cleans the home of a friend in India. Also, the gossip session warrants a nice bonus. It is important to have them keep our secrets, right? I am sure that isn’t blackmail.
  6. Dog care givers : Actually this is just to warm the cockles of my heart which otherwise is a dark cold lump of coal. Any person who works even remotely with dogs deserves a raise, a bonus, and more goodies. Y’all are my favorite bunch of people! Like, ever!
  7. Hairstylists/mani-pedicurists : I did not particularly think of this until I read some horror stories that a few beauty stylists re-counted in some online forum. Millimeters of fungus under nails, cruds and cysts on scalp, LICE! I was THIS close to throwing up! You have my salute.
  8. Personal shoppers/fitters : This is specially for the br@ fitters working at lingerie stores. Most women who go to such specialty store are in general good hygiene coming from the upper section of the society, but there are many, many exceptions. You touch other women’s possibly non-showered b**bs and butts and help a lot of them zip up into dresses 2 sizes smaller(for after the Kellog’s diet) while complimenting them. That gets you the raise I am offering.
  9. Passport/License photographers : This is for purely selfish reasons that hopefully in my next batch of pictures, I won’t look like a round bagel with plops of cream cheese and blueberries for eyes, nose and mouth. Ugh.
  10. Car washers : Again, very selfish. But hopefully the raise will prevent them from taking away all the cash and change in my car. I am looking at you ‘All Hands’!

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10

Draw the blinds…

She was having a great time at the pool side. She had the barbeque ready and her friends were splashing about in the water. The spread of choice meats was looking good, the drinks were over flowing and the chips and guacamole were disappearing at a good speed. There were other residents in the pool as well and everyone was having a good time. The Labor Day BBQ event was turning out to be a success. Her Retriever mutt, Jack was snoozing in the apartment after his hearty breakfast. She was feeling good about her life. Specially about the fact that she was on her own, no roomies. She could cook whatever, live however and that she could walk around in the buff at home whenever she wanted!

The older gentleman that she saw almost every other weekend when her buddies would join her at the pool was there too. He was the resident Uncle McOldie. He had just struck up a conversation about Steelers, Rams, Orioles and which QuarterBack was going to rule this NFL season with her bud. She had realized by now that he knew pretty much everyone at the apartments. 

He started to talk to her. He asked her generally which wing she was in. And then he guessed it himself and told her that he knew she had a dog. She wasn’t quite prepared for what came next.

“Oh yes, I look into your apartment every night.”

———————————
PS: True story. I was at the party, but it’s not me. But lessons have been learnt. *Rolling eyes*

6

Those olympic sized dreams…

Bravo, Sindhu, bravo!
You have made an entire country proud of your achievement. We were backing you up after the news flash that you have entered the finals of the Rio Olympics badminton championship. You aimed for the Gold of course, but you were very gracious and accepting about the Silver. You showed true sportsperson spirit after you won the Semis and you were even better when the Spanish star clinched the title. You had formidable opponents and you played your heart out. That’s what that matters.

Way to go, Dipika!
The vault jump was absolutely phenomenal. I was actively reading up articles about you because a few months back I was told by an American friend of mine that India is sending a female gymnast for the first time to Olympics this year. I had no idea about that and it was very interesting to read about you after that. People who genuinely follow sports all over the world, know about you girl! You can definitely win big the next time. You have got it in you.

What a performance, Sakshi!
The fact that you did not give up until the very last second of the game, makes you a huge inspiration. You have motivated me to apply that philosophy in my life. I don’t want to be negative anymore, assuming the worst for me. I want to give my very best till the second is up and then mull on the outcome. Not before that. You are truly a rockstar!

As for the country that you girls represented, I am sorry that we are letting you ladies down. We need to fight to make sure that the world knows which state you belong to. We want to make sure, you belong to dome definite caste so we can turn you into a posterchild. We want to one up each other in announcing cash awards to win accolades for ourselves, and not because we want to truly ensure that you continue with your training and the best you deserve for dedicating your lives, your bodies and your youth to your sports career for this country.

We want to turn you into memes to pull down movie stars acting in a movie about your sport and some page 3 socialite who has proven herself to be a pretentious non thinker time and again. But we will display extreme sexism, to counter such sexism. Also, you must repeat or better your performances, or we may just tear you down like the other Badminton star who, we have conveniently forgotten, did set a record too. We are hypocrites of the highest order, yes we are! We will call out and pull down everyone who admits honestly about not knowing anything about you all earlier. We forget that not everyone is interested in sports. We will refuse to believe that sometimes, we do need the media to report your achievements in the same vein as other popular sports.

We will make sure that the best of our kin get to travel to Rio, and now next year to Japan, to go to Foren trips as one of the Indian contingents and to supposedly help you. We need to send our beloved niece Rimmi so she can shop for Pammi aunty. Our sweet Kanna can write numbers, so he can go to lower down Mannu uncle’s blood pressure about his son’s abysmal career. We can make it work. Just like we can make Combiflam work to treat everything from tooth ache to aching joints and dehydrated muscles. Combiflam is the new Sanjeevni.

We need to prove it to the world that N. R. Narayan Murthy is right. We do have the highest ego per unit of achievement, even if it’s being a minister to ‘serve’ the country. We don’t care that the world is watching us. If we want to be in to get the plushest seats, we will damn sure get those plush seats. These Rio people should also know that we are nothing but politicians/leaders of the largest democracy in the world! How dare they not let us get in! How dare they ask for IDs or permits or whatever the heck they want? Don’t they know who we are?

But we will try to be better. We will try to combat the issues plaguing our country. We will work hard to make sure, that when you achieve something for yourself, we deserve to have you achieve something for us. We will work hard, to make sure that you aren’t embarrassed to represent us. We will take care that you will want to get us that glory and that you can get that glory.

We will work hard, to deserve you.