Farewells!

One of my close friends, the primary reason who gave me the confidence to come to Sydney has relocated to India for a short time.  With her here, I haven’t really thought or put in much effort to make any friends here. The comfort with her and now her hubs is so much that the first person I can think of calling here is her – for anything. Then why bother going through all this process again!

Just being lazy, but pray, don’t take me to be anti-social. 😉

A’s daughter, I and my D hit it off very well too. They are a year apart and have now learnt to play together. It was indeed tough to picture that they wouldn’t have each other to play with over the weekends.

My quandary is always about what to say or not to say in farewells. I am pretty bad at expressing my feelings openly and hugs don’t really come naturally to me. But then, what would you say, in farewells? Mind you – this question only exists for those chosen few 😉 Yes, I am quite a detached soul otherwise.

The fact that we will miss them and they shouldn’t go and how terrible it would be without them and all… I suppose not, this would make the person who is leaving feeling pretty down in the dumps.

The hope of meeting again – at some time in the future – seems like the statutory warning 🙂

I am yet to find a concrete answer.

I thought that A’s daughter I, showed it beautifully. They were leaving and about to take the lift, when she ran back to where D and I were standing and she gave her friend a tight hug and went back running to her parents with a big smile and bye. Her mom’s eyes were moist.

It was so cute and indescribable in words that this clip would remain in my memory and one of the fondest farewells.

Sometimes, words can’t say much, it just has to be felt and a simple hug can do the trick.

What is in a woman’s handbag?

Many men who couldn’t keep their inquisitive nature to themselves, have asked me  about what do I have in my handbag. The first time I heard that question,  it did get me wondering suspiciously. I was soon told about the enigma that men have with a woman’s handbag 🙂 Hubs has had his questions too and probable answers – I hope. 😉 

Honestly, I wouldn’t like to give anyone my handbag and let them delve through it. Like all this personal and handbag to a woman is sacred. It has a whole lot of things in it that define the woman carrying it. Starting from looks, colour, size, design, brand and then to what is she carrying in it.

I am yet to meet a woman who would say a no to another handbag, even if she has a hundred in her closet. 🙂 I love all the hand bags I have and yet would like to have that another one that I saw in the shop. With the luggage restrictions I wasn’t able to bring many to Australia and it does hit me as a handicap 🙂 Not being able to change bags. My recent visit to Melbourne got a lovely red one from my sis – I love it 🙂

But what am I getting to saying is that just like clothes a hnd bag needs to make a statement. At least it has to in my case. The one and a half years that my daughter was still needing a whole lot of paraphernalia, I didn’t have a hand bag, however, my darling  friend T, sent me a very impressive diaper bag. Once again – had to have a bag that makes a statement. 🙂

Coming back to the question of what do I have in it – well, it will surely hold a wallet ( I might have to write another post on the efficacy of good wallets), my phone, hair comb/brush, moisturizers, snacks, emergency purpose stuff and a lot more – a man will need to delve into the hand bag to see, a woman might understand what else could be there 🙂

So that’s what that can be there in a woman’s hand bag and much, much more – Just like the myriad shades a woman dones, so would be the contents of her bag. To all the valuable women in my life – thanks for being there and enjoy your handbags, who cares what others have to say 🙂

 

Eating habits

This Monday, my daughter started day care. She goes only for 2 days in a week, as I felt that she will enjoy some social interactions of her age and also have fun. Moreover, it gives me some time and she will learn to gradually wean off staying the whole day at home. Even if I am working from home or step out.

This was the very first time she was in the care of people outside the family. Yes, I was apprehensive as a mother, but not harried and worked up. Thankfully, she took it well and so did I. It is the wonderful temperament of most kids to be easily diverted and we are naturally wired to explore. There will always be actions and ways that have been learnt at home that will continue where ever she goes. I might want her to learn and evolve some, but there are some actions I think she is doing just fine in; such as saying a “thank you” when she takes something from me or anyone else.

One of the actions I don’t insist in her changing is despising eating with her hands. I want her to learn how to eat neatly with her hands and maintain the hygiene. I also want her to master eating with a spoon. The first thing I was asked about in her care was if she ate only with hands and this was asked with some part disgust. Though I didn’t give an explanation as to why she liked to eat with her hand and I didn’t mind as long as she ate and enjoyed her food, but I knew that most Westerners and in this Aussies don’t like to eat with their hands. In many of the conservative nations, other than middle east, some African countries and Indian region, eating with hand is not appreciated.

However, this is changing and people are beginning to realise that there are etiquette involved when eating with hand and only right hand and moreover, it adds a lot to the entire eating experience. As a child I was taught not to drop any food while eating with the hand. Wash my hands prior to eating. Not to let the entire hand, the palm to touch the food. Use only your right hand, even to break the roti/Indian bread. Only use the tips of the fingers and most importantly, take what is needed and never to leave/waste food. These eating habits and etiquette are as important to eating with your hand as it is with eating with cutlery. Moreover, something that my daughter needs to learn in order to appreciate her Indian culture in this world and be comfortable with it, where her next school could be in any country other than India.

I read an interesting article  in New York Times to support this and I am glad that people are beginning to look at eating from other non-western perspective too.  After all imagine struggling with a knife and fork to eat dosa or roti. It simply kills all the enthusiasm involved in eating.

Who are the People who matter

This morning I received a mail from my friend, S with whom I have sent many a hour expounding and discussion practically everything under the sun. Those were the good old Infy days, when there was this set of people who shared interests and each had a view of his/her own. What makes these discussions particularly interesting is that it is not about agreeing/disagreeing with the speaker, however, it is about having a healthy discussion.

S’ complaint was that he could not just ping me or one of our gang members over the messenger and just share his thought/appreciate a song/ article/blog/anything of interest.

I have since realised that without good discussions, life becomes insipid. I feel the biggest dearth is when you cannot find, at least one person, to connect intellectually. Finding the right people around you all the time is now become a matter of luck. It is subject to a number of conditions and in this ever changing world, the parameters that vary are also numerous.

I suppose that is why all these social networking sites are thriving. People want to share, want to know what others say and here are platforms to do so. Come to think of it, personally, I do not like to share all these thoughts with everyone. As I feel that it may not be appreciated by all. But do I really have a choice in deciding who sees it and who don’t when I put up in a public forum? I suppose everything has its pros and cons.

So, who are the people who matter in your life with whom you would like to share your spectrum of thoughts?

Justice & Homeland

I just started reading the book called Hyderabad – A Biography by Narendra Luther and I must say that so far it is a very well told story about the origin of this city. From the time I have known Hyderabad, I have never really found a reason to love it, but it was a place that was infinitely better than many other places and suited a number of my needs. Over the years, I have made this city my home.

What does one associate with the place that they term as a home? For one, there should be a sense of belongingness and most importantly a higher sense of ownership and responsibility to the place; irrespective of the fact that you are in a position of power or an ordinary denizen. Mohammad Quli, the founder of Bhagnagar or Hyderabad was a man who loved his home. The need to construct a city came from the congestion caused within the ramparts of Golconda or Gollakonda. He commissioned the best of architects and wanted heaven to be reconstructed here on Earth, or more precisely on his land. One of the primary wishes of the Sultan was to have greenery wherever he saw. No wonder then that the best minds were put to efficient use and the best planned city of India was constructed at a remarkable pace. The chief person in command had ensured saplings to be planted even before the construction had begun. The sultan who was a poet and a man of extreme taste was a perpetual romantic at heart. He named the city Bhagnagar after his most favoured queen – Bhagmati. (I wonder now what happened to all that and in its place is an old city which is highly congested, dirty, treeless and forgotten in many ways.)

The Palace of Justice was also commissioned as a part of this project and after  its completion, the sultan used it to dispense justice to its citizens – most results were almost immediate. The builders of that era must have been great visionaries, for we still use the same building as our Andhra Pradesh High Court. The recent episode of the AP High Court catching fire was not something particularly out of the blue. If we, the current users of that lovely building, do not bother to upgrade and take care of the ancient premises and use it for our own selfish purpose, then a short circuit and incidents like fire are but natural. What I hear from sources who work at the high court is that the judges are too busy in trying to compete with themselves and ensure that their respective chambers look better than the rest. Whether such a selfish act damages the ancient building is obviously none of their concern. Moreover, the various associations that are formed in the court, all of them have their own agenda and none seem to be remotely concerned about the state of the premises and any safety norms. It is the typical “chalta hai” attitude about everything around us, except ourselves that so irks me.

If one asks about what can be done for the upkeep of the ancient high court premises, then the responsibility is comfortably thrown on the Government. Why do we fail to follow that Government in this democratic nation is nothing but the people ourselves? Moreover this statement being made by the institution that was created to ensure that the Government performs its duties correctly – the Judiciary, is nothing but a matter of great shame. The constant dilapidation of the high court building and the famous delays made by our lazy Judges or rather the snail’s pace with which the Judiciary system in India works is a clear testament to the utter selfishness, sloth and corruption that has sadly been entrenched in the system. I really find it appalling that a case should take 20 odd years to reach a verdict. Justice delayed is Justice denied and I am not sure if ever our Indian Judiciary will come out of this vicious circle. Fortunately, the financial crisis of the 90s forced India into liberalization, but what can possible force the Judiciary into such liberalization is a million dollar question that I would like someone to answer.

But, in the hope that there are many people like me, who love their homeland and would want to see a change in the future, I hope and would fervently want to believe that some drastic steps are taken to ensure that the justice system in India is much more efficient and get back the guts to decide and give out a verdict, immediately. Otherwise we will still be facing many other Shopian cases.

On Her Arriving At The Age of Twenty Seven

The title is inspired by John Milton’s sonnet ‘On his arriving at the age of twenty three’, where the poet analyses as to where he stands on his twenty third birthday. The poem is written in the form of a sonnet. Twenty-three was then a age when men would want to look back and believe that they have achieved something or are now established in a good profession, after completing their education. Milton here takes a very critical look at what he has done so far in the Octet and later turns optimistic and hopes for a better future. 

So, what inspired me to pen this post was my very good friend’s (D’s) birthday and she has now arrived in her twenty-seventh year. We met up with one another along with another close friend C and had a long, relaxing, talkative lunch, after a long time. Times have changed since we first met in 1997 and we have also changed with time. It was particularly interesting to note our transformations especially since our college days. C and I had a long chat upon that, prior to the arrival of our budday girl. 

At one point there was a concern as to how would life go on, if D was not around and I couldn’t even imagine shopping – ever – without her. They say time takes care of all. Whoever they are, they happen to be right. Our worries of then, seem very trivial now and we move on, with new relations forming in our lives. Some new people who enter and change the course of our existing flow. I suppose it is good, else am sure I would be bored with the monotony. 

Every stage is a learning and if you feel you haven’t done enough so far, then its time you start doing that something now, as the future awaits you like a black board. 

So, once again a lovely birthday and year ahead for my dear D.

For those who might be interested to read Milton’s sonnet, here you go:

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol’n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew’th.

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu’th.

Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of
Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master’s eye.

And a sonnet is:

A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter with a carefully patterned rhyme scheme. Other strict, short poetic forms occur in English poetry (the sestina, the villanelle, and the haiku, for example), but none has been used so successfully by so many different poets. The Italian, or Petrarchan sonnet, named after Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), the Italian poet, was introduced into English poetry in the early 16th century by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542). Its fourteen lines break into an octave (or octet), which usually rhymes abbaabba, but which may sometimes be abbacddc or even (rarely) abababab; and asestet, which may rhyme xyzxyz or xyxyxy, or any of the multiple variations possible using only two or three rhyme-sounds. The English or Shakespearean sonnet, developed first by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547), consists of three quatrains and a couplet–that is, it rhymes abab cdcd efef gg.

The form into which a poet puts his or her words is always something of which the reader ought to take conscious note. And when poets have chosen to work within such a strict form, that form and its strictures make up part of what they want to say. In other words, the poet is using the structure of the poem as part of the language act: we will find the “meaning” not only in the words, but partly in their pattern as well.

 

A Refreshing Twist

It is a common practice to talk about weather when two people have nothing to say. But this time, it is different when I mention weather. Hyderabad in the months from March to June can be quite unbearable. The summer is at its peak especially in April and mainly May. Stepping out in the afternoons is simply unthinkable.

Hence, it is a refreshing twist that the weather in April, should suddenly turn to that of a hill station. Cloudy, drizzle here and there, sometimes heavy rain accompanied by thunder storms, in one word the weather currently in Hyd is – Heavenly.

One of my closest friends – Suri (as I fondly call him) or Spaceman Spiff is getting married today and I wish him and J, all the luck and best wishes for a lovely life ahead. I suppose the rain Gods are wishing him too and that could just be the reason for this refreshing change.