The Thirties

I have never given much of thought to age going by.Every turn around the sun has been packed with enough excitement to keep me happy, sad, angry, etc – in short engaged.

But, the thirties by comparison have been different. They have been different for me because:

  • What I want in life is far more clear than the previous decade
  • I know what make-up works and what doesn’t
  • Men – hard to say if I figured them all out – however, they sure have become predictable
  • I know the ‘type’ I usually fall for now
  • Marriage and being married – demystified
  • My daughter was a discovery – made me see things in ways I never imagined
  • Being a mother, wife, DIL, daughter,working professional – has not been a cake walk
  • I have looked better in this decade than I ever was – so I want to think 😉
  • The want to get away and be ‘Far from the madding crowd’ is a recurring bi-annual urge
  • DDLJ feels juvenile, but the idea of love is only strengthened
  • I have a greater sense of control – or so I think

All in all, I look forward to more.

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Complexities

We see complexities in every aspect of our lives and decisions that we need to take seem to be unending. I suppose that is a cross that we all have to bear. But the real difference lies in the way we accept those decisions in our lives. Whether those decisions are made by us left to choose or are forced on us, the end result and the way we shape our lives from there on is entirely in our own hands.

I do not like people who blame someone else for the failures in their lives. Sure you don’t always dedicate your success to others, so why blame at every failure?

The answer is because it is always easier to blame someone else for your failure than own it up for the mess you have created. In most normal circumstances, I believe that there is no real situation which cannot be salvaged or used to our advantage. It is just the perspective and the will to make use of the situation that matters.

I had come across some ‘characters’ who do not own up for what they do and some others who go beyond their limit to help them. It is weird how life plays out things and today I am in a particularly philosophical mood which makes me want to sit and muse about these supposed big things or nothings in life.

Looking at my daughter go around her little needs in a care free manner, it really makes you want to go back to a stage where you didn’t have to bother/worry/care for anything at all. Even now, I want to achieve that carefree existence given some responsibilities and sans most of the complexities. Again a matter of perspective I think. 🙂

One element of complexity in our life comes from our work/money matters and another one stems from the way your closest relations behave with you. I wouldn’t advise anyone to be an altruist nor a selfish, but draw a mid-line. Increasing number of people are drawn to extremities and more so to the later. I see it is a perspective thing for them and also for us to deal with them, but the solution for such a thing is not very clear.

As I mentioned above, this post is neither meant to be preachy or questioning. It is what it is – musing about the complexities involved in our lives.

 

 

Ahead of The PM

For a change today, it was good to see an interesting picture on the front page of the Time of India. Our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was standing in line with his wife to cast his vote and ahead of him in the picture were three ordinary denizens, looking most bewildered.

Looking at that picture, it just made me think, as to what would I have said if I were among those three there. Well, for one, after the initial shock, I would have exchanged some pleasantries, enquired upon his health. Well, may be something that one wouldn’t do, but I would have loved to do it, take his autograph. We do take autographs of all those glitzy hollywood/bollywood stars and well the cricketers then why not of this gentlemen who has held so many important positions and is called the father of liberalization?

I still wonder what those three did. Most likely, just kept looking back, with a stren face or a bewildered expression and went about their business. 

What would you have done?

 

PS: Will try to upload that picture.

Relativity

There is something sublime in explaining difficult things in a simple manner and I believe it is only possible withvery few people who have done it in the past and I am sure very few, who would be able to do it in future.

An excellent example of such simplicity is:

If you touch a hot stove for 10 seconds it will feel like an hour.

If you sit next to a pretty girl for an hour it will feel like 10 seconds.

That’s relativity!

– Albert Einstein

What’s in a name?

Shakespeare didn’t think it mattered to give a name to his play, but the play still was given a name – As you like it.

Every entity, every place, every person has a name and with it comes an identity. What happens when this name is violated – misused or mispelt? The implications could be small or big, but whatever they might be, people cannot take it easy. The aggression is justified, as your identity cannot be played with. People have difficulties in learning names and very often they forget the fact that learning to pronounce other’s names is as important as we expect the others to know ours.

Very often, I find many people calling or writing my name wrong. When it comes to my surname, I am yet to come across someone new who has got it right in the first instance. It is justified if a foreigner who is not aware of the Indian pronunciations and words happens to pronounce the name wrong. But, I cannot understand why my own folks have such an issue. To my parent’s credit, my first name is quite a simple name, with three English consonants, each separated by a single vowel ‘a’. My surname also runs on more or less similar lines. The north Indians write it as ‘Mansa’ or ‘Manasi’ and many of the south Indians or all have their own way of writing my surname, ‘Pama Raju’ (when it is a single word) or ‘Rama Raju’ or the best and the most common one is ‘Padmaraju’ (I wonder where did that ‘D’ come from).

My sister has her own issues with her name. Being the youngest in the family, she was christened with names contributed by every important member of the family. She finally ended with seven unofficial names and among them, three were adopted as official. She prefers to be known by just one simple name, followed by our surname. Quite justified, but in order to achieve the correction, it is a long and dedicated process that she needs to endure. My husband too makes his presence felt, with his surname – ‘Ayalasomayajula’. It is quite a long one and many just give up trying to read it, even before trying. Trust me, if you have not tried reading it, then just do it once, it is quite simple and just lengthy. He says that his name is a point of discussion in every new meeting that he attends.

I am sure that each one of us would have had some issues with people, calling our names in their own sweet ways, but it’s truly irritating sometimes. I think that this happens primarily because of the lack of attention that one pays to listening or reading a person’s name. With my experiences, I put in the extra effort to learn to pronounce any of the tough names I come across. Most often, I realize that the person is more than happy that I am trying to learn their name right.

So Shakespeare, sir, I think there is a lot in a name and we need to be attentive with them :).

PS: I have a very bad habit of christening my immediate family and friends with pet-names. I know that some of them are not too happy with them, but I do it because I love you all 🙂 and not for any other reason.

Faith

Faith is a very interesting word. Every person has his or her own definition for it, which one defines it on the basis of one’s faith. Whether it is that strong belief in one’s own values and principles or the belief in God, every person draws his force to achieve their ambitions and aspirations based on their faith.

My mother is an extremely religious person and her daily routine is embedded with a lot of prayer and rituals. Initially, this habit used to irk me, but I have come to accept that her faith in God is everything for her. The belief is such that every issue in life will be handled by God (her faith) and for this she does some more prayers (than the routine ones). There would be a lot of other peripheral prayers such as bhajans and chanting of mantras, etc that would go with this package. I believe in God myself and yes trust in that super power to help me be content with myself. But, I feel there is an inherent difference in our belief. Trying to explain this might end up being controversial and also quite lengthy, so let me just say we both have our own faith which gives us our strength.

I got thinking about faith when I happen to visit a temple with ma. Apparently, the last time she visited this temple, the priest had requested her for some donation, which by means of sheer miscommunication turned out to be a huge one. As it wasn’t a constraint for her, she did it and also took it in a positive way that the God herself wanted something like this from her and it is for the good of the family. I have no problem with the donation, but the way it was conveyed or incorrectly conveyed is an issue. It is apparent that the priest is a street smart person and knows who could possibly afford such donations. Donations have always been easy to come when the name of God is involved. It isn’t a discovery to say that donation, if not in the name of God, is a herculean task to achieve. I cannot blame people too, at least when one donates to a temple, one knows that at least some of the resources would be used for feeding the poor and the needy. The same cannot always be trusted when we give a supposed needy individual.

But what happens when this belief in God and faith for many is exploited and abused? Or one form of faith is imposed on the others? It becomes one of the most despicable of things to deal with. An example of this is the latest addition of a temple to our colony. The idea of a temple was nice; it didn’t intrude my life in any way. Plus, unlike many other temples around the city, it is very peaceful with very few visitors. Some folks feel that the builder constructed this temple to undo his past wrong doings. We shall leave their motives aside for now. But then, wait till you know about the red cherry on top of the cake. The core set, who set up this temple, couldn’t just let us live in peace, wasn’t that obvious? 🙂 They installed two speakers, exactly in front of our house; unfortunately it is located geographically at the center of this colony. So, these days our mornings start with a jolt with bhakti songs (tunes mostly sourced from movies) and sometimes with some sanskrit chantings. The tolerant Indian mentality is prepared for such gross invasion of privacy during Navratri and other puja times, but day in and day out makes life – miserable!

I am not sure for how long exactly that I will be able to put up with this, but then I might have to turn a rebel soon. I do not know how passive resistance works here. Do you guys have a solution for such an invasion?

Till then, I will get some ear-plugs from the chemist. 🙂

Have a Happy Independence Day!

The obvious

Time and again I have had this problem that the most obvious of things are repeated and when I say that I mean that people tend to write about the same old topics in a different way. Words twisted, changed sentences or a change in presentation. It could simply be anything and I end up telling to myself that isn’t that so obvious, why do you even have to write about it??!!??

Some of the famous and widely used topics are about women, the relationship between man and woman and so on and so forth. Marriage hence is the essential offspring and tends to find place in loads of topics. Trust me, it is an essential part of life whether you agree to the concept of it or not and as the entire society has been organized around this for many, many years now, it is but obvious that many a times there are references to this. The references to women and the chemistry between the sexes are so often repeated that I hardly see a single advertisement on TV that doesn’t have a woman in it, even if there is no need for a woman to be there in that.

It has happened to me a number of times that I thought an answer to some question to be pretty obvious and an absolute no-brainer when someone says just that and earns the required brownie points. I have remained baffled for long as to what is it that makes these people say just the obvious and think that they have solved the next breakthrough in science.

Over the years I have learned to speak out some of the most obvious and earn some credit for it. It is not that I have to prove myself, but it is more to prove once again that in this world, the most obvious is not obvious to many.