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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gaining resilience

Today, I had gone to meet my Program Director Dr. William Koehler to discuss which courses I'd be taking up next semester. He observed: "You have a marketing personality. Accountants are not so lively" and winked. Honestly, Financial Accounting is not really one of my favorites. I love the subject, but not the class which is lecture-based owing to its theoretical content, and for that reason, is highly somniferous.

I might narrow down to Economics, Marketing Management, Business and its Environment and/or a class in Fund-raising. The last one was specially recommended by him after he saw me attending an info session on fund-raising and non-profit organizations a fortnight ago.

I was interested 'cause of the purpose associated with non-profits. In fact, the Mgt650 project of Organizational Analysis ( The basics of Strategic consulting. My most favorite class - mentioning it for the nth time I guess) is on an organization working for community inclusion of the physically disabled.

One thing I learned at the session was that you can do well by doing good too. Some of the salaries cited were brow-raising. But then, nothing comes easy. You have to work for insane hours for an event. Not that I am scared to work. I like the high I get from sleepless nights. But I fear the lull that follows it.

I still remember the day I kept sitting on campus grounds after the cultural fest got over in my first year of undegrad. So much preparation had gone into it. And so much excitement was associated with it. Those three days had my adrenaline pumping like crazy. I met new people, made new friends and my life changed to never be the same again.

So, getting back to it. I don't fear stress. But the leisure to realize that I am not busy enough. I asked Bill if I should take 4 courses instead of the 3 courses usually taken by a full time student. He asked me not to overexert myself. The classes need to be well paced too. I might apply for GA, I have not decided yet. But my primary concern right now is my internship next summer. Hmm. Lots on my table. Not a wonder that I have begin to care less and less about more and more now. To be truthful, I don't think I can afford redundancy in any form. Sorry if I ranted about myself. But this is something important to ME and I think I deserve a chunk of this space even at the cost of boring my readers. :D

Was feeling too tired to log onto my private blog and post it there.

Thanks for listening. :)

P.S I forgot to mention the incident that gave the post its title. After my team meeting yesterday , I had gone to Shaw's to get some grocery done. On my way back, I saw a kid pushing a heap of maple leaves with his feet - just for the fun of it. His ability to create happiness out of all most nothing is something intrinsic to children, which usually fades out with time.( I used to turn a chair upside down and pretend it is my space station. Or transform my bed into a stage and row up my chairs asking my friends to be an audience *always the limelight hogger :D * )

I asked the kid, "Is it fun?" He shied away at first but then nodded his head and said "Yeah. It is" Without a second thought, I leaped into those leaves, with grocery bags et al and said "It sure feels good." There was a chap passing by, probably wondering why an adult woman is jumping onto a heap of leaves. But who cares? Why should I stop being myself?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sweet November

Itni shiddat se tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai-
ki harr zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai

Take 2:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Kehte hai agar kisi cheez to dil se chaaho to poori qayenat usey tumse milane mein lag jaati hai.

Humari filmon ki tarah, humari jindagi mein bhi end tak sab kuch theek hi ho jaata hai.Aur agar theek na ho to woh "The end" nahi.
Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

Ok I watched Om Shanti Om again. So what? Even if it meant sending my mind to graze grass- once more. But I had an occasion. I met Dada almost after one and a half years on the Thanksgiving weekend in Boston. I had last seen him in May 2006 in Noida, when he was about to leave for Pittsburgh.

PR (my roomate) had not watched it either, and we had made a pact that we would watch it together. But I cheated and watched it online last weekend. So, PR , her boyfriend VR (who had come over for the weekend too), Dada and me went out last Saturday to catch the flick at Capitol (Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02474) It was a neat 30 minutes drive from South Boston. I don't think it would have taken less than 45 minutes had we been in India.

I am so much used to multiplexes, that the hall looked disappointingly old. But then I decided to think of it as the "old age charm" that is intrinsic to the city. Even the red bricks of Harvard emanate it. Nothing justifies the parallelism with ivy plants better.

Believe it or not- I saw Harvard Square for the first time at night and had decent Indian food at The Bombay Club ( recommended). In short, the weekend was a typical Bollywood masala movie with an array of emotions hitting us folks :D

Dada asked if I would be free this weekend and I replied in affirmative. He reached Logan airport around 10:30pm and reached home by 11:05 pm and we spend talking almost the rest of the night trying to catch up with what we had missed.

I decided to start with the Skywalk at Prudential Center, where you can have a bird's eye-view of the whole city and then decide upon where to go next. We had a turkey lunch for Thanksgiving and met an Indophile couple.

In the evening we met up with one of Dada's old school pals.

I showed him around the Emerald Necklace.

We got out to the Bayside near my residence and I clicked some matrimonial ad-worthy photographs of Bro.

Sample :

Specially, with the ultimatum from my parents that he has just an year's time to find someone of his choice or else they will start looking for him :D

Btw, he looks more like Dad now, doesn't he? Though we have both got Mom's dimpled chin :) Quite a good looking family , eh? :D

Here's another facet of Mr. Amitabha Kar for you. Did I mention that one of my classmates had a big time crush on him ? :P (Sorry for embarrassing you in public Dad . I know you are blushing right now. Hee hee )

Went to Central Square for lunch at a Bengali restaurant and to Massachusetts Avenue in the evening.

Lazed about in the afternoon, honestly tired. I tried to work on my pending project report but had to cook for one of Dada's friends who was coming over for dinner. Dada helped with chopping the vegetables for fried rice and in creating an ambiance by playing songs . Recently, he has a surge of writing Shayeris. I want to locate the inspiration. Any clues?

Woke up at 2 AM to work on the report which was giving me nightmares. If I am dreaming about it, it IS serious.

Bro will be leaving in a while. Don't know when I am going to meet him again. Maybe in December for Christmas at my aunt's place in DC. I'm glad to have a sibling to create memories with.

We have both changed in our own ways. I found him to be more care-free, more jovial and he observed that I have matured a lot, have become less expressive of my emotions maybe. Honestly, I feel I have become more like him and he has become more like my previous self.And since the growth was in vectorial opposite directions, the changes seem greater in magnitude from our present reference frames.

PR couldn't believe he is my elder bro 'cause of the way I boss over him all the time and try to micro manage things. But he understands that it is engendered out of the fact that I expect nothing less than perfection from him.

Thanks Dada, Pu and Viv for the great weekend.:)

P.S Btw, have you noticed how those lines from OSO are so eerily similar to
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist ?

Everyone deserves to find his/her happy ending.
All the best.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

How to marry a millionaire

My apologies to those who were looking for the secret bait. This is a forward I received some days back. It reminded me of a story I had read in You Can Win by Shiv Khera. A neighbor eyes a luxury car a man had as a gift from his brother and exclaims : I wish I had a car like that ! The man says : Oh, you should say "I wish I had a brother like that". To this, the neighbor's wife retorts: I wish I were a brother like that. "

Attitude - it might not be everything, but it is something.

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:
Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden (?), $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:
1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2)Which age group should I target?
3)Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've
met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys
4)How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)

Ms. Pretty

Here's a reply from a Wall Street Financial guy:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here. From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain. Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" and "money": Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square. However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later.

By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position". If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same
goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased". Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in "leasing" services, do
contact me…

J.P. Morgan

Hat tip: Nitin Balakrishnan

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yuppie! It's my first snow

The weather forecast said it's going to be 2 degree C today. And I did not know that it needn't be 0 to have a snowfall. Of course , now when I think of it, the upper atmosphere is colder. ( How could I have forgotten my Standard VII geography lesson: Air temperature drops uniformly with altitude at a rate of approximately 6.5° Celsius per 1000 meters)

So, when my roommate said it is snowing outside, I stopped whining about how I am going to miss my favorite class this Thursday (no MGT650 on Thanksgiving) and jumped with joy. I was about to go out in flipflops and shorts to save time but that would have been too adventurous for my health. I took exactly 5 secs to pick a coat, a cap, a pair of jeans and rush downstairs.

And I did everything I had always wanted to viz catch snowflakes with my tongue ( the cold sting is amazingly invigorating), let the snow flakes rest on my nose and eyelashes, and walk with chips of snow falling on my coat and melting at the tips of my shoes.

There's a beauty associated with everything you experience for the first time. Repetition often takes the charm away. But some things always make me happy. Like the rains. I said "Balls to the storm" to reach Cambridge once, when weather prediction was that Noel could hit. I can't see it as severity of weather , but as something different. (Not wise always.Note to myself)

I know winters can be boring with almost no outdoor activities. And indoor activities restricted only to watching movies, reading ,cooking or browsing the net ( How much can an average human being sleep? )But I am going to try and make the best of it. :)

But yeah, you miss your near ones at times like this :(

Why do I feel sometimes that the magnitude of my happiness depends on sharing it? OMG! I had a life! What am I doing to myself? Get out of it! Get out of it! *develops a severe case of OCD*

Ok. Here's a caption contest. Write whatever comes to your mind when you see these pics. I told AM : "Solitude is the mother of creativity" when he sent them in a mail saying :
picked up my cam and tried seeing things around the room ...
my life is restricted to my room ... and you say you don't have one?!!
Jesus! if only people would ... :D
well, tell me what you think about the pics ... and you can cut out the sweet things like "oh, they're nice" ... that's what i expect from other mortals, not you

Ok then, here you are: ( I know it totally depends on the mental frame you are in at a particular moment. I just want a snapshot of your mind. Don't dwell on it too much. Needn't be one word caption either)




Monday, November 19, 2007

Simple truths

You’ve probably heard the three keys to making money in real estate…location, location, location. Now I’m going to give you the three keys to self-motivation…reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.
-Mac Anderson newsletter

Here are 3 short movies each of 3 mins. To some it might appear hackneyed, but heck- some things are worth being reminded of.
The Race
The Strangest Secret
The Power of attitude

Sunday, November 18, 2007

From the torn pages of my diary -II

Saiki forwarded me the link to Dubey's photo album, and it unlocked a treasure house of old memories. Days past, old friends.

I met the 2004-2006 PGP group of IMI through Saiki. Let me try and arrange the events chronologically.

Day 1: Some cold evening in February 2006,Sector 44, Noida
I am running a temperature when one of my friends comes to me and says that I have to go out with her. Zindagi aur maut ka sawal hai :P (It is a matter of life and death) I have to oblige and we go out for a rendezvous with a guy she has met online. He has come over to our campus for a Quiz. I stand aloof at a distance while girl and guy walk towards each other. Each taking one step at a time. I yawn and think if they don't pace up I will fall asleep. Girl and Guy meet. I count stars in the sky. However, Guy walks towards me when he discovers that I am unwell and introduces himself. And I think: Bhodro Chhele ( Decent chap )
(To be proven wrong later. Ek number ka bandaar hai..)

Day 2: February 14, 2006. Valentine's Day, Delhi
Guy and Girl are too shy to ask each other out. So I decide to step in and ask the Guy : "Will you be my Valentine this year?" over the phone. Girl giggles by my side. He understands what it means. Jumps up and down and says "Yes.Yes. Yes". I ask him to wear something black, put on Green Brute and get a companion along so that I don't get bored :D

Four of us (Girl, Guy, Guy's roommate Sajal aka Biddu aka Dubey) meet at Delhi Haat and have a great time. Initially, I pretend Guy is my date and wink at him. He sees the joke and walks arm-in-arm with me, with Girl feeling flustered and turning pink.

We even click a picture to make my then boyfriend jealous. Guy sits next to me and keeps staring at Girl. And I say to myself: Aah! The Joys of Love!

Saiki and me @ Delhi Haat. The kick boxing kids :D

Day 3: March 5, 2006, Qutab Institutional Area, Delhi
Dada (my elder brother, Anirban) is about to leave for his visa interview in Kolkata. Dad has come over to Delhi to visit us. Girl says that she wants to go to the IMI Fest Kritva, but can't until I accompany her too. I ask permission from my two legal guardians and leave for IMI that evening.

I hop into a movie crossword round on reaching and team up with Dubey to come close second to the IIFT team. We get to the next round of Dumb Charades but lack of coordination results in hilarious results. Dubey takes permission from the judges to say only one thing, unrelated to the movie title I have to guess, and blurts: Kuch to bol yaar! and the whole auditorium bursts into peals of laughter.

In the evening , I meet Indu and get introduced to the others in the group. We dance to DJ Suketu's tunes and "Bin Tere Sanam" becomes an instant hit. I even make Ghosh dance. An achievement in itself. Next morning , Dad and my maternal uncle show me dancing on the TV. I smile and agree : I had a great time.

Day 4: April 8, 2006, Fun and Food village , Gurgaon

Water theme park. 12 odd people -Shivani, Anamika, Indu, Preeti, Kshitij, Swati , Ghosh, Rajat, Dubey, Saikat, Girl and me- have the wildest splash possible. And the only unaccounted for leave from my office :D

Day 5 : April 9, 2006, PVR Priya, Delhi
The same group goes to watch Shaadi Se Pehle. Dubey's suggestion . Rajat's sponsorship. We keep whining through the movie and waiting when we can butt-kick Dubey when we get out. We actually take turns to do it :D

Some weekend, PVR Saket, Delhi
Dada, Guy , Girl and me go to watch Transamerica. I click photographs of Guy and Girl holding hands together under the table and tease them about it. Girl blushes. Guy flashes his teeth.

Several days later, PVR Spice/Waves@CSM, Noida
After Bro has left: Guy , Girl , Me go to watch several movies together. And we always manage to make Girl feel embarrassed by our kick boxing fits in public. :D

Several months later, Boston
I am scripting this post and thinking - we might not be in love with the same people we were two years back, but our friendship has survived. Maybe this is why I believe in friendship more than I do in romantic love.

** A tribute to Girl, Guy and all the friends I made at IMI. The post was written in the present tense on purpose. The memories are so vivid that it doesn't feel I am so far away from them or so many seasons have changed since I last saw them .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Night Fever

And AM asked me that embarrassing question: What are you doing on a Saturday night sitting and reading comments (on your blog) ? I had to defend my position saying "I have just come back from shopping with my roommate." Then the conversation shifted to safer topics like the present scenario in Pakistan and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Presidential candidate.

It was a girls' day out and it was fun. KM (Kiran Kirti Muppalla) and I kept saying to each other those weirdly humorous lines from Om Shanti Om ( remind me to write the review later):***Yenna Shotgun, Me Murugan in peculiar tones and laughed our heads off.

While we were walking towards the T-station, she observed that "It doesn't feel that cold when you are walking with someone" I suggested that it might be 'cause you are protected on one side from the crazy breeze when you are walking side by side or it might be that talking keeps the mind off the severity of the weather. And then I plunged into a deep reverie of how tough times appear more bearable when you have a companion in your life. She, who is quite used to my sudden seizures of philosophical musings, just smiled sweetly and took care that I,lost in my thoughts, don't amble straight into a car.

The journey proved labyrinthine as the red lines are closed from Park Street Station to Kendall till Monday for some construction and we had to take a shuttle bus. The simple itinerary of J.F.K/UMASS -> Central Square(~20 mins on T) proved to be J.F.K/UMASS ->Park Street Station on T, Park Street Station-> Kendall (MIT) on shuttle, Kendall ->Central on T again. We could have gone to Galleria in Lechmere using the green line by then. But KM opined that stand alone shops are better . And anyways, I prefer Central Square to any other destination on the T anytime. Except maybe Prudential Center , which houses my favorite Barnes and Noble bookshop.

All in all, I had a bit of adventure. It was a refreshing change to be above the ground and have a look around the city. Though most of the times, my view got constricted by kissing couples. It is not a common sight in India, specially with the soi-disant moral police on the prowl. But here it's pretty normal -almost as natural as holding hands in public. However, today the frequency seemed compounded. KM and I tried to find a spot inside the T where we wouldn't be measuring the flow of human saliva . I saw an old man talking to himself , sitting right across me. And KM found a youth wearing a jeans whose one leg was black and the other was striking blue and had his hair dyed in punk green. She fervently prayed that when she has kids they shouldn't go to such extremes. (She is married and plans to have a baby soon). I said it would be ok with me as long as my son (if I ever have one) doesn't wear a nose ring. (If I have a daughter, I plan to spoil her rotten)

Honestly, I don't like staring at strangers and feel pretty uncomfortable if someone else does it. I think it's one of the most impolite things to do. So, when I had brushed my eyes inside the T , read the ads for the nth time, and talked enough to KM, I got back to my favorite activity in such situations: concentrate on my shoes or my finger nails.:D

*** Disclaimer: I don't appreciate racist jokes nor do I intend to encourage them. The humor was not in the language unfamiliar to me, ( Kiran is a South Indian) it was the way SRK delivered the dialog. So, readers please choose not be offended.

External Link: Subway maps, Boston MBTA

Friday, November 16, 2007

Aliens don't come from Mars

This is dedicated to anon who called me "pretentious" in a previous post. :)
Nothing to do with the context of his comment, the word triggered a chain of thoughts and rambling followed :D

Somewhere, at some point of our lives, we have all felt like an outsider.
In junior high (read: Standard 7-10), I was a nerd who preferred to hide behind a book and a pair of specs, acted aggressive (read: used to beat up boys badly) to cloak my emotional vulnerability , and was every teacher's favorite student. Though my grades often incited awe among my peers, I'd have traded them anytime to be "cooler". That doesn't mean I shunned extra curricular activities. I had been in the coveted ( What can be the aspiration of a school goer? Not to be a CEO since standard IV ! ) school choir for consecutive six years, was the preferred choice for judges in any extempore or recitation competition, was unanimously voted the CR for 6 years of class (until in Standard 10 where I resigned before my Tests).

Yet, I lost the first position of school final recitation competition to someone who was three years senior to me and had much better voice modulation and was trained for it. Became the second preference for the role of Portia for the school play , even though I delivered the lines better- because one of them looked way better than I did ( the directors - Madam Sharifa Samsuddin and Sir Mohan Nainan were divided in opinion because Ma'm claimed assertiveness and not pulchritude should be the criterion for selecting the character. It never really took off the ground after that) Lost the school elections to someone who was more social than I was, even though my speech was not prepared and I said what I said in the assembly ad lib and earned the loudest applause. Came close second in my Hindustani Classical Vocal exams. And yeah, never got around to tell my school crush that I really liked him.

College was different though, with more social opportunities than I could handle and my grades in second year suffered for that. More people had crush on me than I even knew and books were meant to be opened only a month before the exams. My school mates would remember me as "that Amazon", or "the studious". My college mates would beg to differ and say "happening". Work life was completely dissimilar. With 12-14 hours at job, there was hardly any social life and my team grew to be like my family. Maybe I just got lucky with my first job.

Before I start sounding like a 60 year old woman who's scripting her memoirs, I want to say that those little failures, when my best was simply not enough, got me acquainted with a simple fact of life. There will always be someone who does something better than I do. So, what do I do when I detect something I wish was my characteristic trait too? What any rational person willing to grow will. I imbibe it.

My closest peer group right now is my Management 650 team and I'd like to point out a positive aspect I adore in each one of those five people . Gordon is very enthusiastic when it comes to presentations. Though Prof Novak ( who is usually difficult to please) said that both him and I have (1)very good voice and (2)excellent eye contact, I think he scores way above me in his body language, which is very animated. Vanessa is a bundle of energy and it's almost contagious. Wendy is talented at origami. Matt speaks little, but talks a lot of sense. Mike is THE techie of the group. A few others include Katie with a wicked sense of humor and Chris with an eerie ability to get along with anybody. My friends outside my campus include SG who never complains, SK who is an empathetic listener (thanks buddy), LM who can make you feel like she's your best friend the very first time you meet her, KM who can look at ANYTHING objectively and dispassionately. Now, I'd like to cultivate or improve upon some of these traits in some degree for the rest of my life and not ingurgitate to throw out later.

They might be friends, acquaintances or mere strangers I have come across, who call me by different names or call me by my name differently. But at the basic human level, we are all the same with some dreams, aspirations, fears we share with only ourselves or very close ones. We just need to reach out to know that. Does it make us pretentious? Because we are role playing? I don't think so. We are evolving constantly. I seriously don't know what my emotional, financial, psychological, social, physical ( add as many adjectives with the suffix -al as you want ) needs are going to be after two years. But I have some idea. I am trying to work on that. And I have a long way to go.

**Life is too short to be conceited.

** Attributed to PK , someone I had rejected some 3/4 years ago, because I thought he didn't look good enough. He might still be somewhere in US, but I haven't talked to him ever since. Wish he knew, in that one sentence he had taught me one of the most valuable lessons of life. Humility.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?

Or conversely- What is your greatest fear?

Please try not to be anonymous. Owning up to your fear is one way of conquering it. No one is judging you here . And refrain from making direct personal comments if you are posting anonymously.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Amour propre

I did something after a long time today.
I looked into the mirror, pronounced :"Hey Gorgeous, you look beautiful", smiled at myself , blew a kiss and said "I love you".

I don't know how many of you will find it weird and how many actually practice it, but I'm feeling great right now. It is an integral element of my happiness that I was overlooking for a while.( Past continuous and not present perfect continuous - deliberately )
Will take better care from now on.
As they say, "To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance".
Cheers to the reviving of an honest relationship.
Care to join in?
Start kissing your mirrors right away.
And if you don't feel good- sue me!


Random thought:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived..

-Henry David Thoreau ,"Walden", 1854

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jab We Met

Have you ever met someone you have disliked in the beginning, began to like later, and eventually fallen in love with? If I were asked to name such a movie- I'd say Jab We Met. Last weekend, I got totally psyched out by Kareena's psychobabble and decided not to waste time, energy and my remnant grey cells on that flick.

But the friend who had recommended me to watch it was adamant and asked me to finish viewing it. He is the one who introduced me to Scrubs, so I ventured to try it out. And I really liked the later part.

*** Spoiler Warning***

The story is very simple. Shahid Kapoor (Aditya) is an industrialist's son bereaved of his father, ditched by his girlfriend and completely lost. He hops onto a train, totally clueless and meets Kareena (Geet) who speaks 300 words per min. She has a knack of inviting perils and while she tries to help Aditya whom she takes pity upon, irritates him to the point of making him disembark from the train midway. She tries to catch up with him and misses her train. And now this "Sikhni hoon.. Bhatinda ki" claims that he has to ensure she reaches home safely. After a roller coaster ride and on reaching the destination, the members of the family misunderstand their relation and she takes the chance to elope with him to meet her boyfriend Anshuman in Manali. By this time, Aditya has fallen for Geet and her joie de vivre. But he keeps his feelings to himself coz he imagines her to have happily reconciled to her bf. He gets back to Mumbai, decides to confront his problems face on, does well professionally and builds on the empire his father had left him and does way beyond anyone's expectations. Privately, he attributes his new self to Geet who believes in living her life her way and taking chances.

In the meanwhile, detested by her bf, Geet has taken to teaching in a missionary school ( what a relief from the usual procurers on the prowl) and is still hoping that the good-for-nothing Anshuman will accept her. Aditya sees her - a ghost of her formal self, passive, unaware of her surroundings, lost in deep thoughts, wearing a plastic smile. He brings some of the life back to her by asking her to call up her ex and swear loudly to make her feel better ( On a previous occasion, she had asked him to burn the photo of his ex and flush it down the toilet. ) He is about to take her home to Bhatinda, where she hasn't been to in the past nine months when the ex drops in after hearing the choicest explicits. ( Weird !)

And now? The fun begins. All the three reach her home in Bhatinda where Anshuman is not acquainted with anyone. The family believes Aditya ( who had accompanied her before and had eloped with ) to be her husband and formally receives them. The ex is left gaping like a fool. And yeah the ultimate height is when a kid brother asks: Ae Jiju k friend, photo khichogey?. Also, when Aditya is about to leave to end the confusion and Geet runs after him, Anshuman thinks she is going to tell her family about him and runs after her saying : "Geet..ruko.. abhi bataogi? Main bhi bataunga.. mil k batayenge" Only thing he misses out is the braying :D

*** Spoiler Warning ends here***

Though it's pretty predictable and has all the elements of a typical Bollywood movie, I like the treatment. There are a few comic scenes and double entendre you might enjoy. It needn't have ended the way it has and I would have still liked it. Honestly, I didn't really bother whether or not they'll get to be together at the end. It's the journey that mattered that changed their lives forever.

**You might like the song by Ustad Rashid Khan Aaoge Jab Tum .

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Virtually There

I had a life.. I have the Internet :D

Photo courtesy:

It's not recently that I have been wondering how my social life is like. Except my team members, the peers I meet during classes, and my housemates, I hardly have time to interact with any other human being. The occasional smile at the grocery store counter lady and the UPS guy doesn't count because I don't really know them.

I have at least 3 friends since the past 3 years that I have not met in real life. They exist as email and chat ids and phone numbers.

Maybe this is why I love blogging. It gives me a platform to reach out to new people, their ideas. Or a new perspective from the old pals I know.

Someone once said that I like to present different situations and like to observe how he reacts in each one of them. I don't really believe that I have such a megalomaniac attitude. I am genuinely interested in people.

I like to notice how they behave while in anger, in love, in happiness or in grief. The kaleidoscope of human emotions fascinates me. Biochemically, they are nothing more than a bunch of ephemeral chemicals triggered. Or a physiological process. A little this or a little that. In varying proportions. Of the same constituent elements. The redness of the face when in wrath and the blushing of a bride- what's the difference? An excitatory message hitting the frontal cortex of the brain, sending signal to the autonomic nervous system, following a constriction of the blood vessels (which is why you turn pale first) and then dilation (which causes a larger quantity of blood than the normal level to flow through them)- called flushing or blushing.

But honestly- tell me- what's so magical? Why do we still want to love/hate/care/hurt all those around us whom we feel important? Why do we want the blush on that beautiful face just for us? When we know, that we can control some the outward manifestation consciously?

I don't know. But somewhere amidst this forest of wires and softwares and virus attacks , we might have begun to appreciate human emotions and locution even more. Maybe that is why beauty to me is a face capable of expressions. And ugliness is in plasticity.
THIS is gross

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What is your "type"?

I saw a blog where the author asks men to choose between "an outspoken-intelligent-independent girl and a beautiful-dumb-dependent one"
The Feminist(or rather the Equalist) in me doesn't think it's fair. The poll should be open to both gentlemen and gentle (or not so gentle) ladies.

So here's your plate to choose from: Imagine you can assemble and customize your life partner ( If I make it sound like I am selling a product, no apologies :P) What are the top 3-5 qualities you would like to have in him/her? (Have to limit your choice. Can't let you get greedy. Get real pal. You might not even have the three!........Kidding :D)
You can use any adjective/noun adjunct/phrase that comes to your mind. This list is just a reference:

Singing/dancing/other fine arts skills
Culinary expertise
Technical expertise
Social Behavior
How he/she behaves with elders/ kids/ the less fortunate (**very important criterion as far as my choice is concerned)

Beauty - list 2/3 sub elements like long hair/ smooth skin/ broad shoulders/slim waist/long legs/expressive eyes etc
Thrills ( by that I mean the kind of guy/gal who would take you out on bungee jumping on a date or a long drive from Boston to New York or go camping by the woods. The outdoors types)
Well read and knowledgeable about most subjects (Caution: Constant blabbing might put you to sleep)
Well traveled
Courteous and polite (opens the door for you, takes care of the small things, doesn't raise his/her voice even while in a rage, seldom utters swear words etc)
Martial Arts - Japanese Judo or Karate, Korean Tae Kwan Do, Burmese Lethwei, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do etc

I already have some standard prototypes (the elements might vary or change in individual samples):
The King Kong/Amazon type: Dominative, Professionally successful, Unshaven armpits
The Goody two shoes/Take home to your parents type: Submissive, Well read, Fine Arts
The Geeky type: One who chooses latest gadgets over you, Has a wild assortment of software you don't know half the names of, Thinks coding is the best thing to do on a honeymoon
The Business Tycoon/ Rich Bitch type: Filthy rich, Overtly assertive(almost to the edge of being bossy), over indulgent in self-love/self-praise

I'm sure your choice will be better :D Happy assembling!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The elements of happiness

I want you to do this little exercise:
1. Sit in a secluded/peaceful ambiance
2. Close your eyes
3. Fast forward your life by 10 years
4. And list three elements of happiness you can think of.

I have been asking my friends to do this lately and the answers are same in essence as much as they are varied. (You can skip the first two steps if u want :P And remember to comment first and see the other comments later)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Laga Chunari Mein Daag

Actually, this was a comment on one of Great Bong's posts, but one of my friends said that I can as well post it in my blog:

I watched LCMD last weekend coz I had nothing better to do. And I knew the story as soon as I read the title, before it was released. Like you said: it was like rotten bananas served with ice cream on top. Or as Shakespeare would say: What spice can hide the taste of tainted flesh? Abhishek Bachchan had a blink-and-you miss appearance and an unrealistic inclination for call girls who chant Hanuman Chalisa when the plane is in turbulence. They did it in Pretty Woman, a rich lonely millionaire falling for an escort but it was so much more believable!

Thankfully, it was not as gross as Julie with Neha Dhupia with only convincing looks and zero acting skills. (A face with as much expression as a blank blackboard). A small town girls fall into trap of a beckoning metropolitan, gets exploited, turns wayward to feed her perpetually sewing mother; heart attack prone, lottery ticket addict father and a plainer but wiser younger sister- so what's new?

Why can’t they make movies about an uneducated girl meeting the world and realizing that she needs to gather more skills than what she can exhibit in the bedroom? Is there no formula in Bollywood where the female protagonist can run a family without trading her flesh? It looks like an exaggerated version of a Fair N’ Lovely ad where the only worth of a woman is coz of her skin.

Look at Oprah Winfrey. She was born poor, was colored (my apologies for using that term), sexually abused in her childhood – but she reached somewhere; made a niche in a world of talk shows which was dominated by only white males. And now she’s bigger than just a TV celebrity. I don’t care if she had to sleep her way through it or if she has turned peevish lately. Money and post menstrual syndrome does that to everyone. Why can’t Indian cinema make movies like that? We have enough women achievers to mourn the death of in a spaceship crash but not one to pay tribute to while alive! The thing is- the movie would be esoteric and would not cater to the tastes of multitude even if the Indian movie goers have come of age lately and the Nishiganda Dasguptas of Corporate are getting National Awards for the character portrayal instead of playing a role in a skin flick.

There were better moments though: Konkona’s performance when she got to know about her sister’s real profession was worth all the minutes I wasted watching the movie. Vibhabari didn’t have to be ashamed. That was a moment of enlightenment from a stronger woman than Vibha was.

I liked the romance between Kunal Kapoor and Konkona which was much more realistic. The presentation on Lux Woman of the year and the tagline: Jiisey rishtey mein bandhne ka mann kare, muthhi mein nahi gathered a round of applause. ONLY if it didn't sound like the success of a woman depends on the approval of men.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happiness is only grin deep

CAUTION:Roller Coaster ride ahead. Make sure your seatbelts are fastened.

Phew! The Financial Accounting mid sem is finally over. I had a satisfactory test except that I could have done with some more time.

Prof Novak is out on a tour, so no Mgt650 class today and that gives me an extended weekend with no real course load. Except brushing up on the case study due next Thursday, making a team presentation for Wednesday and reading M-1 for Accounting on Monday. Also, I have a report due in another 2 weeks.And I'm seriously trying to give my patented Indian style of working at the 11th hour.

Wow! Infinite possibilities. I can shop for utilities at Target at South Bay Center, go treasure-hunting in Victoria's Secrets at Cambridge side Galleria Mall near Lechmere station or sleuthing for a reasonably priced beauty salon in Quincy Center. The one I went to in Downtown had charges for waxing like:
Legs: One Leg
Arms: One Arm
Full Body: A new born
Supercuts at Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square gave me a decent hair cut but they suck at waxing and my eyebrows look like a wild assortment of herbs, shrubs and trees now :D (Not anymore. Yahoo)

I always feel hyperactive after a major test. Maybe that's why I woke up at 5:20 am . Called up an old friend in India. Cooked two dishes. Talked to Mom ( which I usually reserve the 10 pm slot for) And decided to go bloghopping for a while. It was great to see some really awesome blogs on my way.

Yesterday, I made a pact with myself. I am going to be happy no matter what. Why? Don't really know, other than the obvious reason that it will save me energy. (Claim:It takes greater number of muscles to frown than to smile)

I was climbing the stairs leading to the entrance of McCormack Hall when a couple of students passing by, smiled at me. Then a professor whom I had never met before nodded and smiled too. Before I could realize why they were doing so, a couple of undergrad boys who were clicking photographs, called out to me and said: Hey! Pretty smile girl ! ". And while I walked away confused, I realized that I was smiling without even my realizing it.

When I was a kid, I read in one of my Moral Science lessons that the world is like an echo. It says back to you what you say to it. I'd say it's also like a mirror, it reflects back what you show to it.

Some days back, I was not so happy. There was a lot of confusion in my mind and I wanted answers to questions that troubled me. But I knew I had to wait. Impatience gave rise to anger and to a certain amount of indifference. But I realized that wrath, like any other emotion is ephemeral. I should not give it permanency by showing it to someone else. And that cooled me down.

I am thinking of channelizing the energy I have into doing something more constructive.
To do list:
1. James Franco
2. Robert Pattinson

Oops.. sorry.. Oxford Dictionary for Difficult Words :D

Recently, I have a crush on the word "ensorcell", which means "to enchant". Though it's more of a romantic word, one practical usage can be:"I have been a manager for too long now to be ensorcelled by company policies."

Or to brush up my German. I haven't taken any online test since last week.

Or catch a flick online recommended by a friend. That's really not constructive, specially if it's a Kareena- Shahid starrer. I like Shahid Kapoor's smile. But Kareena mostly overdoes things. I'm glad about their alleged break up. So, all those rumors about Rosa's claims of Saif and Kareena seeing each other were true! (Saif admits dating Kareena) Hmmm . Hope Shahid gets along with Amrita Rao. They look really cute together.

OMG I know more about Bollywood celebrities than I know about my own cousins! But that's probably coz I don't to get to read about their personal lives in newspapers and magazines.

And yeah, I will listen to the CD Ben gave me last week. Couldn't manage time till now. He's the guitarist for a rock group called Full Tilt. And looks quite different from his pictures on the site coz he has cropped his hair and beard now.

Prof Marc Fournier gave us dark chocolates in class yesterday as Halloween treat. By the time, I was over with my 90 min -long and harrowing Accounting test, 2 hrs of guest lecture and 1 hour of discussion about the upcoming team presentations, I didn't have the strength to go to the ballroom and check out the Halloween party in the university. Though I caught glimpses of guys dressed in skeleton outfits.

Maybe next year, I will go out somewhere dressed as a vampire. It's one of my wishes. I have been always fascinated by those creatures and the Gothic romance of Bram Stroker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola. It's a refreshing change to see a classy romance laced with horror than the usual B grade movies with hardly any horror but guaranteed meaningless sex and gory scenes ( Yeah, and I still think Hostel was gross. And after hearing about a scene of Hostel 2, I'm not going to try and watch it even if you give me a million dollars)

All in all, I am feeling very content today. But I shouldn't let it get me too far coz it's 2:35 pm by my watch now and I have to grab my lunch.

Btw, here's a version of "Somewhere over the rainbow", a favorite song of mine originally from the the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz.

Also view the one by Connie Talbot from BGT Finals. The innocence of the child's voice can drive anyone to tears.