Sunday, December 30, 2012

Letter to an Unscrupulous Rat


Disclaimer: This post has been sitting pretty in my drafts since July, and every time I came close to publishing it, something stopped me. Firstly, I dint want this space of mine to turn into a complaint box, secondly, if I wrote crap about him, then it would make me no different from the unscrupulous rat he is. Thirdly, I'm in a very happy phase in my life right now, everything is perfect.  *touchwood, a million, gazillion times*

But as the year draws to an end, I wanted a closure. I wanted this post to be in the past and not spill into the new year thereby ruining my future. 

Post beings.

There is a reason why am writing to you. By the time to read this, I'd be out of the place I fondly call “inferno”.  At the outset, I must thank you for teaching me innumerable lessons about the corporate world and enlightening me on; how to play dirty politics. Thank you very much. Let me assure you right now, that this is not an act of cowardice; this is how I pay back. If I posted disparaging statuses about you on social media, then it would make me no different from the unscrupulous rat you are.

You know what? I’m rather surprised that people in this particular place have entrusted you with responsibility and that there’s so much riding on your back and they still believe that you are a leader. I’d rather not question how the system functions, because it really is none of my business.

Thanks to all this, you consider yourself Mr. Invincible right? I mean, nobody can raise a finger against you, but you on the other hand can go around pointing fingers at people, ruining their ratings, down playing their performance and making them look miserable and worthless in general! Wielding so much power to ruin another person’s life, mental peace and happiness should definitely be gratifying.

This is what pisses me the most. How can these people still believe in you! In my honest opinion, you are worth absolutely nothing.

Without wasting time, let me tell you a story about a certain guy, who was Mr. Invincible of a certain company. This guy was the unquestionable star performer, he’d swiftly moved up the ladder in no time. Truth to be told, he was one hell of a task master. His teammates hated him, but he was revered for being a subject matter expert. That made him invincible.

I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with your star-studded professional life and being Mr. Invincible? Hold on.. We’re getting there.

A couple of months ago, a colleague and team-mate of his, had raised a harassment alarm against him. Her complaint being; he was treating her badly and did not respect her. So, mister, does that sound familiar? That organization, which hailed him until then, sprung into action and he was sacked. Yes, the biggies heard her part of the story, and they decided it was wise on their part to send him off.

Until that very moment, he was their star performer, and the people who ran that place did what most organizations would do; protect the interests of their employees.

In your case, three women had raised complaints against you, on grounds of being; ill-treated, put through mental agony, yelled at and not being given enough respect. You treated us like we were bonded to slavery. Not an ounce of respect. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.  Unfortunately, the wonderful place where you work, decided to take the employees in question to task.

I still haven’t figured out how it works, but like I mentioned, it really is none of my business. But a little part of me, really wished, they’d taken some severe against you as well. Because, you deserved worse than what we did. Somebody should have done something to bring you down from that pedestal you were sitting on, somebody should have had the bloody guts to knock off that invisible crown you wear like your birth right. Sadly, nobody did anything.

On a personal level, it did hurt to be on the receiving end of so much crap, when I deserved none of it. You must have had your jollies watching my confidence and performance go down the drain. In the process, you really did bring in some sense into my head; you made me realize that people can be bad and this bad. Kudos!

Don’t worry, I emerged stronger, next time anybody tries to play shit with me, I know how to deal with them. You’ve probably scored brownies for being a responsible senior person in the team, in reality, you aren’t even half as good as you imagine yourself to be.

Respect, is earned and not coerced. People should look up to you for the person you are and for the strength you offer. If you think, being successful is all about putting down people and playing downright cheap politics, then you are on the wrong track.

I wouldn't waste my time and energy hoping you’d rot in hell. Don’t worry, the world is small, karma is a bitch and what goes around will truly and certainly come around.




Amen!

PS: I don't really expect any of you to understand what's in this post. It was the worst phase of my life and am glad that it is in the past.


Awesome Blogger & Liebster Blog Award – A Tag

Ever sat in front a new post template and wondered why words fail you when you just drafted something worth writing in your head? It happens to me way to often, that's why I sometimes resort to writing stuff on bits of papers and then completely forget about them.

But you know you can instantly cook up something when a friend tags you and adds an Awesome Blogger Award along with it =D Thanks, Gitanjali  for tagging me and for passing on an award!







So here are the rules:

1.If you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.
2.Then you answer the 11 questions the tagger has given you & make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.
3. Tag 11 more Bloggers.
4. No tagging back.
5. Person you tag must have < 200 followers

And here we go:

11 facts about me:

Quite a task if you ask me, if you've been reading this space for long enough, you are well equipped to write my  mini-autobiography.
  1. I have immense faith in myself and over the years, I've learnt to face every adversity with a smile. I have matured as an individual. 
  2. Change in my opinion is inevitable and with every new opportunity that comes my way, I learn something new.
  3. I personally dislike, self conceited, self centered and people who take themselves too seriously.
  4. I try my best to keep my life and head as clutter free as possible, and every attempt at this makes my life a lot more complicated.
  5. I'm a self confessed control freak, I have to try and get to the end of every possible thing. I guess, this sums up my penchant for complicating and un-complicating things.
  6. Coffee, chocolates (dark chocolates preferably), conversations, books and people rule my life. Lipsticks and blushes are also included in this list. :P
  7. I'm very impatient and can be judgmental at times. Also, curiosity gets the better of me. 
  8. I'm not a very impulsive person, I think, re-think, re-re-think and finally executive what's in my head.
  9. I've been through a lot of shit this year, and thankfully emerged stronger.
  10. Chocolates and sleep are my ultimate comforters. 
  11. I hold a Phd in over-analysing, hyperventilating, not very proud of myself here.

11 questions Gitanjali wanted me to answer.

1. Blogging to me is - a medium of expressing my thoughts, no matter how silly or serious or inconsequential they are. It gives me the freedom to sound self-righteous and also tell the what I think is right. 


2. I recommend the following 3 blogs for you to read when you are free: There are a bunch of blogs that I read, each one of them have their own USPs. 

3. 5 songs on my play list. (Losing inspiration here) - It's ok Bum! Even I've lost inspiration here - I can't think beyond Kadal - by AR Rahman. The songs are truly addictive. Apart from this album, am addicted to You are my pumpkin pumpking, Hello, Honey Bunny. Ok, judge me :D

4. The last 5 books that I read were - Ok, this one is easy! - Kite Runner, Thousand Splendid Suns, To Kill A Mockingbird, Rozabal Line, Tamarind City and lots more!

5. The one movie that made me cry - Taare Zameen Par. I still have a feeling that am slightly dyslexic :P.

6. Some day, I will - Why this kolaveri di? Ok, someday, I will, quit my corporate job and take up teaching full time. 

7. Ten places i want to visit before- whatever - I have the same whatever feeling only. I'd like to explore India first - North-East would be a great place to start with, Kashmir, The Himalayan Region, Ok, I want to check out Goa as well. (Ok, I cheated :P)  

8. The one person who made a HUGE impact on my life would be? - I won't be cliched and say Amma. But I can't name just one person, it would be unfair, Ash Uncle, Charu Aunty, Kumar Sir. 

10. New year resolutions for 2013? - Learn to read and write Tamil, to be a more responsible individual, to bring a smile atleast to a couple of faces.

11. (finally!) One secret that nobody knows :P - Girl, it's supposed to be a secret no? :P 


Time for Tagging:

Now, it is time to ask questions =D

11 questions that you will have to answer:

1) What / who was your inspiration for blogging:
2) If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be:
3) What in your opinion, makes life worth living:
4) Given a choice between a high-flying corporate job and a job that makes you the happiest, which one would you choose:
5) Describe yourself in one word, ok that's tough, let's make it one sentence:
6) Now do the same thing for describing your blog: (yes, I lost inspiration here :P)
7) What is that one thing that doesn't let you sleep:
8) Three awesome things about yourself: (Ideally I'd say, three awesome things about me, but I know I'll be pushing it too far)
9) Your biggest inspiration in life:
10) If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it:
11) Finally, do you want to be another person, for a single day? Then, who would that be:

(Now I know, why I will never be an examiner, ever)

Peace out :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

About Vidyut Jamwal and Other Random Things

Ok, so I disappeared again! After talking about my own little version of Eat-Pray-Love; I haven't really posted anything else, except for a Book Review, if that counts as a personal post.

Yeah, my Eat-Pray-Love started almost two months ago, let's face it, there are only a handful of days for this year to come to an end. If you ask me, what I've been doing; I'll be very honest and tell you, nothing much actually. I wanted to break away from the corporate rigmarole and spend some time doing nothing, absolutely nothing actually. Getting married was only a reason in the real sense.

Over the last couple of months, I've read and re-read a lot of books, I discovered a couple of  good Indian Authors - Ashwin Sanghi's and Tuhin Sinha's books were fairly good reads. I think I should start reviewing these books. Rediscovered Khaled Hosseini, I read the Kite Runner 4yrs ago, and it dint really have much of an impact on me then. I was probably a little too immature to understand the depth of his writing, and when I re-read the book, it gave me a brand new perspective. I picked up Thousand Splendid Suns soon after and in all honesty, they've been my best books in the last two months. Finally came around reading - To Kill a Mockingbird, if you can lay your hands on it, read it and you will not regret it one bit. I'm still considering a library membership. It's been a long time since I stood in the aisle browsing through books. Keep reminding me ok? Ok!

I'm learning to cook by the rule book. Before you raise your eyebrows, I can cook a decent meal, but it's not always traditional cooking. I have passed off Vengaya Sambar with Rasam podi and called it Sambar ok? I'm now trying to cook food the Amma-Way, and the experiments seem to going smoothly for now. That being the case, I want to give cook blogging a fresh and honest attempt and see where it takes me.

This Diwali, I tried my hand at making Mysorepak and Coconut Burfi, and truth to be told, they were melt-in-your-mouth. I know, I should be a little modest. Call it beginners luck or whatever, I devoured like half of what I made.

This was right after Diwali, so the fitness freak in me realised that I had only three months in hand to get back in shape, so I started jogging. I jogged for ten days in a row, after which tragedy struck. One fine Wednesday morning, after I finished like half my round, I tripped on God knows what and sprained my left hand, kinda twisted my ankle and also hurt my knee in the process. Tragic, I know. Don't even get me started on how bloody depressing it is.

So three weeks down the line, when I thought I was a little better I decided to try my luck with jogging again inspite of having a bout of cold. I threw up right on the beach. Sincerity at it's best, I know :P Oh wait, I'm not done yet.

Sometime in early December, I volunteered at a Painting Competition for Special Children conducted by a similar school. It was a life-changing experience, I'll definitely write about it sometime. Watching those children wield their paintbrushes gave me a whole new perspective about life. You need to be in their midst to actually feel it. I might in all probability volunteer more often. I really want to do a course to teaching these children.

I was talking to fellow volunteers who turned out to be college kids, who refused to believe that I was 25 and was getting married early next year, until I told them I dint know who, Mr.Vidyut Jamwal was. I think they slotted me in the aunties group after that. 17yr olds talking about men being hot, edible and the likes gives me a slightly aunty wala feeling. do you feel the same way? I've been through similar experiences like sticking up a 5ft long shirtless Hrithik Roshan poster and drooling over him. But these kids seem to be so far away from what we were.

In the meantime, I experimented with growing my nails, applied blue, yellow and orange nail polish.

I got back to the gym for the millionth time, and I overheard the gym instructor prescribing Fat Burner capsules to a fat guy, and I got inspired to try it out on myself, until a friend talked me right out of it.

Oh well! Before I forget, I'm doing a data analysis project for the School I was talking about. Am starting tomorrow. Wish me luck!

To sum up my Eat-Pray-Love -I jog, gym, cook, read, smile at random people. It's fun really ..!

In reality; I'm having the time of my life!

Peace Out :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Zombiestan - Book Review


Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar

Title: Zombiestan
Author: Mainak Dhar
Publisher: Duckbill
Pages: 256

Buy Zombiestan


If you thought you've had enough with Vampires, now make way for Zombies. Mainak Dhar takes you through a journey that starts with a village in Afghanistan, which houses the Taliban. Hell breaks loose when the Taliban leader Mullah Omar is shot dead by unknown forces. This is followed by an apocalyptic blast which causes genetic mutations thus causing people in the area to turn into Zombies.

This phenomenon nicknamed Afghan Flu spreads like wildfire across the globe and in a matter of three days close 50,000 people are affected. Doctors identify fatal levels of radiations and toxins in the blood samples of infected victims. To make things worse; Governments topple, anarchy thrives, the undead or the zombies are everywhere and mayhem ensues.

The story revolves around five unlikely people who meet each other in the worst circumstances in New Delhi. A US Navy SEAL trying to get back home, a seventeen year old boy grappling with the loss of his parents, an elderly History Professor, a young girl and her three year old brother.

As soon as the sun set every day, hordes of Afghan Flu victims went on rampage biting anybody in their line of sight and thus infecting them. These people died only to come alive as undead in evenings. The terror was too real to be palpable. The tribe of zombies only seemed to increase manifold with no end in sight.

Amidst this, the five of them seem to be fighting a lone war against the zombies. They move from one place to another in search of a safe haven where the zombies cannot attack them.  They try to protect themselves against the zombies using firearms, only to realize that nothing can actually kill them. Even striking them on their heads could bring them down for a couple of minutes after which they bounced back.

Every night was a fight against the Zombies and during one of their narrow escapes, Abhi is bitten. They don’t realize it until the next morning. When Abhi doesn’t turn into one a zombie, it takes them by surprise. They don’t have the heart to leave the little one along.

They were fighting for what seemed to be a lost cause, until they meet a retired Army officer who gives them shelter and that’s when they receive a radio broadcast which informs them of a safe place in Ladakh. The five of them, then embark on an arduous journey to safe guard themselves.

Around the same time, the Zombies start evolving at a rapid pace; they learn to group themselves, use firearms and also write. Humans are incapacitated even more, rendering themselves pretty useless against the zombies. Abhi is now hailed at the Miracle Boy; the boy who survived the bite and dint turn into a zombie. He is the proverbial ray of hope to the survivors and the zombies want him.

Whether they survive the zombie attack, win over the zombies or succumb to the miseries is the rest of the story.

The book is a real page turner, as every page holds a surprise. The write is very crisp and taut. There are a few loose edges here and there; there is no clear description about what triggered the chemical blast and how the zombies evolved over time.  But the rest of the plot is really good.

It not only talks about testing times of the protagonists but also brings about the best in them. The characterization of each of them is noteworthy.

On the whole, the book is worth a read, and I would definitely recommend it!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

And Then



I quit. I did, I did, I did. Yeah just like that, I quit. You figured that I was kidding about the just like that part right?  I mean, control freaks don’t quit jobs on a whim, they always have backup plans. Finally, after two months of editing, and reediting a one line resignation letter I quit.

Sometime in June, after clearing three rounds of interviews with the One-Number Company for the post of a Brand Manager, I was all set to put down my papers and say thank you very much and walk out. But the One-Number company’s Big Boss had other plans, he felt I was too young to take up so much responsibility and I did not have sufficient experience. That day I wailed like I had just lost a loved one, wailed like I wanted the earth to swallow me right there, wailed like I wanted to pull out every single strand of hair.

On the 1st of June, that Brand Manager Job that went down the drain was the redemption song I sung to myself every night; it was the proverbial light at the end of a long precarious tunnel, it was my little secret. Obviously, I was broken when my reverie shattered to smithereens. You would have gone through the same, if you endured workplace harassment for an entire year.

I still wanted to quit, without a backup or any idea what I’d want to do with my life.

I really did not want to write all this, but I had to vent it out somewhere.

I don’t know if the company tried a rescue mission of sorts on me, the HR convinced me to move into another team. I had nothing to lose. In the hindsight, hanging around for 5 more months was the sanest thing I did. I wouldn’t say they were great, but I would have been a happier human being if I could summon my lost confidence and sense of well being to have made a better impact.

The place has been an eye-opener of sorts in terms of; people, culture and politics. I’ve realized that people can be bad and *this* bad. Until then, I would have never known that second-rung people like Senior Analysts can wield the power to ruin your life. Ok, not just my life, he meted out the same treatment for two other colleagues as well.

Come to think of it, I’ve stayed here for 2years short by 9 days and that’s an achievement in itself taking into consideration all that I’ve endured. It really did feel like somebody was clearing my misconceptions about corporate life, I was at the receiving end of a lot of unfairness.
What have I gained over the last couple of years? I have gained a lot of weight, 10 kilos in 2yrs. I lost my peace of mind and almost lost my sense of humor thanks to a dementor. I learnt to copy paste and format like a pro!

Ok sarcasm apart, yes I did learn a little bit of Data Analysis, but other than that, it’s been an inwards journey in search of my real self.  If I need to add another point, my CV has a stable track record of working in the same company for 2yrs now.

I have changed a lot as an individual; I’ve lost a lot of hair, and saw a couple of grey hair sprouting as well.  Apart from this; I’m a much stronger, saner and sensible woman today, who has finally accepted the harsh realities of life. Now I cherish and value every little moment of joy and I really did come around as an individual.

Finally, I’ve made peace with solitude.

I’m glad that I quit now. Life has come around and things are looking up. Most importantly, I’m not half as depressed.

Right now, I’m on the threshold of change and good tidings. I’m at peace with myself now, I actually feel like Buddha sometimes.

My version of Eat, Pray, Love is just around the corner!

Wish me luck

Peace Out!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Perfect Mini Tamasha

Every little occasion in a family is a little Tamasha in itself. When people meet; conversations happen, gossip flows freely, sparks fly and drama is inevitable!

To concoct the Perfect Mini Tamasha, you will need the following ingredients

Ingredients:

An entire week of work commitments
3 Hyperventilating people
3 Best Friends, who will double up as pacifiers
3 Days full of nail biting tension
1 Brother to ease out your tension
1 unexpected cyclone
A Couple who resemble a bundle of nerves
A Jam packed hall full of people
1 full day of exhaustion

To Garnish:

A liberal dose of Murphy’s Law
Bunch of intrusive people, who will double up as *advisors*
Don’t forget Drama

Preparation Time:  


Initial Preparation 15-30 days
Final Touches - 1 Week
Event - 5 hours

How To:

After finding the Perfect Bakra, Ok, the Perfect Boy (Happy?), Meeting his sister and then his family, and after being approved from both sides. Duly printed Horoscopes are taken to the Mama from West Mambalam again for choose *Auspicious Dates*. Discussions happen around ideal dates and finally once a mutually convenient date is fixed, preparations begin.

First, begin with spreading the news, Oldies or the Opinion Leaders in the family would ask you to ideally keep quiet until it becomes official. Don't go around telling all and sundry is the catchphrase. 

Once you are done with keeping the big secret to yourself and only telling the very important people in your life, you start with preparation.

Be open to a lot of different ideas, clashing opinions and truck loads of unwanted gyaan. Everybody in your line of sight will have to tell you something very important. Keep calm, eat chocolate cake and use your ears to their full capacity.

Start with your very basics like - identifying the right saree. Start as early as possible, even if you start choosing outfits a couple of months before the engagement, you will still want to change your mind. Go about choosing the right beauty parlour, fix an appointment. Meanwhile keep hounding your tailor.

When you have your blouses stitched and other appointments fixed, cross check again, the blouses may not fit you properly, run around for alteration again. 

1 Week before the D-Day

If you thought this wasn’t enough, decide to be a Hands-on-Bride to be. Continue slogging at work and stay back as and when possible. Tag around with your parents, go ring shopping, gift trays shopping, Dry-Fruits tasting, and even gift wrapper shopping.

3 Days before the D-Day

Murphy’s Law comes into play! An unexpected cyclone comes around and ruins your shopping plans for the day. Head back home and chill with a tumbler of Filter Kaapi.

2 Days before the D-Day

Invite the boy home to meet the parents (yeah, my folks saw him two days before the D-Day). Sudden plans like going to the boy’s place to celebrate his Nephew’s birthday will crop up. So hurry up, and run to the parlour again to do your eyebrows and waxing.

At this point your mehendi wali will not be able to make it on time, start hyperventilating, summon Plan-B and call on a Mehendi wala this time. Get done with one part of the Tamasha and sleep in peace.

1 Day before the D-Day

Don’t stop with just plain shopping, go out and buy fruits also. Please ignore the fact that you’ve had a skin lightening facial a couple of days ago. Take up the responsibility of wrapping everything neatly with cling foam wrappers, stick a bow on them and pierce roses for good measure.

Continue doing everything humanely possible to avoid last minute panic attacks.

On the D-Day

Keep calm, or atleast try to. Don’t go around telling Amma, - I want to throw up right now, my tummy aches, I’m very scared and the likes. You will feel the intensity of writing a Maths Paper with Integral and Differential Calculus, combined with Security and Portfolio Management. Trust me, it’s worse than that.

At this point, people at home will insist that you eat something every now and then, if they offer a couple of bread slices on the way to the Mandapam, don’t act smart and say I don’t feel like it. Shut up and eat it. If possible carry an extra apple or two and don’t forget to hide it from your gluttony 12yr old cousin.

Once you are inside the Mandapam, be quiet; keep your giggles and roaring laughter to yourself. If somebody comes in to check on you, give them a smile. Don’t worry; every single member of your family will want to have a closer look of your face, makeup, jewellery and everything else on you. Listen to all that unwanted gyaan and continue seeking Inner Peace.

After 90 mins of waiting in a heavy Silk saree, the esteemed Vaadiyar mama will call you on stage, watch your step and pray that you don’t trip on the floor. Once on stage, resist the urge to wave and blow flying kisses at the jam packed crowd.

Before you realize what’s happening, you will be ushered in for Round-2 of saree draping. Now, the aforementioned relatives will all want to squeeze inside the room. If you want to scream at them, do so in your head.

The real tamasha starts now, continue wearing your demure smile. Sometime later you would have exchanged rings, do your Namaskarams (don’t be a dodo like me, I missed mine).

You will be introduced to every single friend and relative who decided to grace the occasion, keep nodding and smiling at the same time. When the photo sessions happen, learn to ignore the crowd and continue posing like a pro. Remember not to grin too much and also blush a little.

After almost every single soul in the crowd has dispersed and what feels like a million years they will ask you to eat. Now thank your Amma for insisting that you eat a couple of bread slices on your way.

Once all this is done, you say tata-bye bye to the rest of the junta, breathe out a sigh of relief jump into the car, and listen to Saroja Samaan Nikalo on your way back.

Day After the D-Day

Spend the first half of the day cleaning the room which smells like weird concoction of Jasmine and Roses. Sleep through the rest of the day and wait for the feeling of being engaged to sink in.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU.


First things first; this is the first book review on this blog. Books have always been an integral part of my growing up and it's a shame that I haven't reviewed any of them till date. But, hey! there's always a beginning and this is it.

An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU’ is a perfect self-help book for I.T. job aspirants.

Author: Toffee (Taufeeq Ahmed)
Genre: Self Help/ Non-Fiction
Publisher: Times Group Books

‘An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU’ is written by a first time author who with a fancy name like Toffee.  It is the story of an brilliant student from School, who joins the Engineering bandwagon and has spent his 4yrs doing everything under the sun. The gravity of the situation strikes him only when he walks into his 4th and final year at college. That's when he pauses to think - What next and starts taking life a lot more seriously, concentrates on all things important and most importantly his placements. The ending is of-course happy when he joins his *Dream Company*. 

Like all corporates he goes through a period of self questioning and asks himself the usual questions like - what am I doing with my life. That's when a light bulb goes out over his head and he decided to write a comprehensive self help book on - How to Crack an Interview for Engineering students.

For starters, I am not an Engineer nor do I work in the IT sector, but I'm aware of placement process in engineering colleges. The minute you step into college, every professor or senior or just about anybody you meet on your way, stresses on the importance of placements. To them, the ultimate goal of the education system is to see you hunched in front of a computer.

The book walks you through the entire rigmarole of placements - starting with preparing for an aptitude tests,  group discussion, technical interviews, HR Interviews and the likes. He goes on to explain all of this in detail and infact focuses on minor details that are seemingly insignificant. More importantly, he even tells you how deal with road-blocks and overcome them successfully.

He has made a genuine to effort actually connect with his target audience, in the chapter about aptitude questions, there are illustrations to help the student better. In the interview chapter he tells you about how to talk, how to present yourself and the kind of questions you can possibly expect. I appreciate the effort.

The writing style is fairly simple, no high-funda language. The tone is very conversational and colloquial. 
The book isn't entirely self-help, it is interspersed with andectodes to keep the readers engaged. The book drag in parts, it could have been crisper actually. 

On the whole, a decent read, you might enjoy the book better if you are a teen. But for me, I wouldn't call it a great read, but it bordered on the lines of an ok-ish read. Honestly speaking, I wasn't mighty impressed.

Perspectives differ and you might like the book too! Do give it a shot if you want a light read that doesn't expect you to work your brains.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ten to One Tag

Another tag, that I found while blog hopping, next another post written long ago - tags are blessings in disguise :D


10 Things I've realized/ 10 realizations

1) Little kids around you are absolute stress busters.

2) Best friends are the closest you can get to having a real family

3) Chocolate is the best comfort food ever!

4) Your parents are your biggest support systems, and arguments and misunderstandings only bring you closer

5) Nothing beats the joy of getting wet in the rains

6) At work you are only as good as your last appraisal

7) Learning to let go of your baggage is the sanest thing to do

8) Happiness, joy and satisfaction come in small packages, enjoy the moment while it lasts!

9) Don't take everything seriously, remember there's much more to life than being morose.

10) Books, Chocolates, Coffee and Hugs

9 things I'm glad about.

1) Best friends and Family!

2) Nephews and Nieces and kids in general

3) Comic Strips - Calvin and Hobbes and Dilbert top the list

4) Cartoons

5) Good food, Dark Chocolate, Filter Kaapi and Amma's hugs :)

6) Chennai winters

7) Music

8) The ability of laugh at situations not matter how stressful they are

9) My laugh - enough said I guess

8 Things I badly wanna (do)

1) Travel around the world!

2) Live in a wonderland like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

3) Break the inertia and do something different

4) Learn to read and write Tamizh

5) Re-learn Carnatic Music and make Meenamma proud!

6) Go Sky Diving and get over with the fear of heights.

7) Be a little less judgemental about people

8) Live in a house with French windows and a huge balcony by the sea shore

7 Things I often tell myself.

1) Being crazy and insane are a part of the gene pool, don't try to manipulate them.

2) You are awesome the way you are! Don't let morons around you make you feel little.

3) It's ok to put down your feel and say no to things you are not comfortable doing. Don't care a rat-ass about people who think you are a loser

4) You can lose all the weight you've gained over the last two years, you can really do it, just put your mind to it.

5) You cannot please everybody around you, so it's really ok to be imperfect.

6) You're an awesome singer, sruthi and talam don't really matter inside the bathroom.

7) Talking to yourself when you are mad at the world at large, doesn't make you insane.

6 people I wanna thank

1) My family; for everything they've showered on me till date.

2) Soms, Neesu and Neelu for being there when it mattered the most; standing by my side when the chips were down, cheering me up through my tears, for making me a stronger person.

3) Gitu, for being the support system through two years of MBA, you got me in touch with the unknown quadrant of the Johari Window.

4) Adi, for being the bestest brother anybody can ask for.

5) The boy, for walking in before I decided to take up full time Sanyas.

6) Me, yes, self love is the first love.


5 things I believe in

1) Amma and her prayers.

2) Happiness is a state of mind, you can choose what suits you the best.

3) There is somebody above all of us protecting us every single minute

4)The world isn't a very bad place to be in, the people around you and your perspectives make all the difference

5) Hugs make it possible.

4 promises

1) I will try and preserve my sense of humor, no matter how stressful the situation is.

2) Will recreate Eat, Pray, Love in my own little way

3)I will keep that childlike happiness alive in me

4) I will respect the people in my life, and will make peace with some people before I die.

3 Confessions

1) I'm shit scared of staying alone

2) Patience is really not my virtue

3) I can be a little too sensitive sometimes

2 things I never wanna do in life

1) Lose contact with people who matter the most. and get so busy that I dont have time for anyone or anything

2) Compromise on my sense of morality.

1 funda I have utmost faith in (Ok, I cheated on this one)

Life can get tough at times, believe in yourself and don't let negativity bog you down. People can be disgusting at times and will also stoop down to the level of screwing up your life, learn to forgive. Lastly, laugh not because you can, because it makes you feel lighter and much better.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bored-Restless-Aimless


Living alone according to me is a very weird concept. I know of a lot of people who tell me living alone, living on your terms is the best thing ever. But somehow that doesn’t seem to go down well with me. I wonder what these people gain out of living all by themselves. I know there are friends, relatives are probably a stone’s throw away (but who visits relatives anyway). They make it sound very idyllic.

Last night the folks left to Bangalore to attend a Wedding, Yours-truly was asked to tag along; given my indifference towards weddings, they gracefully let me out of the list. I was telling a friend V about this, the girl promptly asked me to throw a big party.

You have to believe me when I tell you that am not conditioned for this kind of a living. I hate waking up to an empty house, I think it is more than just an empty feeling – more like nothingness. I felt very aimless ok? I had no idea why I woke up at 6 in the first place. I then slept off for what seemed like a long time; only to wake up 90minutes later and still felt very aimless. So, I got down to do the usual things – lit the lamp, swept the floor outside the house, drew a scrawny looking kolam. I watered half a dozen plants, brought home flowers, knowing pretty well there is nobody to perform a Puja.

Boiled milk to make coffee and serve Ummachi* his morning milk. At this point I really missed conversation. Usually my first round of Coffee would be Appa’s second round. It felt rather odd to be making only one cup instead of two.

I was bored, restless and very aimless. To beat them, I played Venkatesa Suprabatham, Vishu Sahasranamam, Bhaja Govindam, Adityahrudayam, Shyamala Dandakam and Skanda Shasti Kavasam and the likes. Overcome with Bhakti I followed it up a Puja; rang the bell with one hand and when ahead with deevaradhanai* also. I’m so going to heaven I tell you!

If you thought only I felt empty, let me tell you that even my fridge shared my feeling. I did my bit by filling it in with lots of veggies and made the big black cooling box of whirlpool feel very happy.
Now, there were loads of veggies, idli and dosa batter, but nobody to cook for. Cooking for one is akin to eating alone at work. You know there’s yumness on your platter, but there’s nobody to share it with. See the parody?

I did spend time reading the newspapers, calling up friends, caught up with my favourite sir and started reading Rahul Dravid – Timeless steel. But the empty feeling refuses to go away. I think just having somebody around will solve the problem in my case.

I still can’t understand how people live alone and say it enriches them. I don’t think I can ever live alone. I have learnt to embrace loneliness and stone walled silence at work, but I wouldn’t want that to spill into my other life as well. The said feeling has lasted for close to two years now and I know for a fact that it is coming to an end very soon.

To be very honest, I hate being lonely more than anything else. Simply put, I’ve never stayed alone in my 25yrs of existence. And being the people’s person I am, I’d rather make do with some company than waddle in melancholy.

Coming to think of it - the biggest disadvantage of staying alone is - you have to open the door every time somebody rings the bell. 

I guess the biggest advantages of staying alone are; a) you can play music in full blast and Appa will not yell – Andha shaniyan* ah konjam anaikariya?? (Translation: Will you switch off that stupid thing?) b) You can happily sit amidst an unmade bed and dirty clothes, nobody will ask you to clean up. 

Enough said I guess.

*Ummachi - Tambrahm word for God. Even if we turn 75, we still address God as Ummachi. Go figure.
*Shaniyan - Tambrahm bad(?) word? We use it to address people affectionately too.
*Deevaradhanai - That last round of Aarthi.

PS0: What is Shaniyan in English? Is there a better substitute other than stupid thing?
PS1: I had 3 slices of brown bread and one glass of milk for brunch. I did not cook :P
PS2: I’m eating figs right out of the packet, am so lazy I tell you.
PS3: When I was googling the meaning of Shaniyan to give you a better translation, I came across a Chinese named Shaniyan and one girl's Surname was also Shaniyan. I can't stop laughing now.

Okthxbye.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Holy Cow!

This post was written a while ago, when yet another family had exhibited callous behaviour which set my brains on fire.

Two of my besties got themselves registered on a God-Awesome Matrimonial website. My first reaction when they told me this was to throw my head back in Mogambo style laughter and tell them something as comforting as **Yam petra thunbam, peruga vaiyagam*, grossly translated into; everybody should go through the torture I did.

But they weren’t talking to me for my sarcastic jibes, they were looking for comfort. I know of a lot of friends who’ve registered themselves on Consim India Pvt Ltd’s Matrimonial venture. When the CEO of that company came to MOP Vaishnav to talk us on Entrepreneurship, I along with a bunch of girls broke into the above mentioned laughter saying – who registers on such websites! Like finding a guy whom you like is *that* difficult.  

Little did we know, a few years later we’ll come to realise that finding the right one is tricky business. Am talking about step 1-; that is, finding somebody who is fairly compatible with your sensibilities and vice versa.
Coming back to my friend D, who wanted some gyaan on; what should I talk when I meet the person for the first time. I suddenly felt like Godfather ok? Or in Business terms a Subject Matter Expert. But this is the last subject where I’d like to gain expertise.

I have so many friends who are looking out for prospects that it can easily amount to a little Facebook.
When the eerie M word comes up, all of us have our ears perked up. None of us have any clue about what gets two people going and makes us wonder about how two absolutely unconnected individuals have embarked on a journey of togetherness.  When discussions happen, we figure that all of us, ok almost all of us have the same set of expectations and none of them sound very hard to come by.

What totally beats me is – then why on God-forsaken planet Earth is finding the right one so difficult. When I ask my much married friends about it; they tell me that it just happens. How can it *just happen* is my question? Is it like some Prophecy hidden somewhere in one of those little chambers? Is that why our parents go to temple after temple seeking solace?

I haven’t been able to figure out how it happened in the past. If this is a fool proof process, there should be some Business Case by some Smart-Ass on how this works right? As we girls continued discussing what it feels to get rejected and the works. While the one still remains an elusive prospect.  Truth to be told; none of us are desperate; we are plain freaked out by the process.

I’ve spent countless hours thinking how our parents got married. There were no matrimonial sites then. In all possibility Your Mother and Father would have met each other for the first time and that would have been married say 6 months later. Funnily, they’ve lived happily ever after since then, happily making compromises, accepting each other and being extremely supportive as well.

God only knows how it happened then.


Edited to add: My friend D met the prospect and firmly believes she isn’t the one.
There have been *developments* at my end as well. My folks have strictly advised me to keep my holy trap shut about this case and I’ve been trying my bestest to keep quiet ad not breath a word about it. But I’m still releasing it in small breaths, am too scared to make it too public for the fear of jinxing it though.

So, until then... I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

*Fingers Crossed*


Friday, June 8, 2012

Bye Bye Orangeness

Jillu and I had joined Orangeness together in the fag end of May'10, she was like the first person I spoke to in that huge Conference Room in the 6th floor. We've been friends since then. We share a lot of similarities and am super glad that Orangeness got us together. Almost a month ago we were discussing her then present company, now our ex company. Somewhere along the discussion I had asked to write a Bidding Adieu sort of poem and here's her version. I wrote my own version too, but I'll save it for the last. You may know savour Jillu's version of Orangeness. 

Adieu 

Oh my my…..
It’s that time to say goodbye….
There have been times of low and high….
It would only be a lie….
If I simply say the ride has been a sugary pie….. 

No doubt were u a stepping stone…
That helped me achieve many things on my own…..
But at times… u’ve also made me moan…..
Without any new skills to hone…..

Hey bro….
These 2 years…if I trow…..
Nevertheless I did grow…
From being a rookie to a pro…
These memories I will surely won’t throw….
Bye Bye Orangeness !!! 


 - SR (she still wants to remain anonymous)

So, Jillu, Here's wishing you all the very best for a bright future ahead and the next time you come to Chennai, we are going to Cafe' Chokolade ok?

PS: It's been a week since she joined a fancy Investment Bank in Mumbai !


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buddha Under The Bodhi Tree


It was a busy Monday morning, I was busy packing lunch and helping Amma wrap up kitchen work so that both of us could leave the house by 9 and not get late to work.  Just when I was cleaning the place, she glanced at my bag – a very pretty cloth bag with floral designs on it.

Amma: Why are you carrying that *vegetable shopping* bag to office?
Me: Just like that, I wanted a change.
She thought for a couple of seconds and then said, “If you leave your apartment behind, I’ll give you my new handbag.”
Me: Apartment?
Amma: yeah, all those unnecessary things you carry in your bag, they just add onto extra weight.

I was part listening, part lost in my own world, when she uttered this; “I think you should do the same with your life” It sounded very cryptic and I dint have that kind of mental peace to decipher it.  I brushed it away saying, you seem to reading through a lot of Paulo Coelho Status on Facebook.

I was thinking about it on my way to work and suddenly it made perfect sense; I was carrying excess baggage not only in my bag, but the same applied to my head. There were too many things grabbing my attention at the same time leaving me baffled. I had to learn to let go and get my head sorted.

That’s just once instance. The other day I was telling her that I’ve lost faith in the system, and I don’t really feel positive about my life. The talk veered towards boy-hunting and I told her I had actually lost hope of finding the one. That’s when she asked me if I had read Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott. According to her interpretation – one fine day there will be a God-Awesome boy who will simply sweep me off my feet and take me away. Her undying optimism is something that I’d like to imbibe and I’m very amazed that she can never really think negative no matter how trying the situation is.

If there’s another piece of advice I’ve received innumerable times over the years is that; the one above us has a plan for all of us. She firmly believes that no matter what happens, one fine day every single piece in the jigsaw puzzle of life would fall into place and it would be picture perfect.

Truth to be told, I live by the same faith.

To Amma, for being my Idol, Rockstar and Goddess! I love Amma and I really wish 25yrs down the line I have a couple of kids who would talk the same way about me. I’d run of out words if I had to write or tell you how much you mean to me. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wiseshe Giveaway!


Anamika from Wiseshe is hosting a Lakme Gift Hamper Giveway! :) 
Click Here to Join :)






Monday, May 7, 2012

Tale of Two Birthdays



A very satisfying Tamizh New Years had just come to a happy ending. Appa and A had just made it early in the morning just in time for the Puja. I had successfully taken an off from work. Also, my very first attempt at making Paruppu Vadai was a great success. While basking in its glory, I had managed to eat up more than my quota of vadai and payasam. It was now time for a good afternoon siesta, the weekend had just begun.

The next day I was meeting Soms for lunch and I had a shopping trip planned with A later in the evening. After washing down oats noodles and mushroom soup with Maaza and Minute Maid – Apple Flavour, I was set for my next outing with A. We were dead tired at the end of our shopping extravaganza. Dinner was  Bread Channa at a famous Chaat Shop.

What followed Bread Channa on that dreadful Saturday night is not something that I will forget anytime soon. I was up at 2am on a Sunday morning with a sudden urge to throw up. The last time something like this had happened was almost half a decade ago when I had overstuffed myself with Molaga Bajji at Besant Nagar Beach.

This was the beginning of a weeklong exercise; the visits of the washbasin and bathroom did not cease. Amma started her Mission Home Remedies starting with Kanji, Jeera Water and Inji Kashayam. Whatever went in made its way out automatically; trust me even water was not spared. When Amma’s home remedies were declared Epic Fails, Perima decided to send in hers; Black Grapes boiled in water and some kanji made from sabudana. My maid said wash your hair and it was meant to cool my body. She made me swallow black tea with a juice of half a lemon.  Some God sent Angel suggested Arrow Root, which actually gave me much needed respite.

If this wasn’t enough I was subjected to a diatribe on “why I should be the one feeding Amma Multivitamins and not the other way around" by my family doctor.

Monday dawned and I was still clutching my stomach like it would fall out right now. I spent the next two days working from home and the next two days wailing away to glory about my incessant stomach pain. By this time, the news of my stomach infection had spread to my mom’s office. Her branch head wanted me to see a **very good** doctor near their office. I said I’d rather stay put at home.

One of these days during the 2nd week of April was my Star Birthday. Yeah, I celebrate two birthdays in a year. So on that day I was given an allowance of one teaspoon Paal Payasam. I mean, tell me who undergoes so much torture in the name of Stomach Infection / Food Poisoning or whatever you’d like to call it.

Three weeks later, I feel a little better. Little because, every time I think am feeling better, my body decides to prove me otherwise, like a couple of days back when my stomach ache got me throwing up in the rest room after 3days of normalcy. Weird stuff I tell you.
The medicines or the food did not dishearten me; the fact that I couldn’t eat chocolate on my own birthday had me upset for an entire week.
Amma thinks; somebody has cast an evil eye on me, Soms thinks; it’s a serious case of stomach gone awry. But Me thinks: about food all the time.

PS: I had Nutella and Roti last Saturday, that should keep me going for another two weeks.
PS1: For all you folks who wondered if a Stomach Infection can be this sickening, yes it is.
PS2: Thanks to the sick phase of my life, Amma lost 3kilos.
PS3: I did lose a couple of kilos and I’ve learnt to accept liquefied curd rice as heavenly food.

And yeah, this is what it looks like, 75% liquid – 25% rice.

Peace Out

Monday, April 23, 2012

Turning 25


In close to four years of blogging; I’ve never really felt the need to blog about my Birthday. Until now, they were all relatively small numbers, there were other things to write about. But 25 is a big intimidating number. It means, I’ve been around Planet Earth for a Quarter Century now and officially enter the famous or rather infamous Quarter Life Crisis.

There is an overwhelming need to pen down my feelings on what it feels like to turn 25. A million questions loom ahead of me; I have to face them all, but there is no compelling need to accept them all in my folds. I have learnt to let go of a few and focus on what really matters to me.  25yrs is a quite a long time; in the course of this long arduous yet enriching journey – there have been moments which have taken my breath away, brought me back to earth with a thud, realize the value of relationships and people involved.

I’ve watched things go awry, over analysed incidents, wasted a lot of precious time on post mortems, wasted copious tears on people who hardly mattered and incidents that were beyond my control. All these left me sapped of happiness and contentment.  Alongside all this – I’ve spent time with people who mean the world to me, learnt life’s valuable lessons under their watchful eyes, succeeded in my attempts and watched them succeed too. I’ve learnt that happiness lies in making the best of what you have and the best lessons amongst all these have been – working on my strengths, diversifying my interests, and most importantly accepting me for what I am.

I was hoping a couple of my close friends would come up with something like 25-Awesome-Things-About-You sort of list. Since that hasn’t happened, I decided to take in a moment of perspective and thank the people who’ve left indelible marks in these 25 years.

To my teachers and professors from school and college, for loading my brains with knowledge unlimited and helping me grow as an individual. Thank you for being encouraging at all times and especially during PTA meetings, thank you for not letting my folks know how notorious and talkative I was.  Special thanks to Kumar Sir for being more than just a Professor, for being that Father figure and a very prominent guiding force. I will forever be indebted to you for adding that Sanity Filter into my head.

To Soms and Neesu for being besties for over 12yrs now! That’s an achievement ok? We’ve been partners in crime growning up, goofed up, stuck to each other after years of school, have had the best times. We also learnt to accept each other for what we are. I can’t thank you girls enough for all that you’ve been all along. You girls are truly God-Awesome and you know the rest of the story. Love you two to bits!

To Neelu for being an awesome Didi-Jaan, you’ve made me realize what it means to have an older sister, when my cousins were in faraway land. Special thanks for introducing me to Makeup, Amma thinks you are too innocent to have caused colossal damage on my makeup spending.

To AM for being my lost-Twin-Sister from Gujju Land. I still can’t believe we’ve never met each other and have still managed to stay in sync with each other’s sensibilities. Jai-ho to our sense of humor, grammar policing and telepathy! Oh btw, you are the best Grammar Police ever.

To Gitu for being what the SoMCA guys christened us – Soul mate! I must thank you for adding an extra character to my collage. We must stay in touch more often. You made SoMCA more livable and helped me bring forth my potential. Thanks a Bunch Woman!

To D for being the blood hound who can smell trouble and be the shrink whenever applicable. I admire your ability to call a spade a spade and it really helps because I know what you say is for my good.

To the bestest brother – Adi for just being there when it really matters, for being that pillar of strength and support when I should be the sensible one. I’m bloody proud of you for what you are. I get all emotional when you actually speak up for me. I still can’t believe you are all grown up now.

I wouldn’t be sitting here in the dead of the night penning this down without this Woman.
To Amma for being the best role model any girl can ask for. I will forever be in awe of how you’ve managed to garner love, respect and trust from people whom you’ve met in these years. You have brought us up with the best values and given us freedom to spread our wings. You’ve moulded me into what I am today. You’ve instilled confidence when I’ve been down in the dumps, brought me back to my senses when I strayed.  I really don’t know if I will ever be able to emulate you as a mother or a daughter in the years to come.  To me you are the epitome of Goodness.

To Appa for being that role model. You are one man whom I truly respect. Sometimes, I guess it's a little more fear than respect. I know I've fallen short of your expects many a times, but am thankful that you've taken it in your stride. I can only yearn to be the perfectionist you are.

To the Corporate World for turning the once uncomplicated, happy and cherubic soul into this insensitive woman with a good layer of thick epidermis. You have flawlessly executed the act of mercilessly slaughtering my confidence, puncturing my motivation and left me with no zest for living. Your exemplary behavior in terms of Public Display of Emotion where you wanted me strung and quartered for a second made me feel that the aforementioned woman should have aborted me instead.

But that was just for a second, I have realized how important it is to maintain dignity and composure at work.  All those people who grouped themselves together cemented my beliefs even more. I wholeheartedly thank you guys for clearing the cobwebs in my head.  Since then I’ve been absorbing every activity with a teaspoon of salt. 

You guys deserve the credit for helping me rebuild myself from those little shreds on the floor. I have learnt that there is no greater joy than recouping yourself to brace something a million times better. I will leave a blazing trail when the right time arrives.

To Shillu and Ramya for being the *first friends* I made in the hard-nosed corporate world! You girls are examples that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

To the Women who are no-more – Meenamma and Jaya Paati for being the best story tellers and nurturers.

Finally, to God, for bestowing me with so much goodness and happiness.  I totally understand that these trying moments in my life are to make me better and emerge stronger.

Peace Out