15

Sweet Charlington (Guest Post by the father)

“An angel may have a tail in lieu of wings and a halo,
He can enrich your life by ways so sweet and mellow.”

Bye sweet Charlie…. May you rest in eternal peace amidst squirrels and carrots….

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Charlie was my ex landlady’s dog. He was laid to peace on 05/28/2014 after suffering the ill effects of old age. He was an absolute sweetheart. I said goodbye to him on the 27th.

ETA:
My father wrote this ‘as me’ and I edited it to add some more things. He knew how I loved C.
*——————-*
You came in my life by quite an accident. I remember the day I saw you for the first time. After finishing my studies at San Diego, I got a job in nearby OC. I had short-listed a couple of accommodations in OC. When I visited one of those for finalising, I saw you. And I think without knowing I finalised that accommodation because of you! You were quite a deciding criteria.

I saw you and your lively, brown, round eyes caught my attention. Those were so warm and inviting, that I just could not resist. The dog lover in me just could not let the opportunity pass on.

I shifted to that house and immediately you accepted me as a friend. That bond was meant last forever. I came to know that you were brought by the landlady from a rescue home around 9 years back. At the time of the adoption, you were estimated to be around 3-4 years old. That made you about the same age as my Moony. I joined you and we had wonderful time.

You were one of those who would make even a stone hearted person feel affection for you. You had an uncanny knack of getting attention and love. You become my friend when I wanted someone badly, being alone in a new place not knowing anyone.

I took upon myself the duty of taking you out regularly and to look after you. Spending time with you was a delight. I vividly remember how eagerly you used to wait for me to come back from work. You would welcome me enthusiastically everyday and then feel happy going out with me. You made me think about you all the time whenever I was out. I will admit that sometimes I did take you out begrudgingly and got angry with you when you were being stubborn. I am sorry C, for pulling and tugging at your leash and forcing you to climb the stairs.

It makes me smile when I think about your great weakness for carrots. You simply loved carrots. I used those as a bait to keep you moving when we went for a walk. It was adorable to throw pieces of carrots all around the house and send you off on a mini treasure hunt. Even cuter, was to watch you play soccer on your own with your beach ball. I would rather not remember how you loved to poke your nose in the trash cans and pull out disgusting things. You could eat anything, and would eat everything. Food was your fuel, in every sense of the term!

Your cute looks are best memories for me. Your short frame and bright, light brown coat was so nice to feel. Your energy hid your age. Your eyes always spoke and spoke affection. Everytime you would come back from the groomers, you would have a bright bandana around your neck, clea paws and tufty big ears. You always looked so handsome.

You tried to make up for the void I was feeling remembering my fond doggie Moony at home in India. It was a big comfort to have you with me. Also, I am sorry to shut the door on you when Laurel wasn’t around and make you sleep alone in her room. But, I just did not know how to satisfy your hunger anymore! Your whines confused me so much!

Dear Charlie, wherever you are, I am sure you will be loved by all around you. I sincerely pray for your eternal peace.

According to our Hindu philosophy, we believe in next birth. Please come again and be a part of our lives because we miss you so much.

25

♪♫ We are… never,ever,ever, ever… ♪♫

I have been writing a lot of whiny posts and deleting them. But I decided on publishing this as a reminder of my teenage and stupidity.

*—————————-*

I was listening to the Taylor Swift song ‘We are never, ever, ever, getting back together…’ on the radio yesterday evening. It is, as the name suggests, clearly about how she has broken up with her boyfriend and is never, ever, ever, getting back together. Just in case it was not clear. 😀

My thought jumped on to my boyfriend number 2. Oh dear God, this was a huge, giant, effing big case of What-was-I-smoking! He was a very sweet guy when he joined college. He had bought the management quota. He was sweet, wellspoken, and seemed to be a nice person, who had a crush on my close friend who was his classmate. Then 2-3 months into the first semester, I told him that I liked him. Mistake number 1. After a month, he told me he liked me and asked me out to be his girlfriend. I was ecstatic, and said yes. Mistake number 2.

He was friends with a group of Richie rich guys who always made him feel shitty for not being ‘cool’. He was also a very insecure person and extremely low on confidence. He was basically from Mathura, and these guys were from Mumbai, Delhi, etc. He started learning rock music and rap in his attempts to be mainstream. Shortly after we were together, he went to Mumbai with his friend Bhushan(I absolutely detest this guy!) and came back with spiked hair. Then began his obsession of blowing his family money on new jeans, only Levi’s or Diesel, new shirts, etc. That was his ‘makeover’. After the first year got over and the results came out, he did not clear the year, none of the guys from the entire group did. They all had year-downs.

Anyways, we continued our relationship after he left to stay in a small district near our college that had many private hostels and coaching classes. Well, there his downfall spiraled. Honestly, it was a disgusting place. The guy started drinking like a fish and started smoking, and not just cigarettes. Uggghhh. Finally, after a lot of unpleasant incidents and a couple of tries, I broke up with him, for good this time. That was the end of the mental stress I was going through. It felt so good. I was always ambitious. This guy did nothing but pull me back into a hole. There was no way I could put up with such a guy who disgusted me. I tried everything in my power for that one and a quarter year to make him see what he was getting into and to help him out. But there is only a point till when you can help someone.

After that breakup, he still used to call me, send me stuff, message me. Even now, he sends me friend requests through his many profiles on FB. I ignore. All of them. He wrote sh*t about me in the college confession pages, and on the other side sends me messages about how he misses me. He writes statuses on my birthday, some kind of stupid rap usually. He never finished Engineering. I heard that he tried to do a lot of things, but couldn’t. He is an alcoholic and an addict. He messaged me some months back that he still wants me and that I should wait for him, he will be a successful software engg and will come to California. I just laughed and laughed.

The point to be taken is, sometimes it feels very addictive to be with a poisonous person. It is extremely hard to pull away. I felt guilty for quite some time, about not being to help him. It seemed to my 18 year old mind that overhauling his life was my ‘duty’. Stupid hindi movies. But it is not! What a person chooses to do with his life is his own decision. At a sub-conscious level, everyone is aware of the good and the bad. The goods seem to be very boring and the bads are very tempting. But the pros and cons should make it clear at what price you will be embracing what. I don’t even think that life should be lived with only weighing the pros and cons, but if it has the power of altering your life course, it is the most important thing to do. He was toxic for me. He made me feel like I had lost all my confidence, my ambition and my ability. I started feeling worthless. I was losing my friends. Thankfully, I had realized that this poison had to be removed. I cut him off completely. I cut all his friends(who are as worthless as him) off from my life. If he would visit college for whatever reasons, I would walk straight past him. The feeling I had was wonderful. Like, I was actually in charge. Ignorance was bliss! After that point, began my upward spiral. My grades went up. I made my best friends. I started seeing another guy, after a while, which did not leave me with any heartbreak because I knew it was just a fling. 😉 The idiot thought he was the only one having fun. Haha!

And that is how, kids, you take your life back.

33

Stereotypical me…

It is very easy to generalize characteristics about genders. We just assume the boys and girls we meet, to be a part of the particular stereotype that we have always thought they would follow. A lot of people hate that. I myself feel very proud of breaking certain stereotypes when it comes to family, customs, education, etc. The other day at a house party, a girl told me that she loved talking to me, and felt proud that I was doing something different than what girls are normally supposed to be pursuing for their careers. She was happy that I had taken the path less traveled. There are TWO female engineers in my entire company. A lot of people who know me say that I am a very girly girl, and doing a Masters in Thermal and Fluid Sciences is pretty bad ass for me. Heck, a lot of people did not even think that MS would be a good idea for me. My college roommate and a very close friend had told me, not in the nicest way, that she just doesn’t see me going into the technical side. This was 6 years back. How I have loved breaking perceptions!

My parents break certain stereotypes every day. They married when my father and mother were 35 and 28 respectively. They had me and decided that was it. An only girl, was very rare for those times. My education was always the most important goal for them and they have supported and encouraged me to give my best throughout. My mother tends to fall into the vicious cycle of comparisons and disappointments, but my father stands strong for me. My marriage is not the most burning issue in our lives, but my emotional, physical and financial stability is. That is how it should be. You have read about my father’s views in the Guest Post he had written for my blog.

I came across this new matrimonial site called trulymadly.com which made me think a bit.

But, just for kicks, I want to think about how stereotypes can exist and pretty vividly. I have many signs to show that I am an only child. I have so many symptoms of a kid who got bullied in school. I have most of the characteristics of being a GIRL! So, I want to list down some of the stereotypes that I fulfill, of being a girl, or a Desi at heart, or a new graduate in her twenties.

  1. I love the color pink.
  2. I love new and pretty clothes.
  3. I want to be a part of the corporate rat race and do well.
  4. I was a part of the class rat race, and did alright at the end.
  5. I am an ‘NRI’ and I do like USA, India, heck, all countries. I have become more patriotic and vocal about India, after coming here.
  6. I have fat glasses, and I do watch a ton of TV and read a lot. So according to all aunties, that is the reason I have glasses.
  7. I was never athletic. I am the girly, arty, poetic, music and dance kinds.
  8. Every time I come back from India, I get two bags full of nashta and spices.
  9. Every time I go and visit home in India, I take tons of lotions and perfumes. 😀
  10. I flirt. Quite a bit. Twirling my hair, batting my eyelids and all that. Well, depends on the audience.
  11. I cry when I see anything cute. Like, YouTube videos of puppies and kittens. Not babies. I cry during most movies.
  12. I bitch and gossip.
  13. I am a freebie and sale lover.
  14. I am very touristy, along with loving traveling.
  15. I am mortally afraid of creepy crawlies.
21

The Liebster Award!

Well, well! Srishty from Life of Srish, has conferred my first award upon me!

Tadaaaaa… The Liebster Award!

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I am very very happy that she considered me worthy of the award. It feels nice that someone likes what I write, which is just an outpouring of the crazy stew cooking in my head. It feels very pleasant that my readers can feel that emotion that I try to express. All your comments, likes and the feedback are very much appreciated and looked forward to.

I am going to do the needful as she states in her blog and follow the Lieb’s rules and regulations.

 

A. Thank the blogger who gives it to you.
B. Answer the eleven questions he/she asks.
C. Nominate eleven bloggers with less than 500 followers. [I am going to bend this rule a bit, I’ll choose eleven bloggers whom I want to choose, instead of necessarily the ones with less than 500 followers].
D. Ask these eleven bloggers eleven questions.
E. Let these bloggers know that I have nominated them.

So, here it goes….

A. Thank you sooooooo much Srishty. Big hug to you! Specially because this is no way close to the beauty and fashion blogs you love and favor, and yet you read me. 😀

B. 11 Questions by Srishty.

1. Describe your blog as simply as possible.     My blog is just a zany mix of colors which can be as bright as the sun or as dark as the midnight sky.

2. Name one movie that you can watch over and over again.     I can watch the Harry Potter series, in marathons. I love them! Also, I wish I was naming some super intelligent movies, but I have seen ‘Desi Spiderman’ 4 times and ‘Jaani Dushman'(the one with Manisha Koirala, Armaan Kohli as ichchadhari snakes, and Akshay Kumar, etc etc) around 8-9 times. It was always on on Zee Cinema! I had to watch something! Not my fault. Check this video out for the best song ever from Desi Spiderman.

3. Name your favorite food item (if it is too difficult to choose, pick any one of your favorites.     Too many to choose from honestly. But Pani Puri is my big time favorite.

4. Do you believe in passion? If yes, have you found yours?     I don’t know if I believe in it, and I don’t know if I have found it. The kind of person I am, honestly, I will not know or I will end up questioning it. I would like to ponder over it rather than give a textbook answer.

5. Any quote or learning in life that had a huge impression on you.     “Mere Karan-Arjun aayenge. Zaroor ayenge.”

6. One thing that you would want to change about yourselves.     My quick temper and my constant feeling of being ignored and abandoned. Also, my nose, my acne, hair and weight. Can I turn into Deepika Padukone, please?

7. Name one blogger whose blog you love reading.     There are so many. But I will name the first blog I remember reading, back in my 2nd year of engineering. It was by a guy who left engineering and started studying Design in Singapore, and was a great photographer, Hershey Desai. I started my own super private blog right after that, which is a personal diary. And then, I started this blog. The one blog that really pushed me into starting to write was Pepper’s. Also, love reading my own Mo’s blog, Khayali Pulao. The BFF deserves a mention.

8. You have tickets for a book fair, a food festival, a cricket match and a movie marathon at an auditorium, all four happening at the same time. Which one would you choose and why?     I don’t care so much about a movie marathon(Netflix zindabad!), or a cricket match(at all!). I am a voracious reader, so I just might go to the book fair. But then, I can buy the books anytime. Hmm. I guess, if I have my friends with me, I will hit the Food Fest. I do love eating. No point giving a fake answer to this. Y’all won’t judge me. 😀

9. One good childhood memory.     Playing with all the roadie doggies around my then residences. 🙂 Rest in Peace, sweethearts.

10. Something that you are currently hooked on to. (For example, a book that you are currently reading, the Indian politics scene, some new dish that you recently ate, some blog that you recently discovered).     I am stuck with this book ‘Mrityunjay’ in Marathi. It is very tedious for me to read and it is a very heavy read. But whatever I am reading, is mindblowing. Also, addicted to American shows. Game of Thrones is a new discovery. Ooh, I am turning into a gym rat and loving my Belly Dancing classes. 😀

11. Any feedback about my blog (don’t worry about being nice, just be honest 🙂)     I really like how your blog sort of shows your friendly persona very clearly. It is a potpourri of your lifestyle, but so relate-able. But the best part is your picture! Girl-crushing on those kohl-ed eyes! 😀

C. Nominating fellow bloggers for the Liebster Award.

Pepper

R’s Mom

Mi

Khayali Pulao

Tatsatji

Titaxy

Zarine

Pop Goes the Biscuit

Sanity Vows

Rubber Pal

Riddhi Roy

D. So, here are my 11 questions for you all:

1.       What is the significance behind your blog name/title and the name you have chosen(if) for yourself.

2.       What inspired you to start blogging?

3.       In your list of pictures, how many are selfies? 😀

4.       Name a place in India and one abroad that you really would want to visit or re-visit.

5.       What is your daytime job when you are not moonlighting as a ‘city vigilante’, err, or a blogger? (Sorry, just saw Spiderman2)

6.       What is the most amazing thing and the most annoying thing about yourself?

7.       What is the most amazing thing and the most annoying thing about the opposite sex?

8.       Everyone asks about love. I want to know how important do you think lust is in a relationship?

9.       What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

10.   How much time do you take to get ready for work?

11.   Last but not the least, where and how do you see yourself in ten years from now?

E. Shall do the needful… 😀

10

Tedha hai, par mera hai

During lunch yesterday, I was sitting in the break room with colleagues and friends. 1 Indian and 3 Vietnamese. Our talks were about very random things, and then veered towards girls getting paid to text Mr. Old Moneybags. I have heard that it is just texting and no adult conversation involved. Apparently, they just want to talk and have a mentally stimulating conversation with educated girls. Weird.

As background, let me tell you that one of the Vietnamese girls is married to an Indian, a Bombay Gujarati boy. Her Mother in Law is here visiting right now. She started telling us about how her MIL is a vegetarian and doesn’t work and women in India arent allowed to work. I jumped in right there with a big Nooooooooo! I said that was or is in only the super traditional families. Or some women genuinely don’t want to work, they prefer being homemakers, eg. my cousin bhabhi. Then somehow the talk took a turn towards the movie ‘Water’ where they have shown the plight of young widows, new widows, old widows. The movie is a very true portrayel of womanhood, in my opinion. Yet I chimed in and said how pathetic the situation was, but there are people trying to improve it and there are improvements. Then she told about similar situations in Vietnam where young girls were sold off with a moneyback guarantee by the poor families. Human trafficking is rampant in the developing/under-developed countries and it is very hard to put a check on it. The need for food, clean water, and a roof on the head makes people do things way beneath human dignity.

I agreed to everything, but I realised one thing. I am extremely protective towards India’s image. It is like, I will say anything about my country. But you say something, and I will break your face. I don’t hide behind unicorns and rainbows when it comes to facing the grim realities, but I hate the generalization that happens when non Indians talk about my country. They don’t know about India. They don’t understand that there are many little countries within this giant country. I do not disagree that the general status of women is more like a commodity and something to lech at, but I still hate that when I talk about my life in my city, some of my friends here tell that it must be so scary and dangerous. :-/

I do not pooh-pooh away the fact that most families cannot afford a decent square meal a day. But it makes me angry when people wonder in front of me about why anyone would want to move back leaving USA and the cushy job. I am perfectly aware of the inflation and the sluggish industrial pace my country is facing, but heck, if you don’t know that India has very good job prospects, you are living under a rock.

If you ask me, I can list down 10 bad things about India. And about the USA. Also, I can list down 20 great things about India, and the USA. Comparing India and the USA is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are so vastly different with so many goods and bads. Specially, India is an absolutely different culture than any other country. It can be very overwhelming, even for Indians when they are moving to another location within the country itself. Let us cut it some slack. We are positive about things. There will be marked improvements in the coming years.

So, do not speak about how bad India is. Only I am allowed to say that.

25

Guest Post : By the Father

I have something very special to present here. My father saw the movie Queen two days back and told me about it. He was telling me what he felt about the movie and I told him to jot it down. He very kindly agreed to write down a guest post about it for my blog. I have told him that I shall convey to him all the comments and critiquing he receives. 

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS.

Yesterday I watched a movie titled “Queen”. It was a very pleasant experience.

It set my thinking rolling at a furious pace. I was thrilled to see the metamorphosis of a young girl from a timid, obedient daughter (meek submission personified) into a grown up liberated, confident woman and behold! With the help of totally unknown roommates.

I now fully agree with Chetan Bhagat when he wrote about this movie that every single girl or woman has a “queen” hidden inside and they must discover it and liberate themselves.

My mind started thinking about marriages in my community and in relatives. In most of the cases if not in all, the parents marry off their daughter without any specific reason. I am sure they do not have any clear reasoning in their mind except perhaps the age old traditions. If you ask them they will come out with one of those points like she is now grown up, all her friends have got married, what will people say if we don’t marry her off now etc. etc. There is no thought about what the girl thinks or what is the thinking level their  future husband possesses.

The girls also being obedient daughters, as they are taught to be, go along with parents’ wish and get married. Again without any clear thoughts. They feel happy to fulfil their parents’ wish and land up in a state of long term slavery called married life. They analyse very superficially about the boy whether he is worthy of being called the life partner is true sense.

The boy has been given authority by our society to be a psycho supported by his parents. The modern looking boy and his progressing thinking parents suddenly take 90 degrees turn and become very conservative while selecting a girl for marriage.

Most of the new age boys start pointing out shortcomings of their wives and autocratically imposing their likes and dislikes on the hapless girl ruining the most sensitive and precious time in the life of young couple. The in laws of the girl put all the responsibility of our great culture and traditions on the newly arrived daughter in law. There are numerous cases around us of women giving up their earlier free life, their hobbies, their passions and leading a wretched, oppressed life. A mere mention of their earlier likes or hobbies by anybody makes them depressed.

I am not sure whether majority of the boys understand the meaning of equality, partnering for life, individual freedom or woman empowerment leave alone practicing these.

It’s time to think whether to subject our daughters to this kind of married life or to train them and allow them to think differently and independently. Why not to leave this all important decision of life to them? Why not to allow them tread their own path by brushing aside the ever lingering thought of “what will people say!”

As responsible, educated parents we owe this to our beloved daughters.

4

Right here, right now

Right now….

…I am singing “I’m so fancy” by IGGY. Only the ‘im so fancy’ part though. It is very Princessy-Buttery.

“I’m so fancy,
You already know,
M in the fast lane,
From LA to Tokyo.
I’m so fancy,
Cant you taste this gold,
Remember my name,
Bout to blowwwwwww”

…Looking at RJ’s Performance Curve Generator for our line of pumps and putting in the required numbers. He is too good at Excel. It makes me feel ashamed of my Excel skills. In case you are wondering, they are negligible. I prefer paper, pen, calculator. But I can do the Macros. *Pat on my back*

…Looking at my compact mirror, every 10 minutes and cringing at the concealed blemishes and acne. L But I am liking my new pink blush and pink lip crayon. I feel prettier and all pinky.

…I am popping chocolates into my mouth like nobody’s business. Word has spread around office that I am a chocoholic and they all get dumped on me. Especially by people who are going on diets and have boxes. Ya right! Screw up my figure to get yours back on track! Jerks.

…Staring at my cute li’l badge that *ahem* motivates the team.

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…Thinking about the Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday. It feels nice to have a galfriend Ahn, who says she wants me to go with her to her own new BF’s party. The guy used to work with us as a Design Engr, and left for a better offer, I think after a month of her joining.

…Thinking of starting a research paper on how to improve centrifugal impellers. I cannot give away my secret method though, on a public forum. =) Company policies, you see.

…Planning how to and where to watch the asteroid shower on May 24th-25th. I need to go a li’l further from light pollution at night, which is hard in the OC and LA region. I need company since it will be after midnight. I have asked Shawn and his GF, if they are interested and are in town. I don’t want a guy friend alone because it sounds very cheesy and romantic. I don’t mind being the third wheel though.

…One of my good friends from the company got laid off, after a few others since last couple of weeks. It has made me very sad and very stressed. 😦

2

Golf tournament in short

What a crazy crazy week.

Last Thursday, I had a customer demonstration where around 160 people descended upon our holy grounds to witness the greatest phenomenon on earth happening. Running of my Marine pump. I kid, I kid. The second greatest after the team presentation. I think I walked 5 km easily between the test stand and the copier trying to get all the test curves and brochures and everything else ready. It was so friggin’ tiring. But it went well, and our pump is a big hit. They are eagerly waiting for the entire range to start testing and getting sold.

Friday was beyond fun! We were all looking so dapper in our bright blue nike golf shirts! I had specially bought new dark aviators from H&M for the golf tournament. Yes, I was aware I was not going to play, and yes, I am shallow that way. 😛 We put on the radio on full blast and the 12 of us made our way to the golf course an hour away in our rental van. The partying had begun with a Black Label and Captain Morgan right in the van itself. Within a couple of hours, we all were set and the buses with already pretty high customers/vendors/marketing guys arrived. After their registration and goodie bag gifting was done, we kicked off the tournament. And then the fun began! I was supposed to be sitting in a canopy at hole 14 with Mr. Cruz, handing out the drink tickets if needed. I was there for like, 6 seconds to drop off the music speakers. Poor Mr. Cruz, sat there all alone the entire day, without complaint, while the 8 of us in 4 golf carts kept coursing through out the golf course. There were many glasses of vodka and pineapple-cranberry juice involved and it all ended with me laughing hysterically whenever anyone said ‘avocado’. Also, it involved me caressing a Gopher snake with love. Mikey caught it to put it across the road to save it and I almost cried thinking he is annoying the snake. So I purred to it while patting it, that it will be all okay. Things people do when they are drunk, tch tch.
The group that won the game was a Canadian super loud group with ONE good golfer rest all scratches. There was some very suspicious scoring going on after all the boozing! I bear witness to that! 😉 We spent 10 min at the driving range. I have done that a couple of times before and I am not too shabby. Although I like mini golf more. It is cuter.

So, there is my update for the last week. It isn’t very detailed, only because it’s such a whirr of haze in my head and I don’t know what to write!

*Post no. 50. Yay!*