Tuesday, 26 February, 2008

marraige anniversaries

It was my parents marriage anniversary yesterday. They have been married for the last 33 years. Imagine 33 years! They got married in 1975, had two kids and basically lead a successful life. Whenever I look at my parents or other couples of their generation I am filled with a kind of envy. Our generation with all our individuality, space etc etc has lost the kind of complete relationships that our parents enjoyed. You ask them and they will solemnly say that it has not been easy at all. Mothers will complain a bit more, fathers will smile indulgently, because they know at the end of it all what they wanted really happened, not what their wives wanted. Then there are mothers like mine who were married off every early without any oppurtunity to do anything else with her life. So mothers like these give complete freedom to their own daughters and egg them on to be achievers, if not achievers then at least give them the chance to life their lives their way.
But inspite of all these small things, I am sure our mothers did not get it all bad. They have good husbands, solid marraiges and very stable lives. I have often discussed this with my friends and all feel that our parents generation had something which ours do not. Maybe it is the complete trust and confidence our parents have on each other. Perhaps it is something else which we completely do not see or understand. Whatever it is kudos to it.
Here's wishing my parents and all other couples happy and long life togather!

Saturday, 23 February, 2008

Cheering myself up...


Dear Blog,

Yesterday I got too stressed which is still lingering on. Apart from that I have to work this Sunday and my laptop is not working. I called up Dell only to be told to call again on Monday as they are closed over the weekend. How I wish everyone in this world including me got his or her weekends off. And to boot I am not feeling well, seems like a cold is coming and a stye on as well. When I was younger and sillier I used to sulk and wait for someone to cheer me up. But now I am more mature and definitely more cynical and know that I need to cheer myself up. But the problem is how to cheer myself up. I am not in the mood for most of the things. Ok let me think positive and think about 5/6 good/interesting things that are happening in my life right now. These reminders should help—

Reading—I know I keep boring you about how much I love reading. But this is something so essential to me that I can’t refrain from talking about it. Right now I am reading 'Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India 2003-04' by Rahul Bhattacharya. It is about the tour of Indian cricket team to Pakistan. Now I am not one of those cricket bluffs. I sometimes watch final matches just for fun. I started to read this book because it is about fascinating Pakistan and I love reading travelogues. I am midway through this book and so far it is proved to be a really interesting one, even the cricket bits! And the best bit is that I nipped this book from my cousin's book shelf when I went to Jaipur. I think it belongs to one of his friends. I dont think either of them are getting this back.
And hey I checked this book's review and it seems this is a much awaited one and a winner. Trust me to pick up this one. But it is a great read even for a non cricket fan like me.
Amitava Ghosh's 'In An Antiquated Land' is waiting for me after this.

Music-- Till my laptop broke down this morning, (Suchismita concentrate on the positive bit) I have been listening to this mp3 my friend has given me with fantastic compilation of Bangla rock songs. Ever since I got this about 2 months back I have been listening continuously to it. Last night I fell asleep with this cd playing and I was waking up at intervals only to soothed back to sleep by the music. Everytime I listen to this music I am transported back to Kolkata to those heady college days. Wafting in nostalgia sure feels good.

Social Networking--I have recently logged onto Facebook. I have been in Orkut for almost two years but I have been resisting getting into other social networks because these take up way too much time. But lots of folks in my office are in it so I thought what the heck lemme also try it. The idea of missing out anything definitely rankles, so Facebook I have arrived. What a cool place this is. I am adding applications like mad, even though I haven’t had the time to understand or decipher half of them.

Weekend plans--Today I am planning to go see a movie and also have tea (a la English way with biscuits) with a friend.

Eating--I have not been having chicken in deference to the bird flu doing rounds; much to the amusement of my friends who claim bird flu has long gone and to begin with had never reached Delhi. But my logic is you never know when a poultry hen can fly from Bengal to Delhi. After all I landed up from Kolkata to Delhi! Well to get back to eating, yesterday I broke my self-imposed ban and picked up some Chinese chat from Golden Bakery in Lajpat Nagar. This Chinese chat is a new concept doing rounds in Delhi. It is pretty ok once in a while but they should cut down on the oil.

Shopping—Thursday evening Jayshree (she has been introduced previously) and me, we went shopping in CP. I picked up a nice denim skirt for summer, some bangles (bangle shops behind Hanuman Mandir are awesome…great variety at cheap price…this is a must go for bangle lovers like Anubha) and some dry flowers and cane stuff. I am planning to varnish the cane stuff to give them an extra glow. Lets see when I get the time.

Blogging—How can I forget blogging…I am writing pretty regularly and I really enjoy it. This is helping me clear m head. And then someone leaves a comment and it feels real good. One of my friends told me that she reads all my posts but never goes around to commenting. Never mind any kind of good feedback is welcome. Hope you are reading this one also Smriti.
Gift-- Anant my friend and colleague and the champion of Tibetan rights has very sweetly just now given me this beautiful wall hanging depicting the 8 lucky Tibetan signs. According to him this is a precious gift and it took him 4 years to be associated with the movement to get it. Everyone in the office admired it and all were asking for it but I got it. Thanks Anant, you definitely helped my mood.

Ok so I do have some good things happening in life. Cheer up.

Friday, 22 February, 2008

ah for a holiday...


Don’t know whether because today is Friday or because work has been extremely hectic for quiet sometime…today my brain has done a shut down. I cannot work anymore. Period. I sincerely hope that my brain recovers soon.
As of now my dear brain is refusing to do any bit of work. I tried to sit quietly in my place but phones kept coming, so did people. In case you think that I am a big shot I am not, I am the internship coordinator cum project manager cum fundraiser. Hence either my interns need me or my project people need me continuously. So what I did was go sit in another floor in an empty table for sometime. I read the newspaper supplement from top to bottom and lo and behold I was sought just once. This half an hour break really calmed my head.
I have noticed that when I am really stressed I cannot work at all. Rather when I do things casually much more gets done. But you do not always get choices in life.
Writing has also always helped me calm down and get things in perspective. What do I write about today? Ok let me talk about something, which is not going to happen to my life anytime soon-- a long, lazy holiday. What kind of holidays do you like? I generally like my holidays to be supremely lazy. I love the hills…some lush hillside…quiet and definitely not touristy. I love going to sleepy hill towns where nothing much happens and life is laidback and slow.
I love going to the hills in all seasons. I can go in the summer when the hills are not so hot compared to the plains, go for long walks in the mornings, spend lazy afternoons lying under some tree reading a book, eating fruits. In summer you do get such a wide variety of fruits. I love the hills during monsoons. Rains wash away all the grime and make everything look so lovely and fresh. I can watch the rain for hours. I love the smell of fresh fragnance of earth, which comes immediately after a good shower. I love the mountains in the winter as well. Imagine going for a long walk in the wintertime, sitting around a bonfire in the evening and singing songs and curling up beside a roaring fire at night with a good book.
How I wish I had the money to buy a small house in some sleepy hill station and live a lazy life. Alas it is going to be just a dream for a long time!

P.S. The photograph is taken from Google.

Thursday, 21 February, 2008

Going for a walk...



Spring has really come to Delhi. Today morning I actually woke up around 6.30 a.m. and Jayshree (my friend and roomie) and I, we went for a walk. It was lovely outside and felt good to be out. All of this winter I have been getting up around 8.30/9 a.m. and somehow rushing to office, always late. Now that winter is gone I amalready a bit more active. Spring always makes me long to walk. The weather is just lovely. Like I mentioned in the last piece I used to love going for walks during spring in JNU campus.
Here in Lajpat Nagar there is a park just outside our flat. The park is nothing much to go by, there are hardly any trees and no grass at all. But it is not the fault of the ground but of residents. All community affairs are held at the ground. So everytime there is something tents are set up and greenery goes for a toss. But cannot even blame the residents in Delhi there is so much space shortage you need community spaces too. Anyways this park suffices for our walk and today morning while walking I saw the area come to life—vans honking for school children, milkmen cycling by, newspaper-wallahs throwing papers to third floor balconies with exact target, people sleepily coming to their balconies for a few moments of peace and fresh air with the first cup of morning tea…it felt really good to watch these mundane activities…
Walking in JNU was another affair…there is a ring road which goes round the campus. I used to take that road. Only ten percent of the campus is habitated and the rest still has forest cover. Also the road is a bit hilly and there is no one around you. You can just be yourself with all the trees silently watching you go by. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of a peacock/peahen or a neelgai. I used to keep looking at the trees, be lost in my own thoughts. Writing about it makes me feel nostalgic, if JNU was not so far away I would definitely go for a walk again.
Another time I really enjoy walking is autumn. Like all Bongs I love autumn. Ah autumn brings in loads of nostalgia, promise of Durga pujo and all things good. But while in spring I gaze at the trees and the flowers, in autumn I gaze at the clear blue sky with puffy white clouds peacefully floating by. Also those white wild grass, which grows abundantly during autumn.

P.S. Isnt this photo lovely? Found it courtesy Google.

Sign Language Class


I was going through some old photographs in my laptop and found this photograph. This photograph was taken at the end of our first sign language class. Ok let me start from the beginning.


Last year Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) the organization I work for, did something really different. We had a short course on sign language. As far as I remember we had about 4 to 6 classes on sign language.


It was taught by a hearing impaired person belonging to an organization called the Deaf Way. We were taught alphabets, numbers, basic words like father, mother, son, daughter, days of the week, some basic verbs like read, teach, cry, sad etc. But the most popular was the sign language way to clap or show appreciation. They raise their hands in the air and wave them. In office we have taken to this and it is real fun.


I was not at all interested initially but had to go. But once there, it was a lot of fun and we had a good laugh while learning some basic things. It was a humbling experience as well. The person who heads our disability rights initiative is visually handicapped so it was an experience watching the two communicate. Experiences like these makes me feel thankful for what i have!

Wednesday, 20 February, 2008

Springtime...




Valentine day just went and finally spring has come to Delhi…the flower shops are overflowing. Few days back I was in Defense Colony market and the picture is of the flower shops there. The flowers looked so beautiful and colourful I wish I could buy the entire flower shop. But that is the funny thing with flowers…they are not much fun when you have to buy them yourself. Flowers should always come as gift. I know men pick their noses when women gush about flowers. But believe me women hold flowers very dear. Recently a friend in my office got herself lots of flowers. My roommate in Toronto always used to buy herself flowers when she felt sad or depressed. I have never got into the flower buying mode to cheer myself up…but I am sure it is much better than eating chocolates and getting fatter or going bankrupt shopping or smoking your lungs out. It is really funny how women deal with their depression. I feel we women are much more innovative when it comes to dealing with depression. All men do, experiences shared by my male friends over the years, is to get themselves drunk silly or smoke excessively. I read a lot, as it is I am one of those book worms but when depressed I generally don’t talk…all I do is engross myself in a good book and not think of whoever or whatever is making me sad at that point.
Anyways lets get back to the happy mode…spring is here fleetingly…have fun guys till it is here. When I was in JNU I used I loved going for walks around this time. The trees look so lovely. Many get new leaves and some have their leaves turn to rust shade. I love that dark rust. I feel the colour has a lot of character—it is deep and looks mature, very earthy and rather mysterious. Now I know usually colours are not described like this. But hey I am convinced that everything has a character of its own.
A few of us are planning to go to the Mughal Gardens one of these weekends. Lets see how that goes.

Tuesday, 5 February, 2008

basic services...

ok, the last few days have been rather stressful and hectic...and it promises to be same for sometime more...so i am not in my best moods...i have so much of work that i cant concerntrate on any one in particular...everything is urgent and needed to be done yesterday...and my going home has also been defered...today morning i had to cancel my train ticket to kolkata, which is a heartsore in itself...
the lajpatnagar railway counter always has huge queues with someone or the other trying to break queue or stand in the ladies queue with a fake identity card...then someone will invariably notice and a fight would break out...with all these fiery tempered sardars in lajpatnagar it becomes lively with colourful language being used...i just dont understand why people break queues to begin with because with all the fighting they land up wasting much more time and definitely more energy...each to his own...
so i was expecting at least an hour long queue and some confusion...and to my utter confusion the counter was neat and clean and there was no queue. i almost thought that it was closed or the computers were down...but holy god it was open, the computers were up and running and the man at the counter actually smiled and was polite to me!
if basic services in india becomes this smooth and hasslefree then there would be no country better than india in the world...we should learn to expect such smooth services and not be surprised at them if and when they happen...but i cant stop feeling elated and happy about it...and this little incident actually has made me feel so good that even half my stress has vanished...