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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Laptop puran

Kitne baaje hai, madam? (What time is it, madam?)
Barah, Bhaisahab. (12, brother )
Kya baat kar rahi hai? Par abhi to shaam hai!! (What are you saying? But it's evening now !!)
Bhaiya mere laptop ka adaptor kharab ho gaya hai aur stock mein nahi mil raha- mere liye to barah hi baje huye na phir? ( My laptor's adaptor has gone kaput and is not available in the stock -so it's 12 for me now, isn't it? )

And he left me in my remorse. Aah! The agony ! The pain! The feeling of complete helplessness. I don't think I felt this bad even after a break-up.
I can't practise the new HTML codes I have been learning.
Can't spend my evening flipping through the pages of dictionary. com.
Can't blog when my whim suggests.
Can't listen to music at 3 o' clock in the morning.
Can't view if my orkut scraps have increased from 17,817 since I last saw it.
That reminds me- I just saw the assistant of this cafe browsing through orkut. Wow ! I wish I knew how his profile looks like. When I had the name of my employer organization displayed very naively on my professional profile, some creep who had nothing better to do in life looked up a few numbers on the internet and called up on my work phone when I was not in the remotest mood for mamuli khejure- alaap ( worthless chit-chat).
I have all respect for the guy who conceived the notion of an online community for social networking. I got re-connected to a lot of old school friends I had lost touch with. I made a couple of new friends too. Well exactly 'TWO' new friends. And one of them was actually my friend's boy friend so it really does not count. And he knew me through my blog first: so orkut can not really be given the credit. And the other chap I became friends with- well main ab tak pachhta rahi hoon ( can't translate this for emotional difficulties :P)
So - here I am. Clueless about my immediate neighbor. But worried to death about a firend who lives half the world away from me. ("Firend" samajhtey hai na aap? Yeah yeah- woh wala. )
Now you'll wonder how does my latop puran come into it?
Wohi to! My only convenient entry ticket to the cyberspace is blocked/locked/shut down/ kaput/ gone .
Someone rightly said- happiness to me would be my laptop, a lot of deadlines and fried chicken ( I added good music for ambience and laughed at the truth of the statement.)
But life goes on. In spite of tragedies like these. So,I decided to get back to my old friends. Naah naah -not my chaddi-buddies. Though this week I was quite active in catching up with them.
But my diaper buddies- I mean books.
Those are the ones that open new avenues of thoughts, new channels of ideas.
Sometimes I indulge in mixed reading, id est, I read two books in installments instead of following my usual- "Complete without a breather principle". It's a way of showing respect to the author. But when I am learning something- as of now- some new codes, I allow myself the luxury of reading something else in between.
And this time the filler is "The Power of Six Sigma" by Subir Chowdhury. I have been fascinated by the quality prophet's views before but this one has made an awesome read till now.
Maybe I will write a post on the importance of quality soon and I hope I will post it from my lappy. [ I call it "Aparna" (Appy's lappy). Yeah, a narcissist :P I know someone who calls his "Angelina" :D ]

Until then,
Kabhi alvida na kehna ..
* makes a sentimental exit*

Monday, April 23, 2007

In Pursuit of HappYness - II

This is C's mail to me about an hour ago:
Mere ko aaj kal sab kuch ajeeb sa lagne lag gaya hai.
Happiness has just gone out. Pata nahi kya chahta hun life se
Feeling very low..infact its the lowest I had ever been
Chid chida ho gaya hun
Pick up fights for no issues at all
Bahut ajeeb sa ho gaya hai
Mother this is my confession. Pls pray to God to forgive me and give me happiness.

My reply: ( a temporary remedy)
Close you eyes for a second and try to imagine the happiest memory you can ever recall . Maybe a family vacation together, maybe an award you worked hard for, may be a kind deed you once did or someone did for you
We can't find happiness outside. It's lying within us. So look inside you..
और बोलो- अपर्णा मैया कि.... जय ( and say Hail To Mother Aparna)


अब अंधे को अँधा रास्ता दिखाए तो कैसे ? ( Now, how can a blind show the path to another blind ?)

Kabir said -
Such is true knowledge, O friend-
Those who take refuge in a boat sink midstream;
The shelterless and forlorn, reach the opposite shore.

Those who take the arduous thorny path reach the town;
Who take the easy highway are robbed midway.
In one string all are entangled, be they worldly, be they recluse.

Those who take shelter under the edifice of forms and rituals,
Are rocked and drenched by the storm;
Who remain in the open, Are left dry and safe.

Those wounded by the arrow, Attain everlasting bliss;
They suffer pain and misery who remain unhurt.
Those without eyes see the entire creation;
Who possess eyes remain blind. Says Kabir;
When I realized the truth, I saw the world’s strange character.


We are all blind people groping in darkness. Trying to find one object to hold on to that can give us happiness. And blind as we are, we throw away the gemstones with rough edges and hold on to the pebbles with smooth texture.
Where is the end of the tunnel? Where is the light?
Gaonwalo kuch karo- or else I will become the weeping philosopher and head for the Himalayas for Sanyaas.
I think I need to visit Goa soon.
Need to unwind after I am through with my pending work.

And please pray for my friend. He really needs to have peace with himself.

(Btw,for those who cannot view the Devanagari script:
और बोलो- अपर्णा मैया कि.... जय = Aur bolo Aparna maiya ki.. Jai
and अब अंधे को अँधा रास्ता दिखाए तो कैसे ?= Ab andhe ko andha raasta dikhaye to kaise )

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Together Forever?

Some things in life can't be replaced, fortunately- some things need not be...

I met a old friend of mine online today. I had logged into Orkut for some reason and saw her name on the list of people who were online on Gtalk. Now, I had refrained from linking my orkut account with Google Talk for several reasons. I don't want random people to know when I am online on Gtalk for one . And I script really weird status messages which the world need not decipher.
But adding her on my list was too good a bait.
So when I sent her an invite and she pinged I was more than happy. But she had her grudges. Why didn't I contact her for so long? Where had I been all these days?
I told her I had lost my phone and her contact number. My yahoo account which had her contact details was hacked. And I had been busy with my job, my GMAT and my book...
But she wouldn't listen. She said that "You know how much you mean to me. You were the closest friend I ever had. The best days of my life I have spent are with you. I'm talking to you after so long time and I'm crying like anything. I' m sitting in the computer lab and everyone is watching me. "

"Purely professional" and "artificial" were some of the milder terms she used to reproach me.

Now, my best friend from school - Raikishori Ganguly and I hardly get to talk to each other for months but when we meet it's like old times everytime. Ditto Samayita Chowdhuri whom I call Sam. I haven't seen her for years now but if there's something happening in my life worth knowing, she'll be one of the first ones to know.
And Saiki - how can I forget the kick-boxing fits I have when we go out for a movie or to the shopping mall :) But we seldom meet!

Why do we need to prove ourselves to the people we love?
I must not be saying this since I'm the kind of person who needs to be told "I love you" every day. It's like short-term memory loss.

But this incident really taught me something. Maybe we need to give space to others too. Some of whom are mature enough to handle our demands but maybe not really happy about it .

Found a lost friend today.. and lost again.. I guess.


Who the f*** is Jahnavi Kapoor?
If you have been following the Abhi-Aish wedding details, you might know by now that she's a “model and actress” (if a 10 second apppearance in the title song of Dus makes you one) who claimed that Abishek had promised to marry her. And in full media glare, slit her wrists and is now charged with attempt to suicide under Section 309 of IPC.

Publicity stunt? Maybe.
Something to catch the attention of the star? Are you kidding me????

There are well known cases of celebrities being stalked and targeted by delusional people. The infamous assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr was reported to have been driven by the delusion that the death of the president would cause actress Jodie Foster to publicly declare her love for Hinckley.
Where was the Freud Squad?
Heaven knows.
You might opine that the celebrities have to pay a cost for their stardom . But what about day-to-day events?
A 24-year old man stabbed a minor girl to death in Delhi on V-day this year because she refused to accept the flowers he had bought for her. He had no idea what V-day was all about except that he happened to watch on TV that you were supposed to give gifts to people you loved.
A local goon threatening to kidnap a female if she refuses to be "friends" with him is quite common occurrence in Bihar and Eastern UP.

The Virginia Tech Massacre was surmised to be initiated by Seung-Hui Cho as a result of a domestic dispute between him and his supposed former girlfriend Emily Hilscher. It is now believed that she had no prior relationship with Cho, but was instead being stalked by him.

Dark side of passion?
Need of psychological counseling if you ask me.
Tu haa kar ya naa kar, tu hai meri ..KKKKiran

Oh, btw, if you can find Jahnavi in the video, do let me know. My microscope didn't help.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Your happiest moment :

While filling slam books in school, I’d often run across this question. And my answer would inevitably be: When strangers to me call me by name.

Today I was talking to a friend of mine whom I call Puchku. He is one of the 5 people I had sent my book to. Apparently he was with a friend of his Moon (whom I happen to know through him) and a common friend of theirs - say Sun . I have never met any of them in my life.

So, there they were- chit-chatting at Frescos, with some nice tiramisu and pints of beer. Somehow, my name dropped in and each one said how they enjoy reading my blog. ( I have never talked to Sun so didn’t know about his patronage. I have talked to Moon quite a few times and she’s really generous with compliments and has even asked me to take up writing professionally )
Incidentally, Puchku happened to carry my book ( along with a couple of guitar plectrums, a math book, a novel, a radio, a walkman, a laptop etc etc).
Moon said she liked reading my blog. Sun opined that somehow he liked my previous posts more ( sorry about that, after my book got published, I got a bit conscious and had been trying to be “politically correct” for sometime. It’s lethal for my writing I guess. Will give it up soon . )

Moon concluded that if 3 people who never met this gal are talking about her blog, sitting in an Italian pub, then she ought to be SOMETHING.

Lol. I don’t know about that. But yeah when I got to know about that incident, I felt I was having some tiramisu myself. The taste of a heavenly dessert sure filled my mouth

It happened a year back too. I was at Pizza Hut with a friend when someone recognized me and asked if I were “Aparna Kar”. Now a person’s name is the sweetest melody to him/ her. And I really love being addressed by my full name. ( One of my friends knows it- and he calls me “Aparna Kar”. Rarely Aparna or Appu but mostly “Aparna Kar”. )
And of course the offer I got at an ad agency because the creative director happened to view my blog.

When strangers to me call me by name: has still remained my happiest moment.
Recognition comes a lot later. You have to dedicate yourself to a cause, pursue it with passion; as if you needed it like the air you breath in.
I did nothing really- except do what comes to me naturally: write.
And when people come up to me and say: You know what’s the best thing about your book? After I was finished reading it, I felt I had just met somebody, somebody I’d like to meet again.
Or someone says that I wept while reading the post titled XYZ. Or someone from California or Manchester or Timbuktoo wants to purchase my book because they feel they could empathize with what I scribbled- I feel elated and humbled at the same time.

And it makes me love what I do- because I know, somewhere it is bringing a smile to a face. Even if you consider it dhopper chop, id est, total bakwaas :P

Monday, April 16, 2007


"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

--- from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland [1865] by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

T-shirt slogan contest:

Design 1: Aparna Kar©
Even before I am born, I will be killed....
Even before my mother hears me cry, it will be quietened
Maybe because I am too tiny to be significant. Or maybe because I am more of a daughter to them than a child.

Stop sex determination and female foeticide
Save the girl child

Design 2 by Saikat Bose

Script your own slogans and post as comments. While you are allowed to post your fav slogans on more general topics, the contest is only for the ones with a social message.

After a considerable number of entries, the winner will be decided by a poll .

Subho Naboborsho

Uthchhe prabhat-robi, Ankche sonar chhobi
Tumi keno felo tate chhaya!
Barek je chole jay, Tare to keho na chay
Tabu tar keno eto maya!

( which, when grossly put, means:
"The rising sun is painting golden pictures, why are you casting a shadow on it?
That which is bygone, no one wants - but why is then the pining for it?"

The Bengali New Year commences. Bangabdo 1414.
When was the last time I saw a Bengali date and year?

My diary entry reads...

Sei Pujabarshiki Anondomelay dekheychilam sheshbaar Bangla shon o tarikh; erpor jeno Bangalitvo ta kothay hariye gelo..
Onno desh, onno bhaasha, onno sonskriti- ba hoyto ekhaane-e khujey peyechii niye k- ae hariye jaoar modhye....

( I last saw a Bengali date and year in the annual Puja edition of Anondomela.. then the Bangalitvo was lost somewhere...
Another land, another language, another culture- or maybe- I found myself here- in this getting lost...)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A suitable girl

Khushwant Singh once said: When you want to see the worst examples of urban prejudices- where do you turn to? The matrimonial ads columns!

A friend of mine recently voiced the same concern and said that he was unlike the prejudiced Indian males and had very few expectations from his life partner. He even helped me script a matrimonial ad which I promised to put up in my blog, which , according to him has viewers from all over the world. (I could have denied it but ..unfortunately he knows the many uses of site meter)
So here it is:

Wanted Bride.
Young, slim, fair and extremely beautiful. Highly educated. Should earn in six figures but should not mind giving away her salary to husband on the day of pay. Should have good mix of Eastern and Western values. Must enjoy cooking Indian food. Must have a great sense of humor (read:be amused by my poor jokes). But should not laugh too loudly. We will measure the length of her smile with a tape and tell her the perfect fits for respective occasions- so don't worry about it.
Should have impeccable social etiquette.Should have an ear for Indian Classical music. Should be an exponent in Bhajan-kirtaan.
Should be back before 8 pm everyday. Should not complain when asked to do domestic work after long office hours because we plan to get rid of the maid after I get married. Should not mind if the decision to have a child is unilateral, i.e, mine. Should not make it a ground to file for divorce.
...And if at all we settle for an innocent divorce, should not ask for alimony.

Here's a pic of my friend while heading for office.

Don't mind the hooves and horns. Despite the misleading appearance, he's a very gentle soul.
For close ups please mail to

(LINK: Case of Samar Ghosh vs Jaya Ghosh,Mental cruelty to spouse, Supreme Court )

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Pursuit of HappYness

Ever wondered why happiness is spelled with an "I" and not a "Y"? I guess it's when a "WHY" comes in and you begin to doubt yourself and others that it gets diluted, adulterated. And that which could be perfect bliss grows unhealthily in the shadows of your uncertainty.
What is perfect happiness then? And how can it be achieved? ( Those who think it can NOT be achieved may stop reading here. Throw your WHYs out of the window before proceeding further )

I'd like to refer what the noted author and the CEO of ASI Consulting Group, Subir Chowdhury said in an interview to Marshall Goldsmith ( the author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There- recently listed as America's best-selling business book in The Wall Street Journal. ): " ...We should all begin our day with the understanding that "quality is my business. We should all ask the question, "What can I do to improve the quality of my work?" We shouldn't only look at the present. We should look to our future and challenge ourselves by asking, "What can I do to improve the quality of my career?"

The obvious question that follows is: What are the factors that usually effect our quality of life?
Health, wealth and love are the most highly voted ones.
Which is the most important to you and why? The answers may vary. But my take is- you need all the three to have a balanced life.

Now let us try and analyze why some people who have the potential to be "perfectly happy" are yet not; for some apparently invisible reasons. Maybe eliminating the cause of their unhappiness could make them happy. Maybe not. But we can give it a shot.

A is a woman in her early twenties. She has a pleasant disposition and bright career prospects. She is impassioned about her work and her secondary career which has given her public recognition as well. She should have nothing to complain. But...

B is a Masters student in an elite US University. He has been offered an internship with a wage of 70$ per-hour for 10 weeks. He is not happy . He wants to negotiate with the concerned firm to increase the hourly wage.

C is an MBA graduate from one of the IIMs. He switched jobs to join a company with a better market presence. But he's finding it difficult to carve a niche for himself like he could in his previous company or do something substantial-according to his standard of skills-in his view. Result: frustration.

We acquire skills to add values to our careers, cultivate hobbies to utilize our leisure, try to choose the perfect mate to provide us with an emotional anchor. But in our pursuit to earn a living, are we forgetting to live?

Tell me what you think are the possible solutions for A, B and C to improve their quality of lives.
I had enough of acting the agony aunt myself.

Trivia: the federal minimum wage rate is currently $5.15 per-hour. Many states enact higher minimum wages than that established by the government and hourly wage could be as high as $9 per-hour, depending upon the skill requirement of the job